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Table -7 Allocation in Education Sector and Primary and Mass Education Sub-Sector

(1991 - 2000)

Table -7A: Development Budget (In Million Taka)

Year

Education

% of All Sectors

Primary & Mass Education

% of Education

Primary Education

1991

3124.1

5.10

1986.6

63.59

1939.1

1992

5272.7

7.37

3615.4

68.57

3445.7

1993

5930.4

7.30

4028.4

67.93

3957.8

1994

9550.9

9.95

6485.2

67.90

6285.9

1995

15185.3

13.62

8928.0

58.79

8577.9

1996

13711.7

13.13

8213.5

59.90

7895.1

1997

15517.8

13.26

8653.5

55.76

8059.1

1998

14830.4

12.16

7837.7

52.85

6821.2

1999

17510.0

12.51

9780.0

55.85

8171.2

2000

19250.0

12.41

11080.0

57.55

8835.0

Table – 7B : Revenue Budget (In Million Taka)

Year

Education

% of All Sectors

Primary & Mass Education

% of Education

Primary Education

1991

11820.1

16.17

5385.0

45.56

5385.0

1992

13815.8

17.49

6704.1

48.52

6704.1

1993

16743.9

19.68

7621.6

45.52

7621.6

1994

18057.5

19.73

8478.8

46.95

8478.8

1995

20077.3

19.49

8659.6

43.13

8659.6

1996

21514.5

18.21

9504.4

44.18

9504.4

1997

22955.4

18.31

9989.7

43.52

9982.0

1998

26957.4

18.59

11475.1

42.57

11475.1

1999

29680.0

17.70

11990.0

40.40

11990.0

2000

32200.0

18.08

13340.0

41.43

13340.0

Foreign Assistance

Generous foreign assistance has been available for EFA. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, DFID, GTZ, IDB, OPEC, SFD, SDC, JICA, KFW, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, CIDA, SIDA and NORAD provided investment/recurring expenses for EFA through Annual Development Programme of the GOB. Foreign assistance during the period 1991-98 was 18 per cent annually (average). The details of foreign assistance is provided in Figure- 7.

A comparative picture of GOB fund and Foreign Aid Indicates that GOB fund has consistently in creased overtime from 1990-91 to 1998-99, whereas Foreign Aid has not increased. Over the period from 1990 to 1999 the Foreign donor’s share has been 18 percent of the total expenditure on primary and mass education (Table 7C)

The NGOs also obtain assistance from international/bilateral donors and private foreign donors, especially international NGOs. No aggregative data are available on the NGO expenditure .

Table 7C

Expenditure for Primary and Mass Education: GOB and Foreign Aid

( In Million Taka )

Year

GOB*

FA*

Total

1990 – 91

5,974.3

1,397.3

7,371.6

1991 - 92

7,185.8

3,133.7

10,319.5

1992 - 93

8,249.4

3,400.6

11,650.0

1993 - 94

11,588.7

3,375.3

14,964.0

1994 - 95

14,306.6

3,281.0

17,587.6

1995 - 96

14,562.1

3,155.8

17,717.9

1996 - 97

15,570.2

3,073.0

18,643.2

1997 - 98

17,626.0

1,686.8

19,312.8

1998 - 99

19,007.5

2,762.5

21,770.0

Source : GOB Documents
* GOB = Government of Bangladesh

* FA = Foreign Aid

 

Private Sector Investment for Primary Education

In 1998, the total number of primary schools was 63,534 of which 37,710 were government and 25,824 non-government schools, (40.6 per cent of the total). There is no compilation of data on private sector expenditure.

PERCENTAGE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS HAVING REQUIRED ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS (Core EFA Indicator – 9) AND PERCENTAGE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS WHO ARE CERTIFIED TO TEACH ACCORDING TO NATIONAL STANDARDS (Core EFA Indicator – 10)

The minimum required academic qualifications for primary school teachers have been fixed by the GOB as graduation in Higher Secondary Certificate (H.S.C) examination (that is, 12th grade) with Certificate in Education / Bachelor Degree for males. This is relaxable in case of female teachers, the minimum being the lower level, that is, Secondary School Certificate (10th grade). However, the job-market, of late has become competitive, so much so that BA level (14th grade) graduates (and even holders of Master degree) now apply/accept job of teachers in primary/secondary schools. This situation has practically resulted in recruiting teachers with higher qualifications at primary level. However, female teachers, having the same qualifications, are preferred to male teachers.

