Triggers to ensuring quality primary education

Sunday, 12 November 2023

Bangladesh can claim remarkable success in terms of a number of important socio-economic indicators, giving its post-independence journey an important distinction. Several factors have shaped and contributed to this, with both state and non-state actors playing important roles. As is known, Bangladesh is committed to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, where access to quality education is an important marker. Bangladesh was ranked 101st according to the Sustainable Development Report 2023, with an overall score of 65.9 out of 100. The country achieved or was on track to achieve 30.9 per cent of the SDG targets. In the case of 41.2 per cent targets, however, it has registered limited progress; and in the case of 27.9 per cent targets the situation has indeed worsened. As may be noted in this backdrop, quality education (SDG 4) is one of the two goals (the other being responsible consumption and production - SDG 12) with respect to which Bangladesh's progress was assessed as 'on track'.
While Bangladesh's middle-income graduation in 2015, and its upcoming graduation from the group of least developed countries in 2026, signify notable socio-economic progress, the dual graduation also poses formidable challenges for the country going forward. Nowhere are these challenges so prominently manifested as in the area of delivering quality education. Indeed, a major overhaul of the education system will be required if the country is to be geared towards sustainable dual graduation by addressing the formidable attendant challenges and if it is to reap the potential opportunities. Also, Bangladesh has set an ambitious goal to achieve upper middle-income country status by 2031 and the vision to become a developed country by 2041. These transitions will call for an education system that is fit for purpose and is able to meet the demands of the country's developmental aspirations.
Higher productivity and strengthened competitiveness will need to be the key drivers of Bangladesh's future journey. Against this backdrop, the role of quality education cannot be overemphasised, particularly since it lays the foundation of a competitive and modern economy. The need to give priority attention to quality issues in education has gained heightened importance and traction also in view of the adverse impacts of the Covid pandemic of the recent past on the education sector of Bangladesh in general, and primary education in particular.
The education sector of Bangladesh is of formidable size, comprising some 150 thousand institutions, 40 million students and more than one million teachers. Approximately 19 million students are at the primary education level and 12 million are at the secondary level (including students of government-recognised madrasas). Development of the country's basic education is guided by the Compulsory Primary Education Act 1990, EFA National Plan of Action (NPA) I and II, National Non-Formal Education Policy 2006, National Education Policy 2010, National Skills Development Policy 2011, The Eighth Five-Year Plan and Vision 2041. To strengthen basic education, several programmes have been implemented over the years; Primary Education Development Programme - PEDP1, PEDP2 and PEDP3. PEDP4 is being implemented at present. Indeed, a major objective of Bangladesh's education sector programmes is to achieve Goal 4 targets of the SDGs by 2030.
Over the past decade, impressive success has been achieved in Bangladesh's education in terms of enrolment and attainment of gender parity. Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) was 110.5 per cent and Net Enrolment Rate (NER) was 97.6 per cent. However, the dropout rate is high, at about 14.0 per cent at the primary education level (Bangladesh Education Statistics 2022). Recognising the importance of early childhood education, pre-primary education was made compulsory in 2015, for one year prior to entry into primary school. A two-year pre-primary education was introduced in over three thousand primary schools from January 2023.
There can be no disagreement that while access to education is a right of citizens, and an obligation on the part of the state, the quality of the imparted education continues to remain an enduring concern in Bangladesh. What takes place in classrooms and other learning environments is critically important for the well-being of the children, their prospects as adults and their future employability. In this sense, primary-level education plays a key role in laying the foundation for the future life of the child. A host of factors are important in this context including access to, and delivery of, quality education, appropriate infrastructure, presence of qualified teachers, availability of up-to-date teaching materials, proper nutrition and health of children and a conducive learning environment for children's overall development.
The present paper, prepared as a policy brief, focuses particularly on the issue of the delivery of quality education in Bangladesh at the primary stage since, as was noted, education at this particular level builds the foundation for education at subsequent levels. If children are deprived of quality education at this level, they cannot be expected to overcome the challenges they face at the subsequent levels. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that primary education makes or mars the promise, potential and prospects of the child as an adult. This is more so for the children from the left behind and disadvantaged groups because only education can give them the opportunity for a better and more fulfilling life and social upward mobility.
