Education in Bangladesh

Education in Bangladesh has gone through various periods and has evolved in method of teaching and language choices. For example, during the British rule, the education system was mainly in English. The main language that was being taught was English. Also, during that period, education was only for the privileged and wealthy. Only families that had ties with the British government were able to receive substantial education.

After the English rule, the territory of Bangladesh came under Pakistani rule and education was still scarce. People without education were considered second-class citizens. The state language changed from English to Urdu, the mother tongue of Pakistan. Conflicts appeared between Bengali speakers and Urdu speakers. Today, it is considered that the Pakistani education system that was imposed in Bangladesh during the Pakistani rule was meant to weaken the Bengali language and indoctrinate the citizens.

After its independence in 1971, Bangladesh became a secular state and different forms of education were allowed to coexist. The most practiced education system in the country is the British one, but people have the right to choose from three different options: the English medium, the Bengali medium and the religious branch.

The Bengali medium of education is offered by the government of Bangladesh, meaning that it is public and mainly free. Still, people have to pay some fees. All the courses are taught in Bengali with the exception of English courses and religious ones. The religious branch of the education system in Bangladesh attracts mostly young children who are homeless. These children are fed, sheltered and taught the paths of Islam in specialized religious institutions called madrashas. These institutions are subsidized by the Mosques through public donations. When they grow up, these children will become Islamic religious figures. That is why Islam plays an important role in the educational system of Bangladesh.