In any emergency such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, education becomes the issue of least priority among policymakers because the impact on education is invisible, intangible, and long-term. This is what we observe in the national budget for the fiscal 2021-22.
The amount earmarked for education has increased slightly from the previous fiscal year, but its share of the total budget has decreased.
The proposed allocation for the education ministry and the primary and mass education ministry is 10.4% of the total expenditure in FY22. This share was 10.87% in FY21.
While the budget speech recognises the adverse impacts of Covid-19 on education, we do not see any projects targeting the recovery of students' learning losses due to closure of schools, the likely impacts on dropout, children's mental health, etc.
I hope the government will reconsider this issue and will set aside an amount to mitigate the pandemic's impacts on students in the revised ADP.
Dr Kazi Iqbal, Senior Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies