Primary education in Bangladesh: policy transfer, external influence and national ownership
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This paper aims to explain and analyze how external influence works to transfer the policy agenda from the international practices in the country’s primary education sector and assess the national ownership in the context of this working dynamics. The development partners (DPs) have assumed a dominating role in primary education programme design and implementation. The paper argues that a long-standing vacuum and uncertainty in the relevant national policy and resistance by the vested interest groups to any attempt to bring about reforms in the education system provided space for the DPs to gradually intervene and assume a key role. Presently, the DPs are coordinating their strategy towards the primary education in leadership of a multilateral lending agency (WB/ADB) under the sector-wide approach (SWAp) modality. This leads to the DPs to assume hegemonic postures in setting the policy agenda in the education sector. The consequence is loss of national policy ownership and weak ministerial accountability to the government or the parliament.