In 2020, there were 646 students in Sarighat High School in Jaintapur, Sylhet. One year later, in 2021, the number of students in the school dropped to 64. 14 students of the school got married last year. The school has given this information to the Department of Secondary and Higher Education (Maushi).

According to preliminary data from the government, the total number of students in secondary schools across the country has decreased by one year during the Corona period like in Sarighat High School. Although there is a general trend of increasing the number of students every year, in 2021, the total number of students in Madhyami has decreased by 62,104 as compared to the previous year. However, the number of secondary schools has increased by about 200 last year. However, the number of students in colleges, madrasas, technical and universities has increased.

At present there are 20 thousand 294 secondary schools in the country.

Badiul Alam, headmaster of Sarighat High School, told Prothom Alo that he had taken various initiatives to stop child marriage. But some students got married during the closure in Corona. Again, due to the decrease in the income of parents, some students have been employed in labor. Due to these reasons, the number of students has decreased during the Corona period.

The basic information that is being talked about in Banbase is that the medium is talking about the reduction of students. It could happen. However, the reliability of the information must be ensured.
Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus, BRAC University
The Bangladesh Bureau of Education Information and Statistics (BANBASE) collects various data from educational institutions across the country every year. After collecting from online educational institutions in 2021, work is now underway to prepare the report. According to the preliminary data of Banbase, the total number of students in the secondary schools of the country now is 1 crore 1 lakh 90 thousand 22, which was more than 1 crore 2 lakh 52 thousand in 2020.

The number of students in the medium has decreased
The total number of students in the country now in primary and post-primary levels (from sixth grade to higher education and vocational education) is more than 2 crore 4 lakh 51 thousand, which was more than 1 crore 94 lakh 6 thousand in 2020. In other words, the total number of students has decreased in the secondary level but the total number of students has increased in the later levels of the primary level.

An official at Banbase, who did not want to be named, said in a statement that many high school students were involved in the scam. In particular, many are taking jobs in the ready-made garment industry. This may be one of the reasons for the decline of students in the medium. However, the number of students did not decrease as expected. On the other hand, due to Corona situation, HSC and equivalent examinations of 2020 have not been held in the last two years. Again, last year’s SSC and HSC examinations were held in only three subjects on group basis. As a result, all the students have passed or sometimes close to 100 percent of the students have passed. For this, the number of students has increased at the college-university level. Apart from this, in 2020, all the students are going to the upper class without the annual examination at the secondary level. Completion of primary education and eighth grade JSC examination has not been done for two years. As a result, there was no reason to drop out of school due to pass-failure. Due to some reasons like child labor, child marriage, the medium is believed to be the reason for the decrease in the total number of students.

Education officials say the Corona crisis could have far-reaching effects, including child marriage, dropouts and child labor. The dropout rate in secondary schools in 2020 was 34.49 percent. However, Banbase has not yet been able to calculate the percentage of students who dropped out in 2021.

The number of students in the medium has decreased

Manzoor Ahmed, an emeritus professor at BRAC University, told Prothom Alo that the initial data from Banbase was aimed at reducing the number of students in the medium. It could happen. However, the reliability of the information must be ensured. And the reason for the increase in the number of students in the upper class may be the fact that everyone passed the exam or the majority passed. Because, when a student goes to the upper level, he wants to finish even if it is difficult. However, these issues need further analysis.