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Public sector primary schools

Is EYL taught as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary schools? Yes
When was it introduced? 1992
At what age do students begin EYL? 6 (Primary 1)
Have any significant changes in teaching EYL taken place since 1980? Yes. After independence in 1971 English was not compulsory in public schools.
Is there any widespread teaching of English before the official starting age for compulsory EYL? No
How many hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL? Year 1 and 2: 44 hours per year
Year 3 and 4: 82 hours per year (varies slightly from district to district)
(This is delivered for 4 hours per week in 6x40minute lessons. Officially there are 30 teaching weeks per year but 20 weeks is closer to reality.)
How many EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system? 228,000 teachers
18,030,805 students
Who does the EYL teaching? The class teacher (100%)
What qualifications are required to teach EYL in the public education system? Men: Higher School Certificate. Women: School Certificate.
There is no pre-service training. All primary school teachers are required to teach English, though in practice few are qualified to do so.
Nationwide are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers? No. The situation is being addressed by a government-sponsored Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP).
What official guidelines exist for EYL teaching? There is a fairly detailed outline of suitable content
Do EYL teaching materials have to be approved? Yes. There is only one approved book, published specially for use in Bangladeshi schools.
What materials are typically used? Locally published coursebooks
What other foreign languages are taught at primary level? None
Are any changes in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated? There has been some discussion about raising the starting age to Year 3, age 8.

Private sector primary schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
What percentage of primary age children attends them? 10% (estimated)
What differences in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools? The main differences are a mostly English medium and the use of non-Government materials, some of them imported
What materials do they use for EYL? Non-government materials. Some are imported.

Private language schools

Is there a significant number of these schools? Yes
How many Young Learners take private language school classes? 5% (estimated)
How many hours of English do they typically offer? 4 hours per week
Is there any perceived conflict between public school and private language school provision in EYL? Private students' English is generally more advanced.
What materials do they use for EYL? Imported textbooks

Private tuition for Young Learners

Is there private tuition for primary age children? Yes
How many Young Learners are involved? Not stated
What is the typical starting age for private tuition? Usually not before mainstream education
Why do parents use private tutors? English has a high market value and public primary schools are perceived to be poor at teaching it

Date information collected: 1999

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