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302.The age of compulsory education is still as before. However, the age/grade for educational support (mainly in the form of stipend for girl students) and some other facilities have been increased. The State Party has established a Bureau of Non-formal Education in April 2005 and a Non-government Teachers’ Registration and Certification Authority (NTRCA), and inclusion of teachers’ training component in NRTCA is underway. Madrasah education is being gradually improved and streamlined.

303.New programmes for sanitation at schools have been undertaken; curriculum/syllabus suiting child and adolescent healthcare are being revised for introduction from next session. And a step towards introducing school books on tribal children’s own language, two book for Grade-I students are already prepared in Murma and Bom languages. Those would be introduced in the Bandarban hill district from 2008 academic session on a pilot basis. This is a follow up action after Government’s decision to introducing mother languages of the tribal as medium of instruction for the schools in phases.

B.  Education including vocational training and guidance

Overall framework

304.In the Constitution and the international instruments, especially CRC and CEDAW, Bangladesh has committed itself not only to achieve Education For All but also to create an equitable, just, gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory society. Investment in human development is central to sustainable development. The education sector is managed by two Ministries in the country, the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) and the Ministry of Education (MoE).

305.The idea of universal free primary education is very old and due to expanded facilities created for accessing primary education, it occupies a central place because of its presumed impact on poverty reduction. The national commitment to education is reflected through implementation of the World Summit for Children Declaration, Jomtien and Dakar Declarations. The major concerns of Bangladesh child education are: pre-school attendance and school readiness, dropout rate, gender parity and equity, and a challenge to attain better quality of education.

Preschool and early childhood development

306.The MICS 2006 shows that only slightly below 15 percent children aged 36-59 months were attending pre-school. Urban-rural and regional differentials are not so significant, 12.0 percent in urban areas, compared to 16 percent in rural areas. Among children aged 3659 months, attendance to pre-school is highest in Khulna division (17 percent), and lowest in Rajshahi division (10 percent). Slightly more girls attend pre-school compared to boys. Differentials by socioeconomic status are not significant but in terms of mother’s education it is quite noteworthy. In case of mothers having no education, only 11 percent of children attend preschool while in case of mothers having secondary education or higher, the rate goes up to 20 percent.

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