The Bangladeshi education system is unusually complex in that primary, middle, senior and tertiary education are oriented towards general, madresh (religious) or technical / vocational preferences Even private schools and universities are heavily subsidized – in fact the constitution decrees that children between ages 6 and 10 shall pay nothing. To complicate things further, local education is controlled by a hierarchy of school boards. The first phase, fully free primary school lasts for 5 years, typically between ages 6 and 10.
Pupils aged approximately 11 years of age enter junior secondary school. This is a critical phase in their young lives, for here they must confirm an educational choice that may dictate their futures irrevocably.
Those who choose to complete the last 2 of their 10 school grades at general secondary schools may specialize in humanities, science or commerce to mention but a few. At the end of this they may write a secondary school certificate examination supervised by no less than 7 school boards. Alternatively, they may elect to follow the madrash religious education route that culminates in a different series of similar level tests.
Other students switch across to vocational training institutes or technical training centers administered by the ministry of education and the ministry of labor and employment respectively. Choices here are between longer-term professional certification and shorter term job-specific orientation.
Students who stay either course have choices once again. These include writing their higher secondary education certificate after 2 more years at a technical / poly technical institute where they hone their practical skills further. Alternatively, they may enter one of many private or state-funded universities for 5 years of undergraduate study.
Dhaka University was founded in 1921 as a statement of national identity. Many believe that without this oxford of the east
the nation could hardly be independent and self-governing today.