Muhammad Quamrul Islam
A senior government official asked me in agony at the terrible scenes of fire caused burn, death and destruction of many near first hour of 21st February, 2019 in emotional voice true to his concern as a student of Sociology and fellow feeling, still persists in our country tolerant to corruptions with the flow of development, to write strongly about it so that the culprits are caught hold of and do not escape.
Thanks to the shock expressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations and international media on this horrendous event, it is felt some serious measures would be taken up courageously this time by Bangladesh authorities.
We are inclined to accept the report of The New York Times, carried in Bangladesh national print media on 24 February, which pointed out root cause of horrible fire at Capital’s Churihatta at Chakbazar is lust of the riches/neo-wealthy. It spread instantly from fire at a small shop of unapproved chemicals to a residential building nearby where thousands of body spray bottles were kept began to He noted that as most of the country’s schools were private management, mostly dominated by family members, the government had to compromise many issues including quality education.
Describing various efforts taken by the present government in the last one decade, Alam said that the government had taken a move to appoint skilled and meritorious teachers in the primary level.
He said the WB report could help the government in policy making matter.
He called upon the WB to assist the government with implementation of projects on enhancing education quality.
Earlier, Bob Saum, WB country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said Bangladesh was among the few countries to achieve gender parity in school enrolment with more girls in school than boys.
But the country needed investment in education to create a globally competitive workforce, he had noted.
Bangladesh’s share of public spending on education is lower than the South Asian average and about half of Malaysia’s share of spending on education, he added.
The WB report says many young students in Bangladesh, as in other low and middle-income countries, find it hard to get good jobs because they leave education without acquiring skills to read, write or do basic math.
While commenting on the report, Jaime Saavedra, WB senior director for education, noted that children from poor and vulnerable groups start to fall behind when they are six months old as they do not have the right to nutrition and proper stimulation.
These shortcomings have a large impact as children grow older and quality early childhood development programmes are fundamental and vital investments for Bangladesh to tackle the learning crisis, he said.
The WB report said attracting high-quality teachers, improving teaching and learning process and motivating children to come to school could help the country overcome the problems.
Muhammad Quamrul Islam