A quarter of young Bangladeshis never completed primary school and are left without the required skills to land a job, revealed a Unesco report.
It said the country has over eight million such people aged between 15 and 24 years.
The figure has put the country among the top five nations in the world who have most young people not completing primary school.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) launched the EFA Global Monitoring Report-2012 on Tuesday.
Siddiqur Rahman of Institute of Education and Research in Dhaka University said the findings of the report are a big concern for the country.
He cited poverty and lack of interest in studies for around 40 percent dropout rate in the primary level (up to class-V).
To cut the dropout rate, he emphasised the need for making school lessons attractive.
The Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR) is an annual publication that monitors progress towards a set of targets. In 2000, over 160 countries had committed to work towards the targets.
Each year, the report focuses on a specific theme of particular relevance.
The study said Bangladesh is one of the only three low income countries where more girls are in secondary schools than boys. This is largely due to measures taken to support girls' enrolment.
It suggested that the authorities take up similar measures to enable more boys obtain secondary education.
According to the report, 250 million children of primary school age in the world cannot read or count, regardless of their enrolment in schools.
In Bangladesh, the issue of quality of schooling needs to be addressed as less than 50 percent of the teachers are trained.
The GMR put the figure of illiterate adults in the world at 775 million. Of them, Bangladesh alone has 44 million, the fourth highest in the world.
The government, however, puts the number of illiterate people aged between 15 and 45 at 3.70 crore.