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PPA: BAN 23152


November 2000

CURRENCY EQUIVALENTS Currency Unit Taka (Tk) Tk1.00 $1.00 = = At Appraisal $0.029 Tk34.56 At Project Completion $0.024 Tk42.45 ABBREVIATIONS ADB BRAC DPE DPEO EA EFA FGD GER GPS GEP KRA LCB MIS MOE NER NFPE NGO NORAD OEM PCR PIMU PMED PPAR PTA SIDA SMC TA UNDP UNICEF UNFPA UPE Asian Development Bank Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee Directorate of Primary Education district primary education officer executing agency Education for All focus group discussion gross enrolment ratio government primary school General Education Project key result area local competitive bidding management information system Ministry of Education net enrolment ratio nonformal primary education nongovernment organization Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation operations evaluation mission project completion report project implementation management unit Primary and Mass Education Division project performance audit report parent-teacher association Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency school management committee technical assistance United Nations Development Programme United Nations Childrens Fund United Nations Population Fund universal primary education NOTES (i) (ii) (iii) The fiscal year (FY) of the Government ends on 30 June. The school year (SY) starts in January. In this report, $ refers to US dollars. At Operations Evaluation $0.018 Tk54.80

2 Operations Evaluation Office, PE-555

CONTENTS BASIC DATA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I. BACKGROUND A. B. C. D. E. F. II. Rationale Formulation Purpose and Outputs Cost, Financing, and Executing Arrangements Completion and Self-Evaluation Operations Evaluation Page ii iii 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 11 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 16 16 17 17 19

PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION PERFORMANCE A. B. C. D. Formulation and Design Cost and Scheduling Consultant Performance, Procurement, and Construction Organization and Management


ACHIEVEMENT OF PROJECT PURPOSE A. B. Operational Performance Performance of the Operating Entity


ACHIEVEMENT OF OTHER DEVELOPMENT IMPACTS A. B. C. Socioeconomic Impact Environmental Impact Impact on Institutions and Policy


OVERALL ASSESSMENT A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Relevance Efficacy Efficiency Sustainability Institutional Development and Other Impacts Overall Project Rating Assessment of ADB and Borrower Performance


ISSUES, LESSONS, AND FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS A. B. C. Key Issues for the Future Lessons Identified Follow-Up Actions


BASIC DATA Primary Education Sector Project (Loan 1026-BAN [SF]) PROJECT PREPARATION/INSTITUTION BUILDING TA No. 1136-BAN 1359-BAN TA Name Primary Education Sector Institutional Strengthening of Directorate of Primary Education Type PPTA AOTA 59.0 Person-Months Amount ($) 100,000 400,000 Approval Date 10 March 1989 21 August 1990

KEY PROJECT DATA ($ million) Total Project Cost Foreign Exchange Cost ADB Loan Amount/Utilization SDR ADB Loan Amount/Cancellation KEY DATES Fact-Finding Appraisal Loan Negotiations Board Approval Loan Agreement Loan Effectiveness First Disbursement Project Completion Loan Closing Months (effectiveness to completion)

As per ADB Loan Documents 81.64 23.96 68.31 50.79 0.00 Expected

Actual 62.44 22.38 54.14 37.80 14.16 Actual 4-26 Jul 1989 16 Sep-6 Oct 1989 11-16 Jul 1990 21 Aug 1990 25 Oct 1990 10 Apr 1991 22 Jul 1991 31 Jan 1997 17 Jun 1997 69.79

19 Nov 1990 31 Dec 1995 31 May 1996 59.27

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (%) Economic Internal Rate of Return Financial Internal Rate of Return BORROWER EXECUTING AGENCY MISSION DATA Type of Mission Fact-Finding Appraisal Project Administration Consultation Inception Special Loan Administration Review Project Completion




Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh Primary and Mass Education Division

No. of Missions 1 1 1 1 3 6 1

No. of Person-Days 115 105 5 10 29 50 43

5 Operations Evaluation 1 30
= not calculated, ADB = Asian Development Bank, AOTA = advisory and operational technical assistance, BAN = Bangladesh, PCR = project completion report, PPAR = project performance audit report, PPTA = project preparatory technical assistance, SDR = special drawing rights, TA = technical assistance.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Primary Education Sector Project was only the second financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in support of primary education. It supported the Governments commitment to achieve the twin goals of universal primary education and the eradication of illiteracy by the year 2000. At the time of appraisal (1989), more than 70 percent of the countrys 106 million people were illiterate, with significant differences between males and females, and between urban and rural populations. The gross enrolment ratio at the primary level (ages 6-10) was about 64 percent and the cohort survival rate up to Class 4 was only about 34 percent. The Project was approved in 1990. Its overall objective was to bring about equitable access to, and improve the quality and efficiency of, primary education. Equitable access was to be achieved through the provision of 272,400 pupil places in 1,050 new schools and 67,000 places in 2,240 nonformal primary education centers, more than 90 percent of which were to be located in remote rural areas. Quality was to be improved through implementing the revised curriculum, training teachers and administrators, providing textbooks, and rehabilitating dilapidated buildings. The Project covered only Chittagong Division (later divided into Chittagong and Sylhet divisions) as the other divisions were already covered by the World Bank and other aid agencies. Project formulation and design were consistent with, and relevant to, the Governments goals and priorities as well as with ADBs lending strategy. The Project aimed to achieve a number of objectives, specifically access and equity, quality, efficiency, and development of institutional capacity in primary education. However, aware of limitations of time, and of financial and other resources, the Government chose access and equity as its primary objective for the subsector at the time, effectively deferring the attainment of quality-related objectives. Thus, the Project essentially became an education-access project with ADB partners taking on most of the software components, i.e., United Nations Childrens Fund and United Nations Development Programme for staff development and local training, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and Directorate General for Development Cooperation for nonformal primary education, United Nations Population Fund for family planning, and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation for textbook production. The total project cost was estimated at $81.6 million equivalent at appraisal of which the hardware components accounted for about 70 percent. ADB provided a loan of $68.31 million from its Special Funds resources. The actual cost of the Project at completion was $62.44 million equivalent (76 percent of the original estimate). Of this amount, the Government financed $8.31 million equivalent (13 percent), and ADB contributed $54.14 million (87 percent). The Project was completed in January 1997 with a delay of about 12 months. A project completion report, prepared in June 1998, concluded that the Project achieved most of the objectives set at appraisal and rated the Project as generally successful. The assessment, while being generally objective, would have been more balanced if it had pointed out the various deficiencies in quality and efficiency which were already evident at the time of the Project Completion Review Mission. Primary education enrolment in the project area rose from 3.96 million children in 1991 to 5.08 million children in 1998, an average increase of 3.7 percent per annum compared with the national average of 4.3 percent per annum during the same period. Correspondingly, the gross enrolment ratio in the project area rose from 64 to 95.2 percent during this period, a

2 significant achievement indeed. The net enrolment ratio was much lower at 80.8 percent, which implied that some 1.02 million children in the project area who were supposed to be in school were still out of school. Participation of girls in primary education has already come close to parity with boys but little has changed with respect to other disadvantaged groups, particularly ethnic minorities and children in slum areas. The Governments strategic choice to provide access and, to some extent, equity in primary education, took its toll on the quality of education and internal efficiency. In order to accommodate the influx of pupils as a result of the Government campaign for universal primary education, all schools in the country had to go on a two-shift operation, significantly reducing contact hours by about 45 percent for Classes 1-2 and 50 percent for Classes 3-5. Class sizes were also allowed to increase to as many as 60-90 pupils per class. The pupil/teacher ratio rose to 59.3:1 nationally, and even as high as 107:1 and 91:1 in schools in Chittagong and Sylhet, respectively. The attendance rate remained low at 60-65 percent. However, the dropout rate was reduced from 59.3 percent in 1991 to 35 percent in 1998, while the completion rate increased from about 40 to 73 percent during this period. The increased qualification levels of teachers did not seem to have a significant impact on quality under these conditions. On average, the proportion of pupils who achieved basic learning competencies was only about 51.4 percent nationally, but this was lower in Chittagong and Sylhet at 40.6 and 36.3 percent, respectively. The time to complete the primary education cycle was also reduced from 8.9 years in 1991 (due to repetition) to 6.6 years in 1998. On the whole, with an 81 percent net enrolment rate, a 73 percent completion rate, and 51 percent of pupils achieving basic learning competencies, only about 30 percent of children leave primary school with the basic learning competencies. During the last five years, the share of budgetary allocations for government primary schools has declined significantly and, consequently their share of enrolment numbers. Most of the growth has been absorbed by nongovernment schools where the Government provides only minimal support. On a per capita basis, the Government spent Tk953 per pupil in government schools and only Tk159 per pupil in nongovernment schools in 1998. This enabled the Government to realize significant savings. However, the quality of education is deteriorating. What is needed is a quantum leap in investments in classrooms and teachers, much more than what is programmed in the Perspective Development Plan. If quality is to be improved, class sizes and the pupil/teacher ratio need to be reduced, and contact hours increased. To achieve this, the Government has to contend not only with the incremental growth in enrolment, but also with the backlog, which is an even more daunting challenge. This is also a challenge to the Governments partner development agencies, including ADB. Despite these problems, the Project continues to be relevant and consistent with the Governments priorities as well as with ADBs lending strategy, particularly the overarching objective of poverty reduction for Bangladesh. The Project has also achieved its primary objective of improving access to primary education and partly addressed the issue of equity. It has delivered the project inputs at less cost than estimated and shows very high utilization of the capital assets put in place, although the overall system efficiency is low. Sustainability of the gains achieved remains uncertain because of the magnitudes of resources still required, particularly in meeting demands for quality improvement. Other development impacts, especially on gender issues and on community participation, are noteworthy. Given all these considerations, the Project is rated as successful.

I. A. Rationale


1. The Primary Education Sector Project was only the second financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in support of primary education.1 It was part of the overall General Education Project (GEP) of the Government of Bangladesh in support of its commitment to achieve universal primary education (UPE)Classes 1-5, and the eradication of illiteracy by the year 2000 as contained in the Perspective Development Plan (1980-2000).2 At the time of appraisal (1989), more than 70 percent of the countrys 106 million people were illiterate, with significant differences between males and females, and between urban and rural populations. The gross enrollment ratio (GER) at the primary level (ages 6-10) was about 64 percent and the cohort survival rate up to Class 4 was only about 34 percent. The Government requested assistance from ADB for the subsector in 1980. However, it was only in 1988 that ADB was able to respond following the approval of the education paper3 that recommended broadening the scope of ADB assistance. B. Formulation

2. ADB provided technical assistance (TA) in March 1989 to prepare the Project within the framework of the UPE program for implementation under the Governments Fourth Five-Year Plan (1990-1995).4 At the time of project preparation, there were four administrative divisions in Bangladesh (today there are six). As the World Bank and other donor agencies were already assisting Dhaka, Khulna, and Rajshahi divisions (1980-1990),5 the Government requested for ADB assistance to cover Chittagong Division. In 1989, Chittagong was divided into 15 districts with a total population of 28.5 million. There were 10,780 government primary schools (GPSs) with 3.1 million pupils (44 percent of these were girls). The Project was appraised in SeptemberOctober 1989 and the loan became effective on 10 April 1991 (after three extensions). A project framework has been constructed for the purpose of this study and is shown in Appendix 1. A follow-up project (the second project) was approved on 22 May 1997.6 C. Purpose and Outputs

3. As part of the national UPE program, the overall objective of the Project was to assist the Government in (i) increasing equitable access to, and improving the quality, relevance, and efficiency of primary education; and (ii) addressing major issues in the subsector. Access to schools by disadvantaged rural children, especially girls, was to be increased through the provision of 272,450 new places in 1,050 new schools, and 67,000 new places in about 2,240 nonformal primary education (NFPE) centers (run by nongovernment organizations

1 2 3 4 5

Loan 1026-BAN(SF): Primary Education Sector Project, for $68.3 million, approved on 21 August 1990. Subsequently, the Government moved the target year for the eradication of illiteracy to 2006. Education and Development in Asia and the Pacific, ADB, approved in October 1988. TA 1136-BAN: Primary Education Sector Project, for $100,000, approved on 10 March 1989. Two World Bank projects under GEP for $140 million were cofinanced by United Nations Childrens Fund, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and United Nations Development Programme, and provided assistance to these three divisions. Loan 1521-BAN(SF): Second Primary Education Sector Project, for $100 million, effective 9 December 1997.

4 [NGOs]). Quality and relevance of education were to be improved and internal efficiency raised through (i) implementing a revised primary education curriculum, (ii) training 60,800 teachers and school administrators, (iii) providing 16.4 million textbooks, (iv) replacing 980 dilapidated school buildings with new ones, and (v) strengthening the management capability of school administrators. The scope of civil works under the Project was increased due to the need to rehabilitate additional schools that suffered severe damage in a cyclone in April 1991. The Project comprised about 270 small subprojects and components (Appendix 2 shows appraisal versus actual delivery of project inputs). An advisory TA was implemented, four years after its approval, to develop and establish a management information system (MIS) (including benefit monitoring and evaluation), to conduct research studies for the formulation of policies and strategies for UPE, and to provide computer hardware and training for government staff.7 D. Cost, Financing, and Executing Arrangements

4. The total project cost at appraisal was estimated at $81.6 million equivalent, with a foreign exchange component of $24 million including $1.8 million in service charges (about 29 percent) and a local currency component of $57.7 million (about 71 percent). Of the total cost, the hardware components accounted for 71.5 percent (civil works, 43 percent; and equipment, instructional materials, and furniture, 28.5 percent). ADB provided a loan of $68.3 million from its Special Funds resources (84 percent of the total project cost). The Government was to finance part of the local currency cost estimated at $13.3 million equivalent from its own annual appropriation and from various aid agencies. At the time of appraisal, the Government advised ADB that it was seeking grant financing from other aid agencies for some of the components covered by the Project, and that a reallocation of the loan would need to be carried out once the grants had been committed. It is not possible to separate the contributions of other cofinancers, i.e., Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as these are part of the bigger GEP. Details of the project cost and financing plan during appraisal are shown in Appendix 3. 5. The Ministry of Education (MOE) was the original Executing Agency (EA) for the Project. The Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) within the MOE was tasked with overall planning and organization. Because the Project was part of the national UPE program, funded by a host of aid agencies, a project coordination unit was established to ensure smooth coordination with various external and government agencies. For day-to-day implementation and administration, a project implementation management unit (PIMU) was established in Dhaka, headed by a fulltime project director and assisted by a full staff complement. To establish a presence for monitoring project implementation at the division and district levels, the offices of the DPE deputy director and the 15 district primary education officers (DPEOs) in Chittagong were designated as division and district project coordination units, respectively. In 1992, the Primary and Mass Education Division (PMED), created directly under the office of the prime minister, took over the role of the EA. The DPE and the project coordination unit were subsequently transferred to PMED. Except for some initial transition problems due to the change to PMED as EA, the original executing arrangements essentially remained intact.