Data on the teachers, with regard to required academic qualifications and status of certification to teach, are available from the Child Education and Literacy Survey (CELS) of 1999 of the Compulsory Primary Education Implementation Monitoring Unit (CPEIMU). It is to be noted that the required qualification has changed over time, and the present required qualification has been higher than the previous required qualification. It may also be noted that almost 68 percent of all teachers have the required qualification. While 100 percent of the female teachers have the required qualification , the rate of qualified male teachers is only 53 percent. (Spread sheet Table-8). Considering certification of teachers, data indicate that almost 70 percent of the teachers have certificates. Female teachers and male teachers having certificates are 100 percent and 56 percent respectively.

For female teachers, there is no variation by region with regard to academic qualification or certification status , but variations are noted among male teachers in both regards. Similarly, for the female teachers there is no urban-rural variation, while the male teachers in urban areas are of higher proportion having certificates, compared to those of rural areas. But in terms of the required minimum qualification male teachers do not vary in proportion by urban-rural locations. Nationally, there are more teachers having certificates in urban areas than those in rural areas. For details, please see spread sheet in Table - 8.

PUPIL/ TEACHER RATIO (Core EFA Indicator – 11)

Bangladesh is facing a tremendous pressure on its resources to cater to education to new admission – seekers in primary education. Every year an approximate number of 3.12 million 4 years old children are becoming 5 years old, and 3.53 million 5 years old children are becoming 6 years old. The government (and the private sector) have to create/provide facilities for education, including recruitment of teachers.

In 1991, there had been one teacher available for 61 pupils; the situation has not improved in 1998, It is now one teacher for 59 pupils. The situation at public school is worse, the ratio being one teacher for 76 pupils, as against private schools having one teacher for 43 pupils. The public schools in Chittagong and Sylhet are the worst of all, whereas the private school in two divisions, Sylhet and Barisal, stand better with the ratio below 40. For details, please see spreadsheet in Table - 9.

Overall there is no urban-rural variation; nor is there variation between urban and rural locations for public or private schools.

The GOB has taken a programme to recruit more teachers, so that pupil/teacher ratio stands at 40 :1 considering the realities at present, although the ideal would have been 30:1. Table -8 Table -9

REPETITION RATES BY GRADE (Core EFA Indicator – 12)

Repetition rates by grade is one measure of assessing internal efficiency of the primary education cycle. Table -10 below indicates repetition rates by grade, and by year.

Table - 10

Repetition Rates by Grade, 1991-94

Year

Rates

Rates by Grade (%)

   

1

2

3

4

5

1991 Repetition

 

4.2

 

4.5

 

7.3

 

7.3

 

8.1

 

1994 Repetition

 

3.3

 

3.7

 

5.8

 

5.5

 

5.4

 

Source: Directorate of Primary Education, PMED, GOB .

The repetition rate has been fluctuating over the period since 1991. The rate for the primary grades varied from 4.2 to 8.1in 1991. The rate declined in 1994, varying between 3.3 and 5.5. During this period it is noted that the repetition rate has consistently been somewhat higher in the upper grades in 1991 as well as 1994. Data provided in Table-11 for 1998 (CELS 1999) show that nationally repetition rate is 6.5 percent in average, considering all five grades. Repetition rates vary between regions from 5 to 6.5 percent for all the regions except that Sylhet has the highest repetition rate up to 13.7 percent , the male having the rate as high as 16.2 percent. Females in this district also has the highest repetition rate of 11.2 percent. In other districts male-female difference is not notable. For details, please see spread sheet in Table - 11.

Drop-out Rate

The EFA goal for reducing drop-out rate has been set at 48 per cent for 1995. Data available from DPE indicate that drop out rate has declined from 59.3 in 1991 to 44.7 in 1993 and 39.1 in 1994 for the primary cycle. This means that the target has been exceeded by 9 per cent. The drop out rate has further declined to 35 percent (1998 estimate by PMED).

It can, therefore, be concluded that significant improvement has taken place by 1998 compared to 1991 in primary education. The improvements are ascribed to:

Table -11

Food For Education Programme

Low enrollment in school and high drop-out rates are mainly explained by poverty of parents. The GoB has introduced Food For Education Programme (FFEP) with a built-in strategy to attract the poverty-stricken families to send their children to school, in stead of engaging them for earning a livelihood. The food given under the programme becomes the income entitlement to poor families and this enables them to release their children from livelihood obligations as well as to send the children to primary schools and retain them therein.

