CHAPTER XX

EDUCATION

 

20.1 Introduction

 20.1.1 Education is the basic need for socio-economic transformation and advancement of a country. It is the prime ingredient of human resource development. In Bangladesh educational development was not adequately geared to meet this human need. The overall literacy rate (7 years and above) in Bangladesh is about 44.3 per cent (1995), the female literacy rate being 28.5 per cent and the male, 50.4 per cent. The gap of literacy rates between the urban and rural areas is very wide - 36.6 per cent in rural and 63.0 per cent in urban areas. As a step towards increasing the literacy rate, universal primary education has been made compulsory. The Constitution of Bangladesh obligates the government to adopt effective measures for (a) establishing a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and extending free and compulsory education to all children to such stage as may be determined by law; (b) relating education to the needs of society and producing properly trained and motivated citizens to serve those needs; and (c) removing illiteracy within such times as may be determined by law. Education plays the most important role for creating trained workforce for a nation. The educated and trained workforce can easily acquire new information and technology and apply them in new situations. In this respect, the contents of education in Bangladesh need some modifications in the context of present day situation taking cognisance of rapidly changing stock of knowledge, particularly in the field of science and technology. More emphasis on scientific and technical education as has been the case during the recent years, will go a long way in enlarging the technological base of economic development and laying foundation of a knowledge based society. To supplement government efforts, there is need for greater participation of the private sector, community and non-government organisations (NGOs).

20.2 Review of Fourth Five Year Plan

Primary Education

20.2.1 During the Fourth Plan, steps were taken for the improvement of primary education and the thrust was on introduction of Compulsory Primary Education (CPE). The major objectives were to ensure (a) optimum use of existing physical facilities and maintaining regional balance in respect of creating new educational facilities, (b) enhanced participation of women at the primary level as teachers, (c) establishment of an effective system of in-service training of primary school teachers, (d) development of primary school curricula, and (e) introduction of academic supervision and administrative inspection.

20.2.2 The original Plan allocation for primary education was Tk.14,281.68 million. The allocation, however, was increased to Tk.24,216.48 million through ADPs and the actual expenditure was Tk.20,307.40 million. The allocation for primary education was in the range of 50-52 per cent of total allocation made for the education sector in the ADPs. The year-wise position of allocation and expenditure is shown in Table 20.1.

 

Table 20.1

Allocation and Expenditure for Primary Education 1990-95

(in million Taka)

Year

Allocation *

Expenditure *

Allocation **

Expenditure **

1990-91

1,939.16

888.78

1,804.34

826.99

1991-92

3,445.73

1,885.49

3,059.07

1,673.91

1992-93

3,957.76

3,401.96

3,394.01

2,917.38

1993-94

6,285.87

5,817.59

5,315.14

4,919.18

1994-95

8,587.96

8,313.58

7,316.88

7,083.12

Total

24,216.48

20,307.40

20,889.44

17,420.58

*Current Prices

**Constant Prices (1989-90)

20.2.3 By 1995, a total of 59,894 primary schools were functioning. During the Fourth Plan, 9398 Ebtedayee madrashas, 394 NGO primary schools, 53 primary schools attached to PTIs, 1566 primary schools attached to secondary schools and 1628 kindergarten/ primary schools were set up. Year-wise number of government and non-government primary schools are shown in Table 20.2.

Table 20.2

Number of Government and Non Government Primary Schools 1990-95

 

Year

Total

Government

Non-Government.

 

 

 

Registered

Non-Registered

1990

47,241

37,655

6,266

3,320

1991

49,539

37,694

8,684

3,161

1992

50280

37,706

8,885

3,689

1993

52,886

37,706

8,994

6,186

1994

56,165

37,710

14,807

3,648

1995

59,894

37,710

17,151

5,033

 

20.2.4 Enrolment in primary education increased from 12.1 million (5.4 million girl students) in 1990 to 17.3 million (8.18 million girl students) in 1995 along with the rise in completion rate from 41 per cent in 1990 to 60 per cent in 1995. Food for Education programme was introduced for increasing enrolment and reducing drop-out rates among the poor children. Year-wise enrolment is shown in Table 20.3.

