- Published on Saturday, 01 July 2017 18:12
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The country's education sector witnessed significant development in some major areas driven by a modern and time-befitting education policy that the government started implementation in 2009.
The areas include ensuring basic resources for education, digitization of classrooms and textbooks, curriculum reform, introduction of creative question paper, infrastructure development and modernization of madrasa education.
According to a publication of the education ministry, the development in major areas of the education sector was a result of the execution of the "Education Policy 2000" that the Awami League government framed in 2000.
The BNP-led government scrapped the policy when it came to power in 2001, but Awami League-led government revived the policy and started its implementation in 2009 when the party was voted to power again.
"The major objective of the policy is to help create a new generation, enriched in education, knowledge and skills besides having high ethical standard, respect to the people and strong commitment to the nation," the education ministry paper said.
The paper noted that the government has started distributing free textbooks to primary school students on the first day of January since 2010, ensuring that none of the eligible children is missed out of basic resources.
Earlier, only 40 percent of the students were given free textbooks when the rest 60 percent had to get old books or buy new ones those were not available until March or April.
For ensuring availability of textbooks for all students, the government in 2010 introduced e-books for pre-primary, primary and secondary education and uploaded those on website.
In order to expand ICT education, Sheikh Russel Digital Lab and Multimedia Classroom has been established in 23,331 secondary schools and 15,000 primary schools across the country.
Until 2013, the school education was based on textbooks those were written in 1995. The education ministry with engaging over 1400 educationists, researchers and teachers developed a modern and time-befitting curriculum.
The government introduced creative question papers in secondary and higher secondary education, which compel students to go deep into a subject to answer the questions.
For expanding and ensuring education for all, the government already started construction of new buildings for 1,500 non-government colleges, 3,000 non-government schools and 1,000 non-government madrasas.
Under the project for improving quality of education, the government in 2011 began setting up of a computer lab, a well-equipped examination hall, a dormitory and a science lab at one post-graduate college in every district.
In the secondary level, Upazila ICT Training and Resource Centres have been established, and 295 non-government schools have been transformed into model schools in 315 upazilas having no government schools.
Almost every village of the country now has a government primary school after nationalisation of 26,193 more primary schools in past few years.
Every year, around 38 lakh students from 6th grade to bachelor degree (pass) and equivalent level have been provided with stipends and other assistances amounting over Taka 675 crore while stipend provided to 29 lakh vulnerable students so far so they could afford basic education.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid last May said that the government this year would provide stipends to six lakh students, especially to the girls who cannot continue the study due to poverty.
For modernising madrasa education, the education ministry started construction of new building for around 1000 madrasas at a cost of Taka 738 crore.
Vocational courses have been introduced in 100 madrasas alongside setting up of computer labs and digital classrooms.
The development in major areas of education resulted in increase in school enrolment, girl education, adult literacy and decrease in dropout rate.
According to a report of Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis), the enrollment of students in secondary level in 2016 raised to 67.84 percent, of which girls were 73.10 percent and boys were 63.85 percent.
The dropout rate in primary level lowered to 19.2 percent in 2016 from 20.4 percent in 2015. Similarly, the rate in secondary level fell to 38.3 percent in 2016 from 40.29 in 2015 and in higher secondary level it dropped to 20.08 percent in 2016.
According to the report, girls comprise of 51.9 percent of the total number of students at secondary level, which is the highest among the E-9 countries. The other E-9 countries are Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan.
"Bangladesh achieved gender equity in primary and secondary education well ahead of the 2015 Millennium Development Goal", said a World Bank report.
The adult literacy rate in the country also hit a 12-year high of 72.3 percent last year, according to a report of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.