Establishing a research-based monitoring mechanism to promote primary education

The Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) established "Education Watch" in Bangladesh as an independent, research-based monitoring mechanism to promote and assess progress in Education For All by:

  • Conducting periodic independent review of the state of primary and basic education through research, surveys, and studies and annually publishing a report on aspects of basic and primary education.
  • Disseminating the findings of the research to all stakeholders at various levels in order to enhance public awareness about education and promote public participation in educational policy dialogue.
  • Engaging in advocacy in support of quality Education for All in the country.

It works through a yearly selection of an issue: a new theme related to primary and basic education is selected for each year’s Education Watch research. An extensive participatory process is followed to get comments and feedback from concerned individuals and agencies on the selected issue. The Working Group is responsible for identifying the research questions, selecting the indicators, and finalizing the instruments. A Research Team is formed by taking people from the Working Group and from outside the Working Group. This team is responsible for carrying out the fieldwork and writing the report. The Technical Team provides technical support to the Research Team.


  • Education Watch has established itself as an independent, alternative, and complementary system of monitoring Education For All.

  • A large number of national experts, practitioners in education, and civil society representatives have actively participated in every step of Education Watch studies.

  • Although competency-based education was introduced at the primary level in 1992, Education Watch initiated competency-based assessment of learning achievements first.

  • Education Watch established a benchmark for the literacy status of the population through an in-depth exploration. For the first time, test-based literacy assessment with nation-wide samples were undertaken in Bangladesh.

  • Media provided good coverage of the findings which helped in dissemination of findings and raising awareness of the people.

  • Despite the government's reservations on the existing scenario presented in the Education Watch report on the status of primary education, the government has not fully rejected its validity. This is quite apparent in the government initiatives as reflected in the PEDP II, which is the macro framework for primary education development that has addressed many of the concerns raised in the Education Watch reports.

  • From the donors side, it is more often than not referred to and treated as a reliable database. As such they are always interested in the latest updates.

  • The Education Watch reports are used as a reliable database by researchers, educators, and other members of the civil society.

  • CAMPE in many cases used the Education Watch groups and other stakeholders to lobby the government for a gender sensitive approach in the policy framework. In this context, women leading at high levels has served useful in gaining access and an affirmative decision.

Education Watch Bangladesh was set up in 1998 by Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE)a group of like-minded individuals and organizations concerned about educational development in the country.

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