In the advancement of a nation and society, the importance of education is unparalleled. In a country where the literacy rate is higher, the economic and social development is also higher. Educated individuals are considered the foundation of building a educated nation. Primary education sets the essential foundation for students, as it makes their path to higher education smoother. Ensuring equal opportunities for all in the field of education expansion is one of our most significant challenges. Various studies have shown that in primary education, children from disadvantaged families lag behind compared to those from affluent families.
Furthermore, the disparity in opportunities between rural and urban schools has a profound impact on students' abilities. Even the lack of quality primary education can have a significant effect on a person's life, particularly in terms of social and economic success. Promoting quality education is crucial for creating skilled human capital, and the importance of quality education is emphasized in Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) of the United Nations.
Efforts have been made to ensure quality primary education and to initiate early childhood development programs. In recent times, there has been an initiative to assess the learning abilities of primary-level students. This will help improve the quality of primary education. While Bangladesh has made progress in primary education enrollment, it lags behind other South Asian countries in terms of acquiring necessary skills. According to a World Bank report titled 'Learning to Realize Education's Promise,' 65% of third-grade students in Bangladesh cannot read properly.Students passing the fifth grade often struggle with basic math problem-solving. Only 25% of them can solve practical mathematical problems compared to students from privileged backgrounds. The lack of quality education in primary schools, combined with various systemic issues, is preventing a significant portion of students from acquiring the necessary skills to progress to the secondary level.
Where the overall picture of primary education is not promising, remote areas, islands, coastal areas, and hilly regions are even further behind in terms of primary education. In these areas, students are lagging behind due to insufficient teachers, inadequate school infrastructure, the absence of multimedia-based teaching, and nutritional deficiencies among children due to poverty. Overcoming these challenges is crucial to ensure education for students in remote and disadvantaged areas.
In remote and underprivileged areas, the majority of students have not achieved the target of enrollment in primary schools. Moreover, 25-30% of these students drop out before completing primary education. To improve the quality of primary education, special curricula need to be introduced according to the geographical demand in remote and hilly regions.
Efforts must be made to ensure the presence of teachers in schools in remote areas. Creating appropriate incentives for teachers in these remote areas can help guarantee their presence. Adequate infrastructure for schools should be built in all areas where schools are not yet constructed. To ensure 100% attendance of students in schools, cluster-based and community-based meetings, parental gatherings, and awareness campaigns should be organized.
In the context of natural disasters such as cyclones and floods in the coastal region, many schools remain closed for several weeks. Students in remote areas also miss out on education due to various natural disasters. Addressing all these obstacles and challenges in a proper manner will ensure that students in remote and coastal areas receive geographical demand-based education.
To reduce the dropout rate and ensure quality education in remote and underprivileged areas, the implementation of Mid-day Meal programs in all schools, government or non-government, can play a significant role. Regular contact with parents is essential to ensure the attendance of students. The development of roads and communication facilities in remote areas is also necessary to facilitate students' access to schools.
The goal of inclusive and quality education for all by 2030, as set by the United Nations, can only be achieved by ensuring equal opportunities and a conducive environment for quality education in remote, coastal, and hilly areas.