The government will pay the tuition fees of class VI students from the next academic year like the one it does for primary schools’ in the country.
At present, the primary education up to fifth grade is mandatory and free of tuition fees. Like them, the government will pay the monthly tuition fees of every six graders from the next academic year.Besides, the government also took a decision to increase the numbers of stipend receivers of secondary level students from 45 percent to 60 percent from next year.
Education Ministry sources said there are currently several scholarship projects running under the ministry from sixth grade to secondary level schools.
Now, the government is working to bring all the stipend projects under the Secondary Education Development Programme (SEDP).
Some Tk7,000 crore was allocated for the SEDP fund for the next five years and the tuition fees of the sixth grade students will be paid from the fund from next year.
The ministry will arrange a meeting on October 6 to pay the stipend facilities through SEDP bringing all stipend projects under it. The headmasters of all schools will also take part in the meeting with the high officials of the ministry.
The decision will be taken from the meeting about the process to pay the tuition of the class VI students by the government from next year.At present, 30 percent of female students and 10 percent of male students are getting the stipend facilities in 187 upazilas across the country in the secondary level. But the government will increase the number from 45 percent to 60 percent from next year.
Some 15 percent of male students and 45 percent of female students will get stipend facilities while the number of upazilas will also be increased from next year.
Under the stipend facility, a sixth grader student gets Tk100 as stipend while the government is paying Tk15 tuition fees to the school for each student.
Although 60 percent of students will get stipends from next year, the tuition fees of all students of class VI will be paid by the government.
Officials said the government made the primary education free of cost for the students of the country’s total 65,000 government primary schools but the students of private primary and secondary level schools and the government secondary schools have to pay their tuition fees.
Even many private schools are charging higher tuition fees ranging from Tk1000 to Tk5000 from each student monthly.
The government and MPO-listed schools will get the free tuition facility if the government makes the tuition fees-free for class VI from next year.
But there are 600 government secondary schools and 28,000 MPO-listed secondary schools across the country but the number of secondary level schools is around 36,000 in the country. So, 7,400 students have to study paying high tuition fees.
Education Ministry’s additional secretary Jabed Ahmed said the government wants to make the education free of tuition from class VI to XII in phases. In the first phase, the education of class VI will be brought under free of tuition fees from next year.
“The government also allocated money in the budget of the current fiscal year for the facility,” he added.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics, about 23 lakh and 68 thousand students currently studying in class six across the country.
This huge number of students will not have to pay the fees if the government implements the decision.