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Inclusive Quality Education

No education - no justice 

98 percent sounds like a lot! In view of such an enrollment rate, everything is actually fine in terms of primary education in Bangladesh. Or is it?

Not for the more than two million children from extremely poor families for whom primary education is out of reach. They have no chance to discover and develop their abilities. Because of their poverty, their religion or because they belong to indigenous communities. Education is a privilege in Bangladesh. And a question of justice. Because even when children from precarious backgrounds enter elementary school: their families remain marginalized. And as a result, many things can lead to the girls and boys dropping out of school again. Without ever having learned anything fundamental for life.

Availability: deficient

Bangladesh has one of the largest primary education systems in the world, with over 18 million children in more than 122,000 elementary schools nationwide. Although policymakers invest heavily and regularly in the state education sector, the system does not meet the needs in the country. This is to the detriment of families who live in remote rural regions or who, due to their economic situation, are hardly in a position to demand the Right to Education for their children: Over 2.6 million school-age children have no access to education. Those most affected are families living in poverty, religious minorities and indigenous communities. But even when schooling is available, it is poor, not child-centered and hardly inclusive. 

How do children
real have

The NETZ approach to primary education focuses on the following: equality. Girls and boys alike are given access to primary education - especially where there is no opportunity at all. To this end, NETZ and local partners set up two types of schools:

1. Anandalok elementary school with playground, sanitary facilities and classrooms as well as teachers' rooms. The buildings are maintained and managed by the village community. The Anandalok schools are model schools and offer an alternative to formal schools where education is inadequate and where children from disadvantaged families are excluded. Since 2008, more than 30 Anandalok schools have been built. All schools are equipped with teaching materials, plus self-developed materials such as jute sticks for math lessons, toys made from coconut leaves and other natural materials. Each year, 30 new students are admitted and two health camps are organized per school. During these camps doctors provide basic medical care, including vaccinations.

2. Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) schools for communities where there are no formal primary schools at all - mostly in remote regions in northwestern Bangladesh. Here, 30 girls and boys per village learn Bengali, English, mathematics, social studies and natural sciences - with well-trained teachers. Six days a week, five hours each. With medical care and school meals in times of need. The students do not have to pay school fees and are provided with state textbooks, supplemented by child-friendly materials, free of charge.

3. State schools in remote rural areas, which are supported by infrastructure measures and pedagogical teacher training. Integrated pre-schools, which NETZ and partner NGOs set up, prepare children from disadvantaged families for their school life. After one year, they attend the first grade of the formal schools. Teachers there receive frequent trainings on interactive, student-centered and inclusive teaching methods as part of the projects.

Inclusion is a priority for all types of schools. This means that all children from disadvantaged communities have access to quality education and can graduate from primary school. Children with disabilities receive support and health camps are held. Teachers receive further training, and the local population at the school sites participates and forms school management committees to organize daily life at the homes. A foundation has been established to secure and further develop the long-term operation of the schools. The local representatives of the foundation are in contact with governmental decision-makers; the additional school offer is thus also recognized by the government.

A successful approach
Primary education

What was achieved in the past school year

    • 38,890 girls and boys have attended preschool and primary school classes
    • 5,481 children have successfully completed elementary school
      and attend a secondary school
    • Children were supported through inclusive, high-quality education at a total of 293 elementary schools
    • 4,356 teachers, school social workers* and school board members were trained in new teaching methods and child-centered pedagogy
    • 9,500 families received Covid-19 care packages, which school management committees helped distribute
A total of 170.000 students

have received primary education through NETZ projects

1280 schools

were newly established, supported or built for this purpose

More than 85 percent of children

achieved their elementary school diploma

Our principles


NETZ cooperates with experienced local partner NGOs. Together, projects are designed and implemented.


The local population, especially the parents of the school children, help to shape life at the schools, organize festivals and social activities.


Girls and boys, regardless of their social situation, are given the chance to complete primary school and can build their educational path based on this.

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With 65 € a child can ...

attend school. For a whole year.

With 65 € a child can ...

attend school. For a whole year.

With 65 € a child can ...

attend school. For a whole year.

Learn more
About the Right to Education issue

  • Are NETZ schools and the degrees there equivalent to state exams and what happens to the children afterwards?

    In all NETZ-supported schools, the children learn the material according to the national curriculum. At the end of their primary school years, they take the official state final exams and, after passing, have a recognized primary school diploma, just like any child at a state school. What's more, through a variety of methods, extracurricular activities and targeted support for their interests, the children will have acquired more knowledge by the end. Shortly before the end of elementary school, children at NETZ schools receive individual support in continuing their education at a secondary school. The rate of school graduation is very high, so many girls and boys have the perspective to continue their education afterwards.

  • How sustainable are NETZ-supported schools?

    Anandalok schools have been purpose-built and established on a long-term basis. In most cases, the land for building the school is donated by members of the village community. School management committees and funds ensure long-term financing. The management and maintenance of the schools is done in close cooperation with the village community. In addition, the respective school management committees are responsible for monitoring teachers and administrative tasks. Each Anandalok school is built cost-efficiently and equipped with teaching materials.

    NFPE Schools are temporarily established in villages for several years, depending on where the need is greatest. For this purpose, an existing building is used, adapted and equipped with materials.

    At formal schools, education has always been ongoing. There, NETZ supports the education through social workers and teachers - with child-oriented methods and individual learning support. The NETZ offer complements the regular education.

    There is a frequent exchange with local education authorities and institutions about the educational situation in the unions and the quality of primary education. These discussions focus on how the NETZ offering can help to improve the overall educational situation. In this way, NETZ anchors its approach and is able to publicize its educational work through political dialogue. Government agencies frequently praise the exemplary effect.

  • Why does NETZ participate in CAMPE and what is it?

    The experiences of the local population are the starting point for all activities on national and international level to improve the education sector in Bangladesh. On the national level, NETZ is a partner of the education network CAMPE (Campaign for Popular Education). Through this network, discussions are held with important government delegates, education experts and organizations from the education sector. The result is to make policy makers aware of the rights of children from hard-to-reach areas and marginalised communities and to bring the local perspective to them. NETZ and its partner NGOs also promote dialogue with civil society representatives at local and national levels. NETZ works with universities, research institutions and education experts in Bangladesh to exchange ideas, experiences and methods. NETZ also produces and disseminates brochures, fact sheets, annual reports, and newspaper articles to share results and best educational practices with people inside and outside Bangladesh.

NETZ has been contributing to quality education in Bangladesh. Their approaches of child-centered education are innovative and successful in stimulating learning success, cultural development and creativity. I applaud the young writers from NETZ supported Anandalok Schools who are composing short stories that have won a number of awards.

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, professor, educationist and youth fiction writer

Project updates

Do you have any questions about us?

Hello, I am Habibur Rahman Chowdhury, Country Director of NETZ. Don't hesitate to contact us.