Causes And Remedies: Bangladesh Perspective
Gazi Md. Abdur Rashid :
Quality of education is a significant tool that plays a major role in the development of every nation. Looking at the education of Bangladesh, we can see that the country is moving towards vastly in education sector, the rate of education has increased dropout rates in primary education have also decreased and the present government is also considering the education sector with utmost importance and Bangladesh is moving towards rapid development as a whole.
According to the BANBEIS, Dropout rate refers to ''the percentage of students for any reason leave educational institutions (in any given grade or level) and did not come back to finish the grade or level during that school year to the total number of students enrolled during the previous school year''.
An overall development picture in education is being seen everywhere. However, some unforeseen problems also serve as a barrier to promote our education system. Most of them are increasing rates in secondary education. If we look at the statistics, we can see that according to the latest government statistics, the rate of drop out in the secondary level is as high as 40%. Among these, the dropout rate of girl students is higher than that of the boy students. The average admission rate of girl students is higher than that of the boy students at the secondary level, while 40.19 percent of the girls students admitted in the sixth grade are dropping out before completing the tenth grade, which is very worrying and unexpected as a whole.
Statistic shows that, In 2019, where 17 lakh 49 thousand and 165 students passed the secondary level, there are 14 lakh 15 thousand and 825 students who have applied for admission to the HSC. That means 3 lakh 33 thousand and 340 students are not getting admission in HSC rather they are dropping out.
In 2018, we can see a lot of the same scenario. That year, 15 lakh 76 thousand 104 students passed the SSC, From there, 12 lakh 56 thousand and 500 students have applied for admission to the HSC. That means 3 lakhs 19 thousand and 604 students have fallen (drop out).
The dropout rate of such a large number of students is now worrying as well as most talked burning issue at the secondary level education. As there are many reasons behind the dropping out, Similarly, the result is adversely affecting the education system of the country. Poverty is one of the factors most responsible for this dropout tendency. Whatever the case, Bangladesh still has the highest number of low-income people. While many families are tempted to eat three times a day, they enroll their children in school to study, At one point, they could put boys in different workplaces to earn money without getting survive, so they are shrinking from the education world. Moreover we know that the result of education is not available overnight, it is a matter of time.
The second reason is lack of awareness of education. The parents of our country are mostly illiterate, which is most responsible for their unconsciousness. And this unconscious has an adverse effect on the education of their children. They refuse to invest in education because knowing the profitability of these investments is beyond the scope of their discretion. As a result, they do not know about the positive outcome of education. Their unconsciousness leads to a lack of education after crossing a stage of education and encourages boys to take up the family by earning money which is one of the reasons why students dropping out. And the biggest reason for the drop out in girl students is because of child marriage. Although there has been some change in the urban areas, child marriages are still prevalent in rural areas of Bangladesh. Yet many parents try to break the burden by getting married as soon as possible. As soon as girl students got married, their studies stopped and they fell out of the door of education. Apart from this, there some another reasons for lack of proper education in the country such as disregard of the students towards education, inadequacy of teachers compared to students, lack of quality teachers, lack of adequate facilities of the students, budget deficit in education etc. are also not less responsible. One of the other reasons that students tend to dropout is because they are struggling to pass their courses.
The first step that should be taken to minimize this dropout is to make every family aware of education. They must understand that the most valuable investment in life is investment in education. The hope is that poverty rates in the country are declining significantly. And if students want, in many cases it is possible to conquer poverty and continue their studies. And that's why a positive attitude towards education is needed. To keep students from dropping out, a proactive method needed to identify those students at risk. Warning signals of student disengagement, failing grades, poor attendance and other warning signs most closely linked with dropping out.
The present government has taken several special initiatives to reduce dropout in educational institutions such as distributing free textbooks to the students at the beginning of the year, granting stipends etc. But these facilities are not enough for our students. The government should be more responsible for addressing the problems of the students increasing the annual budget in the education sector. And above all, there must be a combined initiative of students, teachers, parents and the government to ensure quality education and reduce dropout. All visible development activities of the government in the field of education will be faded if the imprecation like dropout cannot be stopped. So, everyone has to play a responsible role in preventing the dropout. It is absolutely not desirable to dropout into the education system. In order to get rid of the dropout, everyone has to be more focused on quality education. The rate of dropout of education should be minimized as far as possible in the interest of forming a modern and knowledge based advanced nation.
(Gazi Md. Abdur Rashid, Research Officer, District Education Office, Secondary and Higher Education, Munshiganj)