All (EFA), Dakar Forum and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have declared as
a medium of setting goals and targets to reach universal right to education for
all in order to achieve development. Educating girls is a significant and
distinct challenge from educating boys. Girls face gender specific barriers to
access and achievement. Secondary education has so far received less attention
and investment than primary education. The study aims to explore gender
disparity in secondary education and thereby increase the number of educated
women capable of participating fully in the economic and social development of
Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Statement of the Problem
Poverty and gender imbalance within secondary education pose the most
significant forms of obstruction and barriers to social and economic
development of a country; regardless of this, educating females proves to be
the most cost effective measure a developing nation can adopt in enhancing its
quality and standard of life. Low enrolment of females tends to increase
fertility rate of young girls, thereby leading to higher teenage pregnancy
rates. Gender imbalance as a result of past cultural influence has restricted
females from going to school. Moreover, females are often sexually harassed by
male teachers and students of the opposite sex which tends to frustrate and
deter young girls’ efforts to attend school.
Background of the Study
Educating girls is a crucial to development, aside
from the intrinsic value of education, better-educated women have higher
incomes and fewer, healthier and better-educated children (Hill and King, 1993).
Half of the world’s population is female. Girls still dropout in greater
proportion than boys do and have poorer learning achievements. Ensuring female
education is a very important issue. The large numbers of out of school children
in many developing countries is a policy concern that draws a considerable
attention from researchers and policymakers alike. In Bangladesh and Pakistan,
where poverty, early marriage, social attitudes towards women influences gender
imbalance and also stop attending the school . Education for
women is the best way to improve the health, nutrition and economic status of a
household that constitute a micro unit of a nation economy. In this context, it
can be argued that lack of woman education can be an impediment to the
country’s economic development (Sharmila and Dhas,2010).
Purpose of the Statement
The purpose of this study is to identify the underlying causes of the
low enrolment rate of females in rural Bangladesh villages, to understand the
problems this brings to the local community, and also to identify the role of
the government in bridging the gap.
1. To find out why so few females in rural villages
are enrolled in secondary schools as compared to their male counterparts,
2. To identify the implications of low female
enrolment rate in Bangladesh schools upon the local community,
3. To identify those government policies that are
being put in place to bridge the gender gap in education,
4. To identify and
investigate those viable non-governmental organisations’ interventions used to
initiate the closing of the gender gap,
5. To find ways of curbing societal influence on early
marriage as demanded by their customs and tradition.
1.What are the implications of this imbalance in these
rural areas and Bangladesh as a whole?
This question is significant in
that it addresses the impacts of gender imbalance in schools upon the local and
wider communities. It is apparent that low female enrolment results in less
freedom of choice and social mobility for the individual, but it also presents
obstacles for the economic, social development of her community and Bangladesh
as a whole: this question aims to identify and analyse the nature of these
2. What specific policies is the government putting in place in order to address this issue?
In order to achieve a fuller
understanding of the issue itself, and how the native government is making
efforts to resolve it, government policies will be identified and investigated
in detail. Assessment of government policy is significant as it provides
insight into the importance placed on resolving gender imbalances in education
– the releasing of policy is a direct result of an issue’s impacts upon the
society in question.
3.How has the school and community helped to motivate enrolment of more
females in secondary schools?
This question will investigate the role of the
schools’ administration and that of the community in bridging the gender gap.
This question will allow for the provision of descriptions on mechanisms put in
place to attract more girls to secondary education. Cultural influence has
played a significant role in the issue of low enrolment of girls in Bangladesh,
and so this question seeks to give a clear picture on cultural barriers and
also reforms on culture to address this issue.
4.Why are there fewer numbers of girls as compared to
boys in secondary schools inrural villages in Bangladesh?
question will provide us with a clearer picture of education in Bangladesh
where males outnumber females at the secondary school level. Secondly, the
question sets a scenario of rural education in Bangladesh. Finally, the
question will show us why exactly the number of female students are not
increasing as can be seen with their male counterparts.
5. What roles are played by
non-governmental organisations in intervening to bridge the gender gap
The mechanisms utilised by non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) to address such problemsin underdeveloped and developing countries have
proven effective over the years. This question seeks to provide an insight on
those non-governmental institutions working in Bangladesh such as BRAC, on the
progress they are making in bridging the gender gap, on the programs they have
established in the region and also a comparison between their methods and those
of the government used in increasing levels of female enrolment
of the study
1. To find out the causes of female students
2. To find out the ways to reduce students ‘dropouts
3. To do a comparative analysis on students dropouts
among Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
1. What are the causes of female students dropouts?
2. What are the ways to reduce student dropouts?
3. What are drop outs situations in Bangladesh,
India and Pakistan ?