TA 1359-BAN: Institutional Strengthening of the Directorate of Primary Education, for $400,000, approved on 21 August 1990.

5 E. Completion and Self-Evaluation

6. The Project was completed in January 1997. A Project Completion Review Mission was fielded in April 1998 and the project completion report (PCR) was circulated in June 1998. The PCR concluded that the Project had substantially achieved its objectives as set at appraisal. Equitable access to primary education was enhanced through the construction of 2,476 new school buildings with a total capacity of 667,950 pupil places, as well as the repair of 705 existing schools with a total capacity of 176,500 pupil places. These schools were mostly in rural and disadvantaged areas in Chittagong and Sylhet divisions where many ethnic minorities live. This contributed to the increase in the national GER from 76 in 1991 to 96.5 in 1998. Quality was supposed to have improved through implementing the revised curriculum, in-service training of teachers, printing 27.7 million sets of textbooks, and upgrading primary training institutes, although the other aid agencies funded and implemented these components. Management capability was strengthened through the training of 750 education officers and staff at the division, district, and thana (subdistrict) levels. This was also funded by UNDP and UNICEF (Appendix 2). Loan covenants were generally complied with except for the adoption of the policy of one teacher per class for all classes, and for the filling of staff vacancies (to ensure that the vacancy rate did not exceed 10 percent). The Government is addressing both of these issues under the second project. 7. The PCR noted that there were significant delays in loan effectiveness (three extensions) and in project inception due to the need to resurvey the initial selection of project sites. At the time, a number of aid agencies provided assistance for the post-cyclone rehabilitation of some primary schools that overlapped with some selected schools to be financed under the Project.8 The selection of sites for the construction of new schools had to go through a lengthy approval process involving several administrative layers from thana education committee to district, division, and finally, central level committee. The PCR gave no explanation for the four-year delay in implementing the TA. 8. Given all the above considerations, the PCR rated the Project as generally successful. It also considered the performance of MOE and PMED to be good, the overall performance of the PIMU to be effective, and the performance of ADB to be satisfactory. Generally, the PCR assessment of the project performance was objective, but its assessment would have been more balanced if it had pointed out the shortcomings in the areas of quality and efficiency which were already evident at the time of the Project Completion Review Mission. F. Operations Evaluation

9. This project performance audit report (PPAR) presents an assessment of the Projects effectiveness in terms of achieving its objectives, generating benefits, and ensuring the sustainability of its operations. It discusses issues of current relevance to the sector, identifies lessons, and presents follow-up actions that need to be taken by the Government and/or ADB. The choice of this Project for evaluation was timely and appropriate in view of the shift in the education portfolio of ADB toward a greater emphasis on basic education from the late 1980s. In the period 1990-1999, 12 projects in direct support of primary or basic education in 10 developing member countries (DMCs) of ADB have been approved in the total amount of

These included European Union, Islamic Development Bank, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the governments of Italy and Japan. These were not party to GEP.

6 $551 million. A number of follow-up projects are either ongoing or are being planned. To date, only one primary education project has been postevaluated.9 10. The discussion and results are based on the findings of the Operations Evaluation Mission (OEM) which was fielded on 4-19 July 2000; a review of the appraisal report, PCR, and project files; and discussions with ADB staff and government officials. The PPAR draws data from three sources: (i) survey questionnaires; (ii) focus group discussions (FGDs); and (iii) secondary statistical data from PMED, DPE, Bureau of Statistics, division and district education offices, and participating aid agencies. A survey was conducted in 112 primary schools in seven districts and involved a total of 2,056 respondentsteachers and school heads, Class 6 teachers (lower secondary), Class 5 pupils and school leavers, parents, and school management committee (SMC) members (the distribution of the survey sample is in Appendix 4). The FGDs provided qualitative inputs from the same group of respondents to complement and validate the survey results (a summary of issues discussed in FGDs is in Appendix 5). Interviews were conducted with education officials at the national, division, and district levels as well as with officials of the different aid agencies involved in the Project. The OEM visited a sample of 18 primary schools and primary training institutes that the Project assisted in six districts of Chittagong and Sylhet divisions.10 Information and data gathered through different approaches were then processed and cross-checked with each other for reasonableness and consistency. 11. Inputs from the PPAR relating to education trends, good practices, successful policies, and crosscutting issues will provide useful lessons and real-time feedback to the Projects Department, in particular in the context of the upcoming midterm review of the follow-up project. The views of the relevant ADB departments and offices are reflected in the PPAR. Copies of the draft PPAR were provided to the Government of Bangladesh and PMED for comments in September 2000. Although the request was subsequently followed up, no comments were received. It is, therefore, assumed that neither the Borrower nor the EA wishes to comment on the PPAR. II. A. PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION PERFORMANCE

Formulation and Design

12. Being part of the national UPE program under GEP, the Project was, and has continued to be, fully consistent with, and relevant to, the goals and priorities of the Government. Other than the general concerns in primary education of access, equity, quality and efficiency, project formulation took into consideration special issues, such as women in development, environmental consciousness, and education on population matters. In order to develop a sense of ownership, members of the local communities were involved in the selection of rural primary schools, administration of civil works, and membership in the SMCs and parent-teacher associations (PTAs). Participation of NGOs in nonformal education was also sought. Administrative structures were set up for day-to-day management of the Project at the thana level, and for coordination with the various aid agencies. A TA to strengthen the management capability of DPE, although delayed in implementation, was also provided.

Loan 977-PAK(SF): Primary Education (Girls) Sector Project, for $64.2 million, approved on 26 October 1989, completed on 30 September 1996, and postevaluated in August 2000. 10 Brahmanbaria, Chittagong, Comilla, Coxs Bazar, Noakhali, and Sylhet.

7 13. The Project aimed to achieve a number of objectives, specifically access and equity, quality, efficiency, and development of institutional capacity in primary education. GEP had largely the same objectives. However, aware of limitations of time, and of financial and other resources, the Government chose access and equity as its primary objective for the subsector at the time, effectively deferring the attainment of quality-related objectives. It had correctly assessed that simultaneous achievement of these objectives would necessarily require certain tradeoffs among them as some of them, e.g., access and equity versus quality, by their nature have conflicting requirements. Thus, the Project essentially became an education-access project with ADB partners taking on most of the software components, i.e., UNICEF and UNDP for staff development and local training, SIDA and Directorate General for Development Cooperation for NFPE, UNFPA for family planning, and NORAD for textbook production. B. Cost and Scheduling

14. The project implementation period exceeded the initial estimate by seven months due to certain delays brought about by (i) changes in the project proforma which had to be approved by the Government and submitted to ADB to comply with the requirements for loan effectiveness, (ii) a resurvey in the selection of project schools, (iii) a lengthy process in the approval of school sites, (iv) difficulties in collection of vouchers from remote areas for liquidation purposes, and (v) the severe flooding of 1995. 15. In spite of the delays, however, the actual project cost amounted to $62.44 million compared with the appraisal estimate of $81.64 million, or 23.5 percent lower. The three main items which accounted for about 98 percent of the $19.21 million cost underrun were (i) the savings of $8.8 million in project operational and incremental recurrent costs,11 (ii) the cost of local training and NFPE amounting to $6.42 million that was originally included in the appraisal but was later funded and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF, and (iii) savings of about $3.61 million for printing textbooks and other instructional materials where the target was raised from 16.4 million sets to 27.7 million sets, but cofinanced by NORAD. Details of variances by item between appraisal and actual costs are shown in Appendix 6. C. Consultant Performance, Procurement, and Construction

16. Two groups of consultants provided civil works services to the Project: the Facilities Department, which was responsible for the architectural design and supervision of construction for urban facilities; and the Local Government Engineering Department, which was responsible for the design of low-cost schools in collaboration with a World Bank consultant. The designs were found appropriate and functional, especially for urban facilities. In the case of some lowcost schools, however, inferior quality materials and inferior construction handiwork were observed, for which reasons improved procurement and design, as well as more systematic quality control procedures, are now being applied in the second project. 17. In the procurement of services for civil works and of goods, such as furniture, vehicles, equipment, and instructional materials, local competitive bidding (LCB) was used in accordance with ADBs Guidelines on Procurement involving LCB. LCB was deemed appropriate for the Project because the many small, distinct packages for the widely dispersed remote areas were


This is the result of the Governments decision to staff low-cost schools with community teachers, giving them an allowance of only Tk500 per month instead of hiring regular teachers at a cost of about Tk3,000 per month (including benefits).

8 unlikely to attract foreign suppliers. The actual performance of the various contractors and suppliers was considered satisfactory with no major cost overruns and delays. Certain problems were, however, noted in the quality of construction, particularly in remote places where inspection and monitoring were minimal. The OEM noted the deteriorated condition of some schools that were visited, but it was difficult to tell whether it was because of poor construction or simply because of lack of maintenance. D. Organization and Management

18. The organization structure proved adequate to implement the Project down to the thana level. Although as drawn in the organization chart of the PIMU, there appeared to be no clear delineation in the reporting relationship and span of control between the two assistant directors reporting to the deputy project director, this did not seem to create serious problems on the ground. The required staffing called for in the loan covenant, including a full-time project director, was complied with. The organization structures for communication and coordination with the various parties (internal and external) involved in the Project, specifically the project coordination unit and the project review coordination committee, were also found effective. Judging from the overall results, the organization and management of the Project was satisfactory. III. A. ACHIEVEMENT OF PROJECT PURPOSE

Operational Performance 1. Access and Equity a. Growth and Trends in Enrollment and Number of Schools

19. When the Project started in 1991, 3.96 million children were Class 1-5 pupils in the Chittagong Division12 accounting for 28.9 percent of total primary enrollment in the country. By 1996, at project completion, enrollment in the project area rose to 4.84 million and increased to 5.08 million by 1998, a compounded average growth rate of 3.7 percent per annum, which was, however, lower than the national average of 4.3 percent per annum (Appendix 7). The 2,476 new schools built under the Project provided 667,950 additional pupil places. This added a significant installed capacity in the division, particularly benefiting remote rural areas where more than 90 percent of these schools were constructed. One trend which is evident is the steady decline in the share of GPSs in the total number of schools, and consequently in enrollment nationwide, including in the project area. The number of GPSs has remained at 37,710 since 1994. The nongovernment registered primary schools grew fastest at 12.4 percent per annum from 1991 to 1998, accounting for about 22 percent of total enrollment by 1998. However, growth has slowed since 1996. Growth was absorbed by the community schools (numbering 2,989 in 1998) which accounted for about 2.4 percent of total enrollment in that year. Most of the project schools (especially the low-cost school buildings) became community schools (Appendix 8).


Chittagong Division by this time had been divided into two divisions: Chittagong and Sylhet.

9 b. Participation Rate

20. The GER in the project area was approximately 65 percent in 1991. It dramatically increased to 95.2 percent in 1998 compared with the national average of 96.5 percent for the same year. The Governments target of 95 percent GER by year 2000 had, therefore, already been exceededa major achievement indeed. In terms of the net enrollment ratio (NER), however, the figure was much lower. Of the primary age group (6-10 years old) of 5.33 million children in 1998, only 4.31 million or 80.8 percent were in school (in the project area), leaving 1.02 million children out of school. The 19.2 percentage points difference between the GER and NER simply reflected the proportion of children 11 years old and over who were still in primary school either because they started school at an older age (instead of 6 years old) or because they had to repeat certain classes. Details are shown in Appendix 9. c. Equity

21. Equity consideration refers to disadvantaged groups that include girls, street-children, working children, and ethnic minorities. As far as gender is concerned, the achievement has been dramatic nationwide, including the project area, with girls enrollment coming very close to parity with that of boys. With regard to the other groups, however, little impact has been achieved. It is well known that a great majority of out-of-school children (more than 1 million in the project area) are some of the poorest children, and are mostly slum dwellers. Few of them go to school, and those who do are among those who are frequently absent and the first to drop out. It takes more than school buildings and good teachers to put poor children in school. The situation is similar in the case of ethnic minorities, particularly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. A 1998 study conducted by an NGO, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) revealed that the various ethnic groups lagged behind the plains Bengalees in terms of literacy (22.3 percent for females and 38.4 percent for males) and in NER (57 percent for girls and 56.8 percent for boys). The Project, however, could not do much in the Chittagong Hill Tracts because of the prevailing political situation.13 2. Quality of Education

22. Putting children in school is one thing, giving them quality education is another. The Project largely succeeded in providing access, but was found wanting with regard to quality. Although quality will ultimately be gauged through pupils learning achievements, it would be instructive to look into the elements of the delivery system that contribute to the attainment of quality or otherwise. a. Curriculum, Textbooks, and Contact Hours

23. The curriculum for primary education was revised in 1986-1988 and implemented by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board on a staggered basis from 1989 to 1995. The role of the Project concerned mainly the orientation of teachers and education officers in the implementation of the revised curriculum. The curriculum design is competency based with a set of 53 achievable competencies serving as a learning continuum from Classes 1 to 5. These


The peace agreement between the Government and the Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity was signed only in mid-1998.

