Tuesday, 3 October, 2023

Invest more in building human capital

Bangladesh can boast of having a very good demographic dividend, with a large number of young and energetic people. However, a lot will depend on how we prepare our young generation for their roles in nation-building. The future, therefore, lies in how we transform this large young population into skilled human resources. An optimum investment in educational development is the key to the country’s future.

Although the country witnessed tremendous expansion in the development of educational institutes and enrolment of students, question remains about the quality of education. Moreover, education has become too expensive because of too much commercialisation of the education sector.

Besides, the galloping inflation rate is exacerbating the situation further, immersing the parents of school-going children in a flood of problems. The prices of essential needs of students such as stationary items and books have gone up sharply. Moreover, private schools have increased tuition fees further and are charging guardians exorbitantly under various pretexts, owing to which education is slowly going out of reach for the commoners.

The present-day cult of capitalisation has unabashedly replaced perceptions and values with greed and profit. Private investors in a crucial service sector like education have a propensity to view everything in terms of profit and loss, and they are failing to contribute to the society with an unselfish spirit. Things have come to such a pass that if you have no money, your children will be deprived of quality education.

Against this backdrop, the government has to spend more to radically improve state-run educational institutions. A uniform system of education (under a core syllabus, allowing scope for individual improvisation) is a national demand. The existing three systems of education are producing students who share no common attitude towards life and reality.

As part of a serious drive to raise the quality of education, all concerned including teachers and school management must be held accountable. Especially, when common tax payers pay for teachers’ salary, accountability cannot be made lax. Many primary students have to leave school from the compulsion of earning their own meal. Attention should now be given to raising the standard of education to enable today’s youth capable of leading tomorrow’s smart Bangladesh.