Dropout rate at secondary and higher secondary level is high among girls than boys due to early marriage and social insecurity.
Although the enrolment rate for girls increased significantly in recent years at secondary level, their dropout rate continued to be higher than boys at the level.
Dropout rate among girls of higher secondary level is also higher than boys, shows the draft of Bangladesh Education Statistics-2016 of Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics.
Poverty, early marriage, social insecurity like sexual harassment on the way to and from educational institutions impede girl’s participation in higher education, BANBEIS officials and activists find.
Education ministry additional secretary (secondary) Chowdhury Mufad Ahmed said that government would work to find out why gap of dropout and enrolment rate between boys and girls was widening.
A presentation, made as part of a workshop for preparing the report, Bangladesh Education Statistics-2016, at BANBEIS office in the capital on Sunday, shows that overall dropout at secondary level was 38.30 per cent.
The dropout rate was higher among girls at 42.19 per cent against 33.88 per cent of the boys.
The presentation also shows that overall dropout rate at higher secondary level was 20.08 per cent and the rate among girls was 23.83 per cent against 16.55 per cent among boys.
There are 1.01 crore students at the secondary level with 54 lakh girls while there are 20 lakh students at higher secondary level with 10 lakh of them girls, shows the presentation.
Chief editor of Bangladesh Education Statistics-2016 and chief of statistical division of BANBEIS Shamsul Alam pointed out child marriage and social insecurity as two vital reasons of girls dropping out from secondary and higher secondary schools.
Nari Grantha Prabartana executive director Farida Akhtar said that poverty, early marriage, social insecurity like sexual harassment on the way to and from educational institutions pushed up the girls’ dropout rate.
Furthermore, parents prefer to invest on son’s education rather than their daughter’s at that level, she observed.
She said that generally girls, aged between 11 to 17 years, enrol in secondary and higher secondary levels and many of them are married off for lack of social security, eventually ending girl’s education.
Bangladesh has high prevalence of child marriage as UNICEF officials said that in Bangladesh 66 per cent of girls were married off even before they are 18, the minimum legal age for their marriage.
Farida said the situation in rural areas was grimmer than the cities.
Girls need to go far for education which creates tension among guardians to marry off their girl children.
As per the Draft Bangladesh Education Statistics-2016, there are 40,839 post primary educational institutions with 5.45 lakh teachers and 1.83 crore students.
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