Realising the aspiration of quality education for all is a challenge that will need to be addressed through targeted actions and interventions. The "leave no one behind" spirit of the SDGs implies that no children ought to be left behind and left outside as far as the delivery of quality primary education is concerned.
Regrettably, growing income and asset inequalities have emerged as major barriers to achieving a universally acknowledged standard of primary education in present-day Bangladesh. Evidence suggests that children belonging to marginalised groups, and living in remote and geographically disadvantaged areas, are falling behind in educational attainments compared to their peers. The background documents prepared for Bangladesh's 8th Five Year Plan recognise the challenges facing the disadvantaged groups: ethnic minority groups, tea garden workers, cleaners/sweepers (belonging to the Dalit community), landless peasants, transgender community, commercial sex workers, environmental refugees, traditional fisherfolk, artisans, chronically ill poor people, rural poor, women, homeless and unemployed people and their families, persons with physical and mental disabilities and poor female-headed households in char, haor, coastal areas, hill tracts, tea garden areas and urban slums. There is no denying the fact that children from these groups are likely to face more difficulties compared to those belonging to more affluent and advantaged groups, as far as quality primary education is concerned.
Experience shows that inequality, vulnerability, and educational exclusion are often closely linked. While the government has been trying to widen access to and improve the quality of education, there are many structural factors which undermine the efforts and perpetuate intergenerational disparities in educational opportunities. Hence the need to address the particular difficulties faced by the children from LNOB (Leave No One Behind) groups in accessing quality primary education. These will need to be addressed and redressed with appropriate interventions.
Inclusive infrastructure, greater access to education and equal opportunity to quality education are not merely reflections of a progressive and equitable society, these are also drivers of such a society. Quality primary education triggers social inclusiveness and economic development, reduces inequalities, and ensures that every child is able to reach their full potential.
In the context of education, the "left behind" groups refer to individuals and communities who encounter significant and additional challenges in accessing quality education. These challenges originate from limited access to educational resources, non-education-friendly infrastructure, the presence of discrimination, and various socio-economic obstacles which hinder the ability of education-seekers to engage with the education system fully and on an equal footing. All these undermine the capacity of children to take advantage of even the opportunities that are available.
Rural and Remote Communities: Children in rural and remote areas often have limited access to quality education due to inadequate education infrastructure, distance from schools, lack of transportation, and societal attitudes and norms.
Ethnic and Religious Minorities: Minority children face discrimination, cultural barriers, as well as linguistic barriers. When their mother tongue is not Bangla and the medium of teaching and textbooks are not in their own language, children are disadvantaged from very early on.
Street Children and Child Workers: Children belonging to poor families in urban and peri-urban slums, and children living on streets and working in unhealthy and hazardous jobs are often deprived of formal and informal education because of a lack of conducive environment, financial constraints, livelihood pressure, and absence of family support.
Children with Disabilities: Children with disabilities face additional barriers in accessing education due to physical, cognitive, social, and societal challenges and a lack of needed special facilities. Mentally challenged children do not have access to specialised schools and trained educators.
Young and Adolescent Girls: Gender disparities still persist, particularly in rural areas of Bangladesh, where young and adolescent girls are sometimes given early marriage, have to take on household responsibilities, and have limited opportunities for education.
Climate-Affected Children: Bangladesh is prone to frequent natural disasters such as floods and cyclones. Children living in these areas often find their education disrupted by natural disasters.
Children from Low-Income Families: Children from economically disadvantaged families do not have the financial means to attend school and continue their education, leading to high dropout rates and forced employment in the labour market.
Children in Institutional Care: Children living in orphanages and similar institutions often do not get the care and proper emotional support they need. As a result, they are deprived of proper education.
Covid's Negative Footprints: The challenges facing the children of Bangladesh were further accentuated by the Covid pandemic of the recent past. Many children from the LNOB groups have fallen behind due to the disruption in education during the pandemic period. When schools remained closed, they missed out on learning, particularly since Bangladesh had one of the longest school closures anywhere, for 18 months. Children from the left behind groups suffered disproportionately more because a large number of them did not have the opportunity to learn virtually. Many dropped out of the education system and joined the labour market. Girls were given in marriage. Gender violence increased at an alarming pace. When schools reopened after Covid and teaching activities resumed, children struggled to catch up on their studies in the newly promoted classes. This led to an additional number of children dropping out of school. Indeed, it will be no exaggeration to say that COVID-19's negative footprints have left a lasting mark on the educational attainment of an entire generation of disadvantaged children.
