Access to Education as ‘Rights’ and ‘Ability’: A Case Study of Access to Basic Education in Bangladesh
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Education is a catalyst for human development. Considering this fact access to basic education is made free and compulsory for all citizens in Bangladesh. Government has been taking numerous policy measures and programmatic interventions to enhance the access to education and thus to achieve the target of 100 per cent access to education by 2015. However this study using secondary research method reveals that despiteachievements in some areas there are still notable gaps between achievements and targets. This study uses an analytical lens constructed with rights and ability notions of access. It analyses the present scenario of access to education to explore to what extent the education system is providing rights of access to education. At the same time it examines the efficiency of the education system and policies to see the extentto which these system and policies are able to empower the students with ability to enter, sustain and succeed in basic education. The study has found commendable achievement in enrolment and gender disparity. However, from the ability perspective the education system is still not enough inclusive with ethnic and socio-economic disparity. Special measures need to be taken in the area of access to education of children with special needs, access to education of indigenous peoples and more investments in infrastructure. Keywords: Access to education, rights and ability, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, primary education.
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