"> Photo: StarUNICEF, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies have recently launched the Child Equity Atlas: Pockets of Social Deprivation. The report reveals that half of the country's school-aged children are not enrolled in any school. The Bangladesh Primary Education Annual Sector Performance Report and the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics Report 2012 show that 1.91 crore children aged 6-17 are not receiving any schooling. This amounts to 46 percent of the total population of children in this age group, according to Population & Housing Census 2011. These survey results should be taken seriously by the government which so often boasts of achieving almost 100 percent enrolment at the primary level (Children aged 6-10 years).
The situation for secondary school enrolment is far worse. The BANBEIS survey showed that 56 percent of the 1.6 crore children in the 11-15 years age group and 85 percent of the total 69 lakh children aged 16-17 years are not enrolled. The Campaign for popular Education Executive Director, Rasheda K Choudhury told “in reality the number of children who do not go to school is higher than even the survey figures”.
In our experience we observe that there are four categories of children -- such as children with disabilities, poor and street children, indigenous and those from remote areas such as haor areas -- who are not part of primary and secondary school education. “Many children do not go to school for the lack of schools as there are many villages in the country without either any primary or secondary schools,” opined Rasheda K Choudhury.
The real scenario of enrolment shows that achieving education for all is still a big challenge for Bangaldesh.
The writer is Program Manager: BRAC Education Program and Vice-president: Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association ( BELTA). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org