The enrolment rate for secondary education in the country is still significantly low, but it has improved in comparison to the past, according to the UNFPA annual report.
The “State of World Population Report 2019” puts the enrolment rate at 57 percent for boys and 67 percent for girls in 2017. In 1999, the rate was 43 percent for girls.
“It's a huge achievement for the government,” Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury Nowfel told the news agency.
He noted that the secondary school enrolment rate for girls proves that female education in Bangladesh has reached a new height.
He said the government is conducting studies to find out reasons behind high dropout rate among male students. He said “scientific approaches” will be taken to solve the issues.
Meanwhile, net enrolment rate for primary education has increased significantly for girls. It stood at 98 percent in 2017 compared to 45 percent in 1990. For boys, the rate was 92 percent in 2017.
Debadas Halder, assistant professor of Institute of Education and Research at Dhaka University, highlighted lack of initiatives as a reason behind fewer enrolments in secondary education.
“Secondary education receives much less attention compared to primary,” he said, noting that increasing cost of higher education also discourages parents from enrolling children for secondary education in many cases.
Also, Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage -- a key reason for school dropouts.
Deputy Minister Nowfel said the government is considering structural change and improving support to reduce gap between primary and secondary enrolment.
“Structural policies have produced better results in some cases. We want to continue with a targeted policy involving all stakeholders,” he said.