More budget allocation sought for Primary & Mass Edu Ministry
Observer Online Desk
Save the Children, a leading international child rights organisation, has urged the government to reconsider the allocation for the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) proposed in fiscal 2017-18 budget, which is Tk 1.4 billion less than that of current fiscal.
In 2016-17, the total budget for MoPME was Tk 221.6 billion and this year it has been reduced to Tk 220.2 billion. Moreover the share of the total education budget for MoPME, Secondary and Higher Education Division and Technical and Madrasah Education Division is set to decline to 12.6 percent from 14.4 percent in the current budget, said a media release of Save the Children.
"We are particularly worried of the significant reduction in allocation and coverage proposed for the education stipend programmes at primary, secondary and higher secondary levels," said Md Ashiq Iqbal, Public, Finance and Governance Advisor, Save the Children in Bangladesh .
He said allocation for Primary School Stipend has been reduced to Tk 3.5 billion from Tk. 14 billion last year, for Secondary Education Stipend Tk. 1.1 billion from Tk 2.4 billion last year, and for Higher Secondary Stipend Tk 0.5 billion from 1.5 billion last year.
"The reduction will have negative impact on quality education and also on retaining children in schools," he further added.
In the statement, Save the Children congratulated the Finance Minister for his 11th budget and thanks him for presenting a child friendly budget, which saw an 18 percent increase in health allocation with 39 percent of that designated for children.
This year's budget has also given particular attention to persons with disabilities, including children, with a 30 percent increase in safety net programs for children with disabilities. Allocation for stipends to students with disabilities has also gone up by 14 percent.