Employment and Expectations of Former Madrasa Students in Cox’s Bazar: A Cross-Sectional Exploration

For decades, religious education has been a significant part of the Bangladeshi education system. Among the available religious education systems, Islamic education through madrasas—primarily Alia and Qawmi—is the most dominant. It serves as a pathway for religious guidance along with its own curriculum. Over the years, the madrasa sector has only gotten larger and today it caters to over 3.81 million students of the country. However, with limited positions available for religious professions, the vast majority of the madrasa students have been left behind in the job sector that demands technical skills; the unemployment rate among madrasa students is around 75%. The study explores the current economic and labour market participation of former madrasa students in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. Some of the key findings in the report: while looking at the distribution for the last level of education attained, Alia madrasa peaks at 54% for secondary education. Within Alia madrasa, men and women have very similar distributions at each education level. Most men are employed, while most women are out of the labour market doing household chores. There is a gender difference in the perception of the usefulness of madrasa education, while it does not vary by the type of madrasa attended. Most students think the emphasis on English needs to be improved, totalling 68% of the respondents. More than 90% of respondents wish to receive training. Most think that it will be easier for them to get a job if trained. Regarding training, most stated that they would like to be trained in information technology (IT)—around 64% for men and 52% for women. Both genders expect their future income to almost double with training.

Authors: Ahmed, Md. Shakil; Rahman, Nuzaba Tahreen; Wahedur Rahman, Khandker
Type: Report
Year: 2021