 

Table 20.3

Enrolment of Students in Primary Schools 1990-95

 

Year

Total

Boys

Girls

Percentage of Girl Students (%)

1990

1,20,51,172

66,62,427

53,88,745

44.71

1991

1,26,35,419

69,10,092

57,25,327

45.31

1992

1,30,17,270

70,48,542

59,68,728

45.85

1993

1,40,67,332

75,25,862

65,41,470

46.50

1994

1,51,80,680

80,48,117

71,32,563

46.98

1995

1,72,84,113

90,94,489

81,89,624

47.38

 

20.2.5 For overall development of primary education, three major aided projects, namely, (a) Development of Primary Education in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Khulna Divisions, (b) Development of Primary Education in Chittagong Division, and (c) Development of Curricula and Text Book Board at the Primary Level of Education were implemented under the General Education Projects (GEP). Under these projects 1,134 low cost schools were constructed, 5,082 government primary schools reconstructed and 3,932 primary schools and 53 existing Primary Teachers Training Institutes repaired. Besides, 2,517 flood damaged and 5,847 cyclone damaged schools were reconstructed and repaired respectively.

 

20.2.6 In addition, the government with its own resource reconstructed 7,232 and repaired 580 non-government primary schools.

 

20.2.7 Satellite school: An experimental satellite school programme which was launched with grades 1 and 2 nearer to the door steps of the younger children achieved marked success. These two-class schools staffed by local female teachers and managed by local school management committees accounted for about 100 per cent attendance.

 

20.2.8 Text books: Text books were and are still being supplied free of cost to all students of the primary schools. During the Plan period, a total of 77.29 million sets of books were distributed to the students.

 

20.2.9 Training: Provision was made for in-service training of the primary school teachers with a view to developing their professional skills. The cluster training programme was in operation for primary school teachers under direct supervision and guidance of the Assistant Thana Education Officer. A nation-wide curricula dissemination training programme, covering orientation of both government and non-government primary schools, was implemented with the purpose of providing adequate exposure to the teachers so that they could translate the newly introduced curricula objectives into reality.

 

20.2.10 NGO activity: A total of 3,10,000 persons were given non-formal education through NGO-run centres and 400,000 children benefited under the school attractiveness programme upto June 1995. These were managed by NGOs and local school management committees (SMCs). These programmes have been under implementation in 689 schools in 10 thanas.

 

Non-formal/Mass Education

 

20.2.11 One of the objectives of the Fourth Plan was to reduce mass illiteracy. Allocation for the non-formal education was Tk.1,235.70 million while Tk. 827.30 million only could be provided through ADPs. Four projects were undertaken, of which two were completed and one was dropped. A sum of Tk.525.90 million was spent during the Plan period. The Plan inherited a project titled "Mass Education Programme" as a spill-over project. One of the objectives of the project was to increase literacy rate of 11-45 years age group from 30 per cent to 60 per cent by the year 2000 in the project area. Under the project, a total of 3,67,660 illiterates were made literate during the Plan period. Another project titled "Expansion of Integrated Non-formal Education Programme" was launched and the objective was to institutionalise a comprehensive non-formal education system in the country. The programme was implemented in 69 thanas of the country. Under the central organisation of Integrated Non-formal Education Programme (INFEP), a post of district co-ordinator was created at the district level to monitor and supervise field programmes in each district. About two-thirds of the non-formal education programme was implemented through NGOs and one-third under the direct control of district co-ordinators. A total of 192 NGOs were involved in implementing the non-formal education programme. Besides this, under the aegis of district administration, a programme named 'Total Literacy Movement (TLM)' was initiated in Lalmonirhat and Bhola districts. Other activities of the project were development of primers, teacherís guide, teacher's training manual, and supervisor's training manual. Training programmes were undertaken for the centre supervisors, teachers and librarians.

 

Secondary Higher Secondary University and Technical Education