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Investing in children

  • Published at 12:04 am June 17th, 2019
Syed Latif Hossain

Money alone will not solve the problem

The allocation for children in the budget has seen an increase from Tk65,000 crore to Tk80,200cr, and this is certainly a step in the right direction, but there remains much to be done when it comes to protecting and nurturing the children of our country.

This newspaper recently editorialized on the prevalence and dangers of child labour, which, in spite of laws and promises, continues to be a major problem; the transportation sector, in particular, is a major culprit when it comes to the exploitation of children, putting them often in hazardous positions.

Hazardous work like this not only takes children away from where they should really be, which is at school, but it also opens up various avenues for abuse and mistreatment, which includes sexual or economic exploitation.

We are glad to see the budget for children increase for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, but along with this, we would like to see clear results on how well we are treating and protecting children overall.

Education needs to be a priority, but this does not simply mean mandatory education and the provision of free textbooks -- there are deep systemic flaws in our schooling system which even allows teachers and institutions to abuse children and get away with it, as we have seen from incidents of sexual misconduct in schools in recent times.

Money alone will not solve the problem. We must look at the big picture and truly make the well-being of children a priority -- the future, is, after all, in their hands.