It is disheartening to note that there are about 10 million out-of-school children, adolescents and youths in Bangladesh, as revealed by a new Unesco policy paper. Some of the reasons mentioned in the paper as to why that is the case were related to their living conditions, financial constraints and social adversities.
Data from the study shows that approximately 7.1 million youths and 2 million adolescents in the country are not attending school. Despite the progress that has been made in the education sector over the years, the statistics clearly show that there is still room for much improvement, as Bangladesh right now has the fifth highest number of out-of-school adolescents and the third largest number of out-of-school youths in the world, only ahead of India and Pakistan.
Other studies have shown, meanwhile, that education has both direct and indirect impacts on economic growth and poverty reduction. One of Unesco's own report suggests that with only minor improvements in the education sector, the world poverty rate could be reduced quite drastically. Thus, education is obviously a worthwhile investment. So what are the steps that the government is taking to address this shortfall? What programmes does it plan on introducing to plug the lacuna?
These are questions that the authorities should seriously consider. Moreover, the authorities should also come up with concrete plans to address the shortfalls in the sector and try to bring all youths and adolescents under the umbrella of having a decent education.