Introduction Education ForAll (EFA), Dakar Forum and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have declared asa medium of setting goals and targets to reach universal right to education forall in order to achieve development. Educating girls is a significant anddistinct challenge from educating boys. Girls face gender specific barriers toaccess and achievement. Secondary education has so far received less attentionand investment than primary education. The study aims to explore genderdisparity in secondary education and thereby increase the number of educatedwomen capable of participating fully in the economic and social development ofBangladesh and Pakistan. Statement of the Problem Poverty and gender imbalance within secondary education pose the mostsignificant forms of obstruction and barriers to social and economicdevelopment of a country; regardless of this, educating females proves to bethe most cost effective measure a developing nation can adopt in enhancing itsquality and standard of life. Low enrolment of females tends to increasefertility rate of young girls, thereby leading to higher teenage pregnancyrates.
Gender imbalance as a result of past cultural influence has restrictedfemales from going to school. Moreover, females are often sexually harassed bymale teachers and students of the opposite sex which tends to frustrate anddeter young girls’ efforts to attend school. Background of the Study Educating girls is a crucial to development, asidefrom the intrinsic value of education, better-educated women have higherincomes and fewer, healthier and better-educated children (Hill and King, 1993).Half of the world’s population is female. Girls still dropout in greaterproportion than boys do and have poorer learning achievements. Ensuring femaleeducation is a very important issue. The large numbers of out of school childrenin many developing countries is a policy concern that draws a considerableattention from researchers and policymakers alike. In Bangladesh and Pakistan,where poverty, early marriage, social attitudes towards women influences genderimbalance and also stop attending the school .
Education forwomen is the best way to improve the health, nutrition and economic status of ahousehold that constitute a micro unit of a nation economy. In this context, itcan be argued that lack of woman education can be an impediment to thecountry’s economic development (Sharmila and Dhas,2010). Purpose of the Statement The purpose of this study is to identify the underlying causes of thelow enrolment rate of females in rural Bangladesh villages, to understand theproblems this brings to the local community, and also to identify the role ofthe government in bridging the gap. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:1. To find out why so few females in rural villagesare enrolled in secondary schools as compared to their male counterparts,2. To identify the implications of low femaleenrolment rate in Bangladesh schools upon the local community,3. To identify those government policies that arebeing put in place to bridge the gender gap in education,4. To identify andinvestigate those viable non-governmental organisations’ interventions used toinitiate the closing of the gender gap,5.
To find ways of curbing societal influence on earlymarriage as demanded by their customs and tradition. RESEARCH QUESTIONS:1.What are the implications of this imbalance in theserural areas and Bangladesh as a whole? This question is significant inthat it addresses the impacts of gender imbalance in schools upon the local andwider communities. It is apparent that low female enrolment results in lessfreedom of choice and social mobility for the individual, but it also presentsobstacles for the economic, social development of her community and Bangladeshas a whole: this question aims to identify and analyse the nature of theseobstacles presented. 2. What specific policies is the government putting in place in order to address this issue? In order to achieve a fullerunderstanding of the issue itself, and how the native government is makingefforts to resolve it, government policies will be identified and investigatedin detail.
Assessment of government policy is significant as it providesinsight into the importance placed on resolving gender imbalances in education– the releasing of policy is a direct result of an issue’s impacts upon thesociety in question. 3.How has the school and community helped to motivate enrolment of morefemales in secondary schools? This question will investigate the role of theschools’ administration and that of the community in bridging the gender gap.This question will allow for the provision of descriptions on mechanisms put inplace to attract more girls to secondary education. Cultural influence hasplayed a significant role in the issue of low enrolment of girls in Bangladesh,and so this question seeks to give a clear picture on cultural barriers andalso reforms on culture to address this issue. 4.
Why are there fewer numbers of girls as compared toboys in secondary schools inrural villages in Bangladesh? Thisquestion will provide us with a clearer picture of education in Bangladeshwhere males outnumber females at the secondary school level. Secondly, thequestion sets a scenario of rural education in Bangladesh. Finally, thequestion will show us why exactly the number of female students are notincreasing as can be seen with their male counterparts. 5. What roles are played bynon-governmental organisations in intervening to bridge the gender gapobserved?The mechanisms utilised by non-governmental organizations(NGOs) to address such problemsin underdeveloped and developing countries haveproven effective over the years. This question seeks to provide an insight onthose non-governmental institutions working in Bangladesh such as BRAC, on theprogress they are making in bridging the gender gap, on the programs they haveestablished in the region and also a comparison between their methods and thoseof the government used in increasing levels of female enrolment Objectivesof the study1.
To find out the causes of female studentsdropouts2. To find out the ways to reduce students ‘dropouts3. To do a comparative analysis on students dropoutsamong Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Researchquestions1. What are the causes of female students dropouts? 2.
