A Study on
Government Primary Education in Dhaka City
7 Circuit House Road, Ramna, Dhaka
Rafayet Ara, Roksana Gulshan and Mansura Akhter Democracywatch Training Programme (DTP)
Sirat Jahan unhygienic
A T M Masudur Rahman
Sikder Mohammad Nurul Amin
ASM Atiqur Rahman
Associate Professor, ISWR, University of Dhaka
Mujtaba Mahbub Morshed
Team Leader, Research And Social Survey Unit (RASSU) Democracywatch
Research Associate, Research And Social Survey Unit
Table of Contents
2. Objectives of the Study
3. Research Methodology
5. Case Studies
5.1 Case Study 1: Dawyagonj Bazar Government Primary School,
5.2 Case Study 2: Dawyagonj Government Primary School, Sutrapur,
5.3 Case Study 3: Khilgaon Govt. Colony Government Primary School,
5.4 Case Study 4: Pallabi Government Primary School, Mirpur, Dhaka
5.5 Case Study 5: Mirpur Satellite Town Government Primary School,
5.6 Case Study 6: East Khilgaon Government Primary School, Tilpapara,
5.7 Case Study 7: Khilgaon Model Government Primary School, Khilgaon,
7. Presentation of the Research Results
8.1 Statistical Tables
A Study on Government Primary Education in Dhaka City
Education is one of the major indicators of socio-economic development of a country. All sorts of development of a nation are highly related with the percentage of educated population. It is the backbone of a nation. Education at primary level is the prime ingredient of human resource development. This education imparts from early childhood.
According to the UNO, a person aged 18 years or less is termed as a Child. In Bangladesh it
is 16 or less.
The education that facilitates the children of 6-11 years age group to amplify their mental behavior and attitude is called Primary Education. This primary education is the fundamental of all education (Source: Universalizing Quality Primary Education In Bangladesh by Jalaluddin K. A. and Chowdhury R. M. Mustafa).
But in this country, access to all kinds of education is still a ‘chance’ not yet ‘rights’. The system, quality, and advancement of education are not enhanced according to the need of general people. According to the Child Education and Literacy Survey 1997, conducted by the Primary and Mass Education Division, the overall literacy rate of 7 years or above in Bangladesh is about 47.3 percent (female 41.5 percent and male 50.6 percent). The gap between urban and rural areas is very significant, rural 41 percent and urban 59.9 percent. The reasons of lower literacy rate in rural areas are poverty, lack of awareness, lack of interest in education and superstition. Though the rate of education is higher in urban areas, this is limited within the higher and middle-income group.
A joint study of Asian Development Bank and Planning Commission, GoB in 1995-96 revealed that 61.3 percent of urban population is below poverty line and out of them 40.2 percent are staying below the hard-core poverty line. As a result the poor families are more willing to engage their children in jobs rather than sending to school. Consequently in Bangladesh the literacy rate has not increased to its’ expected level.
The GoB is one of the signatories of the declaration of World Conference on Education for All
held in ‘Jomtien’, Thailand in March 1990 where primary education has been made compulsory for all as a step to increase literacy rate. This program came into effect in 1993. Primary and Mass Education Division and Non-Formal Education Directorate under the Ministry of Education were established in 1995.
thDuring the 4 five-year plan, steps were taken for improvement of primary education and introduction of Compulsory Primary Education (CEP). The allocation for primary education was Tk. 14,281.68 million. However, the actual expense was Tk. 20,307.40 million. In the Annual Development Program (ADP), allocation for the primary education was 50-52 percent of the total
allocation of the educational sector. Table A, B and C shows the allocation and expenses, number of government and non-government primary schools and enrollment of students in 1990-95.
Allocation and Expenditure for Primary Education, 1990-95
Year Allocation * Expenditure * Allocation ** Expenditure **
1990-91 1,939.16 888.78 1,804.34 826.99
1991-92 3,445.73 1,885.49 3,059.07 1,673.91
1992-93 3,957.76 3,401.96 3,394.01 2,917.38
1993-94 6,285.87 5,817.59 5,315.14 4,919.18
1994-95 8,587.96 8,313.58 7,316.88 7,083.12
Total 24,216.48 20,307.4 20,889.44 17,420.58 thSource: 4 Five-year Plan (1990-95), GoB
* Current Prices
** Constant Price (1989-90)
Number of Government and Non Government Primary School in 1990-95
Non-government Year Total Government Registered Non-registered
1990 47,241 37,655 6,266 3,320
1991 49,539 37,694 8,689 3,161
1992 50,280 37,706 8,885 3,689
1993 52,886 37,706 8,994 6,186
1994 56,165 37,710 14,807 3,648
1995 59,894 37,710 17,151 5,033 thSource: 4 Five-year Plan (1990-95), GoB
Enrolment of Students in Primary Schools in 1990-95
Year Total Students Boys Girls % of Girl Students
1990 1,20,57,172 66,62,427 53,88,745 44.71
1991 1,26,35,419 64,10,092 57,25,327 45.31
1992 1,30,17,270 70,48,542 59,68,728 45.85
1993 1,40,67,332 75,25,862 65,41,470 46.50
1994 1,51,80,680 80,48,117 71,32,563 46.98
1995 1,72,84,113 90,94,489 81,89,624 47.38 thSource: 4 Five-year Plan (1990-95), GoB
During 1990-95 fiscal year enrolments in primary education has increased from 12.1 million to 17.3 million out of which 8.18 million was girls students. It was 5.4 million in the previous years. In
1990 girls students’ enrollment was 44 percent and it was 47.38 percent of the total enrollment in 1995. During this period Food for Education Program was introduced and deprived parents had been encouraged to admit their children in schools and as a result dropout rates reduced.
