The quality of education provided remains crucial
The European Union’s massive grant of Tk423cr to Bangladesh in order to support key reforms within the education sector is heartening, to say the least, and we should not squander this opportunity to give our system a much-needed upgrade.
To say that education is the ground on which a nation builds itself would be an understatement: It determines the knowledge, ideas, and skills that future Bangladeshis will be equipped with in order to overcome challenges, drive innovations, and reach their potential as contributing members of society.
As such, it is essential that every single child in the country has access to education, without being made to choose between supporting their families and going to school.
Furthermore, the quality of education provided remains crucial. Unfortunately, our education sector, despite its importance, has been treated with negligence, to say the least, as year on year, the national budget refuses to allocate resources to its improvement and change.
As EU Ambassador Rensje Teerink has said, in order to utilize the potential of our burgeoning population, we must create “an inclusive and equitable primary education and technical and vocational educational system” which prepares them for the future job market -- that is, we must widen the reach of our education sector to every corner of the country.
However, jobs with attractive wages which contribute to the economy should not become the goal that blinds us to the importance of raising a generation of Bangladeshis who are taught to think critically and understand the value of social justice, and how are country can forge ahead in an increasingly interconnected world.
The current status quo will not do -- we must use these funds to raise the standards of our public education system through more rigorous training for our schoolteachers, better quality textbooks and materials, and dynamic classrooms which take advantage of the inclusive power of technology, while simultaneously keeping in mind the Covid-19 pandemic which has brought with it further challenges.