People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a densely populated
and developing, South Asian country, with
an approximate population of 157,826,578 residents. Bangladesh is a low lying
country bordering Myanmar to the east and largely enclosed by India. With its
strategically vital location between Southern, Eastern and Southeast Asia,
Bangladesh is an important supporter and advocate
of interregional connectivity and cooperation.
economy has experienced a growth rate of roughly 6% per year since 1996 in spite of prolonged periods of political
volatility, poor infrastructure, widespread corruption, insufficient power
supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Though more than half of
its GDP is generated through the services sector, almost half of Bangladeshis
are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single most important
product (Central Intelligence Agency, 2017).Furthermore, Bangladesh is one of the largest textile exporters
in the world. Its major trading partners include the European Union, the United
States, China, India, Japan, Malaysia,
and Singapore. Bangladeshis include people from a variety of ethnic groups and
religions; Bengalis make up 98% of the population and Bengali Muslims are the
political dominant sect.
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a
parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system.The president is the head of
the state and the prime-minister is the head of the government(US department of
state,2007). The capital city of Bangladesh is Dhaka. There are eight
administrative divisions in Bangladesh, like: Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur,
mymensingh, Sylhet, Barisal, Chittagong and Khulna(web portal)(bdnews24.com).
From 1858 to 1946, Bengal province was part of British India(Coward,1987).
Bangladesh became independent in 1971. Its population is about
162,951,560(World population prospects). Ninety percent of the populations are
Muslims and 9.5 % of the population is Hindu(US department of state)
India,officially the republic of India is a
federation with a parliamentary system.India is the world’s most populous
democracy with a multi-party system (Berner and calvert, 1999).The president is
the head of the state(Sharma,2007) and the prime-minister is the head of
government and exercises most executive power (Sharma,1950). Under the
leadership of Mohandas (Mahatma) Ghandi, India was declared independent in
1947. The country is divided into 28 states and seven territories.Its
population is about 1,324,171,354 (World population prospects,2017 ). India was
part of the British Empire from the second half of the 19th century until the
first half of the 20th century. Eighty percent of the populations are Hindu and
14% are Muslim and 3% are Christian (Heehs,2002).
Pakistan, officially the Islamic republic of
Pakistan is unique among Muslim countries to have been created the name of
Islam(Talot,lan,1984).Pakistan became an independent country following the
partition of India in 1947(Cohen,Stephen Philip,2004). It has 4 provinces:
Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Islamabad
constitutes a separate federal district.The President is the ceremonial head of
the state and is the civilian commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces
and the prime-minister is the chief executive. The country population is about
Participation in Education in Bangladesh
Educating girls and young women is an important
development objective, reflected for example in the United Nations Millennium
Development Goals. Motivated by the potential long-term benefits of improving
education levels, a number of developing countries have abolished school
tuition fees, experimented with compulsory education laws and/or introduced
stipend programs designed to increase educational attainment, particularly for
girls. The Female Secondary School Stipend Program (FSSSP), which was
introduced in Bangladesh in 1994 with the objective of improving rural girls’
education, is an example of such a stipend scheme. The Program made secondary
education free for girls residing in rural areas and provided a cash stipend
for them (Halm et al., 2016). NGOs have been playing a prominent role in
bridging female students into schools, and thus enhancing their development, within
the last four decades (Zaman,2011).
In Bangladesh, the issue of gender is still an
important factor. Gender constitutes those differences concerning behavior,
expectations, roles and responsibilities and sometimes the values and beliefs
of both men and women. The Bangladesh government is committed to many internal
and external organizations, such as Human Rights and UN bodies, to implement
rights for women and children. In terms of gender parity in enrolment, statistics
show that the gender gap is steadily decreasing from 52.2 percent enrolment in
boys and 49 percent in girls in 1998, to 51 percent in boys and 47.8 percent in
girls in 2001.
