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Getting value for money in education


EDUCATION reforms are very necessary to address various issues in the education sector. The same must concentrate on improving the quality of education or quality of teaching, restructuring syllabi to meet the needs of a modern economy and producing human resources for economic growth than generalists and literates only who have little impact on the transformation of the country's workforce.
It is also very important to deal with unacceptable levels of corruption in the education sector. Successive reports on the corruption scene in Bangladesh compiled by Transparency International (TI) found the education sector as being infested by most corruption, only next after the police administration. Anti-corruption measures in this sector have been overdue.
Huge amounts of public resources are currently wasted in maintaining the thousands of madrashas and their teachers whose only contribution are to produce prayer leaders. The mullahs produced by the madrashas are hardly capable of fulfilling the requirements of a modern economy. The Bengali medium schools are seriously lacking in imparting English language education and better quality education.
Allocation of resources has been meagre to build new public sector universities, engineering universities and engineering colleges, agricultural universities and colleges, polytechnic institutions, specialised educational institutions, etc. The private centres of higher education that have cropped up in response to demand, are not being properly assessed for quality. The proper accreditation of these private educational bodies of higher learning is very important to properly regulate developments in this area.
All of the above reform needs in the education sector and many more should be addressed very soon to get value out of public resources now being spent on education.
Nurul Momen
Dhaka University