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Health and education are worth spending on

  • Published at 01:18 pm June 30th, 2018
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Photo: BIGSTOCK

These two sectors combined are the bedrock on which a nation’s progress is made

It does not bode well when the national budget fails to give due importance to the two of the most important factors behind any nation’s wellbeing: Education and health.

Bangladesh’s budget, unveiled recently by the finance minister, has allocated a mere 11.4% for education and a little over 5% for health -- one of the lowest not only compared to the world, but also relative to other South Asian countries.

While neighbouring nations Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives allocate more than 5% of its GDP to education, Bangladesh lags behind with a tragic 2%.

In the coming years, it is imperative that the government understands the importance of a robust education system and an effective health sector.

These two sectors combined are the bedrock on which a nation’s progress is made -- they ensure that our future remains prosperous by providing necessary training to our youth, and they ensure a better quality of life by making public health a priority. 

These numbers highlight the priorities of the Bangladesh budget at the moment. All the progress we have made so far, the achievements compiled in meeting the MDGs and SDGs, will all be for naught if we fail to spend resources on what is truly important in the long run.

For a more competitive Bangladesh, ultimately we need to invest in people. There are no greater assets than the talent and ingenuity of our citizens when it comes to economic growth.

And there is no better way to develop the potential of people than to give due attention to education and health; developed countries already knows this -- it is time for us to also catch up.