More than a million students decreased at secondary level

In the span of four years, secondary schools in the country have lost more than a million students.Prothom Alo
It is assumed that many students dropped out of general education in the corona situation. Technical, madrasa and english mediums have seen a rise in the number of students.

In the span of four years, secondary schools in the country have lost more than a million (10 Lakh) students. At the same time, the number of students in technical, madrasa and English medium has increased though.

This information has been highlightened in the draft report of ‘Bangladesh Education Statistics-2023’ done by the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS). A workshop had been organised on Thursday to finalise the report where information of the draft summary had been presented.

Government agency, BANBEIS collects, compiles and distributes educational information and statistics of the secondary to higher education institutions of the country.

When asked, head of the statistics department at BANBEIS Sheikh Md Alamgir told Prothom Alo on Wednesday that in the report they mention the information they derive from the educational institutions all over the country.

The draft BANBEIS report shows that in 2019, the year before the start of the Corona pandemic, there were total 9.2 million (92 lakh) students in the secondary schools of the country. Coming to 2023, it has decreased to 8.1 million (81.66 lakh). All these students study in 18,968 schools of the country. As much as 55 per cent of the total students are girls.

However, in addition to the secondary schools, the number of students has increased by about 180,000 (1.8 lakh) in the schools and colleges, where there are higher secondary alongside secondary levels.

BANBEIS hasn’t explained the reason behind the decrease in the number of secondary students. The officials however assume that many students have dropped out of general education and switched to other streams during the Covid pandemic.  

All the educational institutes in the country had been announced closed from 17 March 2020 because of the Corona virus. When the corona condition improved a bit, the educational institutes were reopened after 18 long months. This had a major impact on education.

BANBEIS data says that in the span of four years madrasas run under government management (Dakhil and Alim madrasa) have seen an increase of more than 250,000 (2.5 lakh) students. Currently there are 2.7 million (27.58 lakh) students in the madrasas. And, about 54 per cent of them are girls.

The government is prioritising technical education. As a result, institutes for technical education are growing in numbers day by day. At present, the total number of students in 5,395 (588 of which are government) institutes of technical education is about 750,000 (7.5 lakh) which was 700.000 (7 lakh) four years ago.

At that time there were 2,309 institutions of technical education. While gender equality has been achieved in the number of students in primary, secondary and higher secondary levels, the percentage of female students in technical education is still very low. Out of all the students in technical education about 29 per cent are female students.

According to BANBEIS draft report, at present more than 28,000 students are studying in 123 English medium schools which was slightly higher than 26,000 four years ago.  


The BANBEIS draft report has shown the picture of dropout secondary students. The dropout rate in secondary schools has decreased down to about 33 per cent, which was about 37 per cent four years ago.

After passing secondary school, the dropout rate remains low in the higher secondary level. However, this rate has seen an increase in higher secondary level within just four years. The dropout rate in high school is now more than 21 per cent, which was over 18 per cent four years ago.

Professor at the Institute of Education and Research of Dhaka University, SM Hafizur Rahman told Prothom Alo that there might be a socio-economic condition behind the decrease in the number of secondary level students in general education.

Many are engaging in economic work. The reasons should be found out through research and necessary steps should be taken in these regards, he added.

Also Read