Relationships between religious beliefs, institutions, educational strategies, and delivery pose practical challenges for policymakers in Bangladesh. A related challenge involves national objectives to instill shared civic values through education and to address mounting intergroup tensions. This white paper describes and analyzes faith-inspired education providers in Bangladesh, the most prominent of which are Islamic madrasas and Catholic schools. It sets faith-inspired education in a historical context and highlights contemporary issues for policy makers that arise from their approach and that feature in public discourse about the links between religion and education. The aim is to build constructively on the legacies of religious contributions to education, address both articulated and unarticulated tensions, and to identify ways in which contemporary innovations among religiously inspired education providers contribute to broader national education goals.
This white paper was subsequently published in article form as "Faith and Education in Bangladesh: A Review of the Contemporary Landscape and Challenges," International Journal of Educational Development 79 (2020).