Commenced in January 2007
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Equity and Diversity in Bangladesh’s Primary Education: Struggling Indigenous Children

Authors: Md Rabiul Islam, Ben Wadham


This paper describes how indigenous students face challenges with various school activities due to inadequate equity and diversity principles in mainstream primary schools in Bangladesh. This study focuses on indigenous students’ interactions with mainstream class teachers and students through teaching-learning activities at public primary schools. Ethnographic research methods guided data collection under a case study methodology in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) region where maximum indigenous peoples’ inhabitants. The participants (class teachers) shared information through in-depth interviews about their experiences in the four selecting schools. The authors also observed the effects of school activities by use of equity and diversity lens for indigenous students’ situations in those schools. The authors argue that the socio-economic situations of indigenous families are not supportive of the educational development of their children. Similarly, the Bangladesh government does not have enough initiative programs based on equity and diversity principles for fundamental education of indigenous children at rural schools level. Besides this, the conventional teaching system cannot improve the diversification among the students in classrooms. The principles of equity and diversity are not well embedded in professional development of teachers, and using teaching materials in classrooms. The findings suggest that implementing equitable education; there are needed to arrange teachers’ education with equitable knowledge and introducing diversified teaching materials, and implementing teaching through students centered activities that promote the diversification among the multicultural students.

Keywords: Case study research, equity and diversity, Indigenous children

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