During the 1990s, education in Bangladesh – particularly primary education –made progress in certain areas. Yet despite the successes, there remained still major deficiencies that needed to be addressed, e.g. with regards to access to education, dropouts and the quality of education. With regards to addressing the deficiencies of the education sector, a need for professional capacity building and institutional capacity development that would serve the education sector was identified.
Since BRAC had long been engaged in developing the education sector, this resulted in discussions between BRAC and BRAC University regarding the establishment of a resource centre that would serve to improve the quality of the education system in our country. In November 2003 a planning seminar was held, which was attended by representatives from the Government of Bangladesh, development partners and education experts from Bangladesh and abroad. There it was agreed that the resource centre would be established under the care of BRAC University and that the centre would deliver materials, skills and knowledge to improve pedagogy, the quality of curricula and learning materials, assessment of learning and management at schools. It was decided that the centre would provide research based innovation, dialogue and advocacy on key policy issues and help in capacity building, knowledge creation and the sharing of good practices in education. Above all, the centre would support the activities of the public sector.
Thus, from July 2004 when the BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) began its journey in Dhaka, until now, all of the major BIED activities have been aimed at contributing to national educational development. The activities have been identified and designed keeping in view national needs and areas of deficiency.
In order to contribute to the improvement of quality, equity and efficiency in the education system BIED focuses on: supporting the public sector through capacity development and textbook support; developing school models for quality education and large-scale educational research; as well as advocating in the areas of Early Childhood Development (ECD), psychosocial wellbeing, and mental health through training and research.