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 strategies.
The PEDP-3 outlines six results areas:
- Learning outcomes
- Reducing disparities
- Decentralization of school level planning
- Effective use of budget allocations
- 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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In September 2018, the GPE Board approved US$8.3 million in accelerated financing for Bangladesh for the schooling of Rohingya children and youth in camps and those in surrounding host communities.
The interventions supported by the GPE grant are aligned with the Joint Response Plan (JRP) for Rohingya refugee crisis launched in March 2018. As such, the program contributes to the following strategic objectives of the JRP set by the Cox’s Bazar Education Sector:
- Provide immediate access to equitable learning opportunities in a safe and protective environment to crisis-affected refugee and host community children and youth (ages 3 to 24 years old).
- Improve the quality of teaching and learning for refugee and host community children and youth, aligned with the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and education sector standards, and increase teaching-related professional development opportunities.
- Increase refugees and host community participation and engagement in children's education.
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.
The PEDP3 is a US$9.8 billion program financed by the government and development partners. A GPE grant of US$90 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:
- Production and distribution of textbooks
- Teachers with diploma in primary education
- Grade 5 primary examination completion exam strengthened
- Teacher recruitment and deployment
- Pre-primary education
- Needs-based infrastructure development
- Decentralized school management and governance
- Sector finance
- Annual primary school census
(See from page 28 of the program document for a full list of indicators with annual targets)
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Disbursements||Grant agent|
|Program implementation||2018-2020||8,332,407||3,153,103||UNICEF||Progress update|
|2016-2018||99,166,666||90,833,333||World Bank||Completion report|
|Sector plan development||2019-2021||465,000||0||UNESCO|
|Program development||2015||100,000||99,550||World Bank|
GPE has also provided the Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.
Education sector progress
The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Bangladesh, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.
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 (%)
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.