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Bangladeshi students display their handwriting on their blackboards at an Islamic education school, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sept. 9, 2014 (AP photo by A.M. Ahad).

Bangladesh Tries to Bridge the Divide Between Secular and Islamic Schooling

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about education policy in various countries around the world.

Since independence in 1971, Bangladesh has made several attempts to reform its education system. Despite some false starts, it has made important strides. Yet obstacles to reform have proved challenging, especially the bifurcated Islamic madrasa system that leaves millions of students unprepared for life outside of religious institutions. In an email interview, Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, an education activist and feature writer at The Daily Star in Dhaka, examines the short history of education reform in Bangladesh, its myriad successes and failures, and how the government has tried to bridge the divide between secular and Islamic education. ...

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