Education in Bangladesh and Its Criteria

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Education in Bangladesh 

The educational system in Bangladesh is three-tiered and highly subsidized. The government of Bangladesh operates many schools in the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels.It also subsidizes parts of the funding for many private schools. In the tertiary education sector, the government also funds more than 15 state universities through the University Grants Commission.

Bangladesh confirms fully to the Education For All (EFA) objectives, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and international declarations. Article 17 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides that all children between the ages of six and ten years receive a basic education free of charge.



Bangladesh education system in brief: -

The three main educational systems in Bangladesh,ordered by decreasing student numbers, are:

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       1. General Education System 

       2. Madrasah Education System

       3. Technical - Vocational Education System

Other systems include a Professional Education System.

Each of these three main systems is divided into four levels:


       1. Primary Level (years 1 to 5)

       2. Secondary Level (years 6 to 10)

       3. Higher Secondary Level (years 11 and 12) and

       4. Tertiary Level.

Tertiary education in Bangladesh takes place at 34 government and 54 private universities. Students can choose to further their studies in engineering, technology, agriculture and medicine at a variety of universities and colleges.

At all levels of schooling, students can choose to receive their education in English or Bengali. Private schools tend to make use of English-based study media while government-sponsored schools use Bengali.

Cadets in class room


Cadet colleges: -

Cadet colleges are important in the education system of Bangladesh. A cadet college is a special type of school-cum-college established in East Pakistan on the model of English public schools. Military education is compulsory at cadet college.. Faujdarhat cadet college was the first cadet college in East Pakistan (Bangladesh), established in 1958 over an area of 185 acres (0.75 km2) of land at Faujdarhat in the district of Chittagong. At present there are 12 cadet colleges in Bangladesh.

Madrasah Education System: -

The Madrasah Education System focuses on religious education, teaching all the basics of education in a religious environment. Islamic teachings are compulsory.Religious studies are taught in Arabic and the children also usually serve there lated mosques. Students also study some or all of the courses from the General Education System. Madrasahs take in many homeless children and provide them with food, shelter and education, e.g. Jamia Tawakkulia Renga Madrasah in Sylhet.

Technical and Vocational Education System: -

The Technical and Vocational Education System provides courses related tovarious applied and practical areas of science, technology and engineering, orfocuses on a specific specialized area. Course duration ranges from one monthto four years.

Tertiary education in Technical Education System: -

In the Technical Education System, after obtaining Diploma-in-Engineering degree (four years long curriculum), students can further pursue their educational carrier for obtaining a Bachelor degree from Engineering & Technology Universities, which offer two and a half to three year long courses for students with a Diploma-in-Engineering degree, to obtain a Bachelor degree (undergraduate degree) (16th Grade) in Engineering. Then they can enroll into post-graduate studies.

Educational management: -

The overall responsibility of management of primary education lies with the Primary and Mass Education Division (PMED), setup as a separate division with the status of a Ministry in 1992. While the PMED is involved in formulation of policies, the responsibility of implementation rests with the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) headed by a Director General.

The Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) and its subordinate offices in the district and upazila are solely responsible for management and supervision of primary education. Their responsibilities include recruitment, posting, and transfer of teachers and other staff; arranging in-service training of teachers; distribution of free textbooks; and supervision of schools. Their rsponsibility of school construction, repair and supply of school furniture lies with the Facilities Department (FD) and Local Government Engineering Department (LGED). The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) are responsible for the development of curriculum and production of textbooks.While the Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for formulation of policies, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) under the Ministry of Education is responsible for implementing the same at secondary and higher education levels. The NCTB is responsible for developing curriculum and publishing standard textbooks.

Primary and secondary level management: -


         The primary and secondary levels of education are controlled by the six General Education Boards, each covering a region. The boards' headquarters are located in Braisal, Comilla, Chittagong, Dhaka, Jessore, Rajshahiand and Sylhet . In addition, the Madrasah Education Board covers religious education in government-registered Madrasahs, and the Technical Education Board controls technical and vocational training in the secondary level.

