Coinciding with the observation of Global Action Week on Education (24-30 April) 2016, and focusing on the National Budget FY2017, CPD organised national dialogue titled “Budget for Education in Bangladesh”. The event was jointly organised with Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) at Lakeshore Hotel, Dhaka on Monday 25 April 2016.
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Published in The Financial Express on Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Education budget much lower in BD: Study
Education budget is much lower in Bangladesh in comparison with South Asian countries as well as to the global standard, depriving the nation of qualitative education, according to a study revealed on Monday.
The study also showed that the country is ranked 155th out of 161 countries, considering education expenditure in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).
The findings of the study titled “Budget for Education in Bangladesh:
An Analysis of Trends, Gaps and Priorities,” were disclosed at a national level dialogue held at a city hotel.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) jointly organised the dialogue marking the Global Action Week for Education 2016 to be observed from April 24-30.
Bangladesh has achieved limited progress in terms of providing needed resources for education as total expenditure on education is 1.9 per cent and it is static for last 26 years, the study said.
Allocation for education as of total budget is also not significant as the country is ranked 81st out of 155 countries, it showed.
Deputy Speaker of the parliament Fazle Rabbi Miah while speaking as the chief guest stressed the need for providing government support to hundreds of schools which are doing well but deprived of facilities for a decade.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said: “Quantitative achievement is praiseworthy but now our key challenge is to increase the quality of education.” Planning Commission Member Prof Shamsul Alam expressed his optimism that the allocation of education in terms of the GDP will be 3 per cent in next years.
MM Akash, an economics professor at Dhaka University, focused on three issues such as teacher-student ratio, quality of teachers and increase in students’ facilities.
Executive Director of CPD Mustafizur Rahman delivered the address of welcome while CAMPE executive director Rasheda K Chowdhury moderated the programme.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan attended the programme as guest of honour while chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry Dr Abdur Razzaque as special guest. CPD Research Fellow Toufiqul Islam Khan presented the study findings. Dr Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus, BRAC University, was present as a discussant.
Published in The Daily Star on Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Boost education budget for enhancing quality
Speakers insist at Campe, CPD dialogue; also press for competent teachers, rule of law, training
The nation is alarmed over the quality of education, said Md Abdur Razzak, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry, at a discussion on education budget in the capital yesterday.
“We have to address the concern,” he said, adding that there should not be any doubt that budgetary allocation on education must increase.
The MCQ pattern of question in the name of creative exam method has been rampantly abused as an easy way to obtain A and golden grades, he said.
Such random high grades have been meaningless in most cases and has done harm to the young learners, said the ruling party lawmaker, adding that this may lead to students committing suicide in despair as it happened in Korea.
Razzak also said only five schools in his constituency got merely new buildings over past seven years, lacking educational facilities, equipments and sanitation.
“A rule of law should be established in the education sector,” he said.
Campaign for Popular Education (Campe) and Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) jointly organised the dialogue on Budget for Education in Bangladesh at a hotel in the capital on the occasion of the ongoing Global Action Week on Education with the slogan “Fund the Future: Education Rights Now”.
Officially, cent percent enrollment is claimed at primary education but only 66 percent of them go to secondary level, said Prof MM Akash of Dhaka University.
Again, only one-fourth of those from the secondary level go to the higher secondary, he said, so the foremost challenge is to contain such huge manpower loss with quality improvement at the very foundation level.
The rate of achieving GPA-5 has doubled from 3 percent to 6 but those do not qualify in the university admission tests, he said, adding, the number of teachers must be increased, to improve the quality of education.
According to Unesco, 20 percent of budgetary allocation and 6 percent of the national GDP should be invested for quality education but in Bangladesh it has been around 12 percent with only 2 percent of the GDP, he said.
Bangladesh cannot graduate to a middle income country without increasing the resource allocation by 1 percent to 8 percent of the GDP, as stipulated in the National Education Policy, he said.
