Higher Education in Bangladesh
Ministry of Education, abbreviated as MoE, is the ministry responsible for secondary, vocational and tertiary education in Bangladesh. Primary education and mass literacy is the responsibility of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MOPME). The Ministry of Education contains two divisions:
- Secondary and Higher Education Division
- Technical and Madrasah Education Division
Structure of the Education System
Education in Bangladesh has three major stages-primary, secondary and higher educations. Primary education is a 5-year cycle while secondary education is a 7- year one with three sub-stages: 3 years of junior secondary, 2 years of secondary and 2 years of higher secondary. The entry age for primary is 6 years. The junior, secondary and higher stages are designed for age groups 11-13, 14-15 and 16-17 years. Higher secondary is followed by graduate level education in general, technical, engineering, agriculture, business studies, and medical streams requiring 5-6 years to obtain a Masters degree.
In the general education stream, higher secondary is followed by college/university level education through the Pass/Honors Graduate Courses (4 years). The masters Degree is of one year's duration for holders of Bachelor Degree (Honors) and two years duration for holders of (Pass) Bachelor Degree. Higher education in the technical area also starts after higher secondary level. Engineering, agriculture, business, medical and information & communication technology are the major technical and technological education areas. In each of the courses of study, except for medical education, a 5- year course of study is required for the first degree.
Different Streams in Education
Primary level education is provided under two major institutional arrangements (stream)-general and madrasha, while secondary education has three major streams: general, technical-vocational and madrasha. Higher education, likewise, has 3 streams: general (inclusive of pure and applied science, arts, business and social science), madrasha and technology education. Technology education in its turn includes agriculture, engineering, medical, textile, leather technology and ICT. Madrashas (Arabic for educational institution), functional parallel to the three major stages, have similar core courses as in the general stream (primary, secondary and post-secondary) but have additional emphasis on religious studies.
Focus of the Government on Education
The focus of the government on education as enunciated in different Policies and Five Year Plan Documents are:
- Provide value based education
- Emphasize on job-oriented and need-based education
- Modernization of curriculum
- Ensure efficient management at all levels
- Strengthen the Information and Communication Technology
- Ensure teacher effectiveness at all levels
- Ensure gender parity at all levels of education
General objectives of Education
- To inspire and create enthusiasm among the learners in their thoughts, deeds and daily life to establish moral, humanitarian, religious, cultural and social values in personal as well as in national life.
- To develop awareness in the learners to protect the independence, sovereignty and integrity of Bangladesh.
- To make education pragmatic, productive and creative with a view to bringing about changes in the socio-economic conditions of the country
- To give special emphasis on primary and secondary education with a view to expanding education, to instill respect and eagerness for physical labour and enable the learners acquire vocational education for self-employment in all stages of education.
- To promote fraternity, moral values, generosity and fellow-feeling in people and make them respectful of human rights.
- To promote democratic values through fostering tolerance of one another's views and help develop life-oriented, realistic and positive attitude for blossoming democratic awareness.
- To ensure proper quality at every level of education; to strengthen and widen the knowledge, skills and attitude acquired in the previous stage
- To emancipate the country from the curse of illiteracy.
- To create equal opportunities for education in accordance with merit and aptitude for the purpose of building a society free from disparity.
- To ensure gender parity in education and remove barriers of caste, creed and ethnicity in obtaining education.
- To ensure constitutional guarantee at all levels of education.
- To create awareness about protection of environment.