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Education Watch Report 2022

Education Watch Report 2022


The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for the world and for Bangladesh. The negative impact on the wellbeing of people, economy and education has been deep and far reaching. The pandemic is not over yet and how it will ever and totally is not clear. In fact, a declining trend of infection is going on in Bangladesh.

Schools were remained closed due to the pandemic for more than 500 consecutive days, the longest in the world. During this long period, a substantial number of children had either minimal to no contact with the educators, did not have access to any classroom teaching-learning process, or were forced to drop out for various socio-economic reasons. Because of the loss of a whole school year, students have been promoted to the next grade without achieving their grade-level competencies. Achieving grade-level competencies and learning outcomes has been a challenge for them despite a promising rate of school enrollment.

Considering the negative impact of COVID -19 on education, the CSO Platform of researchers, practitioners and activists in the education sector, the Education Watch Group, has conducted a series of studies in the name of Education Watch 2020, Education Watch 2021, under Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) auspices. The studies examined the early status and characteristics of the pandemic impact on education and attempted to anticipate the medium and longer-term consequences. The first study was conducted in December 2020 (EW-2020), focusing on the immediate education response to COVID-19. The findings were shared with the government and other stakeholders. The findings and recommendations, supported by other studies, influenced government measures regarding school re-opening in stages. The second study (EW-2021) was conducted in December 2021 to review the effects of Covid-19 on the well-being of students, teachers, and families, classroom situations and challenges in partially re-opened schools. The sample of both studies were students, parents, teachers and school officials.

Schools have now reopened and have been following the regular routine. The good progress made in vaccinating post-primary age children makes it possible to re-start schools in relative safety, though measures for health and safety still have to be maintained. The critical question is about the quantum of the learning losses caused by the long school closure. Is there a need to assess the students' learning level and readiness, and what should be done to help them recover the losses through remedial action before ‘normal’ instruction can begin? In other words, should the focus now be on a time-bound learning recovery and remedial plan?

Based on the necessity, a third EW-2022 has been planned for probing the issues deeper by fieldwork in a sample of schools. The study will follow the previous studies and focus on updating the status and looking ahead to recovery, renewal and enhancing resilience in the system.

Purpose and Objectives
- To examine the learning losses and how the losses may be recovered without aggravating further pre-existing disparities;
- How may the “new normal” mark the beginning of initiatives to overcome the weaknesses of the existing system, rather than going back to business-as-usual;
- To evaluate the technological innovation taken by the government during the long school closure and blended learning approach.

More specifically:
1. A rapid grade-wise sample assessment will be undertaken in core competencies of Bangla, English, Maths and Science at the secondary level to gauge the extent of learning losses and the gaps that need to be covered before starting routine syllabus-based instruction.
2. What remedial and recovery plan, such as rapid assessment and remedial measures, has been considered, and steps taken to implement these will be examined.
3. What plans and activities have been considered to support and assist teachers and schools in implementing recovery and remedial plans?

Major Activities
As this project is to conduct a research, it will follow the mixed method of research comprising both qualitative and quantitative techniques.
1. General meetings of Education Watch Group
2. Technical expert group meeting
3. Tools and instrument development
4. Data collection
5. Analysis and report generation
6. Division-level workshop
7. Draft report sharing
8. Report finalization and publication
9. Launching event

The project will cover 8 districts from eight divisions and 20 Upazilas (three Upazilas from each district), three city corporations and 72 clusters considering urban, semi-urban and rural areas purposefully, considering geographical and development diversity. The approximate sample size would be 3,654 respondents. Primary, secondary and TVET students, teachers and parents, public officials, medical personnel, and civil society members will be engaged in interviews, KII and FGDs.

Besides, the project will reach policymakers, government officials concerned with the administration and management of the education system, academics concerned about the education system, NGOs/CSOs associated with education, the development partners - national and international development organizations and UN organizations.
Total budget
BDT 95,61,045

Supported by
Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh

Time Line
1 April to 31 December 2022

Focal Person (Project)

Dr. Md. Mostafizur Rahaman
Deputy Director, CAMPE
Cell: +880 1711487942