The main objectives of FFEP, therefore, are:

The programme covers 1,243 selected unions of 460 Thanas of Bangladesh. Under this programme, one child from each eligible family is given 15 kg of wheat or 12 kg of rice and/ or more than one child 20 kg of wheat or 16 kg of rice every month. At present 2.2 million families covered under 17,203 primary level school in 1,243 unions are being benefited and the number of students benefited is 2.28 millions. Of the enrolled students a maximum of 40 per cent poor student are entitle to receive food grains.


Criteria for Selection of Beneficiary Families

FFEP targets the low-income families who cannot afford to send their children to schools. The beneficiaries are. therefore, those poor families who send their children to primary schools. The criteria for selecting target beneficiary families are:

A family that meets one of’ the selection criteria and is not covered under the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme or the Rural Maintenance Programme (RMP) or any other similar targeted intervention programs shall be eligible to receive food for sending children to school.

Implementation and Monitoring

At the national level, the Programme is implemented by the Project Implementation Unit ( PIU ) under the overall guidance of the PMED and with the assistance of the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE).

Achievements

It has been found from an evaluation (PMED,1999) the FFEP has attracted children of poor parents to a large extent. For example, gross enrollment under Food for Education Programme has been quite a success as from the following data:

 

1993

1995

1998

 

Both sexes

Female

Both sexes

Female

Both sexes

Female

Bangladesh

405,797

191,370

481,204

235,027

533,469

268,632

Dhaka

116.780

56,400

139,205

67,708

153 ,673

77,492

Chittagong

89,934

39,020

106.523

49,908

121,961

59,163

Svlhet

36,892

19,236

41,837

21,822

45,520

23,900

Rajshahi

92,581

4l,215

110,007

52,818

125.019

62,886

Khulna

17,422

23,443

55,562

28.185

56,599

28,685

Barisal

22,370

12,056

27,170

14,496

30,694

16,506

The evaluation found quantitative impacts on enrollment, attendance, dropout & repetition as follows:

  1. The enrollment in the programme schools increased from 406,000 in 1993 to 481, 200 (119%) in 1995 and to 533,500 (131%) in 1998, while in non-programme schools the enrollments of surveyed schools were 86,000 in 1993, which increased to 101,000 (117%) in 1005 and 97,000 (113%) in 1998.
  2. The attendance rates of the students of the programme schools increased consistently and sharply from 71.1 percent in 1993 to 77.7 percent in 1995 and further to 81.8 percent in 1998. while these rates of those of non-programme schools were low, though slowly rising from 66.4 percent in 1993, 69.5 percent in 1995 and 71.7 percent in 1998. The rate of’ attendance of’ interviewed students was found at 90.8 percent (I998).
  3. The dropout rates of the students of’ programme schools were a little above 1 percent with a declining tendency, while those rates for non-programme schools were found around 6 percent.

d. The repetition rates for the programme schools were around 1 percent, while those for the non-programme schools were a little below 5 percent.

The evaluation of qualitative impacts on learner’s attitude learning & attendance was as follows:

a. Ninety two percent of the Head Teachers and 99 percent of the students of the programme schools interviewed and 94 percent of the Chairman/Members of SMC asserted that the learners willingness to learn increased because of FFEP.

b. Ninety seven percent of the Head Teachers, 99 percent of the students and 98 percent of the Chairman/Members of SMC expressed that the habit of attendance of beneficiary students increased,

c. Ninety four percent of the Head Teachers, 95 percent of the Guardians, 97 percent Chairman/Members of SMC and 92 percent of the Union (Chairmen/ members said that because of FFEP incidence of child labour declined.

  1. Out of 1284 students 71(5.5%) have responded that they would dropout if FFEP is discontinued.

Socio-economic status of the beneficiary families & effectiveness of’ FFEP was found as follows:

  1. Out of 1284 beneficiary guardians 66(5. l%) are distressed widow, 559 (46.5%) are day labourers, 425 (33.1%) are low income professionals and 234 (18.2%) are landless.
  2. Sixty six percent of the beneficiary families have monthly per capita income of TK. 500/- or less, 22.2 percent have per capita income from TK 501/ - to 750/- and the remaining 151 (11.8%) beneficiary families have monthly per capita income above TK 750/.
  3. Single children of school going age group of all the target families go to schools, but many of the children of families having more than one such child do not go to school.
  4. FFEP has benefited nearly 100 percent of families and students covered.
  1. In the opinion of 96.3 percent of guardians. 98 percent of Chairmen/Members of SMC ( and 95 percent of UC Chairmen/Members. FEEP has continued to alleviation of poverty of the beneficiary families.

