19 May 2009
There are eighteen million primary school-aged children in Bangladesh – one of the largest student populations in a developing country.
Maintaining an adequate educational system, including safe school buildings, clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, and recruiting qualified teachers have been major challenges for the Bangladeshi government.
In 2004, we got together with the European Union and other partners to help the Bangladesh Government tackle the issues that plagued the education system.
As a result, 30,000 new classrooms were built and furnished with tube-wells for safe drinking water and hygienic toilets; 60 million textbooks were distributed to each school; 35 000 additional teachers were hired while 250,000 teachers received student instruction training.
Because of the addition of trained teachers, there has been a significant reduction in student-teacher ratio and increased opportunities for interaction.
These significant improvements in the Bangladeshi primary school system have given more children access to better education. For the period 2004 to 2010 the European Commission has committed $100 million contributing to a total budget for the project of $1.8 billion.
- The European Commission spends 6 per cent of its €114 billion budget on development assistance for poorer countries outside Europe.
- The UK contributes 17 per cent of the European Commission’s budget. Of our 2006/7 contribution, £964 million went towards international development.
- DFID is the UK department responsible for working with other EU member states and the European Commission to make sure our contribution is well used in the fight against world poverty.
- More than 60 million textbooks were distributed to pupils every year during the course of the programme.
- In Bangladesh, 91% of children enrol in primary school; 49.5% complete it (2007)