• Sunday, Sep 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:55 am

ED: Another year, another disappointment for education

  • Published at 08:05 pm June 4th, 2021
school exam girls
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Year on year, we fail to understand the true value of good schooling

From introducing vocational training to re-thinking certain standardized tests, the current government has certainly tried to bring changes into our education sector, but none of our efforts have been near enough to ensure that the youth of this nation receive the quality of education they deserve, especially after the detrimental effects brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This flawed approach is reflected in the government’s most recent unveiling of the budget, which has increased the allocation for the education sector, but as a percentage, it remains about the same, not to mention the fact that it lacks a clear roadmap of how this money should be used in order to bring about the changes necessary moving forward.

In addition, there is little confidence that whatever plan is there will be implemented -- a quick look at last year’s results are a clear indication of the lack of initiative and implementation that has cursed our education sector for decades.

While neighbouring countries, some of whom are poorer, are spending above 4% of their GDP on education (the recommended Unesco suggestion is between 4% and 6%), Bangladesh’s spending is a measly 2.09%, way below what is necessary.

Considering the severe lackings within our education sector already, from untrained teachers to subpar facilities, we need to completely overhaul the education system, and move it up the priority list post-haste.

What we need is greater investment, but the government seems to be doing the opposite, slapping private universities and other institutions with 15%. Surely, this is not the place from which the government should be trying to extract more revenue.

While certain initiatives by the government are commendable -- such as the Amar Ghare Amar School program which aims to bring 40 million students into the fold -- they have not been effective, either in terms of enrolment and effectiveness.

Year on year, we fail to understand the true value of good schooling -- it is the bedrock of any nation’s sustainable development and future prosperity. It is only through a solid educational foundation that the youth of today will become prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. 

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