Large investments have been made in education
in recent years and most children now attend at least a
few years in school. Reading and writing skills have
increased rapidly in the 2010s.
According to the UN agency Unesco, almost half of the
adult population were literate in 2011, while the
proportion five years later had increased to three out
of four. It is especially older women and rural people
who are still lagging behind. Among women in the age
group 65 years and older, three out of four are
illiterate. Among girls aged 15 to 24, 93 percent are
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of
Bangladesh, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of Bangladesh, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The children start school at the age of six. But some
students do not complete the first five years, which are
formally compulsory and fee-free. Special efforts have
been made on girls and now more girls than boys go to
Many children are absent from school because they
have to work to contribute to the family's livelihood.
The quality of teaching is also low. The classes are
often large and the teachers poorly educated.
According to a government decision from 2010, the
compulsory and duty-free school is to be extended to
eight years. Furthermore, a uniform school will be
created with a common syllabus that will also apply to
Koran schools, so-called mattresses. The number of Koran
schools has grown sharply since the 1990s. They are run
privately and in some cases are a breeding ground for
In early 2020, the government decided that 10,000
Rohingya refugee children under the age of 14 should
attend the country's regular school. Of the nearly one
million Rohingya who lived in the country's refugee
camps, over half a million were children. Many came
there during a military offensive in western Myanmar in
the fall of 2017. The Dhaka government was previously
negative about bringing the Rohingya children into
schools, the children were instead given training in
temporary centers run by the UN agency Unicef. The
teaching in Bangladesh was a collaborative project
between the government and Unicef. The decision was
welcomed by Rohingya representatives in the camps. They
felt that the measure would reduce the risk of
radicalizing the refugee children.
More than half of the children attend the upper
classes, which are divided into three stages in a total
of seven years. The first three years must be free of
The language of instruction is Bengali or English at
all levels of the school. It is mainly in private
schools that English language teaching is conducted.
There are many universities in Bangladesh, both state
and private. The largest, oldest and most regarded is
the University of Dhaka, which has sometimes been called
"the Oxford of the East".
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
90.5 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
72.8 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
11.4 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
11.4 percent (2016)
The government shut down Facebook
The government shut down Facebook for 21 days (until December 10) after two
men were executed for war crimes. The government justifies the censorship for
Two more high-ranking opposition leaders are executed by hanging, sentenced
for war crimes during the civil war of 1971.
IS takes on more acts of violence
IS takes on the blame for an attack on an Italian priest in Bangladesh. The
priest was shot dead. Later that month, IS reports that the group is behind an
armed attack on a Shiite mosque in the north of the country. One prayer leader
is killed and three mosque visitors are injured when the perpetrators shoot
straight into the prayers.
IS takes on attacks in the country
The Islamic State Extreme Islamist Group (IS) is blamed for two murders of
foreigners as well as an explosion against a Shiite Muslim mosque in the
country. Assessors are unsure if the killings were actually carried out by IS,
but many fear that the country's Muslim opposition is being radicalized as a
result of the government's reprisals against them.
The wave of violence against non-religious media workers continues
Two bloggers and two publishers are attacked with axes and machetes by
mobsters. One of the publishers is brutally murdered while the other three are
Exchange of enclaves with India
India and Bangladesh exchange control of about 160 small enclaves on either
side of the border: 111 in Bangladesh and 51 in India. Most residents choose to
stay where they live but change their nationality.
A fourth blogger is murdered
A fourth non-religious blogger is killed by machete by unknown perpetrators
The Islamist group ABT is banned
The Interior Ministry bans the Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT),
which is suspected to be behind the murders of the three bloggers.
A third blogger is murdered
The blogger Ananta Bijoy Das is hacked to death with machete by a masked gang
in Sylhet in the northeast. He is the third non-religious blogger to be murdered
in this way since the turn of the year. Das wrote for the blog Mukto-Mona, which
was previously moderated by Avijit Roy, who was similarly murdered in February
GDP boycott disputed local elections
GDP boycott mayoral elections in Dhaka and Chittagong following allegations
of widespread electoral fraud. The boycott starts when the elections have
already been going on for four hours. The Election Commission declares the
elections free and fair, but the US Embassy states that it has received
information on electoral fraud and calls on the Election Commission to
investigate the charges. The candidates for the Awami League win big in both
Jamaat's second highest leader is hanged
Jamaat-e-Islami's Vice President Muhammad Kamaruzzaman is executed by hanging
in Dhaka Prison (see May 2013). The execution leads to
widespread protests throughout the country.
Secular bloggers are murdered
A blogger who has advocated secularism and criticized radical Islamist
ideology is knife-killed. According to police, it is Islamist students who have
murdered the blogger.
The GDP leader is arrested
A series of petrol bomb attacks target people aboard buses, trucks and
passenger cars, with several deaths as a result. The attacks are happening at
the same time as the GDP- led protests are going on, but the opposition party
says there are no links between the events. However, the government is accusing
GDP of the gasoline bombs. Khaleda Zia grips.
Famous proponent of a secular Bangladesh is murdered
Avijit Roy, American writer, blogger and Bangladeshi engineer, is murdered in
Dhaka. Roy was the spokesman for the free word and for secularism. He expressed
his views on his own site, Mukto-Mona, and was especially known for his
criticism of religious fundamentalism. Al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent
(Aqis) takes on the blame for the murder.
ICT issues new death sentence
Abdus Subhan, one of the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, is sentenced to death
for the murder of 400 people in a village in the northern part of the country
during the 1971 war.
Increased political violence
The street ravages between the country's two rival political camps are
intensifying. Government members announce that more than 7,000 people have been
arrested and 31 have been killed in political violence over the past two weeks.
Tighter grip on GDP
The BNP secretary general is arrested and accused of arson, explosions and
vandalism. The police hold him responsible for violent protests that have flared
up around the country. The government shuts down the TV channel ETV and seizes
its head since the channel sent a speech by Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman.
The country's highest court bans newspapers, radio, TV and social media from
reproducing speeches and comments by Tarique Rahman.
GDP leader locked in, ban on protests
Dhaka police prohibit all public protest actions indefinitely and lock
Khaleda Zia in her party headquarters. Zia had announced demonstrations until
January 5, on the one-year anniversary of the elections boycotted by the
opposition. According to GDP spokesmen, at least 400 party supporters are
arrested. Police block off the streets until the party headquarters. Khaleda Zia
calls for new elections under a neutral transitional government. She urges party
supporters to block all transport by roads, railways and rivers. A national
transport block is started.