Bangladesh, a low-lying South Asian country, sits on one of the largest deltas in the world, with most of its land borders shared with India on the north, east and west, and the Bay of Bengal in the south. Since gaining its independence from Pakistan just 50 years ago, Bangladesh has emerged as a rapidly growing economy with a population of 166 million people, making it the 8th most populous country in the world.
As a low-income country, Bangladesh has taken huge strides in reducing poverty, transitioning from rural to urban communities, and achieving gender parity in access to education. Even though almost 100% net enrolment rate in primary schools has been achieved, the quality of education remains a big challenge that needs to be addressed. Roughly 1 in 4 children, about 6.2 million, are recorded to be out of school, notably in urban slums and hard-to-reach areas.
The education system is generally divided into three systems – state schools, private schools, and the madrasa (religious) schools, mostly under government authority, with private and NGO schools outnumbering state schools. Schooling begins from pre-primary (age 4), to primary, secondary and further tertiary education. Compulsory primary education in Bangladesh is five years, and is regulated by an autonomous governing body, the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education. State schools comprising government and NGO schools are free. Primary schools across all systems teach Bangla, English and Maths, however, the quality of teaching varies. Going forward, it is imperative to improve the quality of education, as well as work on a more homogenous, unified curriculum across the different types of systems.
Malawi is a land-locked country located in Southern Africa, bordered by Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. According to the 2018 Population and Housing Census, the country has a population of about 18 million people. The primary education system in Malawi consists of 8 years. Malawi has 6194 public primary schools.
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