Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the education ministry to formulate a specific policy for the enlistment of the schools and colleges under the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) system.
“You have to formulate a policy for the MPO enlistment across the country,” she said while addressing the high officials of the Education Ministry and its affiliated directorates, departments and organisations at Bangladesh Secretariat.
Sheikh Hasina said that the government always receives applications from the schools and colleges to enlist those under the MPO system. “You can evolve a new system for this purpose; you can think about a policy in this regard.”
She mentioned that the MPO enlistment will have to take into consideration the number of students of an educational institution along with the number of teachers and the interest of the students in field of studies.
The prime minister said: “If needed, the government will provide all expenditures. Why shall we not bear the expenditure? This will be our investment.”
She said that if there is no policy for the enlistment of the MPO it might happen that the less important place will have 10 MPO-listed educational institutions whereas the most important place would not get any enlistment as that particular place for lack of connection at the upper level.
She directed the education ministry to make sure that all children of the country are under the umbrella of education system and not a single person remains illiterate.
Hasina said that her government is working ceaselessly to ensure education for all, which has been guaranteed in the constitution.
At the same time, she underscored the need for selecting academic subjects for the students in consistence with their family profession, so that no traditional profession loses importance.
“An educated population is essential to achieve specific goals of a nation and also to ensure its desired development,” she said adding that her government gives top priority to education and has been giving highest budgetary allocation to this sector.
The prime minister also stressed the introduction of time-befitting science based education and said that desired development is simply impossible without the help of science.
In this context, she suggested introducing a new curriculum on oceanography following the country's huge gain in maritime boundary case against India and Myanmar.
Hasina said that her government always gives importance to research and in giving adequate budgetary allocation for the purpose. As a result of scientific research, the people of the country are now getting tomato, cauliflower, and gourd even in the rainy season.
She said that after assuming office, her government formulated an education policy in 2010 in line with its draft policy of 2000, which was accepted universally.
“The government is now implementing this education policy which will help increase literacy rate and enhance academic standards.”
Laying emphasis on research and higher education in the glorious history of the nation, the Prime Minister said it is urgently needed to introduce academic course on liberation war to build a confident nation.
In this regard, she mentioned the inclusion of the 7th March address of Bangabandhu in the lists of the best speeches of 2500 years.
Emphasizing building up the students as self-confident good citizens imbued with the spirit of patriotism and liberation war, Hasina said that to achieve this target, positive outlook, patriotism, and humane values should be flourished among the students.
She recalled that in his electioneering campaign Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur termed the expenses for education for building a smooth social system as the best investment.
The Prime Minister said that soon after the independence, giving priority on education, Bangabandhu nationalized the primary education along with 37,165 primary schools.
“But, wheels of all development including that of the education sector came to a standstill following the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975 with domestic and international conspiracy.”
She said that following the footprints of Bangabandhu, her government has established 12 science and technology university across the country and also decided to establish at least one university in each district with government or private initiatives to make higher education available for all.
Hasina highlighted various steps of her government including distribution of free textbooks up to secondary level, stipend to 1.20 crore students, introduction of midday meal to check dropouts, establishment of Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust Fund with Tk 1000 crore as seed money.
Besides, she said that in order to lessen the examination panics of the student, her government has introduced Primary School Certificate (PSC) and Junior School Certificate (JSC) examinations.
“The government is implementing ICT in Education Master Plan to build an efficient and time-befitting education system involving ICT in education.”
Laying emphasis on technical education for creating efficient manpower in the technical sector, the Prime Minister said that double shifts have been introduced in all polytechnic institutes.
In this respect, she asked the concerned authorities to determine the academic subjects for the students after the completion of class eight.
She said that for the establishment of a technical school in each upazila under government initiative, a project has been undertaken to initially establish technical schools in 100 upazilas.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid delivered the welcome speech on the occasion.