The government has put 2,716 non-government educational institutions on the Monthly Payment Order (MPO) system this year.
The new institutions to benefit from the MPO system include 666 lower secondary schools, 1,122 secondary schools, 136 higher secondary schools, 109 higher secondary colleges, and 18 degree colleges, said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni in a press conference at the ministry yesterday.
The new MPO list also includes some 665 educational institutions of the vocational and madrasa education board.
"If any information provided by these institutions for MPO enlistment is found to be false, their MPO will be cancelled," said the education minister.
Tk81,449 crore has been allotted for education in the budget for FY23, where Tk71,974 crore was allotted in FY22.
In the budget for this fiscal, Tk31,761 crore is allocated for the primary and mass education ministry, Tk39,961 crore for the Secondary and Higher Education Division, and Tk9,727 crore for the Technical and Madrasa Education Division.
The allocation for education still remains less than 2% of the country's GDP.
Asked about the schedule for the postponed Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations, Dr Dipu Moni said the exam dates will be announced two weeks after distributing textbooks to students in districts hit by the floods.
"There has been extensive damage due to the recent devastating floods and it was not possible to save textbooks in the flooded areas. First, we need to know how many books will be needed in these areas for the National Curriculum and Textbook Board to print accordingly. Hopefully, we will distribute the textbooks soon," she said.
The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations usually take place in February, now postponed in part due to the floods, will take place in August this year.
The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams will start two months after the SSC exams begin.
According to the education ministry, nearly 19 lakh students across the country put in applications to take part in this year's SSC and equivalent examinations.
More than 23 lakh students registered for the exams in grade nine in 2020, meaning some four lakh students have already dropped out in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. More than half of the dropouts were girls.
In 2020, the SSC exams were over and done before educational institutions closed for the pandemic, while HSC examinees were promoted automatically on the basis of their JSC and SSC results.
In 2021, both the JSC and SSC syllabuses were shortened and exams were held in November and December, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, this year, flooding has disrupted secondary education again.
About keeping schools open, the minister said yesterday that if they can vaccinate students below the age of 12, educational institutions will stay open. "At this moment, schools will not be closed and we will decide on the matter after observing the situation."
Regarding the incident of humiliating a teacher in Narail, the minister said a vested quarter is trying to create communal issues at educational institutions.
"Respecting teachers is everyone's responsibility, including that of people's representatives – it is not the responsibility of the education ministry alone," said Dr Dipu Moni.
She also said teachers need training and counseling. The government initially aims to train two lakh teachers, but so far only 12,000 teachers have received training.