Research

Besides evaluative researches, BIED undertakes large-scale researches that are quantitative, qualitative, experimental, experimental and quasi-experimental in nature. These research works are disseminated to relevant stakeholders nationally and internationally, to bring forward evidence-based solutions.

Our research areas include: assessment of teachers’ roles in classrooms; interface of child labour and education in cities; evaluation of pilot school models; assessing reading and learning proficiency of primary and secondary school students; community awareness on education and gender parity; inclusive education in rural areas; assessment of urban adolescents in Bangladesh; studies on virtually excluded primary level students in rural communities; effectiveness of play-based learning models; perception study on play and its challenges. The research and empirical work done by the institute is driven by rigorous investigative methodologies to bring forward evidences in the areas of education and well-being.

MACRO RESEARCH

As a research institute, large-scale educational research initiatives are an inherent component of BIED. Important studies include research on virtual exclusion with the University of Sussex, UK and 3 Education Watch studies in collaboration with the Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE).

EDUCATION WATCH

BIED engages in large-scale educational research, having conducted a study on virtual exclusion with the University of Sussex and 3 Education Watch studies. Working in collaboration with the Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), BIED designed and carried out an Education Watch study through a nationwide household survey of young people that explores their status and prospects of skills development in Bangladesh. Through a nationwide household survey of 23,610 young people (aged 10-24 years), the study aims to explore their access to, and participation in, general and occupational skills development activities, employment and formal and informal apprenticeships, as well as their expectations and needs with regards to skills development.

CHILD LABOUR AND EDUCATION IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN DHAKA CITY

A survey is being conducted by BIED, in collaboration with Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, and Understanding Children Work (UCW), to understand the interface between child labour and education in informal settlements in Dhaka city. To date, 4,500 households have been surveyed and 2,700 children aged 6-14 have been interviewed.

BASELINE SURVEY OF THE IIEGRA PROJECT

BRAC Education Program (BEP), Concern Universal (CU) and BIED are going to jointly implement a project titled, Innovation for Improving Early Grade Reading Activity (IIEGRA) with financial assistance from USAID. The project aims to improve reading proficiency among the students of early grades I, II and III in primary schools. For the purpose, the partners in the intervention will initiate different activities towards this goal in the schools as well as in the community. The project will be implemented in 245 Government Primary Schools (GPSs) in 7 Upazilas of Khagrachori and Cox’s Bazar districts of Chittagong Division. The BIED research team has undertaken a study in an attempt to establish a baseline of information on selected indicators as part of broader evaluation. The objective of the baseline is to establish base level of reading proficiency in Bangla of the Grades I, II and III completers in project areas. The baseline survey is to be conducted in 2016.

Previous Researches

CREATE

In 2007, BIED, in partnership with the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE), conducted research that explored the status of primary school children in Bangladesh and around the world. The study proposed the following 4 categories or zones of children: children in zone 1 are not enrolled in primary education; children in Zone 2 have dropped out of primary education; children in Zone 3 are virtually excluded in classes; and, children in Zone 4 have completed primary education but have not enrolled in secondary schools. The research confirmed findings from other studies such as Education Watch Reports, which indicated that a large number of children in Bangladesh fall into Zones 2 (dropped out) and 3 (virtually excluded). The term ‘virtually excluded’ refers here to children who though physically present in classes, find themselves alienated and unable to follow the class. As a result children in this category are at a high risk of dropping out.

URBAN ADOLESCENTS NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY IN BANGLADESH

This survey has been undertaken by BIED in collaboration with Population Council. This study was part of a broader needs assessment exercise that tried to identify important areas of intervention for urban adolescents in Bangladesh. The goal of the study was to describe adolescent lives in the domains of education, work, social life, and interpersonal relationships. The study also assessed the learning/educational, psychological, social, emotional, skill development, vulnerabilities, and reproductive and sexual health needs, experiences, views, attitudes, and desires of adolescent girls and boys in Bangladesh. The report has been finalized and is available online at:

http://www.popcouncil.org/uploads/pdfs/2015PGY_BRAC-AdolSurveyReport.pdf

ISSUES WITH FAMILIES AND CHILDREN IN A DISASTER CONTEXT

This study, undertaken by BIED, analyzed the specific aspects of vulnerability of children (birth to eight years) and their families in natural disasters and their resilience and preparedness in natural disaster contexts of rural Bangladesh. It has been published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction on September, 2015.

