Speakers, including academics and activists, at a discussion underlined the need for recruitments of quality teachers for ensuring quality education at all levels.
Teaching quality of teachers was the most important element in ensuring overall quality of education even before increasing budget allocation for the sector, said former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique.
At the discussion, he said the appointment of teachers should be monitored strictly or incident similar to Feni madrassah student Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s murder would continue to take place.
He urged the authorities to appoint skilled teachers in educational institutions and also mentioned that teachers in Bangladesh were facing severe negligence.
The programme titled ‘Next budget and education sector: our expectations’, was organised by Movement for World Education Rights at National Press Club in the capital where the education minister was present as chief guest.
While presenting the keynote paper, Movement for World Education Rights convener Faruque Ahmed Arif urged the government to allocate 25 per cent budget and increase the percentage of gross domestic product, or GDP, to 7 per cent in the sector.
The organisation also demanded that all private educational institutions be nationalised, which would ensure improved facilities for teachers, creation of education bank and introduce the provision of education loan, making education and health sectors corruption-free within 2041, and strict monitoring on these activities, he said.
According to education ministry, currently the government allocated about 11.41 per cent budget and 2.2 per cent of GDP in education sector.
Education minister Dipu Moni said that in Bangladesh where the population should be turned into ‘human resources’, sufficient budget in education sector was necessary.
She said that in the last 10 years they had given importance to bringing all Bangladeshi children to primary schools and currently they were trying to improve quality of education as well as reduce dropout rate.
In the last decade, budget allocation increased by eight or nine folds while gradually the government would increase the GDP percentage for the sector to 4 per cent, the minister continued.
On mid-day meal, she said they were trying to provide nutritious meals to the students.
The private sector was already enjoying some assistance from the government including monthly payment order and support in developing infrastructures, the minister added.
Former advisor of a caretaker government and executive director of Campaign for Popular Education, Rasheda K Choudhury said that demand for increasing budget for education from 7 per cent to 25 per cent was not realistic as the sources of money was very limited.
She urged the education minister to ensure mid-day meal for the students from disadvantaged families as merits and nutrition had direct connection.
The initiative would cost around Tk 4,000 crore per year, she said.
The discussion programme was attended, among others, by national executive council director National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh CM Delwar Rana.
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