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Dhaka Tribune

Survey: Over 1 million secondary school students dropped out after Covid

  • 55% of them are girls
  • Drop out rate was 32.85% in 2023
Update : 29 Mar 2024, 04:04 PM

Following the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the number of students at the secondary school level in Bangladesh has decreased by 1 million over 4 years.

A survey by the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS), which was presented at a workshop on Thursday, revealed the data.

According to the survey, the total number of secondary school students in the country was 9,230,427 in 2019, the year before the pandemic began. And in 2023, this number stood at 8,166,188. 

Of the students who dropped out of school, 55% are girls. These students were enrolled in 18,968 schools across the country.

Officials from BANBEIS suggest that the pandemic played a significant role in this.

Chief of BANBEIS's Survey Branch Sheikh Md Alamgir said children between the ages of 11 and 15 usually attend secondary school. The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) also says the number of students in this age group has decreased. 

“This number is expected to decrease further next year. But they only collected statistics. The survey did not investigate the reason for the decrease,” he added.

Soleman Khan, secretary of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education of the Ministry of Education, said: "We have only collected basic information. We'll see things in the future. Many institutions were closed due to the pandemic. The Ministry of Education is working to bring them back to the classrooms.”

According to the survey, while the number of students in secondary schools has decreased, the number of students at the college level has increased by 180,000. 

At the same time, the number of students in madrasas increased by about 50,000. 

Similarly, the number of students in technical and English medium schools has also increased. 

And in the last few years, the dropout rate has decreased. In 2010, the dropout rate was 55.26%, in 2023 it stood at 32.85%.

The data was collected from all post-primary educational institutions in the country from September 3 to 23, 2023.

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