About 18 million of Bangladesh's 130 million population, are in the primary school age (6-10 years) group. Nearly 80 percent of these children are now attending school. Some studies have raised questions about the quality of education imparted in the schools. This report presents results from a new study that looks at the quality aspect more comprehensively. It is done for both formal and non-formal sub-systems by (i) assessing students completing the primary cycle against a set of terminal competencies recommended by the government and (ii) by studying the state of teacher education. The results have both short and longterm policy implications. It indicates that Bangladesh has to strive hard if it wants to reach the new goal of quality Education for All by the year 2015. The report is published in three volumes. Volume I presents the main findings and a synthesis, Volume II the results on the achievement of competencies and Volume III presents the results on teacher education. This report is the second from the Education Watch, an initiative by several individuals and organizations representing the civil society in Bangladesh. The first report, entitled 'Hope not Complacency', which looked at the internal efficiency of primary education, was published in 1999.
Mahmudul Alam is a Senior Research Fellow and Division Chief of the Human Resource Division of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. He has a DPhill in economics from Sussex. His current research interests include socio-economic and action-oriented topics in education, health and nutrition.
Muhammad Nazmul Haq is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Education and Research(IER) of the University of Dhaka. He studied at Exeter and contributed a number of articles, training modules and books. His research interests include formal and non-formal education, education psychology and child development.