Female students outnumbered their male colleagues at the primary level by 1.4 percent. The percentage of enrolment of boys at this stage is 49.3 percent compared to 50.7 percent for girls, according to government data.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid told BSS that the total number of students currently enrolled at the primary level was about 2.31 crore. Of them, about 1.14 crore were girls while the number of boys was about 1.17 crore. The number of girls studying at this level was 3.24 lakh more than boys.
Nahid said that it was because of the great emphasize that the government gave on primary education, particularly for girls that has encouraged such huge number of students to enroll.
Making a comparison with the past, Nahid said in 1991 the percentage of boys were higher by 10 percent. Besides, the coverage was also not universal. There was the additional problem of drop-outs which was as high as 50 percent. Currently it is down to 20 percent.
The minister further said that because of the efforts of the incumbent government, the country could reach the MDGs regarding education three years before schedule.
Referring to secondary and higher education, the minister said that the numbers were almost at parity at the secondary level while it was slightly higher for boys at the higher education level. The minister hoped the disparity would be resolved soon.
He also informed that the country's current literacy rate was 62.3 percent which was 30 percent in 1972.