Education in Bangladesh

The Bangladeshi education system is one of the largest in the world with 21.9 million children in kindergartens and primary schools. Education spending accounts for 14.4% of national budget, which correspond to 2% of GDP.

The government of Bangladesh developed several policy documents, which outline the country’s guiding principles and directions for education. The Third Primary Education Development Program (PEDP-3) is one of those and highlights four priority areas that aim to:

  1. Establish an integrated school system encompassing pre-school to higher secondary levels under a framework that unifies public, NGO and private providers.
  2. Ensure quality improvement through reduced class size and improved teaching practices.
  3. Decentralize primary education administration and management.
  4. Engage in partnerships with NGOs and the private sector.

The PEDP-3 is a six-year, sector-wide program covering Grades I through V and one year of pre-primary education. The objective is to establish an efficient, inclusive, and equitable primary education system delivering effective and relevant child-friendly learning to all Bangladesh’s children from pre-primary through Grade V primary.

The PEDP-3outlines six results areas:

  1. Learning outcomes
  2. Participation
  3. Reducing disparities
  4. Decentralization of school level planning
  5. Effective use of budget allocations
  6. Program planning and management

Results in these areas are achieved through activities in twenty-nine subcomponents. Most activities affect all primary schools in Bangladesh. Some activities reach out to all primary school age children whether they participate in formal or non-formal education.

The expected outcomes of the PEDP-3 include:

  • All children acquire expected grade-wise and subject-wise learning outcomes or competencies in the classroom.
  • All children participate in pre-primary and primary education in all types of schools
  • Regional and other disparities will be reduced in terms of participation, completion and learning outcomes

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Latest grant

A teacher and her students at the Noor Jahan Mahamub General Primary School in Bangladesh. May 2016

CREDIT: GPE/Daisuke Kanazawa
Development objective: Establish an integrated school system encompassing preschool to higher secondary levels; ensure quality improvement through reduced class size and improved teaching practices; decentralize primary education administration and management; engage in partnerships with NGOs and the private sector
Allocation:US$100,000,000
Years:2016-2018
Grant agent:IBRD, UNICEF
Disbursements:US$90,833,333

In September, the GPE Board approved US$8.3 million in accelerated financing for Bangladesh for the schooling of Rohingya refugees and children from surrounding communities. The grant will help almost 80,000 children to get an education, most of whom have never been enrolled in school. Two thirds of them are Rohingya refugees located in camps in Cox’s Bazar; one third are Bangladeshi children in surrounding communities. About 2,000 new teachers will be hired and trained. The funding also supports the building of classrooms in camps and surrounding communities and learning and teaching materials.

A learning framework outlining what Rohingya children should learn and how that will be assessed was developed by GPE partners in consultation with the government. GPE’s support complements funding by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and its multi-year resilience program. UNICEF is the GPE grant agent for this funding.

The PEDP3 is a US$9.8 billion program financed by the government and development partners. The GPE grant of US$100 million contributed to implementation of the entire program as budget support. The grant agent was the World Bank. The grant was disbursed according to periodical assessment of 9 disbursement linked indicators:

  1. Production and distribution of textbooks
  2. Teachers with diploma in primary education
  3. Grade 5 primary examination completion exam strengthened
  4. Teacher recruitment and deployment
  5. Pre-primary education
  6. Needs-based infrastructure development
  7. Decentralized school management and governance
  8. Sector finance
  9. Annual primary school census

(See from page 28 of the program document for a full list of indicators with annual targets)

The ministry chairs the Education – Local Consultative Groups in Bangladesh, which plays a leading role in engaging citizens and communities.

Grants

All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2016-2018 100,000,000 90,833,333 IBRD, UNICEF Completion report
Program development 2015 100,000 IBRD
  TOTAL 100,100,000 90,833,333    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Bangladesh. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.

Access

Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated September 21, 2018