1 0. From the opinion collected from the field as well as interviews and discussions with the national and field level officers and specific respondents, it transpires that there is a consensus of opinion in favour of’ continuation of FFEP. If FFEP is discontinued, many of the students - the children of the poor rural beneficiaries, will drop out making difficult for the government to attain the goal of Education For All in the near future.

SURVIVAL RATE TO GRADE – 5 (Core EFA Indicator – 13)

The survival rate refers to the students who enrolled in the first grade primary education in a given school year and who eventually reached the final grade 5. This rate is also interpreted as retention rate and is considered as the norm of attainment of basic literacy. The survival rate in Bangladesh in different school years may be seen in spreadsheet, Table - 12. It is indicated that the survival rate has increased from 45.9 percent in 1991 to 67.3 percent in 1994 and to 70.3 percent in 1998. Data available for 1998 by sex indicate that male survival rate is higher than the female survival rate.

CO-EFFICIENT OF EFFICIENCY (Core EFA Indicator – 14)

Co-efficient of efficiency refers to the total output (graduates) and the ideal number of pupil years required for graduation, given the total pupil years actually spent (input) and its reciprocal "Input-Output" ratio interpreted in terms of additional efforts required to produce each graduate. Table -12

12 shows the co-efficient of efficiency to Grade 5 and in primary cycle separately for the years 1991, 1994 and 1998. It is indicated that coefficient of efficiency has increased from the 1991 level, but has been little higher in 1994 than that in 1998, considering both sexes. The coefficient is higher for the females compared to that for the males. Coefficient in primary cycle also shows an upward trend from 55.9 percent in 1991 to 70.0 percent in 1994 and further to 70.5 percent in 1998. The females have a higher coefficient than what the males have.

The EFA goal has been set at 65.6 per cent in 1995, which has already been achieved. The target for the year 2000 has been fixed at 80 per cent. It now appears that the co-efficient of efficiency in 1998 is 70.5 per cent and, therefore, the target may be achieved as per goal of EFA only if strong extra efforts are made.

LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT AND OUTCOME: PERCENTAGE OF PUPILS HAVING REACHED AT LEAST GRADE-4 OF PRIMARY SCHOOLING WHO MASTER A SET OF NATIONALLY DEFINED BASIC LEARNING COMPETENCIES (Core EFA Indicator-15)

Pupils are expected to acquire minimum basic knowledge and analytical skill, measured by a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies. The intention of this indicator is to gather information on the basic learning competencies of pupils towards the first stage of basic education, which is Grade-4.

Mastery learning

Keeping in mind the objectives of primary education, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) has identified fifty three terminal competencies for the primary stage of education. These terminal competencies have been spelled out in terms of subject-wise terminal competencies, on the basis of which class wise attainable competencies have been identified.

For the purpose of the present analysis, a study has been made to measure learning competency, considering three major areas : Reading and writing Bangla, Mathematics and Life Skills/ others. Specially designed test has been administered to students who have completed grade IV. (Source: An Assessment of the Achievement of the Pupils Completing Grade IV of Primary Education, 1999, DPE and UNICEF).

Defining the achievers (in overall terms considering the three areas under text) as those who scored at least 50 percent of the total marks, the study has found 51.35 percent of the students to be achievers in the continuum of competency. The percentage of male achieves are somewhat higher (53.16%), compared to the female achievers (49.63%) . Variation by region ranges from the low 36.34 percent to as high as high as 59.79 percent achievers. Urban-rural difference is little, the achievers being 50.18 percent in urban areas and 51.70 percent in rural areas. Female achievers are somewhat lower in proportion than their male counterparts irrespective of urban-rural locations. For details, please see spreadsheet in Table - 13.

Considering the competency by subject area, achievers are fewer in Bangla, but considerably higher in proportion in Life Skills, nationally the percentages being 30 and 75 respectively. Competency in Mathematics, by the measure of the percentage of achievers, stands in between.

Comparing between public and private schools, data presented in tables 13A and 13B indicates that public schools have more achievers than private schools. This holds true in both urban and rural areas. The difference is more sharp in urban areas.

