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Education budget almost unchanged despite calls for more

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Education budget almost unchanged despite calls for more

Staff Correspondent, sukhabor.com: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed to raise the allocation for the education sector to Tk 664 billion in order to build a high-quality system based on equity and inclusiveness.

The education sector has been reeling from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak with schools and universities remaining shut since mid-March as part of the efforts to contain the disease.

The disruption led to calls for greater attention to the education sector but the proposed figure does not mark a significant increase over the TK 611.14 billion allocated in the budget for FY2020.

The proposed allocation for the education and technology sectors combined has dropped by 0.05 percentage points in proportion to the GDP growth target compared to last year’s budget.

The Tk 857.62 billion allocation for the sectors in 2020-21 represents 15.1 percent of the total budget.

In the budget for FY2020, Tk 794.86 billion was set aside for the sectors, making up 15.2 percent of the total budget.

The allocation, however, was reduced to Tk 773.8 billion in the revised budget of the outgoing year, which was 14.72 percent.

The proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is equivalent to 17.9 percent of the total national GDP, as the GDP is estimated at Tk 31.71 trillion.

Accordingly, the allocation for education and technology is equivalent to 2.70 percent, which was 2.75 percent earlier.

International standards dictate the education sector ideally get an allocation of 6 percent of the GDP or 20 percent of the budget.

The public administration received the highest allocation of 19.9 percent in 2020-21, followed by the education and technology sectors.

The primary education sector will get Tk 249.4 billion for the next 2020-21 fiscal year, up from Tk 240 billion in the budget for current FY 2019-20.

The allocation for the secondary and higher education sector has been raised to Tk 331 billion from Tk 296 billion in the current fiscal year.

Additionally, the government will have sufficient allocation to continue its 42 projects to improve the infrastructures and other facilities of public universities, which had an allocation of Tk 32 billion in the current fiscal year.

Kamal proposed to allocate Tk 83.44 billion for the next 2020-21 fiscal year for technical and madrasa education, which was Tk 74.5 billion in current FY 2019-20 to address the issue of poor physical infrastructure in madrasas.

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