We must acknowledge that Bangladesh has achieved significant progress in education by improving access to education and attaining gender parity at the primary and secondary levels. But a lot still needs to be done to have global standard education in the country.
Now the government must focus on improving education quality to achieve the new global education goal (SDG 4) by 2030. For that, budget allocation for education must increase to have qualified teachers to ensure quality teaching. Students getting the best results go into other lucrative professions as teachers are not well paid. To employ and retain the best people for teaching jobs, the government must provide incentives to teachers and ensure infrastructural facilities to improve the quality of education in the country.As number of students and institutions are increasing every year, educationists suggest allocating and mobilising more resources for the education sector in the upcoming budget to ensure inclusive and equitable education for all. To make learning enjoyable there must be playgrounds and clubs in every school, as well as improved curriculum, reduced pressure, removal of discrimination and increased extracurricular activities for development of the students.
It is disheartening to know that according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific survey published on May 7, last year the share of GDP given to education in Bangladesh was only 2 per cent of the GDP—the second lowest share among the countries surveyed, despite Bangladesh having committed to spend at least 6 per cent of GDP or 20 per cent of the national budget on education in the Dakar declaration signed in Senegal in April 2000.
The huge gap in intention and execution cannot be reduced without strong political will at the highest level. It is important to increase the education sector’s budget to face the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and to convert challenges into possibilities by turning our huge population into human resources.
We feel that along with higher resource allocation and mobilisation, proper utilisation of the education budget and patriotism is also necessary for greater development of the education sector to achieve the target of SDG-4 by 2030.