Table -13

LITERACY RATE OF POPULATION AGED 15 - 24 YEARS (Core EFA Indicator - 16)

Literacy rate among 15-24 years old persons has a special significance in reflecting outcomes of formal and non-formal basic education process. Literacy means for the purpose of this analysis persons who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement on their every day life, and have gained ability in simple numeracy.

An assessment of literacy in the age-group 15-24 years suggests the rate to be 58.1; and the rates for males and females are 67.9 and 48.2 respectively . The urban rate for the age group is 85.8 as against the rural rate of 53.1. Difference is observed between urban male and rural male, the rates being 94.1 and 62.6 respectively, and similarly between urban female and rural female, the rates being 76.6 and 43.3 respectively. It is thus indicated that the urban literacy rate for 15-24 age group is consistently higher than the rural rate for both the sex groups, and male literacy rate is also consistently higher than female literacy in both urban and rural locations. For details, please see spreadsheet in Table - 14.

Considering the regions, notable variation is observed, Barisal having the highest rate at 82.6 percent and Rajshahi having the lowest at 47.4 percent. Population in the age group of 15-24 years number 22.97 million, out of which 16.90 million are literate. This means that 73.3 per cent of the population of this age-group are literate by 1998. (Source: Study on literacy Rate of 15+ age group, PMED, 1999).

ADULT LITERACY RATE: PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION AGED 15 + YEARS (Core EFA Indicator - 17)

For the population of age-group 15 + adults, the rate of literacy should have been increased to 40 per cent in 1995 from the 1991 base-year rate of 34.6 per cent, and the rate should have reached 62 per cent by the year 2000 under the EFA accelerated programme.

The target of the EFA on adult literacy aims at reducing the number of illiterate adults, with sufficient emphasis on female literacy to significantly reduce the current disparity between male and female illiteracy rates.

In this context it may be noted that any progress in the programme for adult literacy is affected by high rate of population growth to the extent that, though in absolute terms a large number of people do become literate, the number of literates as a proportion of the total population does not rise significantly. Keeping this factor in mind, as much as other social and cultural factors, the GOB has taken up a target of making 62 per cent of the adult population literate by the year 2000.This is to be compared with 35 per cent literate people of 1991,and 56 per cent of 1998. There has been a significant rise in male literacy rate (63.1). Compared to this, female literacy rate has been 48.1, which is not in conformity with the objective of significantly reducing the gender disparity. Male literacy is consistently higher in urban and rural areas. Of course rural literacy for both male and female is lower than urban literacy. Regional variation ranges from 45.6 (Sylhet) to 75.2 (Barisal), the females consistently having lower literacy in all the regions (Spreadsheet Table- 14).

Considering the goal set for EFA 2000, it appears that over time since 1990 adult literacy rate has consistently increased and achievement has reached almost 60 percent by 1999. It may be possible Table -14

to fulfill the target of 62 percent by the year 2000, with the implementation of UPE and NFE programmes.

EFA Goals Achievement ( in%)

 

Goals

Achievement

 

1991

1995

2000

1998/1999

 

Adult Literacy rate

35

40

62

56

 

Source : Primary Education in Bangladesh (DPE), 1998; and Study on Literacy, 1999.

SPECIAL INTERVENTION : LITERACY PROGRAMME IN PRISIONS

Prisons in Bangladesh has been the most unreached area for literacy intervention for obvious reasons. Quite a number of prison inmates continued to remain non-literate in the absence of literacy service inside the prisons. Although illiteracy has no direct bearing on crime, literacy has a humanizing effect in that it can broaden the rational faculty of human beings to think and act creatively.

In a bid to make education accessible to all citizens, DNFE has started delivering literacy service inside prisons with the help of concerned district administration and local prison authorities. By September 1998, some 6063 prison inmates have completed literacy courses.

An estimate, based on the consideration of 37 prisons out of the total of 64 in the country, shows that the current number of prison inmates is 25942, of which 25142 are males while the rest are females. Out of the prison inmates surveyed, a total of 10680 are non-literate. Among the non-literate inmates, 10289 are males and 391 females.

Most of the prisons have developed provision to extend literacy service for non-literate prison inmates.

The findings of a survey in this regard are as follows :

  1. The shares of men and women among prison inmates are 97.06 percent and 2.94 percent respectively.
  2. Among the prison inmates, 41.17 percent are non-literate.
  3. Among the male prisoners, 40.92 percent are literate.
  4. Among the female prisoners, 48.86 percent are literate.
  5. Out of the total non-literate prison inmates, 70.86 percent are now covered by NFE service.