According to a study by the NCTB, class-V students were the worst affected due to COVID-19. The average English learning rate for class-V students came down to 36 per cent after the closure, compared to about 49 per cent prior to it. There was a significant change in the average learning rate of students in the same class between 2019 (68.0 per cent) and 2022 (51.6 per cent) for such subjects as Bangladesh and Global Studies. The learning gap for class III students was similar to that in class V.
Education in Mother Tongue: Bangladesh has a diverse linguistic landscape. The National Education Policy 2010 stipulates the right of all children to receive education in their mother tongue. Since 2017, the government has been distributing books (primary level) in non-Bangla languages to the children of minority ethnic groups (Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Garo and Sadri). However, implementation of the Multilingual Education (MLE) Programme, introduced in 2017, has slowed down over the recent past period due to a shortage of trained teachers.
Nutritional Deprivation and Education Outcomes: Many children from disadvantaged and LNOB (Leave No One Behind) groups go to school on an empty stomach. This adversely affects how they grow, learn, and play. It is hard for starving children to concentrate their attention during class time; their learning outcomes suffer as a result. Mid-day meals in schools are indeed a blessing for children from marginalised households. It should be appreciated for reviving the school feeding programme beginning in 2023. The government has recently taken a plan to reintroduce the school feeding programme for students of all state-run primary schools in poverty-prone 150 upazilas with an aim to increase school attendance and reduce dropouts. The programme needs to be expanded to cover all children.
Financial Assistance for Education: The government has been implementing the Primary Education Stipend Programme for all students. The programme provides taka 150 per month per student to mothers (using mobile financial service), conditional on their child's 85 per cent school attendance. This amount has been increased from the previous 100 taka per month after 18 years. However, the stipend amount is quite small considering the rise in education-related expenses. Recent high inflation has caught up with the price of education-related items. Increasing education expenses are putting a lot of pressure on low and fixed-income earning families having children in school. Education Watch Study 2022 showed a high dependency of children on guidebooks. It was found that 79 per cent of primary-level students followed commercial guidebooks for their lessons and exams. During the first nine months of 2022, primary-level students had spent, on average, about Tk. 669 on guidebooks. This, no doubt, has put an additional burden on poor and marginalised families which are already facing inflation-induced pressure and erosion of purchasing power.
Bangladesh needs a twenty-first-century educational system to prepare and equip the country's children with the right set of skills compatible with the demand in the market. Conventional education will no longer be very useful and relevant in view of the newly emerging requirements of the job market and in the context of the COVID-19-driven new normal. Blended education is the need of the hour to help children attain quality education and required skills from the perspective of human resource development. Thirteen ministries under the leadership of the Ministry of Education are at present working on the Blended Education and Skills Master Plan. As part of this, the government is providing digital content and e-learning resource materials to educational institutions. These include developing and using educational videos, interactive multimedia content, and online courses. This is no doubt a welcome initiative. However, a lot more needs to be done in this context and without delay.
The recently developed new curricula aim to make the lesson cycle more effective and enjoyable for children, by promoting experience-based learning. The idea is to enable students to acquire competencies in communication, listening, and analytical and problem-solving skills. Education from primary to higher secondary level is expected to undergo a significant change thanks to the new initiative. According to the plan, the new curricula for classes I, II, and VI, VII were introduced in 2023, and will eventually cover the rest of the secondary education level classes by 2026. It is true that the new curricula put more emphasis on classroom-based assessment compared to summative ones, which is good. However, the implementation of competency-based curricula requires skilled and well-trained teachers who are capable of conducting learner-centric teaching and undertaking realistic and logical assessments. While government sources stress that teachers have received adequate training to teach as per the new curricula, concerns remain about the quality of training of teachers. Indeed, the success of the new method will largely hinge on the availability of well-prepared and well-trained teaching staff.
In order to ensure quality education for all, by leaving no children behind, efforts need to be taken by taking into cognisance the level of learning across the entire range of students, quality of teaching-learning methods, educational content and resources and proper assessment of both teachers and students. Teacher's professional competencies and moral and ethical standards will play a defining role in all these. Use of digital literacy, quality and inclusivity of infrastructure, and most importantly, adequate resource allocation will be important against this backdrop.