Six region-based Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) are responsible for conducting the two public examinations, SSC and HSC, in addition to granting recognition to non-government secondary schools.


At the school level, in the case of non-government secondary schools, School Management Committees (SMC), and at the intermediate college level, in the case of non-government colleges, Governing Bodies (GB), formed as per government directives, are responsible for mobilizing resources, approving budgets,controlling expenditures, and appointing and disciplining staff. While teachers of non-government secondary schools are recruited by concerned SMCs observing relevant government rules, teachers of government secondary schools are recruited centrally by the DSHE through a competitive examination.

In government secondary schools, there is not an SMC. The headmaster is solely responsible for running the school and is supervised by the deputy director of the respective zone. Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs), however, exist to ensure a better teaching and learning environment.

Tertiary education management: -



University of Dhaka


At the tertiary level, universities are regulated by the University Grants Commission. The colleges providing tertiary education are under the National University. Each of the medical colleges is affiliated with a public university. Universities in Bangladesh are autonomous bodies administered by governing bodies such as Syndicate,Senate, Academic Council, etc. in accordance with provisions laid down in their respective acts.

Technical and Vocational education management: -

The Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of technical and vocational education in the country. Curriculum is implemented by BTEB.

Notable Engineering Universities in Bangladesh:

    1.Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka (Public)

    2.Islamic University of Technology, Gazipur (Private)

    3.Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology, Gazipur (Public)

    4.Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet (Public)

    5.Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, Rajshahi (Public)

    6.Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna (Public)

    7.Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Chittagong (Public)

Non-formal primary education: -

There exists a substantial number of NGO-run non-formal schools, catering mainly to the drop-outs of the government and non-government primary schools.Very few NGOs, however, impart education for the full five-year primary education cycle. Because of this, on completion of their two to three year non-formal primary education in NGO-run schools, students normally re-entering to government/non-government primary schools at higher classes.

There are Non-Governmental Schools (NGO) and Non-Formal Education Centers(NFE) and many of these are funded by the government. The largest NFE program is the much reputed BRAC program. However, all NFE graduates do not continue on to secondary school.


NGO-run schools differ from other non-government private schools. While the private schools operate like private enterprises often guided by commercial interests, NGO schools operate mainly in areas not served either by the government or private schools, essentially to meet the educational needs of vulnerable groups in the society. They usually follow an informal approach to suit the special needs of children from these vulnerable groups.

Similarly, in NGO-run schools there does not exist any SMC. The style of management differs depending upon differences in policies pursued by different NGOs. Some are centrally managed within a highly bureaucratic set-up, while others enjoy considerable autonomy.


Different NGOs pursue different policies regarding recruitment of teachers.Some prepare a panel of prospective teachers on the basis of a rigorous testand recruit teachers from this panel. Other NGOs recruit teachers ratherinformally from locally available interested persons.


Current status: -

Current government projects to promote the education of children in Bangladesh include compulsory primary education for all, free education for girls up to grade 10, stipends for female students, a nation wide integrated education system and a food-for-education literacy movement. A large section of the country’s national budget is set aside to help put these programs into action and to promote education and make it more accessible. Recent years have seen these efforts pay off and the Bangladesh education system is strides ahead of what it was only a few short years ago. 

Concerns: -

The educational system of Bangladesh faces several problems. In the past, Bangladesh education was primarily a British-controlled, upper-class affair with all courses given in English and very little being done for the common people. The Bangladesh education board has taken steps to leave such practices in the past and is looking forward to education as a way to provide a poverty-stricken nation with a brighter future. Bangladesh has one of the lowest literacy rates in South Asia.

