Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said children must be enrolled in class I without any written admission test as education is their fundamental right.
"Whenever a child becomes eligible for getting admitted to class I, he or she should have to be admitted to and there's no need to sit for test with printed papers because this is his or her right, not a matter of test," she said.
The Prime Minister's remarks came at the inaugural function of the International Literacy Day 2015 held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
Hasina also asked the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education to repair and improve the conditions of primary schools so that the children could get the scope of admission in their respective areas.
Underscoring the need for having area-based schools, she said there is no objection if the children of elite class study in expensive schools, but it has to be ensured that the children of the common people could study in government primary schools for which there is also need for improving the conditions of those schools.
The Prime Minister also suggested ensuring arrangements for accommodation at schools in the country's hill and char areas.
She urged all concerned to turn the country's huge population into human resources and then human capital to further develop the country as well as to expedite the pace of development.
"We're very much successful in implementing the 'Education for All' and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There is no doubt that if we could turn the country's huge population into human resources then into human capital, then the pace of development would further expedite while the country would further develop," she said.
The Prime Minister told her audience that the country's literacy rate reached 71 percent till June of this year. "Literate mothers could teach their children about health, nutrition, discipline from their early childhood. Not only about literacy, to create accountability for society, the children should be taught from their early childhood and steps should be taken keeping that in mind."
Mentioning that the 'Bangladesh Literacy Programme' is being implemented with an outlay of Tk 452 crore to make the illiterate people literate and creating skilled manpower, she asked the authorities concerned to make sure this Programme is implemented properly.
The Prime Minister also called upon the local public representatives, including MPs, mayors, upazila parishad chairmen, union parishad chairmen and members alongside the well-off section of the society alongside the local administration to voluntarily introduce midday meals at the schools to further reduce dropout of students.
She said that a fund could be created and operated by each school management committee in association with the guardians where donations could be received to operate midday meals-be it cooked foods, fruits or other items.
Hasina recalled that Father of the Nation formed the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission and as per its recommendation, he nationalised some 36,165 primary schools and the jobs of 1,57,724 teachers.
She said literacy rate normally increases in all countries in the course of time. "But in our country, it came down to 44 percent from 65 percent during the five-year rule of the BNP-Jamaat government in 2001-2006," she regretted.
She said there was an announcement for ensuring Education for All by 2015, while her government ensured 100 percent enrolment of children eligible for going to school by 2011.
The Prime Minister said her government also introduced the midday meal for primary students to prevent dropout and local people have been engaged in the programme. As a result, she said, the dropout rate has come down to 20.09 percent from 80 percent in the 80s.
Hasina also highlighted various steps of her government for the expansion of universal primary education.
Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman Fizar was the special guest at the function, while Head and Representative of Unesco Dhaka Office Beatrice Kaldun spoke at the programme held with Primary and Mass Education Secretary Mesbaul Alam presiding.