In the early nineties, the Government of Bangladesh
(GOB) sought to increase rural female enrolment at the secondary school level
by launching a stipend program for female secondary students. Four separate
project ,covering different thanas (districts),were launched with donor support
.The Female Secondary School Assistance Project(FSSSA) funded by IDA(118
thanas). The Female Secondary Stipend Project(FSSP) funded by GOB(282thanas),The
Secondary Education Development Project(SEDP) funded by Asian Development
Bank(ADB) (53 thanas), and The Female Secondary Education Project( FSEP) funded
by NORAD (7 thanas).These projects introduced a similar nationwide stipend
program targeted at girls in grades 6
through 10 in 460 rural thanas ,starting in 1994(Khandaker,2003).To minimize
dropout rates in the secondary level of education ,the government at this time
has realized a range of achievements in attracting student attention and
encouraging attendance. Special emphasis has been laid upon the female
students. Stipends, including grants for books and stationary, are given to
all unmarried girls of rural areas up to grade7 who have at least 75 percent attendance
and achieve marks of 45 percent or over in the annual examinations. As reported
by the UNICEF, Bangladesh, the rate of children completing a five-year primary
education cycle increased from 65 percent in 1998 to 67 percent by 2001.During
the same period ,the dropout rate decreased from 35 per cent to 33 per
Bangladesh has experienced phenomenal achievements
in gender parity within its education system, although these achievements have
admittedly not resulted in complete gender equity throughout its society. After
gaining independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh had a literacy rate of
18 %, with female literacy standing at only 11%(Ahammed,2003).The Government of
Bangladesh ,with the help of both local and international non-governmental
agencies and organizations, crafted a nationwide plan to eradicate illiteracy
and reduce gender parity in education . The primary driving force was toward
improving the primary education sector, to be followed by subsequent
development in the secondary, tertiary, and higher levels. In seeking reforms,
the government of Bangladesh hence made most primary schools state-owned,
established new education policies, and involved NGOs in its education sector. The
Government of Bangladesh provided for free primary
education and supplies (including books and uniforms) and began developing
basic infrastructure ( such as school buildings and wells) to create better learning environment as part of the nationwide
The government of Bangladesh also endeavored to
increase the female student population by increasing their representation
amongst primary populations. The Female Stipend Program (FSP), which continued
to grow in scale after gaining funding from various inter-governmental agencies
such as USAID, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, offered scholarships for
female secondary students up to grade 10.This supplemented the government of
Bangladesh with free education for its primary school students and slowly but
steadily helped increase female participation in education. As a result of
these initiatives ,at the start of the new millennium, girls comprised more
than 50 per cent of total secondary enrolment in Bangladesh (Raynor, Wesson and
Keynes,2006).In the primary education sector, a similar balance could be seen
around 2005 (BANBEIS,2010).
Female Participation in Education in Pakistan
dropout is very common in the developing countries. Students Drop out means
discontinuing schooling for financial and practical reasons and disappointment
with their social system and examination results. As a result, many children
are registered in schools but fail to attend, participate but fail to learn,
are enrolled for several years but fail to progress and drop out from
school. Generally, dropping out states
the situation when student departure school before the completion of their
graduation degree and does not join any university. (Latif, et al. 2015).
According to Cambridge dictionary dropout happens when a person who leaves
school, college, or university before completing a qualification. Student
dropout means leaving school without completing their basic early education and
secondary education. At present student dropout is a very talked issue both in
developed and developing countries. In developing countries dropout rate are
remarkably high, even for the basic school going children . (Martins, et al.
1. To control the unexpected situation of students’
dropouts from educational institutes Government of the responsible countries should
take some remedial measure, such as
attendance is essential to keep students at schools so the Government should ensure the attendance of
teachers in schools to run academic activities.
Availability of necessary infrastructure is another prerequisite to keep
students at schools. Establishment of school with all basic Facilities such as;
furniture, electricity, water and computer and science lab(Zarif,2012)
performance depends on teacher’s knowledge and skill. So arrange of teachers
training programs to trained the teacher to compete with international level of
education is very essential.
5. Parents , students ,and social awareness is
needed to protect the dropout so Community awareness seminar should be launch
to develop the interest of parent and students towards study and avoid school
educational institute should be free from all kinds of external power so
external powers should be abolish from Schools which have adverse effect on
Communication problems is very high in rural areas of these developing
countries so the Government should establish schools near villages to ensure
accessibility of education for rural population.
8. There should be free education minimum at
secondary level. The Government should try to support students with free
coaching materials such as uniforms, free books,
9. If students
are financially solvent, they can study properly. So the Government should
offer scholarships for intelligent and needy students.
parents need loan to send their children
at school. Study loan should be offered to provide financial support to the
compete with the developed world updated curriculum is essential. So the curriculum should be reviewed and adopted
according to the market demand and international standard.
marriage of the female is the common scenario of the developing countries so trends
of early marriages should be abolish.
13. Sometimes students are afraid of teachers and
tests so Schools should provide favorable environment for students and makes
schools the place of interest for the student. Environment of School would be
interesting and students feel it as a place of learning as well as relaxation
and liberation(Agbenyega , Klibthong ; 2013)