To make Education For All Program more effective a conference on Universal Primary Education was held in Dhaka on 6-10 August 1996. The objectives of the conference were to review
the performance, identify the success and shortcomings and examine all the relevant issues and constraints in the attainment of the Universal Primary Education Program. Over 600 participants representing the Government, NGOs, education sectors, and development agencies took part in the conference. This congress decided that the National Primary Education Council should be headed by the Prime Minister to provide policy guidance for making the Universal Primary Education Program (UPEP) a success and a parliamentary committee should be formed to oversee the progress in fulfilling the constitutional obligation in regard to UPEP.
In the fifth five-year plan the government has committed to raise the literacy rate up to 100 percent Education For All within 10 years i.e. by 2006 with a mid-term target of 70 percent by the year 2002 with an ultimate aim of raising literacy rate and quality of education. In spite of all these efforts, the program faced some unforeseen problems and could not reach to its target. The problems are:
; Shortage of schools within accessible distance
; Shortage of teaching materials
; Lack of trained and efficient teaching staff
; Shortage of furniture and other supplies
; Poor publicity and as a result lack of awareness among the community
; Unattractive classroom/learning environment
The quality of our primary education is much below than expectation for the above noted difficulties. It is believed that this scenario is only in rural areas. But what are the conditions in urban areas? Democracywatch has undertaken a research in January 2002 to know the status of
government primary education in the Dhaka City, which is plentiful in all sorts of educational facilities. The Batch-6 students of Democracy Training Program (DTP) have participated in the research. The study covered 7 government primary schools in Dhaka City.
2. Objectives of the Study
The study has three specific objectives. These are:
1. To observe infrastructure and environment of the schools
2. To examine some essential aspects for quality education like student-teacher relation,
teaching method, results of annual exam etc
3. To ascertain the facilities provided by the government
3. Research Methodology
Total number of government primary schools in Dhaka City is approximately 296. For this study 7 primary schools were chosen on purposive basis. This study is based on survey and case study. To conduct the study social survey procedure was adopted. For this purpose relevant
documents of these schools were examined and opinions and views of the teachers, guardians, and students were obtained. Apart from these, case studies were undertaken for each individual school to obtain detail information. Data was also collected through non-participatory and photographic observation. Figures were analyzed and put in computer through database Forpro and statistical package SPSSPC.
4. Limitations of the Study
The researchers faced the following limitations while conducting the study:
1. This study is based only on 7 schools, which might not amply justify the total situation of the
government primary schools in Dhaka City.
2. Insufficient financial support for conducting the survey
3. Lack of cooperation from the Directorate of Education and other government offices in
providing requisite information.
4. The study was carried out a few days before annual examinations. It caused a bit
inconvenience to collect information.
5. Case Studies
5.1 Case Study 1
Dawyagonj Bazar Government Primary School
It is one of the old schools of the city, established in 1947. The school is situated near rail line. In front of the school there is a Rickshaw garage and Dawyagonj Bazar is at the back. The school building is made of tin. But the condition of the shed is so poor that the sky is visible from some parts. There is only one door in the school where students passes through their classroom. This only room is at the same time used as office and teachers’ room. In this room three classes are taken in six rows.
In the whole room there are only 3 lights and 5 fans. The room is very dirty and the walls are also grubby. There is no toilet facility in the school. For toilet, the teachers and students have to go to neighboring houses.
Total number of students in the school is 192. Out of this, there are 90 boys and 102 girls. Everyday attendance rate is 85 percent on average. Overall, most of the students obtained less than 60 percent marks both in 1999 and 2000 final examinations.
The total number of teachers in the school is four. Among them, three are HSC and one is SSC. All the teachers took PTI (Primary Training Institute) training. Teachers’ attendance rate is satisfactory. There is no support staff in the school.
The school runs two shifts. The first shift is from 9.30 am to 12 noon for class one and two. The second shift starts from 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm for class III, IV and V. Tiffin period is 1.30 pm to 2.00 pm. Everyday six periods for class III, IV and V are held while on Thursday four periods are held.
One of the main problems facing the school is inadequate teaching material. Insufficient room, bench, blackboard etc. hampers normal schooling. But government supplied textbooks are adequate.
Teachers apply Block Teaching Method for class I and II. In this method one teacher teaches every subject of a class. In class III, IV and V traditional teaching method is applied. But the students cannot concentrate enough to listen and understand the classes, as there is only one classroom for every class and three periods of different classes run at a row. Above all, there is a glorious moment for the teachers when in 1996 a girl student got scholarship in class V.