Towfiqul Islam Khan, CPD research fellow, while presenting a research finding showed that the total expenditure on education was 1.6 percent of the GDP in 1990 which increased to about 2 percent in 2000, and since then it has been around that level.
Dearth of competent teachers of science and mathematics and lack of quality-enhancing training facilities remain one of the key challenges to attaining quality education at primary and secondary levels.
High dropout rates at primary and secondary levels are also core challenges.
The budgetary allocation for education has either been stagnant or declined over the past one and half decades, he said.
The budgetary allocation was 15.9 percent for education in 2007, which decreased to 11.6 percent in 2016. According to the World Development Indicator, Bangladesh with education budget to the tune of 1.9 percent of the GDP has been ranked 155th, out of 161 countries.
Among the south Asian countries, it is 5.6 percent in Bhutan, 4.6 in Afghanistan, 4.1 in Nepal, 3.9 in India and 2.5 percent in Pakistan.
For Bangladesh the figure has been around 2 percent for the last 14 years, he said.
Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campe, who chaired the discussion, said the government has made a global commitment that it would increase the allocation on education to 4 percent of the GDP and 15 percent of the national budget.
“It is not understandable how Bangladesh can achieve the other 16 goals of SDG without achieving the SDG goal on education,” she said.
Prof Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of CPD, said that increasing expenditure on education is a must for quality education in keeping with the 7th five-year-plan and SDG, but it requires an efficient plan.
MA Mannan, state minister for Finance and Planning, said that the finance ministry alone cannot prioritise and determine the budgetary allocation, there are compulsive forces.
Nurul islam Nahid, education minister, said that the foremost challenge is to increase the quality of education.
Lack of quality schools and colleges and quality teachers are the principal hindrances, he said.
As to GPA achievement, he said that students today are much more informed with the blessings of information technology. Next year, MCQ marks in public examinations would be 30 instead of 40, he added.
Deputy Speaker Advocate Fazle Rabbi Miah, member of Planning Commission Prof Shamsul Alam, and Prof Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, also spoke.
Published in The Daily Sun on Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Bigger budget for education can help achieve SDGs
Bigger budget for education can help achieve SDGs Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Advocate Fazle Rabbi Miah speaks at a dialogue on ‘Budget for Education in Bangladesh’ organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue in association with CAMPE, at a hotel in the capital on Monday.
Increased budgetary allocations on education and their proper utilisation are likely to play the key role in achieving the goals set in the 7th five-year plan and SDGs, speakers at a dialogue observed on Monday.
The country has earned a lot of success in education sector in recent years, but it still lags far behind in terms of ensuring quality education, addressing which also requires more money alongside ensuring good governance in the sector, they added.
The observation came at a dialogue on Budget for Education in Bangladesh organised by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in association with CAMPE at a city hotel.
Low-teacher-student ratio, lack of quality teachers, scare skill training for teachers, weak infrastructure and poor early childhood programme and drop out problems were mentioned at the dialogue as the main hurdles to quality education. Speakers demanded that the government should gradually increase its education budget to 4 percent and eventually to 6 percent of GDP and 20 percent of total budget from the current level of 2 percent of GDP and 12 percent of total budget to ensure quality education.
“We’ve been continuously saying that education needs more allocations. Higher allocation for education is going to play an important role in achieving the 7th five-year plan and SDGs,” Prof Dr Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of CPD, said. At the same time, he stressed on proper spending of the allocated resources alongside focusing on quality education, good governance, enhancing training and researches.
CMPE executive director Rasheda K Choudhury repented that Bangladesh has still stuck to its traditional resources allocation for education sector, where as neighbouring countries have gone far away in terms of education allocations.
She said achieving all the 17 SDGs will be impossible, if the goal for education is not achieved.
Dr Manzoor Ahmed, professor emeritus, BRAC University, added that local education sector has fallen in ‘low-investment-low cost-low yield trap.”