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.
|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
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
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
What's the smartest solution for Bangladesh?
Is investing in schooling, and in early childhood education in particular, the best way forward for Bangladesh? After reviewing 1,000s of pages of peer-reviewed research an Eminent Panel ranked 72 solutions from the best to the worst in terms of delivering the most social, economic and environmental value for money. Find out what they ranked the highest here.