With the approval of the National Education Policy (NEP), the government has embarked on a comprehensive reform process to strengthen access, quality, equity and relevance of education in Bangladesh. In 2011 a new phase of the primary education reform program started, with ADB as one of the key partners. The TQI-I and TQI-II projects are core building blocks to strengthen quality of secondary education in line with the reforms proposed in the NEP. Building on TQI-I achievements and gaps, TQI-II includes the following features to enhance teacher quality: (i) establishing partnerships between universities and teacher training colleges (TTCs) to enhance content and pedagogical knowledge of teachers and recognizing prior learning within an integrated teacher development framework; (ii) developing one of the TTCs as a center of excellence for teaching English; (iii) introducing teacher and head teacher competencies, and institutionalizing teacher classroom performance monitoring by head teachers; (iv) piloting computer aided learning to support the government's large investments envisaged in the use of computers and multi-media to enhance teaching and learning; (v) providing incentives to enhance inclusive education; and (vi) strengthening teaching and learning and equity by enhancing the use of innovation development fund.
TQI-II will by developing a strengthened, integrated and more inclusive teacher education system, support improved learning outcomes in secondary education. TQI-II has the following four components: (i) strengthened teacher development and institutional and organizational capacity to ensure registration of all teachers, establishment of a robust accreditation system for quality assurance of training providers, and application of newly acquired knowledge by teachers; (ii) enhanced teacher training programs and delivery systems (pre-service, in-service and CPD) to ensure synergy of training programs to meet agreed teacher and head teacher competencies; (iii) targeted support for inclusive education to increase the proportion of female teachers and support for remedial teaching where student performance is low; and (iv) quality project management for effective implementation and effective monitoring and reporting.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Secondary education prepares students for employment at entry level and serves as a foundation for those who aspire for advanced studies. In Bangladesh, steady growth in primary education over the last three decades has resulted in a concomitant expansion of the number of secondary schools, teachers, and enrolments. Bangladesh had 19,040 secondary schools (up from 18,500 in 2005) and 8,146 madrashas (religious schools which include Dakhil for 6-10 grades and Alim for grades 11 and 12) with a total enrolment of 7.9 million (53.2% girls) and 1.7 million (57% girls), respectively in 2010. The gross enrolment rate was about 47% (girls 49%) in 2010 up from [43% (47% for girls) in 2005]. Dropout rates have declined from around 80% in 2006 (83% for girls) to around 57% (54% for girls) in 2010 for secondary grades 6 10. The pass rates for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) have increased from 60% in 2006 to about 82% in 2011, for the higher secondary certificate (HSC) from 59% in 2005 to 75% in 2011.
The total number of secondary school teachers was 218,011 in 2010 (declined from 238,158 in 2005). The proportion of female teachers has increased gradually from 20% in 2005 to 23% in 2010. While the government policy of achieving 20% of all teachers in rural areas and 40% in urban areas with female teachers has been almost achieved, there are several upazials and schools that are yet to achieve this target. With the enormous growth in the number of secondary institutions in recent years, the Government's administrative and supervisory capacity has stretched, and there is recognition that it is inadequate to fulfil its responsibilities effectively. There is also recognition that there is a need for effective monitoring and supervision at all levels to ensure quality assurance including monitoring and supervision of teacher training institutions and teachers. The percentage of untrained teachers has declined from about 60% in 2004 to 32.6% in 1010, which is still unacceptably high.
While Bangladesh has made significant progress in providing access to secondary education and achieved gender parity up to grade 10, the quality of teaching, and hence student learning, continues to be a major concern. Students who complete secondary education are unprepared to enter the workforce in higher job categories, or to continue to tertiary education. Poor and disadvantaged students are most affected since they have limited educational options, cannot afford additional tuition, and usually come from a social background which perceives less value of education. While girls' enrolment has improved significantly, their performance and retention deteriorate particularly after grade 9. In some areas, more girls are in schools than boys, which will require measures to ensure boys attend and complete secondary education.
The ongoing Teaching Quality Improvement in Secondary Education Project (TQI-I) has strengthened the capacity of a large number of secondary teachers through targeting classroom level teaching and learning with a continuous professional development (CPD) approach which includes supporting and monitoring the usage of new participatory teaching approaches of participants in the classroom. According to an initial assessment by the TQI-I project this has resulted in considerable changes in the classroom. Acknowledging the challenges of improving the quality of teachers, the Government established a National Teacher Education Commission (NTEC). With the support of TQI-I, a Nongovernment Teachers Registration and Certification Authority (NTRCA) was established by an Act to improve the teacher recruitment system. However, an integrated quality assurance system along with an integrated secondary teacher management information system and teacher performance monitoring system is yet to be established and made operational to ensure effective performance of teachers.