Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Resume payment of poor pupils’ stipend

Resume payment of poor pupils’ stipend

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Primary education plays a foundation role in enabling children for higher studies. But, because of financial constraint, a good number of poor children remain out of elementary and primary schooling. Moreover, the high rate of school dropout and poor quality of primary education remains a concern. However, in an effort to address the issue, the government took an encouraging initiative in this regard. It took a bold decision to provide stipends to 116,000 poor but meritorious students from the Prime Minister's Education Assistance Trust Fund.

And, Nagad, the digital financial service arm of Bangladesh Post Office, disbursed the money to the guardians of the children through its mobile financial service under an official agreement done with the concerned department. The provision of stipends also improved the situation to some extent creating an opportunity for disadvantaged children to remain under the fold of primary school system. But, all of a sudden we got stumbled learning a bad piece of news from this newspaper. It is that the poor students are not getting the stipend and allowances for accessories, including clothes, shoes and bags, for the past two years. It is allegedly due to the negligence of the top officials of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) that did not bother to extend the accord with the Nagad that expired earlier.

Ultimately, the poor students are bearing the brunt of it as their studies have been hampered to a great extent. This is unfortunate indeed! We have also come to know from the press report that within the time of the agreement, the postal department wrote letters several times to the authorities concerned asking them to address the issue but they did not respond to their notes. Now, the government should take up the issue seriously and take necessary measures to renew accord with the Nagad in a bid to resume disbursement of stipend to poor pupils. At the same time, it must bring the people responsible for the unpardonable negligence under the purview of law and give them an exemplary punishment so that such incidents do not recur in future.