The low performance in primary education is also matter of concern. School drop-out rates and grade repetition rates are high. Poor school attendance and low contact time in school are factors contributing to low level of learning achievement. Further, the system lacks a sound Human Resource Development and deployment system and this has demoralized the primary education sector personnel, including teachers, and contributes to poor performance. Poverty is a big threat to primary education.


List of public universities of Bangladesh: -

     1. Bangladesh Agricultural University

     2. Bangladesh Open University (BOU)

     3. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Medical University

     4. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology(BUET)

     5. Chittagong University (CU)

     6. Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology(CUET)

     7. College of Textile Technology

     8. Dhaka University (DU)

     9. Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (DUET)

    10. Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and TechnologyUniversity

    11. Islamic University, Kushtia

    12. Jahangirnagar University (JU)

    13. Jagannath University (JNU)

    14. Khulna University (KU)

    15. Khulna University of Engineering and Technology(KUET)

    16. National University

    17. Noakhali Science and Technology University, NSTU

    18. Rajshahi University (RU)

    19. Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology(RUET)

    20. Shahjalal University of Science & Technology(SUST)

    21. Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University

    22. The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU)


 List of Private Universities in Bangladesh: -

    1.   Ahsanullah University ofScience and Technology (AUST)

    2.   American InternationalUniversity - Bangladesh (AIUB)

    3.   America Bangladesh University Web Site not work

    4.   ASAUniversity Bangladesh

    5.   Asian University ofBangladesh

    6.   AtishDipankar University of Science and Technology (ADUST)

    7.   Bangladesh Islami University(BIU) Web site not work

    8.   BangladeshUniversity

    9.   Bangladesh Universityof Business and Technology (BUBT)

    10.  Begum Gulchemonara Trust University Web site not work

    11.  BGC Trust University Bangladesh Web site not work

    12.  BGMEA Institute ofFashion & Technology (BIFT)

    13.  BRACUniversity

    14.  Central Women's University

    15.  CityUniversity

    16.  College of TextileTechnology

    17.  DaffodilInternational University

    18.  Darul Ihsan University

    19.  Dhaka InternationalUniversity

    20.  East DeltaUniversity (EDU)

    21.  East West University

    22.  EasternUniversity

    23.  Gono Bishwabidyalay Web Site not work

    24.  Green University ofBangladesh

    25.  IBAIS University

    26.  IndependentUniversity, Bangladesh (IUB)

    27.  International IslamicUniversity Chittagong (IIUC)

    28.  InternationalUniversity of Business Agricultural and Technology (IUBAT)

    29.  Leading University WebSite not work

    30.  ManaratInternational University (MIU)

    31.  MetropolitanUniversity

    32.  North SouthUniversity (NSU)

    33.  Northern UniversityBangladesh (NUB)

    34.  Premier University

    35.  PresidencyUniversity

    36.  Prime University Website not work

    37.  PrimeasiaUniversity

    38.  Pundra Universityof Science and Technology Web Site not work

    39.  QueensUniversity Web Site not work

    40.  Royal University of Dhaka Web Site not work

    41.  Shanto-MariamUniversity of Creative Technology Web Site not work

    42.  Southeast University

    43.  SouthernUniversity Bangladesh

    44.  StamfordUniversity Bangladesh

    45.  State University ofBangladesh

    46.  Sylhet InternationalUniversity (SIU)

    47.  The Millennium University Web Site not work

    48.  The People'sUniversity of Bangladesh

    49.  United InternationalUniversity (UIU)

    50.  University ofDevelopment Alternative (UODA)

    51.  University ofInformation Technology and Sciences (UITS)

    52.  University of LiberalArts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    53.  University of Scienceand Technology Chittagong (USTC)

    54.  University of SouthAsia

    55.  Uttara University Site not work

    56.  Victoria University ofBangladesh

    57.  WorldUniversity of Bangladesh (WUB)

References: -

    1. http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Bangladesh

    2. Ministry of Education.

    3. Secondary Education Board.

    4. University Grants Commission.

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