The government has offered stipends to poor higher secondary-level students, in an effort to curb dropout rates, particularly of female students.
As many as 1.7 million underprivileged students, of whom 40% are female and 10% male, will be eligible for this stipend, to be provided in two categories – science and other sections.
Under the Tk513 crore project, a science student will receive a monthly stipend of Tk175 and tuition fee of Tk50, along with a one-time allocation of Tk1,600 for book purchases and examination fees.
Conversely, a student from a different section will get Tk125 and Tk50 as a monthly stipend and tuition fee, respectively, along with a one-time allocation of Tk1,200 for books and examination fees.
The project, carried out under the supervision of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary, will come to an end by June 2017. The government will bear all of the project costs.
Presently, the government is carrying out five stipend projects, of which three are being implemented at the secondary, higher-secondary, and graduate levels.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said after a meeting the destitute students of different areas who are yet to be eligible for this project would be covered soon.
He hoped the move would help prevent dropouts and encouraged students to study the Sciences.
Around 65% of students drop out by the time they reach the twelfth grade, a World Bank research report revealed last year.
The above project was one of the six projects, valued at Tk1,347 crore, which gained the approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in its meeting with chairperson, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, yesterday at the NEC conference room.
The government also plans, under a revised project, to convert a private school into a model school, in 315 upazilas with no public schools.
Called the “Transforming of a selected private school into a model school in 315 upazilas sadar without public school (2nd revised) project,” which expired last December, it has been extended to June 2016.
The project cost has also been raised to Tk558 crore, from Tk92 crore. Under this project, new secondary schools will be incorporated in five upazilas, 29 buildings of existing schools extended upward, and science laboratories and multimedia classrooms set up in schools at 315 upazilas.
The planning minister said the implementation period and cost of this project has been increased due to the incorporation of new schools in five upazilas.
Ecnec also gave its nod to another project to extend the under-construction 7 March Bhaban in Dhaka University’s Rokeya Hall compound to an 11-story building, so as to accommodate 500 female students.
This project, to be implemented by June 2017, involves a cost of Tk44cr.