10 competencies were benchmarked with the norms of primary education curricula in the South Asian region. The curriculum content and scope, subject-wise and for each class, are contained in the corresponding textbooks with a teachers edition for every textbook. A teachers guide was also provided for subjects without textbooks. Under the Project, some 27.7 million sets of textbooks were printed and distributed. The textbook/pupil ratio per subject was 1:1. No major problems were raised regarding textbooks during the various FGDs except that some textbooks were used and damaged (due to recycling),14 and that the distribution of some books was delayed, sometimes arriving in March or April while classes started in January. 24. The time requirement to deliver the curriculum was based on a one-shift operation. However, more than 95 percent of GPSs in the country are on a two-shift operation. The differences in actual teacher-pupil contact hours between the one-shift and two-shift schools are shown in Appendix 10. On an annual basis, actual contact hours in two-shift schools is about 178 hours less for Classes 1-2, and 400 hours less for Classes 3-5, than in one-shift schools. However, compared with the required or ideal contact hours, the contact hours in one-shift schools are about 25 percent less than the ideal, while those in two-shift schools are 45 and 52 percent less than the ideal for Classes 1-2 and Classes 3-5, respectively. It is worth noting that BRACs nonformal primary schools have far more contact hours, ranging from 810 to 1,080 hours per year, than one-shift schools. The proportion of pupils from nonformal schools achieving the basic learning competencies is significantly higher than that of pupils in the GPSs. The number of contact hours is a major contributor to such performance. b. Number of Teachers, Pupil/Teacher Ratio, and Teacher Qualifications and Training

25. As of 1998, there were about 71,000 primary school teachers in the project area (53,000 in Chittagong and 18,000 in Sylhet) compared with the 56,483 teachers in 1991 when the Project started, or an average increase of 3.3 percent per annum (Appendix 11). This increase, however, was mostly in the nongovernment primary schools. In GPSs, the number of teachers actually declined nationwide while enrollment continued to increase. Consequently, the pupil/teacher ratio deteriorated even further in GPSs, rising to as high as 107:1 and 91:1 in Chittagong and Sylhet, respectively, in 1998. While the national average was lower at 76:1, it was still very high (Appendix 12). In a two-shift operation, however, the ratios do not look as bad although class sizes are still very large. 26. The teaching force in primary education continues to be male dominated with female teachers accounting for only 31.4 percent of the total in 1998, although this is a significant change from the 21.4 percent share in 1991. A study conducted by BRAC found that one of the major factors that inhibited parents from sending their children (especially girls) to primary school was the fact that teachers are mostly male. This was further confirmed by parents who participated in FGDs where there was unanimous preference (including among fathers) for female teachers. For this reason, more than 90 percent of BRACs 33,200 teachers are female. 27. In terms of required academic qualifications and certification to teach, female teachers are significantly better qualified than male teachers (Appendix 13). Almost all of the female teachers nationwide and in the project area have the minimum required academic qualifications, while only slightly more than 50 percent of male teachers nationally and in Chittagong have them. The proportion in Sylhet is even lower at only 42.5 percent. Similar conditions are apparent with regard to the required certification to teach. Caution, however, should be

Government policy provided for the distribution of textbooks free of charge. However, for economic reasons, 50 percent of the books will be new while 50 percent will be used.

11 exercised in interpreting the data. In order to encourage females to enter the teaching profession, the Government lowered the academic requirement from higher secondary certificate (Class 12) to secondary school certificate (Class 10) while, at the same time, requiring a bachelors degree (Class 14) for a male applicant. Teachers are then required to take a one-year certificate in education at a primary training institute. Upon hiring, the secondary school certificate graduate and the bachelors degree holder receive the same salary. During the FGDs, several male teachers raised objections to this policy. Other participants, however, simply accepted the policy as positive discrimination. 28. Close to 75 percent of the teachers surveyed have attended the in-service training provided under the Project. In general, those who attended rated the training as above average, particularly in terms of the quality of lecturers and participant involvement. They were satisfied with the content, teaching methods, and the venue, but not too happy with the visual aids (Appendix 14). There is no significant difference in the assessment of the training program between male and female teachers. More than 80 percent of the participants found the duration just right. About 95 percent of them said they were able to apply quite a lot or most of what they learned in their own classes. After project completion, however, i.e., after 1996, only about half of the respondents said they underwent further training. In BRACs experience, short but regular teacher training (for its teachers, 1-2 days a month after the initial 15 days) is more effective than longer training periods with extended intervals between training programs.


Physical Facilities and Utilities

29. The physical environment in primary schools is hardly conducive to learning. The number of classrooms is grossly inadequateaveraging 3.8 and 3.3 classrooms per school in Chittagong and Sylhet, respectively. The national average is 3.8 classrooms per school for GPSs. This explains the need for the two-shift operation to accommodate the five classes.15 Libraries are unavailable in 85 percent of the schools surveyed, and more than 50 percent do not have playgrounds and sports equipment. Desks, blackboards, and teaching aids are grossly inadequate. Electricity is unavailable in nearly 80 percent of the sampled schools, water in about 30 percent, and drainage in more than 60 percent of the schools. Details are shown in Appendix 15. d. Monitoring and Supervision

30. The thana education officer and the assistant thana education officer are responsible for monitoring and supervising both government and nongovernment primary schools. They are obliged to visit schools regularly in their respective areas. A visit usually lasts for one whole day, but matters taken up are mostly administrative in nature. Among the 112 schools surveyed, 72 percent said the thana education officer (or assistant) visited their school more than five times in one year, 20 percent two to five times, and 7 percent only once. About 60 percent of the respondent schools felt that supervision is adequate while the balance of 40 percent felt that it is inadequate.


Education Watch. 1999. Hope Not Complacency: State of Primary Education in Bangladesh.

12 e. Learning Achievements

31. Considering the foregoing conditions in the teaching-learning environment, it is unsurprising to find that the learning achievements of pupils are low. Based on the 53 terminal learning competencies defined by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board, DPE and UNICEF designed and administered a test to pupils who had reached at least Class 4, the first stage of basic education, to determine how many of them had achieved such competencies. Defining the achievers as those who obtained at least 50 percent of total marks in reading and writing; mathematics; and life skills and others, slightly more than half of the students nationwide (51.4 percent) were considered to have mastered the basic learning competencies. Boys outperformed girls in almost all areas. The proportion of students who mastered the basic learning competencies in Chittagong and Sylhet was lower by about 10 and 14 percentage points respectively, compared with the national average. Appendix 16 provides clear indications of this both at the national level and in the project area. 3. Internal Efficiency a. Attendance Rate

32. The attendance rate nationwide was about 59 percent in 1998, with that of girls slightly higher at 60.5 percent than the boys 57.6 percent. In the project area, the attendance rates were generally lower than the national average by 4-6 percentage points. This actually helped ease the overcrowding of classrooms although in a negative way. In a survey conducted on Class 5 pupils, more than 87 percent said they were absent from class, four times or less a month (Appendix 17). The main reason for their absences, according to 83 percent of respondents, was illness. b. Dropout and Completion Rates

33. The average dropout rate improved dramatically from 59.3 percent in 1991 to 27.3 percent in 1998. The dropout rate was slightly higher for boys at 28 percent than girls at 26.6 percent. In a survey of school leavers (Appendix 18), more than 70 percent of them left school during or at the end of Class 5. About 78 percent of them said they left school because their parents could not afford further schooling. Given the cycle dropout rate, about 73 percent of a cohort entering Class 1 eventually finished Class 5 in 1998, a significant improvement from less than 40 percent in 1991. c. Repetition Rate and Coefficient of Efficiency

34. While the dropout rate has fallen significantly, the repetition rate has remained high. The average repetition rate per class level in 1998 was 6.5 percent, with that of boys slightly higher. In Chittagong, the rate was lower at 5 percent, while in Sylhet it was unusually high at 13.7 percent (Appendix 19). In the survey with Class 5 pupils, those who repeated a class comprised 19.2 percent of the total. The highest rate of repetition was in Class 4 at 26.5 percent, followed by Class 5 at 24.2 percent. Because of the high repetition rate, the

13 coefficient of efficiency16 remained low at 75.7 percent, although this is already a major improvement from 63.1 percent in 1991. On the average, it took 6.6 years to finish the primary education cycle as of 1998. This has major resource implications as it implies spending 32 percent more on pupils to complete the cycle. On the whole, with NER of 81 percent, a 73 percent completion rate, and 51 percent of pupils achieving basic competencies, only about 30 percent emerge from primary school with the basic learning competencies. This is clearly an inefficient delivery system. 4. External Efficiency

35. Of the pupils who finish primary education, only about a third actually proceed to lower secondary education while the rest either work or stay at home. In order to gather some indication of the performance of those who have completed Class 5 and enrolled in lower secondary education, Class 6 teachers were asked to compare the preparedness of their new students to tackle different subjects. In their assessment, the preparation of students is average or fair, slightly better prepared in Bangla and Social Science, and least prepared in Math and English. There is no significant difference in the degree of preparedness between the students in the early 1990s and now. As to the general traits between boys and girls as students, the teachers rated the girls better than the boys in study habits, attendance, and discipline. There was no significant difference in their ratings on test scores and retention rate (i.e., the tendency to dropout) (Appendix 20). 36. The survey also gathered information on school leavers. Of the total respondents, 41.5 percent were working, 37.5 percent were assisting in household chores, and 19 percent were idle. The proportion of those working was 53 percent among boys, and only 8 percent among girls. About 60 percent of girls helped with household chores, and about 30 percent of boys. Of those working, about 26 percent were engaged in small business, 24 percent in farm cultivation, and 22 percent provided day labor. About 50 percent earned Tk1,000 per month or less, and another 27 percent earn between Tk1,000 and Tk2,000 per month. Among boys, 46 percent intended to go back to school, and 58 percent among girls. Selected indicators are shown in Appendix 21. B. Performance of the Operating Entity 1. Public Expenditures on Primary Education

37. Total public expenditures on education rose from Tk14.9 billion in FY1990/91 to Tk51.5 billion in FY1999/2000an average increase of 14.7 percent per annum (Appendix 22). These figures represent 1.8 percent and 2.8 percent of gross domestic product during the same years, respectively. The share of primary education in total education expenditures gradually declined from 49 percent in FY1990/91 to 43.1 percent in FY1999/2000, partly as a result of the Governments decision to provide free secondary education for girls, thereby reallocating part of the resources to that subsector. Of total primary education expenditures, about 60 percent were spent on recurrent expenditures, of which salaries and benefits of teachers, education officers, and staff constituted about 99 percent. Thus, there is hardly anything left for operation and maintenance expenses. Ordinarily, at least 15 percent of the total budget should be allocated for

The coefficient of efficiency is the ratio between the ideal number of years (i.e., five) to finish primary education to the actual number of years it takes to finish the five-year primary education cycle.

14 operation and maintenance and consumables, as indicated in the incremental recurrent costs schedule during project implementation.17 The current budget for maintenance and other operating expenses is Tk1,800-Tk3,000 ($35.3-$58.8) per school per year, depending on the number of teachers. As there is no cost recovery because primary education is free, some SMCs raise a certain amount for such purposes, but most cannot. Hence, the sad state of the physical condition of facilities at most schools. 2. Public versus Private Cost in Primary Education

38. With its policy of free primary education, the Government spent about Tk1,100 per pupil in 1999. Excluding development expenditure, recurrent expenditure per pupil was Tk653. In real terms, recurrent expenditure per pupil was lower than at the beginning of the decade (Appendix 23). But the cost of giving a child a primary education is significantly more than that. During the various FGDs, parents were asked how much it costs to send a child to school. The estimates ranged from Tk100 to Tk500 per month for clothing, school supplies, and transportation (for some). Even at the minimum of Tk100 per month, this translates into about Tk1,000 per year for a ten-month school year. Thus the family, in fact, shoulders about 60 percent of the cost of primary education at its present level of quality. This private cost does not include the opportunity cost of the childs labor in helping generate income. Considering that about 50 percent of total households have monthly incomes of less than Tk3,000,18 even a free primary education is actually not affordable to many families. 39. Just sustaining the significant gains achieved by the Project (particularly on access, equity, and dropout and completion rates) at the present level of quality and efficiency would not be good enough. For there is little purpose in going to school if the pupils do not learn, or only a few learn the minimum competencies expected at such a level (para. 40). The cost to develop a pupil who achieves the expected competencies becomes necessarily high. The pressure then is not only on sustaining the present participation rates and parity between boys and girls, but more so on the rate of investment required to bring quality and internal efficiency to the desired level as determined by the proper authorities. 40. There are two sources of pressure on the required investment: (i) catching up with the backlog given the present level of enrollment, and (ii) accommodating the incremental growth in enrollment (Appendix 24). Of the two, the first imposes a more daunting task. Appendix 25 shows indicative figures on the required investment just to bring about two classroom conditions which are necessary, though not sufficient, for significant quality and efficiency improvements, i.e., class size and pupil/teacher ratio. Under the given set of assumptions, bringing down the average class size to 50 pupils from the present 81 would require more than 30,000 additional classrooms in the project area alone over the next five years at an estimated cost of about $110 million. At the same time, reducing the pupil/teacher ratio from about 100:1 (it was 104:1 for GPSs in 1998) to 40:1 in the project area would require more than 56,000 additional teachers during the same period at an estimated recurrent cost of about $40 million per year. Of the two issues of additional classrooms and additional teachers, the latter is the more intractable not only in terms of cost, but also in the supply of qualified teachers. However, having two-shift operations would reduce the requirement by about one half. These are but rough indicators of the magnitudes involved if primary education in the project area is to make the much needed quantum leap in quality. Whether the Government can accelerate its rate of investment in the subsector, with the help of its partner development agencies, including ADB, is yet to be seen.
17 18

Appraisal report, Appendix 18, page 89. Bangladesh Statistical Yearbook. 1998. Household Income and Expenditure Survey.


