The government has increased the budgetary allocation for the education sector as the two ministries concerned will get Tk 66,400 crore in the upcoming fiscal year, which is higher by some Tk 5,282 crore than the allocation in the actual budget for 2019-20 fiscal year.
“Our most important task in education for the next fiscal year would be to bring back continuity in the curriculum and cover this loss from long study break. We are allocating sufficient resources to this sector in the next fiscal year to achieve this objective,” said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while placing the proposed national budget for 2020-21 fiscal year in Parliament on Thursday.
He said the holidays declared to all academic institutions of the country since mid-March as part of efforts to contain the spread of the COVID19 novel coronavirus has essentially caused a discontinuation of the regular academic curriculum of around 4 crore students across the country.
Although the government has introduced the distant learning program on a limited scale during the holidays, the loss to the overall education sector has been enormous, he added.
The Finance Minister said efforts will also continue in the next fiscal year to give importance to the science and technology based education keeping the fourth industrial revolution in mind.
According to the proposed budget, an amount of Tk 24,940 crore has been allocated against the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education for the next fiscal year, while Tk 33,118 crore for the Secondary and Mass Education Division and Tk 8,345 crore for the Technical and Madrasha Education Division.
About the primary education, the Finance Minister said, “Our main strategy for this sector in the next fiscal year would be to keep up with the good works in order to build a high quality primary education system based on equity and inclusiveness.”
He said the Cabinet has approved the National School Meal Policy 2019, and under this policy, the government is going to roll out mid-day meals to all primary schools across the country.
“Works are underway to establish interactive classrooms in 503 schools, and soon we will be providing internet connectivity to all primary schools, including two laptops and two multimedia projectors to each school,” he added
In the next fiscal year, the government will also continue some exceptional initiatives, such as special school feeding in poverty stricken areas, preparing profile of each pupil, setting up of ICT labs in schools and expanding cub scouting, he went on.
“I propose to allocate a total of Tk 24,940 crore for the next 2020-21 fiscal year for the primary education sector, which was Tk. 24,040 crore in the budget for current FY 2019-20,” said Mustafa Kamal.
Talking about the secondary and higher education, the minister said the government has achieved tremendous success in secondary and higher education in the last decade. Bangladesh is now a role model for the developing countries in terms of increasing the literacy rate and eradicating gender gaps in education.
“However, we are now laying more emphasis on improving the quality of secondary education and the research in higher education,” he said.
“I propose to allocate a total of Tk. 33,117 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal year for the secondary and higher education sector, which was Tk. 29,624 crore in the current fiscal year,” said the Finance Minister.
About Technical, Vocational and Madrasa Education, he said the government has begun implementing quality technical and vocational education to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We are working to identify the right technologies and right skills keeping the Fourth Industrial Revolution in mind, and accordingly conducting activities so as to properly educate the students,” he said adding that short courses for skills development are being implemented in public and private technical training schools in addition to continuing with regular curricula.
Work for establishing one Technical School and College (TSC) in each of the selected 100 upazilas is underway, and steps have been taken to establish one such institute in each of the remaining 329 upazilas, said the Finance Minister.
In addition, works are underway to establish one women’s polytechnic institute in each of the 4 divisions (Sylhet, Barishal, Mymensingha and Rangpur), polytechnic institutes in 23 districts, one engineering college each in 4 divisions (Chattagram, Khulna, Rajshahi and Rangur) and 4 land survey institutes. “These efforts will expand the facility of our technical education nationwide,” he said.
“I propose to allocate a total of Tk. 8,344 crore for the next 2020-21 fiscal year for technical and madrasa education, which was Tk. 7,450 crore in current FY 2019-20,” said the Finance Minister.
Source: United News of Bangladesh