An issue that deserves priority attention is the extension of compulsory primary education from class V to class VIII. This was planned to be introduced by 2018, as was mentioned in the National Education Policy 2010. However, the policy is yet to be implemented.
It is rather disappointing to note the decreasing trend of budgetary allocation for education in Bangladesh. This is way lower than what is required. The education budget for FY 2023-24 was 11.6 per cent compared to 14.4 per cent in FY 2016-17. As a percentage of the GDP (1.6 per cent) the FY 2023-24 allocation was the lowest in recent times, coming down from 2.5 per cent in FY 2016-17. The share is also one of the lowest among the LDCs and much lower than the UNESCO-recommended share (4 per cent - 6 per cent of the GDP). Higher allocation for education is the need of the hour. At the same time, accountability, efficiency, and optimum utilisation of allocated resources will need to be ensured.
KEY CHALLENGES: Based on the Education Watch Study and other secondary data from both government and non-state sources, the key challenges facing Bangladesh's education system are the following:
Quality of Education: The quality of education in many schools and colleges in Bangladesh has emerged as a major concern. Outdated teaching methods, lack of qualified teachers, and inadequate infrastructure result in subpar learning experiences and unsatisfactory learning outcomes.
Access to Education: While there have been improvements in recent years, access to education, particularly in rural and remote areas, remained a major challenge. Many children, more specifically girls, are still not able to attend school due to factors such as poverty, distance, and social and cultural norms. Children with special needs, both physical and mental-psychological, are deprived of the special care they require in the school environment.
Overcrowded Classrooms: Overcrowded classrooms are common, particularly in urban areas. This undermines effective teaching and learning as it does not allow individual attention to students which is required for good learning outcomes.
Lack of Proper Curriculum Implementation: There are concerns regarding teaching quality as per the demands of the curricula. Also, sometimes, the contents of the curricula don't match the actual needs of the students, the requirements of the next level of education, and the needs of students in rural settings.
Poor Teacher Quality and Training: The quality of teachers tends to vary widely. Many educators are not appropriately qualified and lack proper training. This has an adverse impact on the overall quality of education that students receive.
Exam-centric Assessment: An examination-centric education system places enormous pressure on students, parents, and teachers. Rote learning and memorization are often encouraged and emphasised to enable students to perform well in exams. This goes against developing students' critical thinking ability and practical application of the imparted knowledge.
Gender Disparities: While efforts are being made to improve gender parity in education, there is still significant gender disparity, particularly in rural areas. Girls sometimes experience limited access to education due to cultural and social norms. Girls in need of special care and attention are doubly handicapped.
Weak Technical and Vocational Education: The Bangladesh education system has historically focused more on academic education rather than on hands-on technical and vocational education. Embedding an interest in practical/vocational work, from an early stage, has been missing in the country's education system.
Infrastructure and Inadequate Resources: Many schools in Bangladesh lack proper infrastructure, including basic facilities such as clean water, sanitation, and electricity. The lack of educational resources, such as textbooks and teaching materials, remains a concern.
Lack of Conducive Environment: A conducive socio-political environment is necessary for the education system to function well. Sometimes, educational activities are disrupted and disturbed because of local factors and political and other reasons. These cause the students to miss out on valuable class time which undermines learning outcomes.
Rote Learning vs. Critical Thinking: The emphasis on rote learning and memorization means that emphasis is not put on developing critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity. These tend to leave lifelong negative footprints on children.
Mismatch with the Job Market: The education system is not prepared to meet the needs of the job market and tomorrow's demands as regards skill sets. This undermines employability and creates a gap between the job-seeker's competencies and the employer's expectations.
1. Continue Remedial Efforts to Reduce Learning Gaps
1.1. Conduct school-based assessment for proper identification of students with learning loss, and measure the extent of loss.
1.2. Develop a school-based remedial plan based on findings of the assessment.
1.3. Provide school-based coaching to help cope with respective grade level lessons for identified students who are not adequately prepared or are generally weak.
