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341.The Government’s primary and mass education programmes have been generously supported by the following international development partners:

United Nations agencies - UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA

Financial institutions - World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Asian Development Bank

Bilateral donors - DFID, GTZ, OPEC, Saudi Fund for Development, NORAD, Sida, SDC, JICA, CIDA, USAID

C.  Aims of education with reference also to quality of education

342.Bangladesh has demonstrated a high level of commitment to primary education since it became a party to the Education for All (EFA) goals adopted in World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien in 1990. Despite the achievements and success, major challenges still remain in respect of quality of education and learning outcomes, as well as access to and participation of a large number of children most of whom are poor and disadvantaged.

343.Studies indicate that those who complete five years of primary schooling, a significant number of them (some 36 percent) do not achieve the desired level of competency. The factors that continue to influence performance and quality include crowded classrooms with poor physical facilities in the institutions, high student teacher ratio, low teacher-student contact hours, poor quality of teachers, and poor quality of learning materials, ineffective teachinglearning methods, and unfavourable home condition, particularly in the poor households.

344.One of the main initiatives taken by the Government to address the issue of quality was through the IDEAL Project, implemented in 32 out of 64 districts covering 7.3 million children during 1998 to 2004. The project contributed to teaching-learning improvements in primary schools and introduction of Multiple Ways of Teaching and Learning (MWTL). The major interventions included professional competency development of primary school teachers, community involvement in planning and management of schools, and supervision of management training for supervisors. Most features of IDEAL project have been incorporated in the PEDP II programme and are being continued.

345.Despite this success, it is widely perceived that much needs to be done to improve the quality of education. To address this, the Government has recently adopted the PEDP II, a subsector approach to primary education aimed at removing coordination problems and addressing systemic and policy issues. The overall goals of PEDP II are to:

Increase primary school access, participation and completion in accordance with Government’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2000, Education for All (EFA) and other policy commitments

Improve the quality of student learning and performance outcomes (i.e. achievement)

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