Does the Community Contribute to Reducing Student Dropout? Current Practices, Challenges, and A Way Forward in RuRal Bangladesh

Md. Moksedur Rahman


The constitution of Bangladesh aims to ensure quality education for all children. Attending school regularly and completing the cycle is a pre-condition of quality education. This qualitative research was conducted to obtain insights into current practice on community involvement for regular student attendance and reducing dropout in rural Government Primary Schools (GPS) in Bangladesh as well as challenges and possible initiatives. Data were analyzed thematically after conducting five semi-structured interviews with Upazila Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, head teachers, and School Managing Committee chairmen; two focus group discussions with assistant teachers and community members of two rural GPS; and school observation. We find that various local and school committees and associations were not performing their assigned and defined roles. Physical home visits were effective but not performed on a regular basis. Mother gatherings were to some extent helpful with the possibility of broadening their scope, but uthan boithok (local gatherings in common spaces) were totally absent. Poverty and lack of awareness about formal education, the tendency of educated families to live in cities and town, negative perceptions of communities about government organizations, the unexpected attitudes of teachers towards rural guardians, and a lack of about the importance of community involvement were the main challenges hindering community contribution to regular student attendance and reducing dropout. To mitigate these challenges, we recommend robust educational leadership, where head teachers as leaders take the required initiatives by raising awareness through collaborations with the local community. This research contributes to ensuring quality education by discussing possible initiatives involving the community to promote regular student attendance and reducing dropout in rural GPS.

Keywords: Community, Rural Government Primary Schools, Attendance, Drop-out

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/12-1-03

Publication date: January 31st 2021

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