In Bangladesh, gross and net enrolment rates are used to measure the overage and underage enrolment in the education system. However, due to the limits of these methods in understanding the issue of age in grade, the present paper explores the issue using the CREATE Community and School Study (COMSS) data from Bangladesh. COMSS was a longitudinal survey on 6,696 households with 9,045 children of 4-15 years old in 2007 and 2009. The paper shows that 69.4 percent of 6-15 year old children, enrolled in primary and secondary schools in 2007 are age in grade incongruent and in early grades of primary this proportion is even higher. Age in grade incongruent children come from relatively low income families and with relatively poor health. Age in grade incongruent children attend school irregularly and perform worse than the congruent children of the same grade. Less than 50 percent of primary grade 1, 2 and 3 children progress to the next grade on time, making classrooms full of ‘silently excluded’ children. These low progressing children are also coming from relatively low income families. These slow progressing children are found to have relatively poor health and inadequate learning materials compared to regularly progressing children of their grade group. The slow progressing children attend school irregularly compared to the regularly progressing group and get less primary school stipend money. Both these age in grade incongruent and low progressing children are increasing the number of ‘silently excluded’ children in the classroom.
Altaf Hossain. Age in Grade Congruence and Progression in Basic Education in Bangladesh. In: CREATE Pathways to Access Series, Research Monograph Number 40. (2010) 1-38. ISBN 0-901881-55-4