BRAC-IID Seminar : Quality Education for Next Generation
Political violence is a large hindrance to the country’s goal for education development. Education activists urged for a strong commitment from the political parties to exclude the education sector from political and non-political violence.
The concern was raised at a seminar organized by BRAC and IID at BRAC Center Auditorium on 18 June 2015. With the title “Quality education for next generation”, speakers discussed current challenges, opportunities and necessary doables to direct our education system towards the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030).
The seminar is a major milestone of an ongoing education campaign jointly pursued by BRAC and IID. Through research, consultation with education experts, and gathering the voices of grassroots students, parents and teachers, the campaign identified a number of challenges and possible solutions to them.
Mr Asif Saleh, Senior Director, BRAC and Mr Syeed Ahamed, CEO, IID highlighted the key challenges in our education sector. Analyzing the recently proposed National budget, they raised the concern of diminishing resource allocation towards education. If inflation is adjusted, this resource gap would be even higher. Redistribution of resources within the sector based on priority and higher efficiency in expenditure have been emphasized by speakers.
Quality of learning was also kept into focus. An assessment of basic learning competencies of primary school children, carried out by IID with support from BRAC, was also presented. Assessing children’s skills in reading Bangla, English and doing computing simple math problems, the study revealed direct relationship of learning skills with parents’ income, electricity supply and other factors such as child labour.
Their keynote also revealed how passing rates of public examinations were adversely affected by political unrest during the past four decades. Participants raised their concerns how recent political violence has not only hampered the regular learning activities at educational institutes but also became a serious threat to students lives themselves. Public examinations have been delayed.
Honorable Minister for Education Mr Nurul Islam Nahid, MP; Honorable State Minister for Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning Mr M A Mannan, MP – the guests of honour – and Mr Md Alamgir, DG, Additional Secretary, Directorate of Primary Education – the special guest – finally agreed that there is a need for a GO-NGO joint platform to monitor the progress of the education sector of the country. They pledged to continue this collaboration to create a modern ICT enabled platform for such monitoring efforts.
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