Integgra Engages with Key Policymakers in Bangladesh

On September 3rd, Integgra researchers Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj presented findings from the 2014 Women's Life Choices and Attitudes Survey (WiLCAS) and Brac Adolescent Development Programme Baseline Survey at a seminar on child marriage at East West University in Dhaka. Invited guests at the event included the Bangladesh Minister for Cultural Affairs Mr. Asaduzzaman Noor and MP and Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Women and Children's Affairs Mahbub Ara Begum Gini.

 

Primary School Enrollment in Bangladesh: A Reality Check

Developing country governments routinely use administrative data to estimate two key indicators, Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) and Net Enrolment Rate (NER), to measure changes in school participation and attainment of children. In Bangladesh, the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) uses Annual School Census (ASC) data for policy planning purpose as well as calculating the GER and NER. Every year, DPE publishes the Annual Sector Performance Report (ASPR) which compiles data on GER and NER and many other indicators by gender. Based on such estimates, Bangladesh has done exceptionally well in bringing children to primary schools compared to other countries (Asadullah et al. 2014). A notable aspect of Bangladesh’s educational progress has been the reversal of the gender gap in school enrolment rates (Asadullah and Chaudhury 2009). However, a recent edition of the ASPR also acknowledges an important limitation of administrative data, namely, inability to directly identify children who are out of school.

Bangladesh's Child Seamstresses

Bangladesh’s ready-made garments (RMG) industry has been the focus of attention in recent weeks due to the second anniversary of the collapse of Rana Plaza, one of the deadliest industrial accidents in Bangladesh in which more than a 1,000 mostly women workers lost their lives.

Recent UK and US media reports have highlighted the plights of workers and abuse of their rights suggesting that not much has changed since the accident in April 2013. Concerns are also growing over the use of child labour in garments production.