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Environment is absent for participation of girl students at colleges and universities

03 July 2022 Editorial Desk
Environment is absent for participation of girl students at colleges and universities

Education should be more female friendly in Bangladesh. The country has made tremendous success as far as female enrolment in schools in the last few decades is concerned. In fact, compared to earlier times, girls have outnumbered the boys in primary and secondary schools. But when the figures are about colleges and universities, the picture is different. The number of boy students is more than the girl students in the higher secondary and tertiary level of education.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis) data says 55.41 per cent of girls were studying at the junior school level, from sixth to eighth grade, in 2020, but the figure has come down to 40.78 per cent at the master's level. Girls accounted for 53.57 per cent of total enrolment at the secondary level, ninth and 10th grade, while the share was 43.80 per cent at the graduation level. The scenario was almost the same in 2018 and 2019.

There are reasons for this of course. The first among these must be the overall attitude of people in Bangladesh towards the life of women. There is a predominant perception in Bangladesh that females should be married earlier in age than the males. This is as much due to women's biological needs as it is about the people's attitude as a whole. It is worth remembering that Bangladesh is among the top ten countries of the world where underage marriage is more prevalent.

The fall of girls' enrolment at the college level and even further drop in the higher education is also due to other factors. Sexual harassment on the way to college and university, absence of adequate girls' hostels as well as lack of safe transportation for girls to colleges and universities also account for reduced number of girls in colleges and schools. Since primary schools are located near students' homes, guardians find it safe, but as distance between home and educational institutes keeps increasing with higher levels of education, they do not feel that interest to the same degree. Therefore, to encourage more participation of female students in colleges and higher education, Bangladesh still needs to create safe educational environment which is not possible under the present system of government and the people who govern. Sex related crimes are committed everyday by young party gangs, where police is no help against them. Few cases are taken but many more remain unreported for fear of violent retaliation.

We are ashamed even to mention that a vicious situation for education is prevailing. Even then the country is ours, and we cannot remain unconcerned like many teachers.

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