Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Grand goal lacks bucks

Unhappy education minister presses for doubling budgetary allocation
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday decried shortage of budgetary allocation for education sector and said it is impossible to achieve the goals of this sector with such allocation.
During the question hour in parliament, the minister said allocation for education sector is now 14 to 15 percent of the annual budget. But it should be raised to at least 30 percent or more, he stressed.
The government should now consider it seriously since discussions in this regard have been going on for the last 25 years, he said.
“It is difficult to achieve even the present goals (of education sector) with the budgetary allocation, let alone the future targets,” Nahid said.
Referring to observations at an international conference of education ministers, he said allocation for education sector should be eight percent of GDP.
“But, we the education ministers of SAARC countries agreed that the allocation should be at least six percent of GDP for now,” Nahid said.
He mentioned that education sector in Bangladesh is allocated only 2.3 percent of GDP or 14 to 15 percent of the annual budget.
But countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia allocate 25 to 32
percent of their annual budgets for education. Even an country, Kenya, allocates 31 percent of its annual budget for education, the minister said.
Awami League lawmaker from Sylhet-5 Hafiz Ahmed Majumder raised the question about budgetary allocation for education sector.
Nahid thanked him for raising this “fundamental issue” and said such it should be discussed in parliament.
Other lawmakers asked questions to both the education minister and the primary and mass education minister. But their questions were not linked to budgetary allocation for education sector.
As on the other days, they rather demanded listing educational institutions in their respective constituencies for Monthly Payment Order (MPO).
And a number of these lawmakers criticised both the ministers for the delay in putting more educational institutions in their electoral areas on the MPO list.
In response, both the ministers said they are trying hard to meet the MPs’ demands with limited budgetary allocation.
Nahid said literacy rate in the country is around 62 percent.
The government plans to set up public universities in each district, he said.
The minister criticised some private universities for failure to meet the required criteria even 5 to 10 years after

the setting up of those.
Nahid also said the government plans to set up a separate education board for Kawmi madrasas. And these will be run under government management.
Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Amin said his ministry is preparing a policy to bring all English medium and kindergarten schools under government control. The policy will be announced soon, he added.

 

Via: The Daily Star

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