Strengthening rural schools
A FRONT-page report on December 28 in a local English-language daily explored the causes of inefficiency of rural schools in Bangladesh. Well over seventy percent of our school and college students constitute from the rural areas. For improving their standard of education, it is highly important to provide extra financial incentives to the rural schools, compared to the ones in the urban areas. This will encourage the students and the teachers, as well as help their needy parents and the dependent ones. It will also help to improve the overall standard of rural education in most of the schools and colleges. For implementing this, our authorities have to classify the educational institutions by their location. To encourage teachers, teaching in the rural areas, there should be an additional financial allowance. The allowance could be 10 per cent of the basic salary for the upazila-based schools and 20 per cent for village-based ones. Another allowance could be introduced based on the educational qualifications.
It will be independent from their pay scales, which also may vary from school to school based on their current wage scales set by the government education authorities or the management committee of the particular institution. The extra finances needed should be incorporated in the annual budget of the government, based on a complete and up to date survey carried out by an independent committee or organisation. This financial support for education in rural areas is an essential need that under no circumstances should be reduced. In overall national interest, education of the future generations must be given topmost priority. Image of the teacher has to be consciously built up by the authorities and their social status must be uplifted. Nothing is of more important for the growth and betterment of the country compared with ensuring better education to every corner of the country.
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