Save the Children urges Finance Minister to reconsider the allocation for Ministry of Primary and Mass Education in Bangladesh. Save the Children, the leading international child rights organization, has urged the Ministry of Finance to reconsider the allocation for the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME), proposed in the recently presented national budget, which is Tk. 1.4 billion less than that of last year.
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% from 14.4% in the last budget.
“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. 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,” said Md. Ashiq Iqbal, Public, Finance & Governance Advisor, Save the Children in Bangladesh.
“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 congratulates the Finance Minister for his 11th budget and thanks him for presenting a child friendly budget, which saw an 18% increase in health allocation with 39% of that designated for children.
This year’s budget has also given particular attention to persons with disabilities, including children, with a 30% increase in safety net programs for children with disabilities. Allocation for stipends to students with disabilities has also gone up by 14%.
The recent ‘Stolen Childhood’ report, launched by Save the Children, shows that, children in Bangladesh don’t experience healthy childhood for many reasons, and one of those is that 28% children are still out of school.
Therefore, it’s important to give more focus on child budget and to make sure the allocated money is being used properly so that children throughout Bangladesh can learn, grow and be protected.