Primary student stipends to double

To prevent irregularities, the government is going to raise Tk 16,000 crore in five years for primary student stipends, in its role to increase attendance. By the next academic year, it is proposed at Tk 200 instead of Tk 100. Forty million students will be given Tk 500 to buy educational materials (books, pens, school bags) at the beginning of the year.

The entire money will be given to mothers of the students through mobile accounts. Such information has been revealed by the concerned Ministry and Project sources. Officials of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Project officials said that under the stipend project (3rd Stage), at present, one crore 40 lakh students get Tk 100 per month. The project (Phase III) will expire in December. The stipend project (fourth phase) will begin next January. The development plan proposals (DPP) proposes to increase the money to Tk 200 instead of Tk 100.

In addition, at the beginning of the year, it is proposed to give Tk 500 for every student to buy shoes, Tk 1,000 for school costumes and Tk 500 for school bag. This will cost a total of Tk 2900 crore in five years. After the proposal was sent to the ministry, it was accepted with some cuts.

Thus, the preparation of the proposal for development planning proposal (DPP) is almost at the final stage. The new DPP will have to be passed by the Planning Commission within three months. Otherwise, there will be complications related to the grant of stipends from January.

Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Akram al-Hossain said, “the draft DPP is ready, it will be sent to the planning ministry at any time” Considering the current standard of living, it is decided to increase the amount of stipend. It has been decided to make 150 instead of one hundred taka, he added.

He further mentioned that if the Prime Minister wants it will be two hundred taka. About a hundred percent of the students are attending school. The project has been immensely successful in preventing quality primary education degradation. In addition, government policymakers have advocated increasing the stipends as living costs are rising. In this situation, the authorities decided to increase the money.

Officials say, students and their families are getting the benefit of the money directly into the hands of the student's mother as the stipend money will be sent directly to the student's mother's mobile bank account. There is no service charge to withdraw money. Mothers can withdraw money without harassment.

Food programs and scholarship projects for education produced positive results in primary education. Because of this, the government launched the scholarship Program for Primary Education in 2002, integrating the program into a nationwide expansion program. Money would be paid through Rupali Bank to transparently distribute stipend money.

Earlier, there were various allegations over distributing money, but due to digital distribution by the incumbent government, corruption has almost stopped. In this regard, Director of the Graduate Projects (Third Stage) for Primary Education (Joint Secretary) Yusuf Ali said, the stipend project is coming to an end next December.

According to the new proposal, from January next, students will receive a scholarship at almost twice the rate, he added. He also said that scholarships reduced student dropout. Almost cent per cent students are going to school. Achieving SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) will be easier with the increase of stipend money.