The government is planning to set up 1,000 primary schools in both rural and urban areas when previous project of setting up 1,500 such educational institutions missed at least three deadlines.
Aiming to ensure children’s access to primary education in unschooled areas, the government in July 2010 took a project to establish 1,500 primary schools to complete the task by June 2015. The project tenure was extended up to December 2016 and then to June 2018.
Project officials blamed delayed disbursement of allocation and land disputes for the slow implementation of the projects hindering the development of infrastructure and facilities needed for better education.
‘We are thinking about establishing 1,000 new government primary schools,’ said Directorate of Primary Education director general Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal said.
He said they would establish these educational institutions in unschooled area.
Primary and mass education ministry and DPE officials said that they already started the file works like preparing a development project proforma as finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in his budget speech for 2018-19 fiscal announced that 1,000 new primary school would be established.
They said that they would try to make schools attractive for the children in order to raise access rate and reduce incidence of dropping-out.
Campaign for Popular Education executive director Rasheda K Choudhury hailed the move for 1,000 new schools.
‘But government should set up this school where these schools are needed,’ she demanded.
‘Another issue is implementation of the project as we have seen that project of 1,500 schools missed one after another deadline. The government should spend public money judiciously,’ she urged.
On the basis of a survey in 2008, that found at least 2000 villages without primary schools, the government took the decision to set up these 1,500 schools in flood-free areas, in chars, haor and river basin areas in order to provide school facilities to the children of these areas.
In order to establish schools the required land was 33 decimal, either acquired or purchased by the government, officials said.
School buildings were constructed with separate latrines for boys and girls and arsenic free tube-wells.
A project official said that over 750 schools were included in the total government primary schools till mid-2017. In addition, 667 head teachers’ posts and 2,668 assistant teachers’ posts were also created for 667 of these schools.
Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal said that they completed construction of building of 1,495 schools and work of creating post for these schools was going on.
A yet-to-be-published report of Bangladesh Primary Education Annual Sector Performance Report – 2017 says that there are 64,122 government primary schools with 3.43 lakh teachers teaching 1.34 crore students.
It also says that there are a total of 1,26,615 primary schools with 5.48 lakh teachers teaching 1.86 crore students.
Besides government primary schools, registered non-government primary schools, non-registered non-government primary school, kindergartens, PTI experimental schools, community schools, and two types of non-formal namely Shishu Kolyan and Ananda Schools, ebtedayee madrssahs and BRAC schools and NGO learning centres are providing elementary education till class V in the country.
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