The guardians have little contact with the school management. In this context the head mistress of the school said that most of the guardians are very poor and they have little time to keep contact with the school. But in some occasions the teachers visit some of the students’ home. The most of the students in this school are directly involved in physical labor. Most of them sell nuts etc. after class hours.
The school is running with financial help of the local people. The school has no land of its own. The World Vision, an NGO has supplied 10 benches and 3 selling fans.
The quarterly monitoring system through ATEO (Assistant Thana Education Officer) as per government roles is not regularly followed.
5.2 Case Study 2
Dawyagonj Government Primary School
The school is situated in Dawyagonj vicinity and it is free from noise. The school environment is moderate. It has two buildings; one is two, and the other is one storied. The small vacant place in front of the school building is used as playground. Its toilets are unhygienic.
The total number of students is 807. Class I & II students are promoted through class assessment and this rate is cent percent. School record shows that most of the students promote to the higher class getting less then 60 percent marks. Rate of failing is very moderate and the rate of dropout is negligible. The percentage of students’ attendance is satisfactory.
Teacher-student ratio is poor. The total number of teachers is 11. Most of the teachers are HSC. The headmistress is a graduate. All the teachers have PTI training.
The school runs in two shifts as per government regulation. The first shift runs from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm with class I & II and the second shift runs from 12.30 to 4.30 pm with class III to V.
Different classroom for boys and girls. This system has been introduced as per opinion of the local people.
The students do not get the entire government-supplied textbooks. They got only 50 percent of the new books and rest of the books is old and torn. As a result students are being deprived of getting proper education.
The teachers apply traditional teaching methods. Though they do not beat the students, they make them frightened. Class I & II are administered by the Block Teaching Method.
The guardians keep sufficient contact with the school management. Teachers also visit students’ home.
The school gets sufficient financial and other support from the local people. The ATEO do not visit the school in regular basis. The teachers opined that if the monitoring by the ATEO were taken regularly, it would improve the overall results of the school significantly.
Every year at least 20 students appears in the scholarship examination and the result is reasonable. Both in 1999 and 2000, four students obtained scholarship. In 1998 one student obtained talent pool scholarship.
5.3 Case Study 3
Khilgaon Government Colony Primary School
The school is situated in the southeast part of Dhaka City. It was established in 1968 and nationalized in 1973. It’s a three-storied building. Out of nine rooms in total, seven are used as classrooms, one for the headmaster and other teachers and the rest one is used as staff welfare association office plus sports room. There are two toilets in each stair. The rooms are not properly kept clean but have sufficient ventilation facilities. The school has no playground. The surroundings of the school are satisfactory.
The total number of students of this school is 630. Among them 318 boys and 312 girls. Besides, there is a child section with 88 children. Attendance of the students per day is 74 percent on average. Dropout rate is minimal.
The total number of teachers is nine. Of them, two are graduate, four HSC, and one SSC. All are PTI trained. There is also a fourth class employee unofficially.
The school runs in two shifts as per government guideline. The first shift runs from 9.30 am to 12 pm with class I & II and the second shift runs from 12.30 to 4.15 pm with class III to V. Each class has two sections.
Class I & II students get cent percent new textbook from the government. But other students get only 50 percent of the new books and the rest of the books are old and torn out. The teachers
apply traditional teaching method for class III to V and block teaching method for class I and II. Teachers use chart, map, and picture as teaching materials. Annual results are good.
There are students’ welfare association, guardians’ association and mothers’ association in this school. These associations monitor the school management’s activities regularly. Teachers make ‘home visit’ frequently. The guardians discoursed that teachers and school committee’s performances are good.
The headmaster of this school is very careful about the children. He made indoor sports facilities and ‘Cub’ training for the students.
5.4 Case Study 4
Pallabi Government Primary School
The school is situated at Mirpur residential area, which is built on 33 decimal of land. It was established in 1971 as a private trust and later nationalized in 1973.
At present the school building is three-storied with 11 rooms. Pallabi High School only uses the ground floor. The rest of the floors are used by two other schools including one for mentally disable children. The building is well ventilated but the rooms and toilets are dirty and unhygienic. There is little water supply in the toilet. There is no playground for the students.
The total number of student of the school is 929 (boys 462 and girls 467). Attendance rate per day is 65 percent.
Only 15 teacher presently exist out of 17 posts. The rest two posts are vacant. The headmaster is an MA. Among other teachers, there are 12 SSC and 2 HSC. All are PTI trained. There
thare two 4 class employees officially and one unofficially.
The school runs two shifts. The first shift is from 9.30 am to 11.30 am with class I & II and the second shift is from 12 noon to 4.30 pm with class III to V.
The main teaching aid is government supplied textbooks, which is supplied by the government at free of cost. Teachers follow traditional teaching methods for class III to VI and Block Teaching Method for I & II.
There is a Committee for school development consisting of guardians and local leaders. But the committee is more or less inactive. The guardians contact with teachers regularly. Teachers also visit their students’ home frequently.