Webinar: COVID-19, Schooling and Learning in Bangladesh

View the webinar deck here

The education system in Bangladesh has always struggled to provide quality education to nearly 40 million children enrolled in schools. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this learning crisis as all educational institutions across the country have been closed for over two months with no immediate plans for reopening. Yet this pressing concern has received little national attention. To shed light on the issue of our future generation during the pandemic, BIGD conducted a nationwide phone survey of about 4,700 households to document the disruption to learning activities and time allocation caused by the pandemic and to inform policymakers on the effectiveness of their technology-driven initiatives.

In the webinar titled “COVID-19, Schooling and Learning in Bangladesh“, researcher Dr Niaz Asadullah, Professor of Economics, University of Malaya, presented the key findings of the study. Followed by the presentation, there was a panel discussion and a Q&A session open to the participants.

Rasheda K Chowdhury, Executive Director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE); Prof Dr Syed Md Golam Faruk, Director General, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education; Dr Shafiqul Islam, Director of BRAC’s Education Program; and Dr Mohammad Mahboob Morshed, Assistant Professor of the BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) spoke at the webinar as panellists, moderated by Dr Imran Matin, Executive Director, BIGD.

The study found that total study time of children had fallen from 10 to 2 hours a day, noting an 80 per cent decline. It also identified several non-learning time usage by rural children that included household chores; working for family’s economic need; sports, creative activities and leisure; helping younger siblings in the study, and religious activities. The study concluded that school time and self-study time are not substitutes.