[Source : Non-Formal Education in Bangladesh, DNFE, 1999]

LITERACY GENDER PARITY INDEX (Core EFA Indicator-18)

The GOB is committed to reduce gender disparity and significantly empower women through education.

Plan for the reduction of gender disparity, with respect to enrollment in primary education, for achieving EFA targets has been as follows:

Table – 15

Gender Party : Enrollment in Primary Education, Benchmark 1991, Goals, 1995 & 2000 (Per cent)

Parameter

Benchmark 1991

Goal for 1995

Goal for 2000

Achievement 1998

Gross Enrollment

76

82

95

96

Boy’s Enrollment

81

85

96

98

Girls Enrollment

70

79

94

94

Source : Education for All: National plan of Action, Primary and Mass Education Division, GOB.

With regard to achievement, by the measure of gross enrollment in primary education it appears that gender parity has significantly improved compared to the status in 1991. But as it has been found earlier, for the age groups of 15-24 and 15+ years, the gap between male and female literacy rates is substantial. This is reflected in gender parity index scores in Spreadsheet Table 14 and Tables 15 and 16.

Table -16

Gender Parity in terms of Enrollment Rate : 1991-1997

Year

Primary Schools

(Figures in ‘000’)

Non-Formal Education

(% of Population)

Adult Literacy

(% of Population)

Total

Boys (%)

Girls (%)

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male (%)

Female (%)

1991

12635

6910

(54.69)

5725

(45.31)

32.40

36.90

25.45

35.32

44.31

25.84

1995

17284

9094

(52.62)

8190

(47.38)

44.30

50.40

28.50

47.30

55.60

38.10

1997

18032

9365

(51.94)

8667

(48.06)

-

-

-

51.01

-

-

Source : Primary and Mass Education Division and BBS, GOB.

9.0 EFFECTIVENESS OF THE EFA STRATEGY, PLAN AND PROGRAMMES

The National Plan of Action for achieving EFA goals has followed in a way the expection of the nation and set high targets. The important strategy for achieving EFA goals has been to ensure people’s participation in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating package programmes. The specifics of the strategy have been:

Mobilization of the concerned groups and their participation have been at a satisfactory level. The plan and the programmes have received multi-sectoral thrust. The commitment from the highest level of political and administrative authorities was absolutely clear. Thus the programmes have received a big push to give good results.

The strategies of the EFA programmes have finally proved to be workable and efficient. Thoughtful programme designing and adoption of output oriented strategies have resulted in achieving most of the EFA targets earlier than the target dates.

The target in non-formal basic education was set too high. Actual programme activities could not achieve the targets set.

10. MAIN PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND ANTICIPATED

The EFA goals were set in a manner that required:

Naturally, problems were encountered in several dimensions along the proces of programme implementation. For example, school buildings and trained teachers were just not available to meet required quality standard of school, school hour, school space and student-teacher ratio. High incidence of poverty is the most formidable constraint on the part of parents to send their wards to schools, Despite Food for Education Programme, this problems will continue for quite sometime. Indeed, Food for Education is a costly element in the education promotion efforts and invites a sustainability problem. Its withdrawal is also a problem with political and social ramifications.

The competency level of students will continue to be less than satisfactory until adequately trained teachers are made available and learning environment is further improved. Data gathering system and constant follow up have to be further streamlined in order to monitor progress. The present assessment has had difficulties because of the lack of built-in data gathering system enabling proper assessment based on appropriate indicators.

Assessment of student’s learning and competencies, particularly as a continuous process has been beyond the capacity and orientation of the existing teachers. It is also not in their habits. Its proper application is yet to be established. This will require reorientation and skill development among the teachers.

Achievement in non-formal education addressing the adults has been less than satisfactory. Gender disparity in this regard is another dimension of the problem. The problem will persist unless more robust interventions are made.

11. PUBLIC AWARENESS, POLITICAL WILL AND NATIONAL CAPACITIES

There is an adage in Bangla which says "lekha para kare jey / gari ghora chare shey". When literally translated into English it reads "whosoever is educated she/he can ride cars and horses" meaning that the educated person lives a good life. By tradition, people of Bangladesh strongly demand basic education for all and higher education for the meritorious. As a matter of fact, many philanthropic individuals and organizations have programmes that offer scholarship/stipends to "poor but meritorious" students. There is no lack of intention on the part of parents to have their children educated; what they lack is ability to pay for cost of education and/or, in case of very poor parents, an issue is opportunity cost of time of child labour vs child education. In the process of implementation of the NPA, people in general, even the poorer sections, have gained higher motivation for children’s education. Various other developmental programmes focused on the disadvantaged, particularly women have provided additional inspiration. Skill oriented education to increase the income earning prospect has a better chance of gaining popularity.

