Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) yesterday awarded scholarships to 3,031 meritorious and unprivileged students who passed SSC and equivalent examinations this year and are now studying at the higher secondary level.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith presented the scholarships at an event at Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium in the capital's Mirpur.
DBBL, under its corporate social responsibility programme, has been distributing the scholarship among meritorious students at HSC and graduation levels since 1997.
So far, the private commercial bank has awarded the stipend to 53,710 students.
At present, 18,580 students studying at different levels are receiving the scholarship, said the bank in a statement.
Of the stipend, 90 percent is given to students from rural areas and 50 percent is earmarked for female students. A student receives a monthly payment of Tk 2,000 as well as Tk 3,500 per year for reading materials and clothing, according to the statement.
“Education is the most priority sector of the government and a major allocation from the budget goes to it,” said Muhith.
He said the prime minister wants to make education free up to graduation level. Currently, education up to the higher secondary level is free.
The finance minister also talked about the upcoming national election, saying the government will be changed through a free and fair election.
“An election-friendly environment is prevailing in the country at this moment. So, there is no chance to create any trouble to interrupt the polls,” he said.
Law Minister Anisul Huq lauded the DBBL initiative, saying it would hugely contribute to the education sector.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir said the government was spending about 10 percent of the budgetary allocation on the education sector.
He said the central bank has made it mandatory for banks to set aside 30 percent of their CSR budget for the education sector.
Sayem Ahmed, chairman of the DBBL, and Abul Kashem Md Shirin, managing director, also spoke at the event.