EVALUATION OF SSCOPE PROGRAM

This report will highlight the findings of the base-line, mid-line, and end-line surveys of one of BIED’s experimental projects, SSCOPE. The overall objective of these surveys was to construct a baseline of the information of adolescents on key indicators focusing on the issues addressed in the intervention as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The data collection for this report has been completed and the report itself is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

ACTION RESEARCH IN RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS

BIED previously conducted several interlinked action research studies in rural primary schools. These were mostly focused on initiatives undertaken at 100 Registered Non-Government Primary Schools (RNGPSs) and their respective catchment areas. The main initiative taken at these RNGPSs was the introduction of the Maa Neta (Woman Leaders) who were local mothers who organised bi-monthly Maa Shomabesh (Mother Forums) where community awareness and participation was encouraged. Results indicated a substantial increase in student enrolment, attendance, school readiness and punctuality. The Maa Neta also worked with teachers, who were given training on classroom management and organisation as well as inclusive education. The teacher training, together with after-school Shikkha Unnyon Kendra (Learning Development Centres) that were opened to provide students with additional support also had an effect in terms of increasing student achievement and decreasing virtual exclusion of students.

WOMEN LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION

The goal of the Women Leadership in Education (WLE) programme was aimed at increasing community awareness and participation in education in order to have a positive impact on child enrolment and attendance, promote gender parity and reduce child dropouts in schools. To work towards this goal, women from over 750 rural villages and communities in Bangladesh were elected and provided with training and support. These Maa Neta (Woman Leaders) held bi-monthly Maa Shomabesh (Mother Forums) with other women in their communities to discuss with them the importance of sending children to school, the ways in which parents can support their children to study and other matters related to child development.

The Maa Neta worked with Registered Non-Government Primary Schools (RNGPSs), Government Primary Schools (GPSs) and Secondary Schools. Through maintaining communication with teachers and community members, they serve as a link between the two groups allowing for a fruitful relationship to develop between them. To strengthen ties between communities and schools further BIED also arranged for 100 Community Leader Workshops.

Key Outcomes:

  • Over 750 women from 132 school catchment areas received training and support on issues relating to child education and development
  • Community Leader gatherings were held in 100 schools where communities were brought together to discuss how best to support the children of the community
  • Teachers found it easier to communicate and work with communities
    Rural mothers took a greater interest in ensuring that their children attended school regularly
  • Maa Neta (Women Leaders) found themselves respected and listened to in schools and communities

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

The Inclusive Education programme worked to bring all children, regardless of their backgrounds, into the purview of primary and secondary education. Focus was given especially to children from poor socio-economic families, children with special needs, children from remote areas, and children belonging to ethnic or religious minorities. Working in collaboration with 39 schools, a teacher training workshops on how to promote education for all in schools was developed and delivered to teachers from these schools, with the collaboration of the National Academy for Educational Management (NAEM).

Other initiatives taken to promote inclusive education such as: building ramps for wheelchair access at schools; donating wheelchairs and crutches; and, taking children with hearing and visual impairments for check-ups and treatment. Moreover, through linkages with the WLE programme, Maa Neta (Woman Leaders) were elected in 32 primary school catchment areas, and were given an orientation on inclusive education so that they could raise awareness among local mothers.

Key Outcomes:

  • Over 200 Registered Non-Government Primary Schools (RNGPSs), Government Primary Schools (GPSs) and Secondary School teachers received training on inclusive education emphasizing a change in attitudes, beliefs and concerns
  • The training and other activities led to a greater awareness of the special needs that children may have
  • BIED successfully worked in partnership with schools, communities and the Government of Bangladesh to provide the training

TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

The Teacher Development programme was designed to address the needs of primary school teachers. BIED carried out a series of needs assessment workshops in order to identify the key areas in which teachers needed support within the classroom. Based on the findings of these workshops a training workshop was developed for teachers on the following 5 content: a) positive learning environment; b) classroom discipline; c) group formation & activities; d) fast & slow learner development; and e) school readiness.

In addition to the training, BIED was also engaged in conducting sharing workshops with Upazilla Education Officers (UEOs), Assistant Upazilla Education Officers (AUEOs) and Upazilla Resource Centre (URC) Instructors. During these workshops the activities of BIED and possible future activities were discussed.

Key Outcomes:

  • A total of 311 teachers and head teachers from 100 Registered Non-Government Primary Schools (RNGPSs) in Bangladesh received training on classroom management, organization and school readiness
  • Manuals were created and supplied to the teachers who received the training to provide them with further reference
  • Needs assessments have led to a better understanding of what the specific needs of primary school teachers in Bangladesh are
  • Sharing workshops have led to support of key stakeholders in education

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

Shikkha Unnyon Kendra (Student Development Centers) was another action research initiative of IED. The Centers held after-school classes for primary school children who were virtually excluded in schools. Having identified students who needed extra support with the help of teachers and socioeconomic mapping, they were given additional support in key subjects Mathematics and Bengali. Innovative pedagogical methods were used to help these students understand what was being covered in school, so as to reduce the risk of their dropping out. The success of the Centers led to the development of trust and a working relationship between BIED and primary schools and communities.

Key Outcomes:

  • Curriculum based support led to increased achievement among the students attending the Centers
  • Misconceptions in some rural areas about children from poorer backgrounds being naturally unable to achieve academically were reduced
  • Some communities begun to replicate the Student Development Centre model through their own initiatives