A rapid education sector assessment and related desk study were conducted to examine major aspects of the education sector (government and nongovernment), and relevant elements of the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) outside the education sector, that impact upon early grade reading either directly or indirectly. The objective of this assessment was to identify specific strengths, weaknesses, and leverage points, and to offer a set of recommendations and an overarching conclusion regarding the Bangladeshi education sector’s potential to scale-up and sustain an early grade reading (EGR) program.
Specifically, the assessment examined GOB actors at the central level: Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MOPME) and all of its relevant departments/agencies, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and its relevant departments/agencies, and both of their relationships to the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Ministry of Local Government (MLG), and the Ministry of Public Administration (MPA); relevant GOB actors at lower levels of the education system: District Education Offices (DEOs), Upazila Education Offices (UEOs), schools, primary teacher institutes (PTIs), and Upazila Resource Centers (URCs), and their relationship to both the center, themselves, and other relevant GOB actors operating at those levels; as well as the development partners (DPs), international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), key local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and relevant research centers (RC) operating in the realm of primary education. Discussions with these actors centered largely on these critical issues: language; curriculum and materials; teachers, teaching, and teacher training; student assessment; demand drivers (i.e., incentives, accountability mechanisms, career ladders, etc.); data for decision making; and finance. Regarding each critical issue, the following recommendations were made.