Budget for coronavirus-battered education sector unchanged
The allocation for the education sector in the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year of 2021-22 remains almost unchanged in terms of size and percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to the current budget.
There have been expectations that the size of allocation for the education sector will go up significantly in the next fiscal year, to contain the possible increased dropouts in schools which may subsequently cause a rise in child marriage, early pregnancy and child labour due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal allocated Tk 71,951 crore for the Primary and Mass Education Ministry, Secondary and Higher Education Division and Technical and Madrasa Education Division, for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
He allocated Tk 26,311 crore for the primary and mass education ministry, Tk 36,486 crore for secondary and higher education division and Tk 9,154 crore for technical and madrasa education division.
The amount makes up 11.91 percent of the total outlay and its share in the GDP stands at 2.08 percent.
In the current budget, the allocation for the education sector was Tk 66,400 crore and it was 11.69 percent of the total outlay and its share in the GDP stands at 2.09 percent, according to budget documents.
Kamal in his budget speech at parliament today said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has taken various steps to keep students involved in academic activities.
To maintain the continuity of the course curriculum, classes on important subjects have been launched through Bangladesh Television and teaching activities have been continuing using online platform, Bangladesh Betar and Community Radio.
This step allowed us to keep around four crore students engaged in academic activities.
Kamal said that a large number of students in our country are graduating every year and becoming eligible for employment in the job market. To ensure that these new graduates can easily get jobs in their respective fields, the government will give priority to launch internship programme for them in both public and private sectors. To that end, a policy framework will be formulated in the coming fiscal year for the immediate launch of this internship programme.
Due to the pandemic, educational institutions have been closed since March 17 last year. The closure led to cancellation of exams and left academic calendars in disarray. The closure was extended till June 12.