The poor, who make up some 45 percent of Bangladesh’s 164 million population, are the main beneficiaries of the country’s education efforts. In addition, girls have overtaken boys in rates of enrolment, attendance and completion of primary education.
With over 94 percent net enrolment, Bangladesh is one of only a handful of the world’s least developed countries that are close to achieving the U.N. millennium development goals of 100 percent enrolment rate in primary schools by 2015.
For example, schools by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) – whose 1.2 million students account for 76 percent of all students in NGO-operated primary schools – are unique in that local community members decide and implement all academic programmes in consultation with parents and stakeholders.
"We enrol drop out (and) non-enrolled children – mostly girls – from poor families, ensure high attendance, child friendly pedagogy and high completion of five-year academic studies in our primary schools," Safiqul Islam, director of BRAC’s education programme, told IPS.
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