Bangladesh has achieved almost 100 per cent enrolment in the primary level education as reported by this daily on Wednesday. Marginal people of Bangladesh now can nurture their dream of becoming educated, thanks to the ceaseless efforts of the government to ensure access to education to all. Educationists attributed the tremendous success to introduction of stipends, midday meal and other facilities for students. Also the countrywide campaigns to raise awareness among parents for sending their children to schools have played a crucial role towards boosting the number of enrolment in primary schools.
Bangladesh now has one of the largest primary education systems in the world with an estimated 17 million primary school aged children (6 to10 years). It cannot be denied that such statistic bears the testimony of the country’s enviable success in the field of primary education. However, at the same time it is also true that we have lagged behind immensely in terms of ensuring quality in education,
Despite Bangladesh’s notable success in bringing nearly all children across the country to primary school, the quality of education remains a big concern. Many young students in Bangladesh find it hard to get good jobs because of the sheer inconsistency between the education system and job market. The country should address this crisis by investing more in education and ensuring effective utilization of the investment.
Low budgetary allocation is one of the main reasons hindering the country’s sustainable development in primary education sector. According to educationists, the ratio of the education budget to the GDP should be increased to six percent whereas in Bangladesh, over the past 15 years the ratio has hovered around merely two percent. Considering this, Bangladesh should look forward to attaining a higher budgetary allocation for the education sector. We have long been longing for reformation and rectification of our education sector. We hope the government will give its best to ensure quality in primary education and uphold integrity in it. We envisage that the government will address the need for allocating more budget in the country’s education sector and act accordingly.
The right to education is not only the right to access to education but also the right to receive quality education. For ensuring quality education there is no alternative to enabling a healthy and gender-inclusive environment in the education sector. Quality education requires relevant, strategic and well-researched curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills. There must have a procedure through which trained teachers can incorporate child-centred teaching approaches. Taking all into consideration, authorities concerned should work to address the barriers towards maintaining integrity and ensuring quality in primary education and devise required actions to fix them.