The GOB is strongly committed to education for all, even before the Jomtin Conference, to the extent that the Constitution of the Republic obligates upon the government for education for all citizens. The government has created new organizations (PMED/DPE/DNFE/CPEIMU) and undertaken new programmes (CPE/NFE/Adult Literacy) for EFA.

No formal SWOT analysis has been made in respect of government organizations involved in EFA. These organizations are new; but the managers of these organizations are experienced and most of all, committed. This commitment of the officials is the strength of organizations; and their major weakness is related to check-and-balance-oriented rules, regulations and procedures of the GOB. Strong will at the level of national leadership, political and managerial is clearly evident; however the management systems have to be geared to improvement of performance at mid-level supervisor and field level teaching staff.

12. GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF THE PROGRESS

From the country situation analysis a general impression emerges that:

It is necessary to augment resources from domestic and international sources to the EFA programmes on the basis of evaluations made from time to time. Also, more efforts are to be directed at some areas to achieve the targets.

The following is a summary (Table -17) indicating the progress and shortfalls with respect to the indicators. The gross enrollment rate in early childhood programme (22.4) is low and can be attributed to designing and implementation of programme in its present form. However, the achievement of 22 percent is indicative of potential for greater success , if the programme is designed, on the basis of past experience, with greater peoples’ participation.

Consistent to this prospect is the finding that among the new entrants to grade-I, 52 percent are those who attended some form of organized early childhood development programme. Participation in such programme can of course be promoted to increase the efficacy of primary /basic education programme if systematic initiatives are taken in future.

The apparent intake rate in primary education has been almost 126 percent. This suggests some weakness in the social environment to the effect that there are more students entering school in different age levels than the population of official primary school entrance age. In one way, it suggests that in the absence of birth registration in the country most parents are not conscious of the age of their children, nor do they care to have the children admitted to school at the proper age. Secondly, it also suggests that accessibility to school for the children of official entrance age is limited.

As against this situation, the net intake rate, which is a more precise measurement of access to primary education of the primary school entrance age population (eligible group), is found to be 65 percent. The National Plan of Action (NPA) did not target any net intake rate. However, the rate of 65 is suggestive of a moderate achievement for the nation in relation to the past condition, as a common understanding. At least two thirds of the official school age enter the first grade in primary school.

The gross and the net enrollment rates in primary education, 96 and 84 percent respectively, are a good picture of the school participation in the country. In fact, gross enrollment rate of 96 by the year 1998 has overshot the target of 95 which was set for the year 2000. Admittedly, a lot of efforts have gone into the primary education programme in terms of building capacity for increased enrollment.

Table – 17

Summary Findings on Indicators, EFA Assessment

Indicators

All figures expressed in percent

Gross enrollment ratio in early childhood development programmes

(age group 3-5 years)

 

Total

Male

Female

GER

22.4

21.3

23.6

     
New entrants to Grade I who have attended some form of organised early childhood development programmes during at least one year  

Total

Male

Female

Total

52.2

53.6

50.6

Public

52.2

55.5

48.6

Private

52.2

51.1

53.7

 
Apparent (Gross) and Net intake rate in primary education  

Total

Male

Female

AIR

125.7

132.3

118.7

NIR

64.6

64.5

64.9

   
Gross and Net enrollment ratios in primary education  

Total

Male

Female

GER

96.5

98.4

94.5

NER

81.4

80.0

82.9

   
Public expenditure on primary education as percentage of GDP and of total public expenditure on primary education per pupil as percentage of GDP per capita. Public exp. on primary edu. as % of total public exp. on education

1991

49.0

 

1995

48.5

 

2000

43.1

Public exp. on primary edu. as % of GDP 1991

0.9

1995

1.5

2000

1.2

Public current exp. on primary edn. per pupil as % of GDP per capita 1991

7.7

1995

10.2

2000

8.2

Academic qualifications and certified to teach of primary school teachers (Qualifications: SSC 2nd Div. For female;

HSC/ Bachelor degree for male; and certified to teach: C-in-Ed/B.Ed)

 

 

