A World Bank report released yesterday claimed that the education sector of Bangladesh is progressing day by day despite the country’s bad record in terms of governance.
“Despite its overall poor governance record, Bangladesh has made significant advancement in increasing access to education and achieving gender parity,” the report said.
Titled “Bangladesh Governance in the Primary Education Sector,” the report was released at a programme organised by Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) of Brac University at Brac Centre Inn in the capital.
However, the report also said the challenging issues in this regard at the moment are the quality of education, the high rate of drop-out and the average time it takes to complete school, adding that an improved governance could be central to addressing these issues.
According to the report, Bangladesh exhibits a poor performance at the national level in each of the worldwide governance indicators, particularly in government effectiveness and control of corruption.
However, despite this, there was a gross enrolment rate of 101% in 2011, according to government data, with more than 17 million students enrolled in the primary-level schools and institutions across the country, without no disparity between boys and girls.
According to World Bank data, the enrolment rate was 77% in 2010.
“There are several indicators of good performance; access to schooling by the poor and by girls has improved over time,” it reads.
Speaking at the programme, Jonathan Rose, co-author of the report, said despite the considerable financial resources invested in the primary education sector by the government and development partners, there are relatively few systematic studies on governance challenges.
“Improved knowledge management is necessary so that governance research may have an impact,” he said.
BIGD lead researcher Mirza Hassan said there was a political will to improve primary education, but the problems lay in the implementation process.
“The members of parliament often have bad influence on schools, and this is impeding progress,” he said, adding that quality education is now the main challenge and concentration should be on this issue.
Manzoor Hasan, executive director of Brac University’s South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies, said research activities are often ignored in public and private universities.
He said there should be adequate funding on research activities so that universities can do researches.