Socioeconomic Impact 1. Women in Development

41. In Bangladesh, the male population generally has the more privileged position in various aspects of society. To a certain extent, the Project has made a significant contribution in helping balance gender disparities. Appendix 26 shows selected gender parity indices among students, teachers, and the adult population. Among pupils in primary schools, girls have achieved parity with boys in the participation rate and have a lower repetition rate than boys. In learning achievement, however, girls lag slightly behind boys. Among the number of teachers, females are still far from achieving parity with males, but steady progress has been noted in recent years due to government policy of positive discrimination. In terms of academic qualifications and certification to teach, females have more than achieved parity. This is due to the same government policy that lowered the minimum academic requirement for female teachers and made the certificate in education a requirement (para. 27). Among adults, the female literacy rate still lags behind, but the gap is closing. The indices in the project area generally followed the national trend, but less so in Sylhet where ratios on academic qualifications and certification to teach are significantly in favor of the female population. 2. Community Participation

42. Members of the community such as thana leaders, parents, and teachers were involved in the design, formulation, and implementation of the Project. But the real participation of the community is in the operation of schools through the SMCs and PTAs. Through the schools, the Project mobilized the energy of local people. The school became the center of activities, schoolrelated and otherwise, thus engendering a sense of community. Almost all schools now have SMCs by virtue of a government directive. The SMC usually has ten members with only one or two female members. Although meetings are scheduled on a monthly basis, they are only held seven or eight times a year with about 75 percent attendance. The PTAs, on the other hand, are not as active or as popular as the SMCs. Only about 44 percent of all primary schools have PTAs (about 70 percent in GPSs). Ordinarily, a PTA has about 25 members of whom about 25 percent are female. On average, they meet only three or four times a year. SMCs and PTAs are very helpful in supplementing government efforts in mobilizing funds for school operation and maintenance and in getting children of primary school age to school. The performance of the SMCs varies widely among communities (according to information gathered during the field visits and FGDs. B. Environmental Impact

43. The Project included a component on population and family life and environmental education to strengthen and make more relevant the teaching of these important areas even at primary school level. Among the topics covered were personal hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, role of women, and environmental awareness. Teaching aids, picture books, and similar materials have been developed. About 240,000 primary school teachers were given orientation seminars exceeding the 220,000 targeted at appraisal. This component was funded and implemented by UNFPA.

16 C. Impact on Institutions and Policy

44. The Project has been instrumental in the implementation of a national policy that favors recruitment of female teachers at a ratio of 60:40 to male applicants, either for replacement or for additional requirements. Also, five research studies (domestic resource mobilization to augment education budget, alternatives to attract and retain female and disadvantaged primary school pupils in rural areas, school-calendar rescheduling, curriculum scheduling and teacher deployment, and community involvement in primary education) have provided valuable inputs in the formulation of policies related to quality and efficiency, which have been emphasized in the national education policy. These are also being pursued in the second project. V. A. Relevance OVERALL ASSESSMENT

45. The Projects objectives were consistent with the Governments development strategy (Perspective Development Plan, 1980-2000), the long-term overall comprehensive program to develop primary education through GEP, ADBs lending strategy for Bangladesh, and ADBs strategic objectives both at the time of loan approval and this evaluation. The objectives are also consistent with ADBs overarching objective of poverty reduction for Bangladesh. The Project fits well with the Poverty Partnership Agreement entered into between the Government and ADB, of which one aim is to reduce the number of children not attending primary school by 50 percent by 2005, and achieve UPE by 2010.19 The design and scope of the Project was relevant as it supported the national educational goal of UPE and the eradication of illiteracy. B. Efficacy

46. The Project achieved its primary objective on access and equity. The GER in the project area was at par with the national trend, the dropout rate fell significantly, and the completion rate increased substantially. Girls also achieved parity with boys in primary enrollment, as did the number of female teachers. However, the growth in net enrollment and the participation rate of other disadvantaged groups, such as slum dwellers and ethnic minorities, remained low. Further, the focus on increasing access has resulted in todays poor quality of education. However, the Government had decided early on that its primary objective was to provide access, and that quality improvement would be addressed in the next phase of its program. There is still a shortage of teachers and classrooms, but multi-class teaching has been largely eliminated, and a one teacher per class level policy is in place. C. Efficiency

47. The Project achieved and even exceeded the physical targets set at appraisal at a cost of about 20 percent less than the original estimate. While the actual expenditure of approximately $50 per pupil-place is about the same as estimated during appraisal, the Project provided 844,450 pupil-places, 17 percent more than the appraisal target of 720,450 places. On


This effectively revises the target of the Perspective Development Plan (1980-2000) which aimed at eradicating illiteracy by 2006 (see para. 1 and footnote 2).

17 the use of the capital assets put in place, efficiency is high in the sense that these assets are fully utilized (because the classrooms are overcrowded). 48. The efficiency of the teaching-learning process that goes on inside the classroom (internal efficiency), and the quality of the products that come out of it as indicated by their acceptability and eventual performance in the world of work or in institutions of higher learning (external efficiency), are considered equally, if not more, important indicators of the Projects outcome. Efficiency is low in the sense that the learning achievements remain poor (other factors affecting learning achievement need to be taken into consideration). Less than a third of pupils leaving primary school achieve the basic learning competencies. The main factor for poor quality is the very large class sizes and the shortened contact hours due to the double shift adopted by the Government to increase enrollment. D. Sustainability

49. At the present level of government expenditures in primary education, the gains achieved under the Project stand on shaky ground. There are no data available yet as to how much of the $3.23 billion the Government earmarked for primary education in Phase II of its Education for All (EFA) program (FY1995/96-FY1999/2000) has actually been raised. But with the declining share of primary education in total education expenditures and the declining expenditure per pupil (at constant prices), the trends do not augur well for the subsector. In fact, sustaining the gains at the present level of quality is far from good enough as an objective. As 99 percent of the recurrent budget is spent on salaries and benefits, hardly anything is left for maintenance and other operating expenses. Despite this, there is a lack of teachers in the project area and a deteriorating pupil/teacher ratio. The fiscal state of the Government is unlikely to improve in the immediate future, thus dependence on external aid will continue. But with demand for primary education consistently growing, the Government has no choice but to continue using the schools provided under the Projectalbeit with lower than expected quality outcomes. The Government continues to be committed to UPE as a means to address poverty as evidenced by the recently publicized Poverty Partnership Agreement with ADB. E. Institutional Development and Other Impacts

50. The institutional capabilities of the PIMU and PMED that were enhanced under the Project have remained intact, especially because the follow-up project came soon after. The establishment of schools in many remote rural villages created opportunities not only for students but also for parental involvement and community participation. Improvements in physical infrastructure were also provided to 14 primary training institutes in the project area, ensuring a steady supply of trained teachers. UNFPA funded the training of teachers to improve classroom teaching in population matters, family life, and environmental education. The parents themselves became more aware of their role in the education of their children and of the value of education in general. The involvement of the members of the local community in the planning and implementation of the Project also engendered a sense of ownership of the schools. Policy dialogue with the Government in relation to DPE staffing during the preparation of the second project has led to the filling of vacant posts. The staff vacancy rate at DPE is now less than 5 percent. These have been valuable inputs to enhance the subsectors institutional capacity. 51. The TA that was provided for the institutional strengthening of DPE was to have developed and established the MIS including benefit monitoring and evaluation, and have provided for some research studies toward the formulation of policies and strategies to address

18 the constraints associated with UPE. While the PCR states that the TA achieved its intended objectives, the OEM did not see any functional MIS at DPE, or at the division or district levels. The failure to operationalize the MIS or to establish a benefit monitoring and evaluation system, deprived PMED and the Project of an effective tool for sector management and project impact assessment. F. Overall Project Rating

52. Given all the foregoing considerations, the OEM rates the Project as successful. The details of the ratings are shown in the table below.
Assessment of Overall Project Performance Criterion Assessment Rating (0-3) 3 2 2 1 2 Weight (%) 20 25 20 20 15 100 Weighted Rating 0.60 0.50 0.40 0.20 0.30 2.00

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Relevance Efficacy Efficiency Sustainability Institutional Development Overall Rating

Highly Relevant Efficacious Efficient Less Likely Moderate Successful

Assessment Ratings: Relevance: 3 = highly relevant; 2 = relevant; 1 = partly relevant; 0 = irrelevant. Efficacy: 3 = highly efficacious; 2 = efficacious; 1 = less efficacious; 0 = inefficacious. Efficiency: 3 = highly efficient; 2 = efficient; 1 = less efficient; 0 = inefficient. Sustainability: 3 = most likely; 2 = likely; 1 = less likely; 0 = unlikely. Institutional Development and Other Impacts: 3 = substantial; 2 = moderate; 1 = little; 0 = negligible. Overall Rating: HS = highly successful >2.5 < HS 3.0 S = successful 1.6 S 2.5) LS = less than successful 0.6 LS < 1.6) U = unsuccessful < 0.6


Assessment of ADB and Borrower Performance

53. ADB Performance. The Projects formulation and design have been found consistent with the goals and strategies of the Government and ADB. The delivery of project inputs during the implementation phase was on time. However, coordination with a number of aid agencies that provided assistance for the post-cyclone rehabilitation of some primary schools was lacking. There is no explanation in the PCR for the four-year delay in the implementation of the TA. However, ADB staff did well within the limitations of the few resources available to the review missions. This is seen in the relatively early completion of the Project. ADBs performance was satisfactory. 54. Borrower Performance. As the Project was the first for ADB in the subsector, there were significant delays in loan effectiveness (three extensions) and in project inception due to the need to resurvey the initial selection of project sites. In spite of the size and complex nature of GEP, of which the Project was a relatively small part, and the change in organizational structure (from MOE to PMED), the EA did exceptionally well in the management and

19 implementation of the Project. The Borrower was generally in compliance with major loan covenants. The Borrowers performance is rated as satisfactory. VI. A. ISSUES, LESSONS, AND FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS

Key Issues for the Future

55. Sustaining Access and Equity: Catching Up With Backlog and Growth. While the Government has already attained its EFA target of 95 percent GER by year 2000, it cannot be complacent. In reality, the task remains formidable because the 81.4 percent NER in 1998 implies that 3.51 million children of primary school age were still out of school. In the project area, this group comprised 1.03 million children. It is well known that these are actually the disadvantagedthe unserved and dropoutsthe majority of whom belong to the poorest whose heads of families are generally illiterate. The GER, as a measure of achievement, tends to gloss over this problem. The task then is twofold: (i) to bring into the school system a significant portion of these out-of-school children, and (ii) to accommodate the new cohort of entrants of primary school age (i.e., the five-year-olds who become six-year-olds) which would be roughly growing at about the population growth rate of 1.6 percent per annum. If the NER is to rise, net enrollment should be growing at least as fast as the population growth rate. However, net enrollment has been growing at less than 1 percent per annum during the last five years. If this trend continues, the goal of EFA will never be achieved and the backlog will only increase. It will take more than the present efforts and rate of investment in primary education to achieve this goal. 56. Access versus Quality. The need for quality improvement is as important as the need to sustain the participation rate. Only about 30 percent of pupils complete primary education each year with meaningful learning achievements (para. 34). Three reasons stand out for this, and should be addressed before any other intervention: class size, pupil/teacher ratio, and contact hours. Expert opinions, affirmed by teachers and parents during the FGDs, indicate that class size should be 40-50 pupils, the pupil/teacher ratio at most 40:1, and contact hours equivalent to a one-shift operation. These are not ideal norms, but are acceptable. All these entail huge investments in more classrooms and teachers (para. 40). The thrust of such investments should actually be to give those who are already in school the opportunity for quality education, rather than to create pupil-places for those who are still out of school, because only 30 percent of pupils complete primary school with the basic competencies. This tradeoff calls for careful balancing on the part of the Government, given its limited resources. 57. Cost Sharing in Primary Education: Government Sector versus Private Sector. The provision of primary education in the country is still largely borne by Government, although a gradual shifting of responsibility to the private sector is clearly evident (para. 19). The degree to which this can continue must be looked into. Of the Tk11,990 million revenue expenditure on primary education in 1998, 91.2 percent went to GPSs and 8.2 percent to private institutions as a form of support. On a per capita basis, the Government spent Tk934 per pupil in GPSs and only Tk159 per pupil in private primary schools (an average of Tk653 per pupil). Considering that the latter accounted for 36.3 percent of total enrollment in 1998 (perhaps about 40 percent today) this represented a significant saving by the Government. It has a price, however. If the learning achievements of pupils in GPSs were already low, those of the private primary schools

20 (including community schools) were nearly 20 percent lower.20 What appears to be happening then is that the Government is bearing less and less of the cost of primary education by leaving it to an alternative delivery system (the community and satellite primary schools) which is even less effective and efficient. Thus, the quality of education in the whole system deteriorates even further. This trend needs to be reversed. B. Lessons Identified

58. Market Segment Approach. Achieving the goal of EFA requires a host of programs and projects to reach out to the target market nationwide. The magnitudes of requirements are too great for any one development agency to handle. Given the limited project funds, it was prudent to have chosen only one market segment in terms of geographic coverage, as it was then possible to provide a package of interrelated components that remained coherent. Although it may be said that ADB did not have much choice because the World Bank had already covered the rest of the country, the lesson still remains: focus and concentration of resources is needed to create a significant impact. 59. Follow-Up Project. Unlike many other ADB projects in the social sector, the one under review was followed about a year later by a similar project covering the same original area (although it was expanded to include Barisal Division). This is a very important consideration because it kept the development momentum going, and the institutional capacity built earlier not only remained intact but was strengthened. In many cases where the follow-up project came three to five years later, the momentum dissipates, institutional memory has largely gone, and it is necessary to start again. 60. Complementary Programs. The achievement of project objectives was enhanced by a number of programs with complementary objectives that were also being implemented in the area at about the same time. These included the Food for Education Program, Early Childhood Education Program, Nonformal Education Program to Reduce Illiteracy, and social marketing programs such as the Total Literacy Movement, and the Primary Education Fortnight. In order to realize benefits from synergy, it is important that when programs or projects with complementary objectives operate in a given area, they should be coordinated and linked together. 61. Hierarchy of Objectives and Quantification of Desired Outcomes. In a project with multiple objectives, some of which may have conflicting requirements (e.g., access and equity versus quality in this case) it is necessary to establish a hierarchy of objectives. Giving them equal importance and pursuing them with the same vigor invariably results in mediocre performance for all of them. That the Government implicitly chose access and equity above the other objectives such as quality and efficiency was partly responsible for the results achieved in this Project. However, a hierarchy of objectives in itself is not enough. Quantification of the desired outcome (in this Project) for each objective could have provided clearer guidance during project implementation and in the subsequent assessment of project impact. C. Follow-Up Actions

62. The following corrective measures should be considered by ADBs Agriculture and Social Sectors Department (West) at the time of the midterm review of the Second Primary Education Sector Project (footnote 6).


Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment, Tables 12, 13, and 13B.

21 63. Comparative Study on Learning Achievements. It would be instructive to determine, through a research study to be commissioned, the level and extent of differences in learning achievements between pupils in (i) one-shift versus two-shift schools, and (ii) GPSs versus community schools versus other types. The results should be useful in determining the seriousness of the problem and, therefore, the appropriate action to be taken. 64. Refining the Structure of SMCs. The SMCs play a very important role in the management of primary schools. Their performance, however, varies greatly from school to school. In order to establish some uniformity in performance, it would be useful to refine further its structure by defining a standard set of key result areas (KRAs) for all schools. A KRA is an area of operation where good performance is crucial to the achievement of the schools objectives. The KRAs may include academic affairs, co-curricular activities, personnel, facilities maintenance, fund raising, and community relations. A permanent subcommittee should be created for each KRA to which members of the SMC will be assigned, one of whom would be the chairperson. Each subcommittee would then report on its area during its regular meetings. Such a structure could also serve as guide in choosing the SMC members so that their expertise will be varied enough to match the requirements of the different KRAs. The same structure could also guide the kind of information and report format that would be needed for MIS. MOE may issue a memorandum circular similar to the one it issued mandating the creation of an SMC in every school. 65. NGO Participation in Formal Primary Education. NGOs at present are mainly involved in NFPE. Considering the limited government resources, the possibility of engaging the services of selected NGOs (with interests in education) in running new or even existing formal primary schools, particularly in remote areas, may be explored. More specifically, the Government may seriously consider turning over the operation and management of the community school system to NGOs under a management agreement whereby the former provides the latter with substantial support for recurrent expenditures but below full cost levels.21 The potential benefits from project investment in community school buildings will also be maximized. 66. Debugging the MIS. In spite of TA 1359 that included MIS as a major component, historical and current data that are consistent and updated are unavailable, particularly at the division level. The MIS is not operational. While the second project includes a computerized information and monitoring system that is to be decentralized to DPE field office level, the consultants need to diagnose why the system is not working and take necessary action to unblock bottlenecks and build on the work done under the Project. An operational MIS is vital for the planned decentralization in planning, implementation, and management of the subsector to work. 67. If a third project in this subsector is favorably considered, PMED and ADBs Agriculture and Social Sectors Department (West) should include the following strategic thrusts in the design of the project: (i) coverage of the same project areas, (ii) shift in emphasis of objectives from access and equity to quality, and (iii) turning over the management and operation of the community school system to one or more NGOs. There is still a long way to go to fully realize the goal of EFA in Bangladesh. The national plan of action of EFA estimated the total requirements for Phase II (FY1995/96-FY1999/2000) to be about $3.23 billion, of which 52.5 percent is for development expenditures and 47.5 percent for recurrent expenditures. There is no information as to how much of this has been raised and how much overhang will


Selection of potential participants needs to be carefully conducted, with well-defined and transparent criteria.

22 spill over to the next phase. It is important at this point to ascertain ADBs continued commitment to the sector under EFA in view of the long project-processing cycle, because, as pointed out earlier, there should be no significant time gaps between projects to ensure that gains already made are maintained.


APPENDIXES Number Title Page Cited on (page, para.) 1,2

1 2

Logical Framework Performance in the Delivery of Project Inputs: Appraisal versus Actual Project Cost and Financing Plan at Appraisal Distribution of Survey Sample, By Division and by Gender Highlights of Focus Group Discussions Cost Variance Analysis: Appraisal versus Actual Growth and Structural Trends in the Number of Primary Pupils at the National Level and in the Project Area Growth and Structural Trends in the Number of Primary Schools at the National Level and in the Project Area Gross Enrollment Ratio, Net Enrollment Ratio, and Number of Primary School Age Children Out of School Estimated Contact Hours with Pupils Growth and Structural Trends in the Number of Primary School Teachers at the National Level and in the Project Area Average Number of Teachers and Pupils per School and Average Pupil/Teacher Ratio Number of Primary School Teachers and Percent with Academic Qualifications and Certification to Teach Teachers Assessment of In-Service Training, Duration, and Extent of Application of Learning Status of Physical Facilities and Availability of Basic Utilities Basic Education Elements Frequency of Absence and Reasons for Absence of Class 5 Pupils Age Profile of School Leavers, Class When They Left


23 25 27 28 32

2,3 2,4 4,10 4,10 5,15

3 4 5 6 7





35 36

6,20 7,24

10 11










40 42 43

8,28 9,29 9,31

15 16 17




24 Number Title School, and Reasons for Leaving Page 48 Cited on (page, para.) 10,33


Number of Repeaters and Classes Repeated by Class 5 Pupils Teachers Assessment of Preparedness of Students who Completed Class 5 (Enrolled as Class 6) for Different Subjects in Lower Secondary Education, 1990 versus Present Selected Indicators of the Status of School Leavers Public Expenditure on Education Public Expenditure on Primary Education Per Pupil Projected Number of Pupils in Government Primary Schools at the National Level and in the Project Area Estimate of Required Investment in Classrooms and Teachers to Bring Down Class Size to 50 Pupils and Pupil/Teacher Ratio to 40:1 in the Government Primary Schools in the Project Area Selected Gender Parity Indices




50 51 53 54

10,35 10,36 11,37 11,38

21 22 23 24




56 57

11,40 12,41


LOGICAL FRAMEWORK Primary Education Sector Project Loan 1026-BAN(SF)

Design Summary 1. Goal Eradication of illiteracy Performance Indicators/Targets Greater enrollment in project schools than nonproject schools Increased retention rate 2. Purpose and Objective Increased participation rate and equitable access in primary education, especially for girls 3. Output Construction of about 1,050 new primary schools Provision of about 272,450 new pupil-places in the formal system in the new primary schools Implementation of revised and improved primary curriculum Provision of local fellowships for recurrent in-service training Supply of adequately trained female teachers Better teacher training facilities and research activities Improved student/teacher ratio Improved textbook/student ratio Smaller class sizes Reduced dropout rate Higher retention rate Higher transition rate Primary data from survey of community model schools and nonproject schools Results of secondary research on published statistics and related studies Conservative social attitudes Inadequate physical facilities Insufficient supply of rural female teachers Project Monitoring Mechanisms Risks and Assumptions

Asian Development Bank (ADB) documents (project completion report, project performance audit report, impact evaluation study, etc.) Surveys School records

Improved quality and relevance of primary education

21 Appendix 1, page 1

Development of multipronged enrollment-demand generation program

Higher enrollment in project schools than nonproject schools

Survey results and ADB missions

Type of girls schools which should not be coeducational Security-conscious parents Proximity of school to their homes Affordability of school-related expenses

Design Summary Establishment of rural and urban schools

Performance Indicators/Targets Construction of about 1,050 new primary schools Provision of about 272,450 new pupil-places in the formal system in the new primary schools Number of rural-based qualified females sponsored Number of pre-service training conducted Adequate supply of desks, chairs, blackboards, curriculum materials, equipment, audio-visual paraphernalia, and other support facilities

Project Monitoring Mechanisms Project implementation progress reports

Risks and Assumptions Availability of funds for basic maintenance of school facilities Optimum use of other machines

Increased supply of qualified rural female teachers and more in-service training for teachers

Project implementation progress reports

Government policy on teacher hiring Teachers incentives

Provision of instructional materials, kits, and hardware facilities

Project implementation progress reports

Timely and appropriate international competitive bidding and award Timely and appropriate local procurement

Improved training of learning coordinators Provision of staff and fellowships in relevant in-service training programs on primary curriculum dissemination

Completion of training and increased visits in schools Provision of fellowships to all concerned teacher trainers, teachers, head teachers, administrators, and school management committee chairpersons

Project implementation progress reports Project implementation progress reports Correct selection and placement of fellows



Inputs Consultants Fellowship programs Civil works Equipment, furniture, and materials Staff development Consulting services Civil works Equipment, furniture, and materials Staff development $2.5 million $35.1 million $23.3 million $3.9 million Project implementation progress reports Project accounts Competent consultants Competent local contractors Competent local institutions to carry out sector work

Appendix 1, page 2

PERFORMANCE IN THE DELIVERY OF PROJECT INPUTS: APPRAISAL VERSUS ACTUAL Subprojects/Components Civil Works (No. of Schools) Rural School (3-classroom) Urban School (5- and 8-classroom) Low-Cost School (3-classroom) Satellite School (2-classroom) Residential School (3-classroom) Repair of Existing Schools Divisional Education Office Office Complex (for PIMU and DPE Offices) Construction of DPE Offices Repair of Existing DPE Offices Construction of Thana Education Offices 4-wheel Drive Vehicles 14-seater Microbus Bicycles Primary Training Institute Upgrading of Existing PTIs 4-wheel Drive Vehicles 12-seater Minibus Motorcycles for TEOs Textbook Production and Distribution Paper for Production of Textbooks (million sets) Appraisal 2,781 775 76 1,120 56 4 750 Actual 3,181 1,359 70 1,044 0 3 705 Achieved (%) 116.7a 175.4 92.1 93.2 Funded by SIDA 75.0 94.0 Remarks

7 1

0 11 4 3 9 1 525

128.6 100.0

Not constructed; rented premises ADB approved the use of loan savings for these items 23

14 1 1

14 0 0 125





Includes Government contribution and NORAD grant amounting to $15.9 million

Appendix 2, page 1

Excludes satellite schools. ADB = Asian Development Bank, DPE = Directorate of Primary Education, NORAD = Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, PIMU = project implementation management unit, PTI = primary training institute, SIDA = Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, TEO = thana education officer.

Subprojects/Components Management Training Division Director/Assistant Director/DPEOs TEOs ATEOs Superintendent Local Fellowship and Training Headteachers/Teachers DPE staff PTI staff TEOs/ATEOs Chairperson of SMCs Population, Family Life, and Environmental Education Teachers Trained

Appraisal 145 17 22 6 0 57,697 46,000 35 120 640 10,902

Actual 750 17 128 600 5

Achieved (%) 517.2 100.0 104.9 10,000.0


Implemented by UNDP and UNICEF

Implemented by DPE Training Division with grants from UNDP and UNICEF




Implemented and grant-funded by UNFPA


ATEO = assistant thana education officer, DPE = Directorate of Primary Education, DPEO = district primary education officer, PTI = primary training institute, SMC = school management committee, TEO = thana education officer, UNDP = United Nations Development Programme, UNFPA = United Nations Populations Fund, UNICEF = United Nations Childrens Fund. Sources: PCR: BAN 23152: Primary Education Sector Project, June 1998; Operations Evaluation Mission findings, August 2000.

Appendix 2, page 2


Table A3.1: Project Cost Component Foreign Exchange Amount % ($'000) 10,468 11,145 154 241 43.7 46.5 0.6 1.0 Local Currency Amount % ($'000) 24,645 12,154 2,354 3,668 42.7 21.1 4.1 6.3 Total Amount ($'000) 35,113 23,299 2,508 3,909 %

Civil Works Equipment, Instructional Materials, and Furniture Consulting Services Staff Development Project Operational and Incremental Recurrent Costs a) Staff Costs b) Operation and Maintenance c) Consumables and Miscellaneous Taxes and Duties Service Charge During Construction Total

43.0 28.5 3.1 4.8

0 0.0 101 0.4 59 0.3 0 1,790 7.5 23,958 100.0

9,902 17.2 1,082 1.9 629 1.1 3,253 5.6 0 0.0 57,687 100.0

9,902 12.1 1,183 1.5 688 0.8 3,253 4.0 1,790 2.2 81,645 100.0

Source: Loan 1026-BAN: Primary Education Sector Project, Appraisal Report, July 1990.

Table A3.2: Financing Arrangements ($'000) Source Foreign Exchange 23,958 0 23,958 29.4 Local Currency 44,352 13,335 57,687 70.6 Total Percentage of Total 83.7 16.3 100.0

ADB Government Total Percentage of Total

68,310 13,335 81,645 100.0

ADB = Asian Development Bank. Source: Loan 1026-BAN: Primary Education Sector Project, Appraisal Report, July 1990.

26 Appendix 3, page 2 Table A3.3: Project Investment on School Facilities and Average Investment Cost per Unit Type of Facilitya Number of Schools 1,359 70 1,044 3 2,476 705 3,181 $37,323,000 $15,074/school Tk606,729/school Number of Classrooms 4,077 386 3,371 9 7,843 2,115 9,958 $37,323,000 $4,759/classroom Tk191,550/classroom Number of Pupil-places 339,750 38,600 288,850 750 667,950 176,500 844,450 $37,323,000 $56/pupil-place Tk2,254/pupil-place

Rural Primary Schools Urban Primary Schools Low-Cost Primary Schools Residential Schools Subtotal Repair of Existing Schools Total Total Investmentb Average Investment per Unitc Average Investment per Unitd

Includes buildings, furniture, and equipment; excludes 56 satellite schools included at appraisal because it was subsequently funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. b Excludes buildings, furniture, and equipment of primary training institutes and district education offices (approximate only). c Excludes repairs of existing schools and satellite schools. d 1996 foreign exchange rate: $1:Tk40.25. Source: PCR: BAN 23152: Primary Education Sector Project, June 1998.


