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SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2015


What can we expect from Modi? It is hoped that the visit of the Indian PM will be instrumental in transforming the current unequal bilateral trade PAGE 12

110 years of Standard Chartered Going forward, SCB has to continue to do better. In our days, there was less competition PAGE 13

Talking menstruation: About time? As the movement to destigmatise menstruation gains traction around the world, there are small ripples of change being created here at home PAGE 14

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Don’t let education fall behind


he 4.3% drop in pass rates for SSC examinations represents only the tip of the iceberg of problems affecting Bangladesh’s education system. Even though the country has made sound progress in improving primary enrollment rates, we are still far short of the goal of ensuring true universal education. Of even more concern, international studies make clear that a majority of fifth grade students in Bangladesh are lagging behind peers in other countries. An excessive emphasis on rote learning across most parts of our education system and unimaginative and poorly delivered curricular, are widely holding back educational attainment. At higher levels, our major public universities are held back by chronic underfunding in research and disruptive criminality within student organisations. The government cannot afford to risk neglecting our education system. The whole country is held back by the failure to raise education standards. This also worsens class divides as the impact is worse on students from less well-off backgrounds, who do not have the option of falling back on private institutions. Fixing our education system needs more than money. It needs greater efforts to root out neglect and poor management. This does not mean however that we should not expect taxpayers to boost education spending. Bangladesh’s budgetary allocation is below 2.5 % of GDP on education and far behind the target set by Brazil to double education spending to 10% of GDP by 2020. Improving education is the best investment we can make in human capital to improve our economic prospects. We must do better.

End neglect and underfunding that harms the education system to improve our economic propsects.

31 May, 2015  
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