COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$15 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key document:

The US$15 million grant supports:

  • remote learning content through the radio, TV, mobile and online broadcasting
  • learning packages for children from marginalized groups, poor families or with disabilities
  • guidance for parents and a toll-free hotline with teachers to support remote learning from home
  • public awareness campaigns to promote hygiene and COVID-19 related safety practices, and to encourage students to stay in school
  • preparing for school reopening by developing health and safety protocols and providing guidance to local administrations on gradual and staggered reopening of schools
  • re-enrollment campaigns targeted at students most at risk of dropping out
  • training and tools for teachers to support the mental health of students
  • learning assessments to inform remedial programs that mitigate losses in learning.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Bangladesh received a GPE grant of US$140,000 to support the Ministry of Education. The grant was used to:

  • kick off a discussion on the remote learning platform
  • promote COVID-19 education content through social media
  • develop an online platform for teachers.

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:

  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

Development objective: Respond to the education needs of crisis-affected children and youth (3-18 years) in Cox’s Bazar district.
Allocation: US$8,332,407
Years: 2018-2021
Grant agent: UNICEF
Disbursements: US$0

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Read an update on the education activities as of May 2019

Previous grant

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:

  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)

Read the grant completion report


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 15,000,000 0 WB  
Accelerated funding 2018-2021 8,332,407 0 UNICEF Progress update
Program implementation 2016-2018 90,833,333 90,833,333 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2019-2021 465,000 0 UNESCO  
Program development 2020-2021 294,975 0 WB  
2015 100,000 99,550 WB  
  Total 115,025,715 90,932,883    
Data last updated: January 04, 2021

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

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.

Last updated June 16, 2020