What are the ways to reduce student dropouts? 3. What are drop outs situations in Bangladesh,India and Pakistan ? Literature ReviewCountryprofileBangladeshThePeople’s Republic of Bangladesh is a densely populatedand developing, South Asian country, withan approximate population of 157,826,578 residents. Bangladesh is a low lyingcountry bordering Myanmar to the east and largely enclosed by India.
With itsstrategically vital location between Southern, Eastern and Southeast Asia,Bangladesh is an important supporter and advocateof interregional connectivity and cooperation. Bangladesh’seconomy has experienced a growth rate of roughly 6% per year since 1996 in spite of prolonged periods of politicalvolatility, poor infrastructure, widespread corruption, insufficient powersupplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Though more than half ofits GDP is generated through the services sector, almost half of Bangladeshisare employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single most importantproduct (Central Intelligence Agency, 2017).Furthermore, Bangladesh is one of the largest textile exportersin the world. Its major trading partners include the European Union, the UnitedStates, China, India, Japan, Malaysia,and Singapore. Bangladeshis include people from a variety of ethnic groups andreligions; Bengalis make up 98% of the population and Bengali Muslims are thepolitical dominant sect. The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is aparliamentary democracy with a multi-party system.
The president is the head ofthe state and the prime-minister is the head of the government(US department ofstate,2007). The capital city of Bangladesh is Dhaka. There are eightadministrative divisions in Bangladesh, like: Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur,mymensingh, Sylhet, Barisal, Chittagong and Khulna(web portal)(bdnews24.
com).From 1858 to 1946, Bengal province was part of British India(Coward,1987).Bangladesh became independent in 1971. Its population is about162,951,560(World population prospects). Ninety percent of the populations areMuslims and 9.5 % of the population is Hindu(US department of state)IndiaIndia,officially the republic of India is afederation with a parliamentary system.
India is the world’s most populousdemocracy with a multi-party system (Berner and calvert, 1999).The president isthe head of the state(Sharma,2007) and the prime-minister is the head ofgovernment and exercises most executive power (Sharma,1950). Under theleadership of Mohandas (Mahatma) Ghandi, India was declared independent in1947. The country is divided into 28 states and seven territories.Itspopulation is about 1,324,171,354 (World population prospects,2017 ). India waspart of the British Empire from the second half of the 19th century until thefirst half of the 20th century.
Eighty percent of the populations are Hindu and14% are Muslim and 3% are Christian (Heehs,2002).PakistanPakistan, officially the Islamic republic ofPakistan is unique among Muslim countries to have been created the name ofIslam(Talot,lan,1984).Pakistan became an independent country following thepartition of India in 1947(Cohen,Stephen Philip,2004). It has 4 provinces:Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Islamabadconstitutes a separate federal district.The President is the ceremonial head ofthe state and is the civilian commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Armed Forcesand the prime-minister is the chief executive. The country population is about209,970,000(www.pbscensus.gov.pk/2017) FemaleParticipation in Education in BangladeshEducating girls and young women is an importantdevelopment objective, reflected for example in the United Nations MillenniumDevelopment Goals. Motivated by the potential long-term benefits of improvingeducation levels, a number of developing countries have abolished schooltuition fees, experimented with compulsory education laws and/or introducedstipend programs designed to increase educational attainment, particularly forgirls. The Female Secondary School Stipend Program (FSSSP), which wasintroduced in Bangladesh in 1994 with the objective of improving rural girls’education, is an example of such a stipend scheme.
The Program made secondaryeducation free for girls residing in rural areas and provided a cash stipendfor them (Halm et al., 2016). NGOs have been playing a prominent role inbridging female students into schools, and thus enhancing their development, withinthe last four decades (Zaman,2011).
In Bangladesh, the issue of gender is still animportant factor. Gender constitutes those differences concerning behavior,expectations, roles and responsibilities and sometimes the values and beliefsof both men and women. The Bangladesh government is committed to many internaland external organizations, such as Human Rights and UN bodies, to implementrights for women and children. In terms of gender parity in enrolment, statisticsshow that the gender gap is steadily decreasing from 52.2 percent enrolment inboys and 49 percent in girls in 1998, to 51 percent in boys and 47.
8 percent ingirls in 2001.In the early nineties, the Government of Bangladesh(GOB) sought to increase rural female enrolment at the secondary school levelby launching a stipend program for female secondary students. Four separateproject ,covering different thanas (districts),were launched with donor support.The Female Secondary School Assistance Project(FSSSA) funded by IDA(118thanas). The Female Secondary Stipend Project(FSSP) funded by GOB(282thanas),TheSecondary Education Development Project(SEDP) funded by Asian DevelopmentBank(ADB) (53 thanas), and The Female Secondary Education Project( FSEP) fundedby NORAD (7 thanas).
