Rajshahi Division is one of the administrative divisions of Bangladesh. The division is at the mid-western corner of Bangladesh. In the West, Rajshahi division shares a border with India. There are many renowned schools, colleges and universities in Rajshahi. The population density of Rajshahi is the 2nd highest position amongst the eight divisions and more than 82% percent people live in rural areas. The literacy rate of the division is 41% (male 45.45%, female 36.31%). The early marriage rate is also very high here. Although the enrollment rate of primary education is in a secured position, the dropout rate is significantly very high which is more than the national average according to the BANBEIS report 2016. However, this division is characterized by its cheap labour force and heavily dependent on agriculture. The monthly household income is also very low. The industrial growth of the division is also very low. Most of the industries are based on jute, textile and sugar, pharmaceutical and mango.
A significant number of ethnic minorities (Sawtal, Oraw) live in Rajshahi who are mostly dependent on agriculture and other low paid works. Different NGOs are working with them to improve their socio-economic condition. UCEP Bangladesh has also been working with the groups forming partnerships with the local NGOs to include them in education and skills development programs.
Md. Shahinul Islam