Reduction of allocation for education stipends, nearly 73 per cent in current 2017-18 national budget, would affect enrolment of children in the primary, secondary and higher secondary education, participants at a seminar warned on Thursday.
They also raised concerns as the budgetary allocation for children’s security was neglected in the current budget saying that the government should spend more on improving the condition as children-based violence went on unabatedly.
Addressing the seminar titled ‘Child budget 2017018: Towards the realisation of child rights in Bangladesh’, the speakers said that the government should increase the share of child-related allocations in the coming budgets to attain the sustainable development goals by 2030.
Save the Children, an international non-government organisation working for children, hosted the seminar at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka.
The organisation’s governance and public finance deputy director Ashiq Iqbal, while presenting concept paper, said the share of education budget was 12.6 per cent of the total budget, which was 14.4 per cent the last year.
Despite the country had experienced several positive changes, he said, still there were 5.5 million eligible children were out of primary education while 26 million children living below the poverty line.
Children representatives–Sharmeen Sultana of Mirpur and Sujon Mridha of Rayerbazar of the capital city urged the government for increasing budget for primary education stipends and neonatal facilities. Child’ parliament’s deputy speaker Ferdous Naeem requested the government to continue its pre-budget meeting with children to prepare the coming budget.
Finance secretary Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury said that the allocations for education stipends had been distributed under a project which had expired.
In informed that a ministerial proposal to multiply the allocation for education stipends from Tk 3,400 crore of previous years to Tk 6923 crore for the coming years would be come into effect soon,’ he informed.
Chief guest MA Mannan, state minister for finance, while criticising blanket distribution of education stipends, said that only the insolvent children should get adequate money as stipends. Child rights governance and child protection director of Save the Children, Laila Khondkar moderated the seminar.
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