Respondent Total Sylhet Brahmanbaria School Profile Primary Teachers Male Female Class 6 Teachers Male Female Class 5 Students Male Female Parents/SMCs Male Female Total 112 315 183 132 114 103 11 672 334 338 448 371 77 1,661 20 51 26 25 20 18 2 120 60 60 80 79 1 291 10 29 17 12 12 11 1 60 29 31 40 39 1 151 24 71 42 29 22 19 3 144 68 76 96 70 26 357 Comilla Noakhali 10 30 20 10 12 12 0 60 29 31 40 28 12 152 32 93 44 49 32 28 4 188 91 97 128 98 30 473 Chittagong Coxs Bazar Rangamati 8 18 17 1 8 7 1 48 28 20 32 31 1 114 8 23 17 6 8 8 0 52 29 23 32 26 6 123

SMC = school management committee. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

28 Appendix 5, page 1 HIGHLIGHTS OF FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS A. Introduction

1. In order to supplement and, at the same time, validate the survey results, focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted separately with teachers, parents, and students in each of the six districts visited by the Mission, as follows: Group Parents Teachersa Students Total FGDs 5 5 3 13 Participants 44 67 23 134 Schools Represented 23 36 9 68

FGD = focus group discussion. a Includes Class 6 teachers to provide feedback on the performance of students who completed Class 5.

2. An FGD is a structured, in-depth group discussion. Each FGD comprised 10-12 participants and lasted 2 to 2.5 hours, except those with students which lasted only about an hour. B. Parents/SMC Members/PTA Members

3. Participation Rate. When asked why many children of primary school age (6-10 years old) who are supposed to be in school but are not, a consensus of the two main related reasons quickly emergedpoverty and illiteracy. The parents of children who are out of school are too poor to afford school-related expenses and/or they are illiterate and generally unaware of the value of education, or attach little importance to it. They would rather have their children work to earn an income. Other reasons were (i) guardians are negligent; (ii) teachers are not dedicated, most of the time they are absent, they are just interested in getting a salary; (iii) the standard of education is poor (there are too many students in class, up to 100) so that parents are not encouraged to send their children to school; (iv) parents know of many graduates (secondary graduates and degree holders) who do not have jobs, so why send their children to school; (v) school is too far from their residence; and (vi) lack of enforcement of compulsory education. 4. Dropout Rate. The main reason for the high dropout rate according to the participants is still poverty related. But in addition, the poor condition of the school is a contributory factor and includes (i) no electricity, no ceiling fan, too hot inside the classroom; (ii) not enough furniture for so many pupils; (iii) lack of water supply, lack of cleanliness; (iv) teachers often absent; (v) lack of security (boundary wall and security guard at the gate); and (vi) joint use of classroom with high school. 5. Private Cost of Education versus Family Income. Participants were asked how much it costs a month to send one child to primary school. The estimates varied widely ranging from a minimum of Tk100 to a maximum of Tk500 per month excluding private tuition. The expenses were mainly for school supplies and clothing, while some were snacks and transportation (for those who lived quite far from school). On the other hand, participants estimated the average income of families with children in primary school to be Tk1,500 to Tk4,000 per month. Thus, for

29 Appendix 5, page 2 those at the lower end of the income bracket, the private cost of primary education is quite high, or even unaffordable. 6. Role of Parents. On the question as to whose primary responsibility the education of children isparents or schoolthe majority of participants believed it to be the parents. On the follow-up question regarding the role of parents in the education of children, the responses from the participants were (i) to educate themselves to be able to supervise and motivate their children, (ii) to go to school to see what their children are learning, (iii) to follow up their childrens study at home, (iv) to help their children as friends, (v) to ensure that their children go to school regularly and do their work regularly, and (vi) to know the friends of their children. 7. Recommendations. In order to improve their childrens primary schools, the participants made the following recommendations: Top 5: (i) repair and/or repainting of buildings, (ii) more teachers, (iii) reduce class size to 40-45 pupils, (iv) adequate furniture, and (v) stipends for very poor pupils in urban and rural areas. Others: (i) water supply and toilets; (ii) boundary walls; (iii) free uniforms; (iv) a waiting room for guardians with toilet; (v) tiffin for children during breaktime; and (vi) special coaching, especially for English and Math. C. Teachers

8. Objectives of Primary Education. Based on their own perceptions or opinions, the participants stated the objectives of primary education in different ways: (i) to lay the foundation for further education, (ii) to develop the 53 competencies defined by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board, and (iii) to form character. 9. Concept of Ideal Primary School versus Deficiencies of Actual Schools. The teachers have definite ideas of what they think an ideal primary school should have: (i) a pupil/teacher ratio of 25:1 to 30:1; (ii) adequate classrooms and furniture; (iii) teaching aids; (iv) well-trained and dedicated teachers in adequate numbers; (v) a large playground, sports equipment, boundary walls; (vi) electricity, ceiling fans, pure drinking water, toilets; (vii) building design: L- or U-shaped with veranda fronting the playground; (viii) teachers loving their pupils, and vice versa, and having good relations with parents; (ix) having the support of the community; and (x) a happy and pleasant atmosphere. 10. When asked what aspects are most deficient in their respective schools relative to the ideal they described, the top five deficiencies were (i) very high pupil/teacher ratios (60:1 to 90:1); (ii) size and number of classrooms and lack of furniture; (iii) lack of teaching aids; (iv) poor supply of electricity and water; and (v) lack of playground and sports equipment. 11. As to which factors they think have the most impact on the learning achievement of the pupils, the majority pointed to (i) awareness of guardians, (ii) pupil/teacher ratio, (iii) number of classrooms and furniture, and (iv) teaching aids. 12. Why are Better Pupils Better? In their own perception, the reasons why better pupils perform well in class are (i) parents are supportive and give importance to their childrens education, (ii) parents are educated and appreciate the value of education, (iii) they have a good

30 Appendix 5, page 3 family environment in terms of good facilities for study, (iv) these children come to school regularly and are more attentive, and (v) they have a good combination of parents genes. 13. Learning Achievements. The participants were asked how much of the intended curriculum were they able to deliver to their pupils (intended versus implemented); estimates ranged from a low of 50 percent to a high of 80 percent. How much of what they delivered was absorbed or understood by the pupils (implemented versus achieved), ranged from a minimum of 25 percent and a maximum of 60 percent. The huge gap between the intended curriculum and the achieved curriculum was mainly due to the deficiencies in the delivery system and the inadequacy of contact hours. 14. Preparedness of Students Who Completed Class 5 to Progress to Class 6. Class 6 (lower secondary) teachers were asked to estimate the degree of preparedness of students who completed Class 5 to tackle the demand of Class 6 subjects, particularly in Math, Science, and English. On the average, teachers estimates of the percentage of pupils prepared for selected Class 6 subjects were Math: 30-60 percent; Science: 30-60 percent; and English: 20-40 percent. 15. Home-School Collaboration. There was unanimity of opinion that parents involvement in the education of children is very important. In order to strengthen home-school collaboration, the teachers suggested to (i) hold regular quarterly meetings between parents and teachers (Parents Day); (ii) organize mothers meetings every month; and (iii) intensify home visits (more than the present one pupil per teacher per month), particularly for poorly performing students. 16. Recommendations. In order to raise pupils learning achievements and prepare them better for further education, the teachers made the following recommendations: Top 5: (i) reduce the pupil/teacher ratio to 30:1, (ii) build more classrooms and provide more furniture, (iii) give teacher training subject-wise, (iv) supply more learning materials, and (v) strengthen co-curricular activities (sports and culture). Others: (i) give financial help for poor students; (ii) provide electricity, ceiling fans, toilets; (iii) build boundary walls, employ security guards; (iv) provide a library, new books; (v) do not involve teachers in various social activities such as surveys, family planning, election duties, etc.; and (vi) increase teachers salaries. D. Students

17. Classroom Situation. There are 50-80 students per class. There are not enough desks for all the students. Teachers usually read lessons. There are no teaching aids. There are no fans and the room is usually hot. 18. Absences. Students are absent from class around 5-12 days per school year. The reasons given are (i) not able to do homework, (ii) no materials, and (iii) need to work at home. 19. Tests. The frequency of tests varies from school to school, some weekly, others monthly. In addition to the mandated final examinations, there are also mandatory quarterly examinations. Students consider tests to be a good measure of their learning achievements.

31 Appendix 5, page 4 20. Homework. Around 2-3 hours of homework is given daily. Parents, if they are literate, usually help students with their homework. 21. Dropouts. The main reason given for quitting school is the need to work to help augment the family income. Work is usually agriculture. Girls would take care of younger siblings. 22. Ambition. The most popular choices are to be a doctor and to be a teacher.

23. Recommendations. The most common recommendations are (i) need bigger classroom, (ii) teachers need to be more active, (iii) there are too few good teachers, (iv) students need to work harder, and (v) parents should take active interest in the school.


Expenditure Category Appraisal ($'000) Investment Costs Civil Works Furniture Equipment Vehicles Textbooks and Other Instructional Materials Local Training and NFPE Project Operational and Incremental Recurrent Costs Project Costs Incremental Recurrent Costs Service Charges Total 68,083 38,003 3,477 234 656 19,296 6,417 11,772 696 a 11,076 1,790 81,645

Total Cost Actual ($'000) 57,988 36,917 4,761 70 553 15,687 2,999 416 2,583 1,457 62,444

Variance (%) (14.8) (2.9) 36.9 (70.1) (15.7) (18.7)

ADB Financing Appraisal Actual Variance ($'000) ($'000) (%) 61,435 35,098 3,129 219 574 16,193 6,222 51,693 34,633 4,285 66 486 12,223 0 985 248 737 1,457 54,135 (80.6) (49.1) (84.0) (18.6) (20.8) (15.9) (1.3) 36.9 (69.9) (15.3) (24.5)

Government Financing Appraisal Actual Variance ($'000) ($'000) (%) 6,648 2,905 348 15 82 3,103 195 6,687 209 6,478 13,335 6,295 2,284 476 4 67 3,464 2,014 168 1,846 8,309 (5.3) (21.4) 36.8 (73.3) (18.3) 11.6 (69.9) (19.6) (71.5) (37.7)

(74.5) (40.2) (76.7) (18.6) (23.5)

5,085 487 4,598 1,790 68,310

32 Appendix 6

= no data available, ADB = Asian Development Bank, NFPE = nonformal primary education. a The project completion report picked up the consumables on miscellaneous item in Table 1, page 28 of the appraisal report as the incremental recurrent cost, and the balance as project operational cost. The correct appraisal estimates for these items, however, are shown in Table 1, Appendix 18, page 88. Sources: Loan 1026-BAN: Primary Education Sector Project, Appraisal Report, July 1990; PCR: BAN 23152: Primary Education Sector Project, June 1998.

GROWTH AND STRUCTURAL TRENDS IN THE NUMBER OF PRIMARY PUPILS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL AND IN THE PROJECT AREA Year Total ('000) 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 CAGR (%) 13,717 14,202 15,185 16,429 17,068 17,319 18,031 18,359 4.3 National Government Rural (%) (%) 81.3 79.1 74.2 72.0 70.5 70.7 63.7 0.6 89.0 87.6 89.5 89.6 89.5 80.0 2.5 Chittagong Government Rural (%) (%) 85.7 85.1 83.6 77.4 74.4 78.0 72.2 1.1 89.5 88.4 88.1 89.6 88.6 Sylhet Government Rural (%) (%) 84.9 81.7 79.2 79.3 77.1 75.5 69.8 0.8 93.4 93.4 94.0 93.2 93.2

Girls (%) 46.6 46.8 46.9 46.6 46.9 48.1 47.8 4.8

Total ('000) 3,073 2,983 3,211 3,506 3,779 3,734 3,935 3.6

Girls (%) 45.9 47.2 46.8 44.4 46.8 47.2 5.2

Total ('000) 889 850 894 1,072 1,061 1,102 1,140 3.6

Girls (%) 47.5 52.0 47.7 48.7 48.6 33 Appendix 7 49.0 5.6

= no data available, CAGR = compounded annual growth rate; columns in percentage have to be converted to absolute values to compute CAGR. Sources: 1991-1996 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. 1998 Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh. Dhaka. 1997-1998 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka. Data from these two sources do not tally.

GROWTH AND STRUCTURAL TRENDS IN THE NUMBER OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL AND IN THE PROJECT AREA Year Total National Government (%) 76.1 74.4 56.7 60.2 61.3 60.6 60.2 59.4 0.3 Chittagong Government (%) 81.8 79.9 75.7 66.3 69.9 69.6 Sylhet Government (%) 81.6 80.4 74.1 75.6 73.4 71.5

Rural (%) 82.3 92.5 93.3 93.6 93.6 93.5


Rural (%) 91.9 92.6 94.3 91.7 91.3 91.2


Rural (%) 96.8 97.4 97.6 97.3 97.1 97.0 34

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 CAGR (%)

49,964 50,898 66,168 62,617 61,583 61,638 62,673a 63,534a 3.5

9,591 9,361 13,043 11,202 10,614 10,709

4,108 4,218 4,604 4,431 4,563 4,697

= no data available, CAGR = compounded annual growth rate. a 1997 includes 1,962 community schools and 1998 2,989 community schools. A community school is one where the buildings are put up by the Government on a land donated by some members of the community (or village). The school implements the same curriculum as the government primary schools and the textbooks are provided by the Government for free. The Government also provides the teachers (selected by the community) an allowance of Tk500 per month. All other operating expenses, such as additional compensation for the teachers, supplies, and maintenance are supposed to be provided by the community. Sources: 1991-1996 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. 1998 Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh. Dhaka. 1997-1998 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Primary Education in Bangladesh. Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka. For Chittagong and Sylhet, estimates of the number of schools for 1997 and 1998 are an assumed 17.5 and 7.5 percent share in the total number of schools, respectively. Data from these two sources, e.g., 1991-1996, do not tally.

Appendix 8

GROSS ENROLLMENT RATIO, NET ENROLLMENT RATIO, AND NUMBER OF PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL (1998 in thousand, except ratios) Item Total Official School Age Population Total Enrollment (All Ages) Enrollment of Official School Age Gross Enrollment Ratio (%) Net Enrollment Ratio (%) Number of Children Out of School (Official Primary School Age Only) Children Out of School (%) 19,025 18,359 15,494 96.5 81.4 3,531 National Male 9,734 9,576 7,787 98.4 80.0 1,947 Chittagong Male Female 2,113 2,077 1,731 98.3 81.9 382 2,016 1,858 1,630 92.2 80.9 386 Sylhet Male 615 581 477 94.5 77.6 138

Female 9,291 8,783 7,707 94.5 82.9 1,584

Total 4,129 3,935 3,361 95.3 81.4 768

Total 1,203 1,140 946 94.8 78.6 257

Female 588 559 469 95.1 79.8 119 35










Source: Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka.

