"Education is the backbone of a nation." This proverb is a succinct distillation of examples seen across centuries. A nation cannot reach its maximum growth potential if its people do not grow through education.
The ongoing pandemic has resulted in a decline in the education sector of Bangladesh. Around 40 million students from 200,000 educational institutions in our country have been affected. As most educational institutions remain closed, educationists called for a budget allocation so that different institutions can conduct classes online. But there has been little or no change in budget allocation between schools, colleges, and universities which may not be the best for a developing economy.
The budget allocation for the educational sector is comparatively much lower than in other Asian countries. In the current budget, the allocation for the education sector was Tk 61,118 crore and it was 11.68 percent of the total budget and 2.10 percent of GDP, according to budget documents. This budget may have a pessimistic effect in schools, colleges and universities.
Effects on the economy
Due to almost unchanged budget allocation and as recent statistics from a Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) rapid survey says, there will be an increasing number of dropout students from different educational institutions. This will not only affect the learning ability of students but also increase child marriages in the society by 58 percent. Also, child labour in the economy may increase drastically by 71 percent. This may hinder the economic growth of Bangladesh.
Effects on resources for online classes
Different public schools, colleges and universities throughout the country lack resources that are needed to perform online classes. Also, the teachers from public institutions lack potential skills for taking virtual classes. Schools especially in rural areas are not able to afford the technologies such as monitors, smartphones and other things that are necessities for taking classes online. It's been 2 years since different public educational institutions are held closed. And thus, the productivity of the students and the skill of the teachers has dropped as they are just sitting at home.
On the other hand, most private institutions are taking classes online. All the study resources are available for students and teachers on the internet. Their productivity is considerably more than the public institutions, causing an imbalance between public and private students. This is resulting in the public education sector students to remain behind in learning and productivity than the students in the private educational sectors.
Future effect on the human resource capital
As stated earlier, the government has allocated 11.68 percent of the budget to the educational sector which is less than 15 percent. Experts believe that the implementation of this minimum budget is not sufficient enough for the huge losses caused by study gaps and dropouts. High number of dropouts and gap in studies will be the roots for negative impact in the human resource capital for the upcoming years. Sustainable economic development will also take a downturn which will be unwelcoming for a developing economy.
On the contrary, the government should consider the different negative effects of budget allocation in the educational sector. The points mentioned above are just research based but there can be additional repercussions that may be triggered by this low budget allocation. One such repercussion will result in the need for providing funds to the unemployed for not being able to graduate. Thus, the government should take necessary precautions before the matter gets out of hand.