Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday emphasised the need for providing stipends and the money of education allowance to deserving students, Agencies reports.
“The government puts the highest importance on education as only education can free the nation from the curse of poverty,” she said. The Prime Minister said this while presiding over the 4th meeting of the ‘advisory committee’ of Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust Fund at her office.
After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters. He said the meeting reviewed the activities of the Trust and the Prime Minister gave some guidelines to the officials concerned.
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of building a self-dignified and educated nation with modern knowledge and put utmost importance to the education sector after the country’s independence.
Following Bangabandhu’s footprint, she said the government also gave top priority to education and nationalised over 26,000 primary schools.
Hasina said the government is providing free textbooks to the students up to secondary level on the first day of each academic year and giving scholarships and stipends to about 1.7 crore students to help continue their education.
The government distributed Tk 2466, 46, 01, 128 crore among 1, 66, 45, 777 students during 2015-2016 financial year, she said. Hasina said those who grabbed power illegally after the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members in 1975 never thought about the welfare of common people and they were neglected always.
She said there was a time when parents were reluctant about sending their children to school as they thought their children could earn something to support their families instead of going to school.
To encourage the parents< Hasina said, her government during its 1996 tenure introduced education allowance for the poor parents and stipends for the children which are being sent to the account numbers of the mothers of the respective students.
This initiative helped increase enrollment in schools and reduced the dropout rate, she added. The Prime Minister said the present government lays emphasis on science and computer-based education and waived duties and taxes on the import of computers and its accessories.
Multimedia classrooms have been introduced in 23,500 schools and computer labs were established in different schools across the country, she said.
The Prime Minister said the government is establishing residential schools and colleges in the remote areas like the hilly and haor areas so that the students could attend the classes regularly.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Minister for Primary and Mass Education Adv Mustafizur Rahman, Planning Minister AHM Mostfa Kamal, State Minister for Finance MA Mannan, UGC Chairman Prof Abdul Mannan, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum, FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmed and secretaries concerned were present.