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is designed to identify disparities through the disaggregation of data on various bases.

89.MICS 2006 shows that a large proportion of girls are married at an early age. Nationally, about 33 percent of girls aged below 15 years and 74 percent below 18 years are married. In rural areas, the rate was 78.4 percent and in urban areas 65.4 percent. There is regional difference in age of marriage. Among the tribal population, the rate of child marriage is somewhat low (44 percent). There is a negative co-relation between child marriage and educational level and child marriage and economic status.

90.One of the “World Fit for Children” goals is to protect children against abuse, exploitation, and violence, including the elimination of discrimination against children with disabilities. Nationally, 17.5 percent of the 2-9 year old children had one or more reported disabilities. There are regional variations, ranging from around 58 to 81 percent, with no urban-rural difference in disability. The disability is negatively co-related to age. Several districts have comparatively higher rate of disability. Further research is needed to find out why some districts have such a high rate of disability.

91.During the 1990s and till date, Bangladesh recorded remarkable achievement in primary education. Girls’ enrolment increased by over 30 percent during the reporting period. Girls’ net enrolment in 2005 was 90.10 percent (compared to 84 percent for boys), as against around 80 percent in 2000 (MOPME). National net and gross enrolment rate remained 87.20 percent and 97.5 percent respectively in 2005. There still remains scope for improvement of quality of education through decreasing absenteeism, repetition and drop out rate.

92.The situation is worst in urban slum areas. Of primary age girls in urban slums 26 percent have never enrolled in school and the net enrolment rate is only 61 percent which is 23 percent lower than the national average. Of boys in the urban slums, 32 percent have never enrolled and the net enrolment rate is 58 percent.

93.Secondary education has its own problems despite improvement of enrolment rates of girls in the last decade. Still, about a third of girls aged 11-15 are out of school, and nearly half of girls who were enrolled in secondary dropped out before completing Class 10. Only 8 percent of the age cohort of girls (compared to 15 percent of the boys) successfully completes the higher secondary education cycle (Class 12). Most of the other 92 percent of the age cohort are already married by this time.

94.The Government has taken several initiatives to address some of the problems. In July 2002 the Government launched the Primary Education Stipend Programme. Under the Programme poor families in rural areas are given a monthly stipend. The poorest 40 percent students in a school may be selected to receive stipends provided they maintain 85 percent attendance and pass the annual school examinations. The initiative is funded entirely by the Government.

95.The ARISE project targets to raise the rights of the most vulnerable children who are living on the streets of six divisional cities. The project has created access for street children to services such as Non-formal Education, vocational training, access to safe shelters, health services and psycho-social counselling, life skills in six divisional cities. The project creates more scope of participation of children in different activities with a view to social and

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