1.4. Provide psycho-social support for students' mental well-being.
2. Ensure Quality of Curricula, Appropriate Teaching Methods and Proper Assessment Tools:
2.1. Ensure mother tongue-based education for all children, including those belonging to ethnic minority groups.
2.2. Take steps to promote active learning approaches such as project-based learning, collaborative activities, hands-on experiments, and real-world problem-solving skills.
2.3. Incorporate appropriate technology in teaching methods towards enhanced engagement and learning experience, while ensuring that children learn to use technology properly.
2.4. Implement a variety of assessment techniques including formative assessment (quiz, class discussion, peer assessment) and summative assessment (projects, presentations) for comprehensive assessment of students' learning progress.
2.5. Implement extra-curricular activities in all schools in order to strengthen students' confidence, skills, and team building. In doing so, ensure that this is done in an inclusive manner so that no child is left behind, particularly those belonging to the marginalised groups.
3. Ensure Recruitment of Qualified Teachers and Take Steps for Their Professional Development:
3.1. Ensure recruitment of teachers on the basis of merit. Provide proper incentives to qualified graduates so that they take up the teaching profession. Provide appropriate monetary compensation to teachers. Establish a Teacher Recruitment Commission as per the Education Policy 2020 without delay.
3.2. Recruit teachers from ethnic communities for schools located in ethnic areas.
3.3. Include child development and psychology, interactive learning, social-emotional learning, assessment strategy, and blended education, along with subject-based topics while designing curricula for teachers' training programmes.
3.4. Arrange psycho-social first-aid training programmes for teachers to equip them to deal with student's mental well-being and to ensure a safe learning environment for students.
3.5. Promote 'Shikkhok Batayon' so that teachers have a common platform for sharing experiences and learning.
3.6. Strengthen teacher training programmes to ensure that all students are taught by properly trained teachers. Teachers, including retired ones with a proven track record, may be engaged as master trainers. Learnings from best-case methods need to be widely disseminated. Education officials should also be required to undergo basic teacher training.
4. Undertake actions to reduce inequalities arising from lack of access to education
4.1. Generate disaggregated data covering all marginalised communities, including ethnic minorities, towards proper monitoring of learning outcomes.
4.2. Increase the amount of stipend for all students so that their education-related expenses can be covered. This amount, at the initial stage, should be at least 500 taka per month per student.
4.3. Establish schools with residential facilities in hard-to-reach areas, including char, haor, and hilly areas.
4.4. Introduce a special incentive programme for dropout students (e.g., victims of child marriage and child labour) to bring them back to school.
4.5. Provide school-based coaching to weak students and slow learners.
4.6. Prepare and implement a plan for universal and inclusive education which takes due care of the needs of children from ethnic groups and marginalised communities and children with disabilities and special needs.
4.7. Implement capacity-building training programmes for teachers on universal, inclusive education.
4.8. Accelerate implementation of Multi-Lingual Education (MLE) programmes in areas where curricula have been developed in languages of ethnic minorities.
4.9. Expand the mid-day meals programme as per the National Meal Policy 2019. While the initiative of the government to reintroduce the mid-day meal programme is a welcome move, this needs to be expanded to cover all students in all primary schools, in a time-bound manner, taking into consideration students' nutritional needs. In reaching this target, prioritise underprivileged and poverty-prone areas, and disadvantaged groups including ethnic minorities and schools in char, haor and hill areas.
5. Integrate technology and blended approach in education
5.1. Accelerate the process of embedding Blended Education in education planning so that resources are effectively used. Traditional classroom teaching needs to be complemented by other modern tools and students should have the option and opportunity of self-paced learning.
5.2. Ensure that students from disadvantaged and marginalised communities have access to digital devices to equip them for blended education. They should be provided with access to online learning platforms, virtual classrooms and webinars, e-books and digital libraries, mobile learning etc.
5.3. Introduce innovative training programmes for capacity building of teachers and professional development in a way that equips them properly to use digital technology for teaching purposes.
6. Facilitate parental, community and civil society engagement
6.1. Arrange periodic training programmes for members of the School Management Committees to raise awareness as regards respective roles and responsibilities.
6.2. Strengthen PTAs (Parent Teacher Associations) in all schools. Ensure that at least one member from each of the marginalised/ethnic groups (where feasible) is included. More women/mothers should be represented. At least one member from a reputed local NGO should be included in the PTA.