Appendix 9


Item Class 1-2 One-Shift Two-Shift (Less than (No break) 30 mins. break) Difference Class 3-5 One-Shift Two-Shift (Less than (No break) 30 mins. break) Difference

Daily Required Actual Difference % Less Annual Required (238 days) Estimated Actual (178 days) Difference % Less Daily Schedule 833 623 210 (25.2) 9:30 - 1:30 833 445 388 (45.6) 9:30 - 12:00 0 178 1,488 1,112 376 (25.3) 9:30 - 1:30 1,488 712 776 (52.2) 9:30 - 4:15 0 400 3.5 3.5 0 0 3.5 2.5 1.0 28.6 0 1.0 6.25 6.25 0 0 6.25 4.00 2.25 36.0 0 2.25

Annual: Required365 days less 52 Fridays and 75 official holidays including vacation = 235 days. Actual238 days less average of 60 days per year due to cyclone and floods, festivities, sports, etc. = 178 days. Note: Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committees nonformal primary schools (equivalent to Classes 1-3) hold classes 3-4 hours per day, 6 days a week, 270 days a year or 810-1,080 hours per year. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission findings and estimates.

GROWTH AND STRUCTURAL TRENDS IN THE NUMBER OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL AND IN THE PROJECT AREA Year Total National Govt Rural (%) (%) 75.9 74.7 65.9 64.8 64.5 64.7 49.6 (0.4) 88.2 89.0 87.6 90.2 90.1 89.6 79.9 4.3 Chittagong Govt Rural (%) (%) 83.2 82.1 76.7 74.2 75.7 74.3 88.2 89.5 88.7 89.0 89.1 87.3 Sylhet Rural (%) 93.3 93.9 94.1 94.0 93.7 93.3

Female (%) 21.4 22.6 28.1 27.4 26.8 27.3 31.4 11.7


Female (%) 22.4 24.6 30.8 29.3 28.9 29.4 32.1 8.3


Govt (%) 78.9 75.9 72.4 70.9 70.5 67.2

Female (%) 25.3 27.3 35.6 31.5 32.7 36.2 33.3 8.9 37

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 CAGR (%)

208,271 214,779 242,252 248,783 249,715 249,928 309,000 5.8

43,412 41,856 45,829 46,350 45,082 46,872 53,000 2.9

13,071 13,324 15,101 14,984 15,358 15,212 18,000 4.7

= no data available, CAGR = compounded annual growth rate. Sources: 1991-1996 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. 1998 Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh. Dhaka. 1997-1998 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka. Data from these two sources do not tally.

Appendix 11

Average No. of Teachers per School

Average No. of Pupils per School Pupil/Teacher Ratio Average No. of Teachers per School

Average No. of Pupils per School Pupil/Teacher Ratio Average No. of Teachers per School

Average No. of Pupils per School Pupil/Teacher Ratio

A. All Schools 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 275 279 229 262 277 281 289 66:1 66:1 63:1 66:1 68:1 69:1 59:1 5 4 4 4 4 4 5 320 319 246 312 356 349 354 71:1 71:1 70:1 76:1 84:1 80:1 74.1 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 216 202 194 242 233 235 239 68:1 64:1 59:1 72:1 69:1 72:1 65:1 38

B. Government Primary Schools Only 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 293 297 300 314 319 328 313 310 71:1 70:1 71:1 73:1 75:1 76:1 74:1 76:1 5 5 4 5 5 5 4 4 335 339 343 365 379 390 340 382 73:1 74:1 76:1 79:1 82:1 83:1 82:1 107:1 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 225 205 208 254 244 248 238 73:1 69:1 65:1 80:1 76:1 81:1 91:1

Sources: 1991-1996 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. 1998 Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh. Dhaka. 1997-1998 data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka. Data from these two sources do not tally.

Appendix 12

39 Appendix 13 NUMBER OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND PERCENT WITH ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS AND CERTIFICATION TO TEACH Area Number of Teachers ('000) Percentage of Teachers Total With With With With Academic Certification Academic Certification Qualifications to Teach Qualifications to Teach 309 212 97 53 36 17 18 12 6 210 114 96 36 19 17 10 5 5 216 119 97 35 19 16 10 4 6 67.9 53.4 99.7 67.2 52.3 99.9 60.0 42.5 98.6 69.9 56.3 99.9 66.1 50.8 100.0 56.0 36.0 99.9

National Male Female Chittagong Male Female Sylhet Male Female

Source: Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka.


Table A14.1: Teachers Assessment of In-Service Training Attended Factor Lecturers/Teachers Content Teaching Methods Workbooks/Handouts Visual Aids Practice Exercise Participant Involvement Venue Overall N
N = number of respondents. * Marked t-value denotes significant differences in mean ratings at = 0.05. Scale: 1 = very poor, 2 = poor, 3 = fair, 4 = good, 5 = very good. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Male 4.12 3.95 4.07 3.72 2.90 3.88 4.12 3.84 3.97 138.00

Female 4.04 3.90 3.97 3.81 2.33 3.84 4.05 3.99 4.02 96.00

t (0.89) (0.68) (1.26) 1.07 (3.00)* (0.44) (0.69) 1.63 0.61

Table A14.2: Duration of Training Duration No. Too Short Just Right Too Long Total 49 180 5 234 Total % 20.9 76.9 2.1 100.0 No. 34 101 3 138 Male % 24.6 73.2 2.2 100.0 No. 15 79 2 96 Female % 15.6 82.3 2.1 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

41 Appendix 14, page 2 Table A14.3: Extent of Application of Learning Extent of Application No. None at All Very Little Quite a Lot Most of It Total 1 11 124 98 234 Total % 0.4 4.7 53.0 41.9 100.0 No. 1 11 71 55 138 Male % 0.7 8.0 51.4 39.9 100.0 No. 0 0 53 43 96 Female % 0.0 0.0 55.2 44.8 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A14.4: Number of Teachers Who Attended Further Training After Project Completion Response No. Yes No Total 159 156 315 Total % 50.5 49.5 100.0 No. 96 90 186 Male % 51.6 48.4 100.0 No. 63 66 129 Female % 48.8 51.2 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.


Table A15.1: Status of Physical Facilities (mean rating) Facility Availability Physical Condition 1.3 3.1 3.4 3.5 2.0 112 Adequacy Utilization

Library Teaching Aids Desks Blackboard Playground and Sports Equipment N

1.3 3.0 3.3 3.5 1.9 112

1.3 2.8 3.0 3.6 1.8 112

1.3 3.4 3.8 3.8 1.9 112

N = number of respondents. Scale: 1 = none or poor or unutilized, 2 = inadequate, 3 = fair, 4 = adequate, 5 = very good utilization or very adequate or highly utilized. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A15.2: Availability of Basic Utilities Availability Water No. % 79 30 70.5 26.8 Electricity No. % 24 62 21.4 55.4 Toilets No. % 100 9 89.3 8.0 Drainage No. % 43 6 38.4 5.4

Available in School Not Available in School But in Village Not Available at All Total

3 112

2.7 100.0

26 112

23.2 100.0

3 112

2.7 100.0

63 112

56.3 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

43 Appendix 16, page 1 BASIC EDUCATION ELEMENTS Table A16.1: Basic Learning Competencies of Class 4 Pupils

Reading/ Writing Total Public 30.4 31.1 29.6 19.3 18.2 24.1 24.1 27.6 21.4 32.0 32.3 31.6 21.5 23.2 19.9 28.2 29.7 26.9

Mathematics Total 51.4 54.1 48.8 45.4 46.8 44.1 37.6 40.2 35.7 Public 53.5 55.7 51.4 50.8 53.7 48.0 45.9 46.8 45.1

Life Skills/ Others Total Public 75.0 78.8 71.5 67.4 70.6 64.2 62.6 68.3 58.3 76.3 80.2 72.5 71.2 75.4 67.2 69.5 74.1 65.8

Average Composite Score Total Public 51.4 53.2 49.6 40.6 40.9 40.2 36.3 38.7 34.6 53.1 55.1 51.2 45.1 47.4 43.0 44.7 44.3 45.1


Female Chittagong

Female Sylhet


Source: Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka.

1. Slightly more than half of the students nationwide (51.4 percent) are considered to have mastered the basic learning competencies, with boys outperforming girls in almost all areas. In Chittagong and Sylhet, student performance is lower by about 10 and 14 percentage points, respectively compared with the national average. By subject area, however, the proportion of those who have mastered the basic competencies in Reading/Writing in Bangla was much lower at 30.4 percent and even lower in the project area. This does not tally with the survey results of Class 5 pupils (Table A16.2) where more than 70 percent of them said that Bangla is the easiest subject and English (not included in the test) the most difficult (55 percent of the respondents), followed by Math (33 percent of respondents). The pupils performed best in Life Skills covering such topics as health, population, gender, etc. Performance in basic numeracy fell in between the two areas. Table A16.2: Most Difficult and Easiest Subjects According to Class 5 Pupils Subject Most Difficult Subject (%) Total Boys Girls 2.8 55.4 32.6 6.1 3.1 100.0 672 3.3 60.7 25.1 7.3 3.6 100.0 331 71.4 11.8 11.0 2.8 1.2 1.8 100.0 341 Easiest Subject (%) Boys Girls 70.1 11.2 11.8 3.9 1.2 1.8 100.0 331 72.7 12.3 10.3 1.8 1.2 1.8 100.0 341

Total 71.4 11.8 11.0 2.8 1.2 1.8 100.0 672

Bangla English Math Social Science General Science Religion Total N

N = number of respondents. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

44 Appendix 16, page 2 Table A16.3: Percentage of Children Satisfying Basic Education Criteria According to Different Parameters
Parameter National Total Boys Girls Chittagong Total Boys Girls


Sylhet Boys



By Type of School Government Primary Nongovernment Primary Nonformal Primary By Years of Schooling One Two Three Four Five Six By Mothers Education Nil Primary Secondary By Perceived Economic Status Always in Deficit Sometimes in Deficit Balance Surplus By Having Private Tutor Do Not Have Tutor Have Tutor By Number of Communication Media None One Two Three

21.5 23.5 38.3

24.2 27.1 44.0

18.9 19.9 34.5


7.5 16.4 20.8 39.9 56.9 70.8

8.8 18.2 26.3 40.9 61.8 77.6

6.4 14.5 14.8 39.1 52.9 64.8

9.4 5.8 9.8 26.9 48.9 43.3

5.6 8.8 11.9 27.3 59.1 42.9

14.3 2.9 7.5 26.3 40.0 43.8

0.0 6.5 6.5 24.0 46.4 60.0

0.0 5.9 8.3 22.5 48.3 60.0

0.0 7.1 4.4 25.0 44.0 60.0


21.1 39.0 59.8

22.7 40.3 59.9

19.4 37.9 59.7

10.8 31.8 39.4

11.3 35.0 50.0

10.3 28.9 29.4

12.1 25.0 48.8

10.6 22.0 48.0

13.5 28.6 50.0


21.1 28.2 35.7 42.1

21.9 30.2 38.5 42.0

20.4 26.2 32.9 42.1

12.3 18.4 28.3 25.0

10.4 12.0 22.5 35.0

9.8 19.3 33.3 11.1

15.4 19.4 23.5 30.0


27.5 49.6

30.3 51.7

25.0 47.4

14.4 40.0

15.5 25.5

16.9 31.8

15.2 39.4


17.9 33.4 41.0 72.5

18.7 32.9 43.0 68.0

17.3 33.8 38.4 79.6

Includes only rural Chittagong and Sylhet.


Differences in values among the classifications within each parameter are statistically significant; however, between boys and girls the differences are not statistically significant. Source: Education Watch Survey. 1999. Hope Not Complacency: State of Primary Education in Bangladesh, various tables. Dhaka.

2. The Education Watch survey in 1998 revealed a number of interesting findings (Table A16.3).1 By type of school, the government primary schools (GPSs) have the lowest percentage of pupils satisfying basic education criteria compared with the nongovernment primary schools and nonformal primary schools. It is important to note that the proportion of pupils satisfying the basic education criteria in nonformal primary schools was 1.8 times that of the GPS. The girls performed less satisfactorily than the boys in both types of school, but the ratio is the same

The assessment of basic competencies examines the (i) ability to read and write a short, simple statement on everyday life; (ii) ability to work out everyday arithmetic; and (iii) knowledge/attitude regarding selected life skills necessary to improve quality of life, e.g., health, poultry/livestock, population, attitude about gender, and specific knowledge about the outside world.

45 Appendix 16, page 3 (1.8 times). This significant difference was the result of the performance of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), the biggest institution in nonformal primary education in the country. BRAC operates 34,000 schools, and has 33,233 teachers and 1,089,327 pupils (as of May 1999). Given its impressive performance over the last 15 years, the BRAC system deserves a closer look. A number of its features may be applicable to the GPS system. (i) Low Cost. Classrooms are one-room village structures with a thatch or tin roof and a minimum floor space of 360 square feet. There is no furniture. The pupils sit on mats in a U-shape formation to create an informal, interactive, participatory atmosphere. Focus on Girls. Girls account for 70 percent of pupils. These girls are children of the poor and landless and who have been denied an education because of their gender and poverty. Small Class Size. Only 30 pupils (maximum of 33) per class are allowed. This policy is strictly enforced. Female Teachers. About 97 percent of the teachers are female with Class 9 minimum academic qualification, married, and who live within the local community. They receive 15 days training at the start and go through a monthly refresher training program. Flexible School Hours. Class hours are agreed upon between teachers and parents, making allowances for seasonal work and family needs. Classes are held 3-4 hours per day, 6 days per week, and 270 days per year. Life-Related Curriculum. The curriculum is designed to suit rural life, but incorporates objectives and features of formal primary education. About 95 percent of graduates are admitted to the next level in formal schools. The curriculum is constantly being reviewed and updated. Child-Centered Teaching Methods. The basic approach is learner-centered and participatory with a number of co-curricular activities to make learning fun. Little or No Homework. Pupils are assigned little or no homework. If there is an assignment, it is something that can be done by the child without parental help. Very Close Supervision. The whole system is closely supervised through a management structure down to the local level with area managers and quality managers. The personnel system also provides opportunities for staff to develop and become a batch teacher, resource teacher, and master trainer.









