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How education and stimulation in early years can help children thrive for a lifetime

Today, 99 percent of Bangladesh's girls and 97 percent of boys are enrolled in primary school. 

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On recognizing skill formation as a more effective development strategy

Benefits and costs of improving Bangladesh’s education system 

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Education

Today, 99 percent of Bangladesh’s girls and 97 percent of her boys are enrolled in primary school. The great progress in primary education over recent years is the reason that the country has met the two Millennium Development Goals related to primary schooling: universal enrollment and gender equality.

But concerns remain over some areas of schooling, in particular over one educational aspect that appears rather separate: stunting, or the condition of being shorter than normal for one’s age. It matters, because it holds back learning and development, and six million Bangladeshi children are stunted. The effects often last a lifetime: delayed cognitive development, lower productivity, poor health, and increased risk of certain diseases.

Proposed Strategies

Strategy Takas of benefits per taka spent
Psycho-social stimulation for stunting 18
Group and teach according to ability 12
On-the-job management training 5
On recognizing skill formation as a more effective development strategy  image

On recognizing skill formation as a more effective development strategy

Research by economist Atonu Rabbani of the University of Dhaka suggests several worthwhile strategies that could improve public education in Bangladesh, and one is most promising of all: so-called psychosocial stimulation to help young children overcome stunting.

Bangladesh has achieved this within a fairly short period of time and has performed at par or better than some of her more affluent neighbors. While this is impressive, there are a couple of issues remaining on the table that policy makers and education experts of the country need to address over the coming years."

- Atonu Rabbani 

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How education and stimulation in early years can help children thrive for a lifetime image

How education and stimulation in early years can help children thrive for a lifetime

In a series of op-eds published in The Daily Star and Prothom Alo, Bjorn Lomborg outlined the key findings of the path-breaking research produced by the Bangladesh Priorities project.

One important concern for education is something that appears rather separate: stunting, or the condition of being shorter than normal for one's age. It matters, because it holds back learning and development.

- Bjorn Lomborg

Read more in the Daily Star
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What do you think?

Is investing in schooling, and in early childhood education in particular, the best way forward for Bangladesh? We want you to continue the conversation about how to do the most good for every taka spent by participating in our Facebook poll.

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