6.3. Organise regular engagement events with the participation of parents and representatives of local community members living in the school catchment area.
6.4. Government bodies should develop collaborative space and partnerships with relevant national-level civil society organisations/platforms in order to promote the cause of education from a whole-of-society approach.
7. Ensure adequate allocation in education, and develop education law
7.1. Raise budgetary allocation for education to at least 15 per cent, and gradually to 20 per cent of the national budget by 2026 for full implementation of the National Education Policy 2010.
7.2. Allocate the necessary budget for proper training of teachers to enable them to meet the requirements of the new curricula.
7.3. Increase salaries and other monetary benefits for teachers so that bright and talented graduates are attracted to the teaching profession.
7.4. Provide education scholarships/grants/financial aid programmes for students from disadvantaged and marginalised communities to help them underwrite their expenditures and to cover such items as the costs of uniforms and other related educational expenses.
7.5. Undertake initiatives to extend primary education from class V to class VIII and establish linkages with the pre-vocational education system.
7.6. Introduce a decentralised education system and strengthen accountability and monitoring mechanisms for efficient utilisation of the education budget and delivery of expected outcomes.
7.7. Prepare and enact a comprehensive education law as per National Education Policy 2010 and ensure adequate financing for its implementation.
CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS: Ensuring quality education at the primary level in Bangladesh has emerged as a task that calls for heightened and urgent attention on the part of policymakers and all concerned stakeholders. Bangladesh's sustainable dual graduation hinges on adequately equipped human resources. Against this backdrop, quality primary education must be seen as the foundation of the country's aspiration to attain the SDGs by 2030 and transition to a high-income country by 2041. Delivery of quality education at the primary level must include all children, by leaving no children behind. The needs of children from marginalised communities and spatially disadvantaged groups must be given due priority in view of this. This will demand comprehensive and targeted interventions on the part of all stakeholders including the government, concerned educational institutions, local communities, as also development partners.
The Policy Brief underscores the urgency of addressing the multifaceted challenges facing the country's primary education sector. The Brief offers a number of recommendations towards addressing the attendant challenges in the areas of design and content of curricula, quality of teachers, effectiveness of classroom teaching, improvement of nutritional scenario, required infrastructure, inclusivity aspects, proper tools of assessment, and adoption of digital tools to improve access and quality of teaching. The Brief has argued that to what extent today's children will be able to cater to the demands of tomorrow's job market will hinge on the foundation which is created through the primary education system of today. The government must be committed to investing in the future of the children and this will need to be manifested in adequate budgetary allocation, efficacy of targeted interventions and efficient delivery of outcomes. Only today's children, well-endowed with the necessary skills and competencies, will be able to propel Bangladesh towards a sustainable and high pace of development, by helping reap the potential benefits of the narrowing window of demographic dividend.

This is a slightly abridged version of a policy brief which is prepared by a team of experts with Ms Rasheda K Choudhury, Core Group Member, Citizen's Platform and Executive Director, CAMPE as Chair and Dr Mostafizur Rahaman, Deputy Director, CAMPE serving as the Penholder Expert. Other team members are: Dr Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of BRAC University and Vice Chairperson and Advisor, CAMPE; Principal Quazi Faruque Ahmed, Chief Coordinator, National Front of Teachers & Employees; Ms Tahsinah Ahmed, Executive Director, Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC); Ms Rafeza Akter, Project Manager, Educo Bangladesh; Mr Profulla Chandra Barman, Programme Head, Education, Skills Development, and Migration, BRAC; Mr Sukleash George Costa (Late), Director-Programs, Caritas Bangladesh; Dr Md Abdul Halim, Professor & Director, Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka; Dr Safiqul Islam, Former Director, BRAC Education Program (BEP); Mr Md Moniruzzaman; Joint Director, Education & TVET Sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission; Mr Samir Ranjan Nath, Programme Head, BRAC IED - (Institute of Educational Development), Mr Abdul Quddus Prince, Co-researcher, CAMPE; Mr Reefat Bin Sattar, Director - Programme Development and Quality, Save the Children in Bangladesh.
The Policy Brief exercise is the outcome of an initiative of the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh hosted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). The issues were identified and prioritised through nationwide consultations with local-level people and organisations. The initiative was led by Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya and Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellows at the CPD.
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