3. The same Education Watch Survey also validated a number of hypothesis regarding the relationship of learning achievements with different variables, as follows: (i) Years of Schooling. The proportion of pupils meeting the basic education criteria increased with the years of schooling, by about 10 times from Class 1 to Class 6. Mothers Education. The proportion of pupils achieving basic education criteria was also seen to increase with the level of the mothers education, by about


46 Appendix 16, page 4 three times when the mother finished secondary education or Class 10, compared to when the mother is illiterate. A similar pattern was observed with the level of the fathers education. (iii) Perceived Economic Status. Children of families in budget surplus (family income greater than family expenditure) are twice as likely to meet the basic education criteria than children of families always in budgetary deficit. Having Private Tutor. Children with a private tutor are almost twice as likely to meet the basic education criteria than those without one. Number of Communication Media. Communication media referred to in the study were newspapers, radio, and television. The proportion of children meeting basic education criteria from families that have access to any of these three media was four times higher than those with no access to these media at all.



4. The above relationships applied nationwide, but the proportion was consistently lower in the project area. The girls also fared worse than boys. All the above variables are actually related to two key variables, i.e., education and incomethe antidote to the twin problem of illiteracy and poverty.


Table A17.1: Frequency of Absence Times Absent No. 1-2 3-4 5-6 7 Total 292 200 61 11 564 Total % 51.8 35.4 10.8 2.0 100.0 No. 134 106 36 6 282 Male % 47.5 37.6 12.8 2.1 100.0 No. 158 94 25 5 282 Female % 56.0 33.3 8.9 1.8 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A17.2: Reasons for Absence Reason No. Illness Bad Weather Household Work Help in Farm Work Others Total 471 23 23 22 26 565 Total % 83.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 4.6 100.0 No. 237 7 7 17 14 282 Male % 84.0 2.5 2.5 6.0 5.0 100.0 No. 234 16 16 5 12 283 Female % 82.7 5.7 5.7 1.8 4.2 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.


Item No. A. Age Profile 10-12 13-15 16-18 19 Total B. Class When They Left School Class 4 Class 5 Class 6 Total C. Reasons for Leaving Parents Cannot Afford Not Interested Needed to Help at Home/Farm Others Total 306 36 32 21 395 43 279 71 393 84 206 94 11 395

Total % No.

Male %

Female No. %

21.3 52.1 23.8 2.8 100.0

61 149 75 10 295

20.8 50.5 25.4 3.3 100.0

23 57 19 1 100

23.0 57.0 19.0 1.0 100.0

10.9 71.0 18.1 100.0

39 209 45 293

13.3 71.3 15.4 100.0

4 70 26 100

4.0 70.0 26.0 100.0

77.5 9.1 8.1 5.3 100.0

228 31 28 8 295

77.3 10.5 9.5 2.7 100.0

78 5 4 13 100

78.0 5.0 4.0 13.0 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.


Table A19.1: Number of Repeaters Response No. Yes No Total 129 543 672 Total % 19.2 80.8 100.0 No. 61 270 331 Male % 18.4 81.6 100.0 No. 68 273 341 Female % 19.9 80.1 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A19.2: Classes Repeated Class No. 1 2 3 4 5 Total 17 23 25 35 32 132 Total % 12.9 17.4 18.9 26.5 24.2 100.0 No. 7 10 12 16 18 63 Male % 11.1 15.9 19.0 25.4 28.6 100.0 No. 10 13 13 19 14 69 Female % 14.5 18.8 18.8 27.5 20.3 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

50 Appendix 20 TEACHERS ASSESSMENT OF PREPAREDNESS OF STUDENTS WHO COMPLETED CLASS 5 (ENROLLED AS CLASS 6) FOR DIFFERENT SUBJECTS IN LOWER SECONDARY EDUCATION, 1990 VERSUS PRESENT (mean rating) Table A20.1: Preparedness of Students Who Completed Class 5 Subject Math English Bangla Social Science General Science N 32 50 41 27 27 Early 1990s 3.28 3.14 3.71 3.48 3.36 Present 3.25 3.26 3.80 3.67 3.54 t 0.14 (0.64) (0.57) (1.22) (0.87)

N = number of respondents. Scale: 1 = very ill prepared, 2 = prepared, 3 = fair, 4 = well prepared, 5 = very well prepared. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A20.2: Assessment By Lower Secondary Teachers on the Traits of Students By Time Period and By Gender Trait 1990s Study Habits Test Scores Attendance Discipline Retention Rate N 3.30 3.41 3.36 3.59 3.23 80 Time Period Present 3.34 3.46 3.74 3.64 3.74 80 Gender Girls 3.45 3.43 3.98 3.95 3.60 96

t (0.29) (0.37) (3.10)* (0.41) (3.89)*

Boys 3.22 3.27 3.65 3.65 3.57 96

t (2.89)* (1.83) (3.62)* (3.55)* (0.35)

N = number of respondents. * Marked t-values denote statistically significant differences in mean ratings at = 0.05. Scale: 1 = very poor, 2 = poor, 3 = fair, 4 = good, 5 = very good. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.


Table A21.1: Activities of School Leavers Status No. Nothing Assist in Household Chores Work for Income Take Care of Younger Brother or Sister Total 75 148 Total % 19.0 37.5 No. 46 88 Male % 15.6 29.8 No. 29 60 Female % 29.0 60.0

164 8 395

41.5 2.0 100.0

156 5 295

52.9 1.7 100.0

8 3 100

8.0 3.0 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A21.2: Type of Jobs of Those Working Type of Job No. Cultivation (Farm) Small Business Day Labor Rickshaw Driver Others Total 37 41 34 15 29 156 Total % 23.7 26.3 21.8 9.6 18.6 100.0 No. 32 40 31 15 28 146 Male % 21.9 27.4 21.2 10.3 19.2 100.0 No. 5 1 3 0 1 10 Female % 50.0 10.0 30.0 0.0 10.0 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

52 Appendix 21, page 2 Table A21.3: Average Monthly Income of Those Working Monthly Income (Tk) 50-500 501-1,000 1,001-2,000 2,001-3,000 3,001 Total Total No. 37 41 43 27 10 158 % 23.4 26.0 27.2 17.1 6.3 100.0 No. 35 39 40 25 9 148 Male % 23.6 26.4 27.0 16.9 6.1 100.0 No. 2 2 3 2 1 10 Female % 20.0 20.0 30.0 20.0 10.0 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

Table A21.4: Intention to Go Back to School Response No. Yes No Total 183 212 395 Total % 46.3 53.7 100.0 No. 125 170 295 Male % 42.4 57.6 100.0 No. 58 42 100 Female % 58.0 42.0 100.0

Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION (1990-1999) Fiscal Year Gross Domestic Total Education Product Expenditure (Tk million) (Tk million) Expenditure on Primary Education (Tk million) Total Education Expenditure as Percent of Gross Domestic Product 1.8 2.1 2.4 3.7 3.0 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.8 2.8 Primary Education Expenditure as Percent of Gross Domestic Product 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.2 Primary Education Expenditure as Percent of Total Education Expenditure 49.0 53.2 51.1 39.3 48.9 53 49.4 46.9 43.8 42.7 43.1

1990/91 1991/92 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/2000a CAGR (%)

834,390 906,500 948,070 1,030,360 1,170,260 1,301,600 1,403,050 1,548,330 1,703,163 1,873,479 9.4

14,944.2 19,088.5 22,674.3 37,608.4 35,262.6 35,226.2 35,473.2 41,787.8 47,190.0 51,450.0 14.7

7,324.1 10,149.8 11,579.4 14,764.7 17,237.5 17,399.5 18,041.6 18,296.3 20,161.2 22,175.0 13.1

CAGR = compounded annual growth rate. a Forecast. Source: Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka.

Appendix 22

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON PRIMARY EDUCATION PER PUPIL (1991-1998) Fiscal Year Total Primary Enrollment (million) Total Expenditure on Primary Education (Tk million) Development Expenditure on Primary Education (Tk million) Recurrent Expenditure on Primary Education (Tk million) Expenditure Per Pupil (Tk) Development Recurrent Recurrent Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure Per Pupil Per Pupil at Constant Prices (1985=100) 161 273 304 447 565 457 458 378 445 13.6 447 530 585 603 570 550 565 636 653 4.9 328 359 379 380 348 308 297 326 313 (0.6) 54


1990/91 1991/92 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 CAGR (%)

12.05 12.64 13.02 14.07 15.18 17.28 17.58 18.03 18.36 5.4

7,324 10,150 11,580 14,765 17,238 17,400 18,041 18,296 20,161 13.5

1,939 3,446 3,958 6,286 8,578 7,895 8,059 6,821 8,171 19.7

5,385 6,704 7,622 8,479 8,660 9,505 9,928 11,475 11,990 10.5

608 803 889 1,049 1,136 1,007 1,023 1,015 1,098 7.7

CAGR = compounded annual growth rate. Source: Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka.

Appendix 23

PROJECTED NUMBER OF PUPILS IN GOVERNMENT PRIMARY SCHOOLS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL AND IN THE PROJECT AREA Year Enrollmenta ('000) 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Total 18,360 18,500 18,700 18,890 19,080 19,270 19,460 19,650 National Share of GPSb (%) 63.7 62.0 60.0 60.0 60.0 60.0 60.0 60.0 Project Area Enrollment in Project GPS ('000) 3,745 3,556 3,478 3,514 3,548 3,584 3,620 3,655 36,000 34,000 36,000 55 36,000 35,000 177,000

Enrollment in Share of Project GPS GPS ('000) in National GPS ('000) 11,702 11,470 11,220 11,334 11,448 11,562 11,676 11,790 31.1 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0

Incremental Enrollment in Project GPS

GPS = government primary school. a 1998-2000 enrollment data from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka. 2001-2005 enrollment are projections assuming growth rate of 1 percent per annum, close to the average growth rate during the past three years. b 1998 figures are actual from Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka. 1999-2005 figures are assumptions.

Appendix 24

56 Appendix 25 ESTIMATE OF REQUIRED INVESTMENT IN CLASSROOMS AND TEACHERS TO BRING DOWN CLASS SIZE TO 50 PUPILS AND PUPIL/TEACHER RATIO TO 40:1 IN THE GOVERNMENT PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN THE PROJECT AREA I. Number of Additional Classrooms A. Backlog Total Enrollment in Year 2000 Present Number of GPS (37,710 x .30)a Estimated Number of Classrooms (11,313 x 3.8)b Average Class Size To bring down class size to 50 pupils, the total number of classrooms should be: The required additional classrooms therefore are: The estimated investment for the additional classrooms is:c B. For Incremental Enrollment Incremental Enrollment (2000-2005) Number of Classrooms Required @ 50 pupils per class Estimated Investment Requiredc Total Investment for Additional Classrooms II. Number of Additional Teachers A. Backlog Total Enrollment in Year 2000 Number of Teachers Required at 40:1 pupil/teacher ratio Present Number of Teachersd Number of Additional Teachers Required Estimated Annual Recurrent Coste B. For Incremental Enrollment Incremental Enrollment (2000-2005) Number of Teachers Required @ 40:1 pupil/teacher ratio Estimated Annual Recurrent Costb C. Required Investment Per Year for Additional Teachers III. Estimated Total Additional Investment (2000-2005) Classrooms (Total Number: 30,111) Teachers (Total Number: 56,595)

3,478,000 11,313 42,989 81 pupils

69,560 26,571 $94.9 million

177,000 pupils 3,540 $12.6 million $107.5 million or $108.0 million

3,478,000 86,950 34,780 52,170 $36.8 million

177,000 4,425 $3.1 million $39.9 million

$108.0 million 40.0 million/year

GPS = government primary school. a The government primary schools in the project area accounted for 28.9 percent of the total in 1996 up from 22.4 percent in 1991. For purposes of projections, a 30 percent share was assumed. b Based on the Education Watch survey in 1999, the average number of classrooms per school in the country is 3.8. c The average cost per classroom (including furniture and equipment) was $4,759 based on the 1996 exchange rate (Appendix 3, page 2). If the classroom capacity is reduced from 83 pupil-places in rural schools, and 100 pupil-places in urban schools per project specification (appraisal report, Appendix 11, page 76), the projection assumes a 25 percent reduction in cost per classroom, i.e., $3,570, and to also account for the depreciation of the Taka from $1:Tk40.25 in 1996 to $1:Tk51 at present. d Assumed pupil/teacher ratio of 100:1 from 104:1 in 1998 for the project area (Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka). e The average salary (and benefits) of new public school teachers is Tk3,000 per month converted to dollars at $1:Tk57. Note: If two-shift operation continues, the required investment would only be about half. Source: Operations Evaluation Mission survey, August 2000.

57 Appendix 26 SELECTED GENDER PARITY INDICES Indicator Students Gross Enrollment Ratio Net Enrollment Ratio Repetition Rate Learning Achievement (Composite Score) Teachers Participation Academic Qualifications Certification to Teach Adult Population Literacy Rate




0.96 1.04 0.94 0.93

0.94 0.99 0.89 0.98

1.01 1.03 0.69 0.89

0.46 1.87 1.77

0.47 1.91 1.97

0.50 2.32 2.78




The gender parity index is the ratio of female to male rates. A ratio of 1.0 implies equal rates between male and female; greater than 1.0 implies a female rate higher than the male rate; less than 1.0 implies a male rate greater than the female rate. Source: Government of Bangladesh. 1999. Education for All: The Year 2000 Assessment. Bangladesh Country Report, Primary and Mass Education Division. Dhaka.