Total

Male

Female

With academic qualification

67.9

53.4

99.7

Certified to teach

69.9

56.3

99.9

Pupil- teacher ratio in primary education  

Total

Total

59.31

Public

76.36

Private

42.59

Survival rate to Grade 5 and coefficient of efficiency  

 

1998

Survival rate to grade 5

(MF) (M) (F)

70.3 69.1 66.7

 

 

1998

Coefficient of efficiency to grade 5

(MF) (M) (F)

75.7 74.6 76.9

Percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies  

 

Total

Male

Female

Reading /Writing

30.4

31.1

29.5

Math

 

51.4

54.1

48.8

Life Skills/

Others

75.0

78.8

71.5

ACS

 

51.4

53.2

49.6

Literacy rates of population aged 15+ and 15-24 years old and over  

 

Total

Male

Female

Literacy rate

15+ 15-24

55.9 58.1

63.1 67.9

48.1 48.2

 

 

 

Usually the level of achievement is correlated with public expenditure in primary education, since education for all has been a public responsibility. In absolute terms, over the years expenditure has increased, as the national investment in all Sectors has increased. Comparing between allocations of 1991, 1995 and 2000, it appears that percent expenditure in primary education in relation to total education or GDP, and per pupil expenditure as percent of GDP per capita has gone down in the year 2000 (forecast) although it rose in mid ninetees. This is to be termed a weakness in educational planning from the point of view of resource allocation.

Teachers’ academic qualification and special training are some of the conditions that determine the efficiency of education system. Generally it is held that standard of teaching in the country has not been satisfactory, as the quality of teachers is not up to the mark. It is to be noted that over the time the minimum required qualification of teachers have been raised, with a special care to recruit more female teachers in primary education. Thus the minimum required academic qualification for male teachers has been set HSC with Certificate in Education or Bachelor degree and for female teachers SSC in second division (minimum) together with Certificate in Education. In course of the present assessment it has been found that almost one hundred percent of the female teachers fulfill the minimum requirement of qualification, whereas the male teachers having the required academic qualification are 53 percent and those having certificate to teach are 56 percent. Taking both female and male teachers together 68 percent of the primary teachers have the required academic qualification and 70 percent have Certificate in Education. The NPA did not have any particular target although the policy was to have increased proportion of qualified teachers and emphasis was laid on having trained teachers. Apparently there has been a moderate progress, but not adequate.

Pupil- teacher ratio is considered to be a measure of the education system to result in quality teaching. Historically, Bangladesh situation, particularly in public school, does not present a pleasant scenario with a large number of pupils per teacher. The situation as such has been recognized by the government and the policy is to improve the pupil teacher ratio. But the recruitment of more teachers is affected by the process of selection, in addition to resource constraints. In the present assessment the ratio has been found to be 60:1 , the private schools being in a better situation with the ratio of 43:1, compared to the public schools with 76:1. This situation calls for urgent attention for the sake of improving the quality of teaching as well as promoting school attractiveness. The plan of the government, therefore, is to achieve the ratio of 40:1 as early as possible.

High dropout rate has been a serious concern, among others, in improving the conditions of basic education. The NPA has sought to significantly reduce the dropout rate while increasing the enrollment rate. It seems there has been a notable improvement, with survival rate to grade V being 70 percent (that is, 30 percent drop out before completing the primary education cycle of five grades).

By the measure of the percentage of pupils having reached at least grade IV of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies, the performance may not be considered poor. A competency test was prepared and administered by independent experts. Test items considered three areas: reading/ writing, mathematics and life skills. With the combination of separate scores in these three areas, a composite score was arrived at for each individual student under the test. Taking 50 percent of scores as the cut-off point, those have been considered achiever who scored 50 or above. In this process the test result shows that 51 percent of the pupils are achievers. Males are somewhat higher in proportion (53%) who are achievers, compared to the proportion of females (49.6%). It is to be noted, however, that the proportion of achievers has been positively influenced by high scorers in the area of life skills. The scores in the area of reading/ writing are uncomfortably low, whereas the scores in mathematics stand in between.

Finally, achievement toward the EFA goal may be considered by the measure of literacy for population, aged 15-24 years and 15+ years. The NPA set literacy target for 15+ years to be 62 percent by the year 2000. The present assessment has found the achievement at the level of 56 percent in 1998, which does not seem very uncomfortable. The achievement level is higher at 58 percent for the age group 15 - 24. An optimism would not be unreasonable that the target can be achieved at the present trend of performance.


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