In line with its commitment to ensure education for all, the government is implementing several projects to bring the underprivileged section of people especially from the Char, Haor, and remote and hilly areas into the mainstream of education.
Three years ago, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced at a public meeting in Khaliajuri, Netrokona, the construction of schools with residential facilities in Haor areas.
She also promised to set up new residential schools and construct residential buildings for the existing schools in remote, hilly and coastal areas.
As per the prime minister’s announcement, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Primary and Mass Education have taken various initiatives to impart to the people of these areas the light of mainstream education.
The ministry has already started implementing several projects along with taking up new projects, in keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment.
The implementation of these projects will bring about a remarkable change in education of these regions as well as reduce dropouts, concerned sources said.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has already approved the project to set up residential schools with all facilities in Sunamganj, Kishoreganj and Netrokona areas.
The project is being implemented in the shoal (Char) areas for secondary level students at the cost of Tk 157 crore.
In order to change the trend of education in three hilly areas including Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban, the work on infrastructure development at primary, secondary and college level is also going on in full swing.
Besides, two special projects have been undertaken to bring the deprived students of Moulvibazar district into mainstream education. Work on the project of the Ministry of Education is near completion.
The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education is going to undertake another project for primary students.
In this regard, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education Akram-Al-Hossain told Bangladesh Post, “We have taken initiative to set up schools in the tea garden areas as per the Prime Minister’s directive. I have got an initial list of setting up about 1,000 schools from the local administration. Local administration and the directorate of primary education are now checking and scrutinizing these lists.”
According to the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), in order to set-up primary schools at probable backward areas, Moulvibazar District Primary Education Officer has made a report with the help of primary education officers of all the upazilas.
According to the report, the total number of tea gardens (including main and branch gardens) in Moulvibazar district is 120.
There are government primary schools in 61 gardens while there is no school in 9 gardens.
Concerned Upazila Primary Education Officers have recommended setting up schools in five gardens.
Besides, schools are being run in 57 gardens under the supervision of the tea garden owners.
The owners of Kamalganj upazila, Rajnagar upazila and Baralekha Upazila have demanded to make these schools government primary schools.
Meanwhile, work is underway to set up 52 educational institutions in shoal (Char) areas in 11 districts of the four divisions.
Besides, MPO has been given under special consideration to educational institutions in remote, hilly, Shoal and coastal areas of the country.
In 2018, as per Section 14 of the National MPO Policy (Special Consideration), MPOs have been given to some 57 educational institutions despite not having the required qualifications for MPO registration.
Apart from this, tenders for three separate projects for setting up residential schools at Sunamganj district, Netrokona district and Ashtagram, Itna, Mithamoin and Nikli upazilas in Kishoreganj district have been called after ECNEC approval.
Work on these projects will start soon. If these projects are implemented, the entire education of several lakh students in 16 upazilas of the region will reach a new height. Students will get residential facilities during the monsoon season.