These projects introduced a similar nationwide stipendprogram targeted at girls in grades 6through 10 in 460 rural thanas ,starting in 1994(Khandaker,2003).To minimizedropout rates in the secondary level of education ,the government at this timehas realized a range of achievements in attracting student attention andencouraging attendance. Special emphasis has been laid upon the femalestudents. Stipends, including grants for books and stationary, are given toall unmarried girls of rural areas up to grade7 who have at least 75 percent attendanceand achieve marks of 45 percent or over in the annual examinations.
As reportedby the UNICEF, Bangladesh, the rate of children completing a five-year primaryeducation cycle increased from 65 percent in 1998 to 67 percent by 2001.Duringthe same period ,the dropout rate decreased from 35 per cent to 33 percent(Zaman,2014) .Bangladesh has experienced phenomenal achievementsin gender parity within its education system, although these achievements haveadmittedly not resulted in complete gender equity throughout its society. Aftergaining independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh had a literacy rate of18 %, with female literacy standing at only 11%(Ahammed,2003).The Government ofBangladesh ,with the help of both local and international non-governmentalagencies and organizations, crafted a nationwide plan to eradicate illiteracyand reduce gender parity in education .
The primary driving force was towardimproving the primary education sector, to be followed by subsequentdevelopment in the secondary, tertiary, and higher levels. In seeking reforms,the government of Bangladesh hence made most primary schools state-owned,established new education policies, and involved NGOs in its education sector. TheGovernment of Bangladesh provided for free primaryeducation and supplies (including books and uniforms) and began developingbasic infrastructure ( such as school buildings and wells) to create better learning environment as part of the nationwideinitiatives.The government of Bangladesh also endeavored toincrease the female student population by increasing their representationamongst primary populations.
The Female Stipend Program (FSP), which continuedto grow in scale after gaining funding from various inter-governmental agenciessuch as USAID, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, offered scholarships forfemale secondary students up to grade 10.This supplemented the government ofBangladesh with free education for its primary school students and slowly butsteadily helped increase female participation in education. As a result ofthese initiatives ,at the start of the new millennium, girls comprised morethan 50 per cent of total secondary enrolment in Bangladesh (Raynor, Wesson andKeynes,2006).In the primary education sector, a similar balance could be seenaround 2005 (BANBEIS,2010). Female Participation in Education in Pakistan Dropouts Student’sdropout is very common in the developing countries. Students Drop out meansdiscontinuing schooling for financial and practical reasons and disappointmentwith their social system and examination results.
As a result, many childrenare registered in schools but fail to attend, participate but fail to learn,are enrolled for several years but fail to progress and drop out fromschool. Generally, dropping out statesthe situation when student departure school before the completion of theirgraduation degree and does not join any university. (Latif, et al.
2015).According to Cambridge dictionary dropout happens when a person who leavesschool, college, or university before completing a qualification. Studentdropout means leaving school without completing their basic early education andsecondary education. At present student dropout is a very talked issue both indeveloped and developing countries.
In developing countries dropout rate areremarkably high, even for the basic school going children . (Martins, et al.2006). Suggestionsand Recommendation 1. To control the unexpected situation of students’dropouts from educational institutes Government of the responsible countries shouldtake some remedial measure, such as 2. Teachersattendance is essential to keep students at schools so the Government should ensure the attendance ofteachers in schools to run academic activities. 3.
Availability of necessary infrastructure is another prerequisite to keepstudents at schools. Establishment of school with all basic Facilities such as;furniture, electricity, water and computer and science lab(Zarif,2012) 4. Teachersperformance depends on teacher’s knowledge and skill. So arrange of teacherstraining programs to trained the teacher to compete with international level ofeducation is very essential. 5.
Parents , students ,and social awareness isneeded to protect the dropout so Community awareness seminar should be launchto develop the interest of parent and students towards study and avoid schooldropout. 6. Everyeducational institute should be free from all kinds of external power soexternal powers should be abolish from Schools which have adverse effect oneducational system. 7.Communication problems is very high in rural areas of these developingcountries so the Government should establish schools near villages to ensureaccessibility of education for rural population. 8. There should be free education minimum atsecondary level.
The Government should try to support students with freecoaching materials such as uniforms, free books,etc.,(Bajoria,Braunschweiger,2014)(Behrman,James,1999). 9.
If studentsare financially solvent, they can study properly. So the Government shouldoffer scholarships for intelligent and needy students. 10. Sometimesparents need loan to send their childrenat school.
Study loan should be offered to provide financial support to theparents.11. Tocompete with the developed world updated curriculum is essential. So the curriculum should be reviewed and adoptedaccording to the market demand and international standard.
12. Earlymarriage of the female is the common scenario of the developing countries so trendsof early marriages should be abolish. 13.
Sometimes students are afraid of teachers andtests so Schools should provide favorable environment for students and makesschools the place of interest for the student. Environment of School would beinteresting and students feel it as a place of learning as well as relaxationand liberation(Agbenyega , Klibthong ; 2013)