Civil Society asked for increased allocation in education for the fiscal year 2013-14
Bangladesh allocates much less for education comparing to its committed investment of at least 6% of GNP or allocate 20% of national budget. For ensuring quality Education for All CAMPE has been carrying out persistent advocacy with the policy makers for increased budget allocation in education. To continue the process, a Civil Society Consultation with Parliamentarians on Education Sector Budget & Implementation of National Education Policy focused on in the fiscal year 2013-14 was held on 2nd June 2013 at the Spectra Convention Center, Dhaka. The consultation emphasized on better implementation of the National Education Policy, NFE Policy and Skills Development Policy along with providing a decent share of the national budget for education as a instrument for human capital development leading towards fulfilling the above-mentioned international commitments.
Mr. Shawkat Ali MP, Hon’ble Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament of Bangladesh grace the occasion as Chief Guest. Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Education, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and Mr. Rashed Khan Menon MP were present as the Guest of Honour. The session was chaired by Mr. Kazi Rafiqul Alam, Chairperson of CAMPE and moderated by the Ms. Rasheda K Choudhury, Executive Director CAMPE. Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committees of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Primary & Mass Education (MoPME) along with other interested MPs, Ex-Chairperson of National Board of Revenue, Former Adviser to the caretaker government for ministry of finance, educators and leading members of civil society were present on the occasion.
A brief presentation, on behalf of CAMPE and Education Watch Bangladesh, was made by Mr. Lutful Khaled, Program Manager of ActionAid Bangladesh to flag-up major issues, concerns and charter of demands at the beginning of the session that was followed by open discussion and input by the concerned actors.
Hon’ble Minister Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid said, the Government of Bangladesh has been trying to ensure education for All but improving quality education is really a challenge. He emphasized, timely delivery of new books to all students across Bangladesh, enhancing access to education (increased enrolment and decrease dropouts), establishment of new schools in the village with no school are some of the major achievements of the current Government. He also expressed concern on decreasing share of national budget in Education. Ms. Nilufar Chowdhury Moni MP expressed her concern about the limited scope for the Members of the Parliament to influence the national budget and asked for more investment in quality of education. The house emphasized on the following issues in support of increased budgetary allocation:
• Strengthening revenue earning process and enhancing the increasing GDP ratio for long time is necessary for increasing allocation in education sector to achieve the goal of quality education.
• Efficiency and quality should be the criteria in considering teachers recruitment and promotion.
• Rules of Business should be changed for ensuring the right to education of special needs children.
• Adequate budget should be allocated for widening the education facilities for all deprived classes specially rural and urban poor, indigenous communities & persons with disabilities.
• Budget allocation should be increased for the monitoring cell of Education Ministry in order to make the educational institutions Gender Responsive.
• Allocate budget for ensuring mid-day meal (hot cooked food) for children of disadvantaged areas.
• Ensure training for all teachers in order to deliver quality education.
• Ensure effective and proper utilization of resources.