Grade eight students accounted for almost half of those who dropped out at the secondary level in the country last year.
A draft of the government's latest educational statistical report presents a worrying picture as 40.29 percent of the secondary students dropped out last year with 19.11 percent of them leaving their institutions at class-VIII alone.
The report, however, shows that the number of dropouts has gradually been declining since 2008 when the rate was 61 percent.
Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis) prepared the report titled 'Bangladesh Education Statistics-2015' and held a dissemination work shop yesterday at its office to share the findings with different stakeholders.
The report shows that the dropout rate was particularly high among girls, 45.92 percent of whom left education at the secondary level, against 33.72 percent boys.
As for the higher secondary level, the overall dropout rate fell to 22.70 percent in 2015 from 46.86 seven years ago.
"Dropout is a waste and we have been able to reduce this over the years, thanks to different initiatives of the government," said Shamsul Alam, chief of the Statistics Division of Banbeis, while presenting the draft report.
To prepare the report, he said, they collected information from 38,757 educational institutions across the country between October 10 and November 30 last year.
From the primary school to the university level, the total number of students stood at 3.66 crore and the number of educational institutions at 1,60,934 in 2015, according to the report.
Speaking as the chief guest at the programme, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid asked the Banbeis to collect information "more flawlessly" so that the government can formulate policies more accurately".
The report stated that there was one teacher for 41 students in secondary schools while the ratio was 1:21 in madrasa and 1:33 in universities.
Around 68 percent schools have trained teachers and 17.79 percent schools do not have computer facilities.
The number of teachers in Bangladesh was 10,63,718, over 41 percent of them female, the report added.
Education Secretary Sohorab Hossain and Banbeis Director Mohammad Fashiullah also spoke at the programme.