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.”