IUB Hosts Webinar on National Budget and Education Sector in Bangladesh
The Department of Social Sciences and Humanities (DSSH) at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) hosted a webinar on a quite recent and significant issue titled, ‘Post Budget (FY 2021-22) Discussion: Education Sector in Focus’ on 9 June, 2021.
Rasheda K. Choudhury, Executive Director, CAMPE & Former Advisor of Caretaker Government of Bangladesh attended the event as the chief guest. A very interactive discussion were conveyed by first distinguished speaker Professor Niaz Ahmed Khan, Pro-VC, IUB, second distinguished speaker Professor Dr. Taiabur Rahman, Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS), IUB and designated discussant Professor Dr. Mohammad Abu Eusuf, Department of Development Studies, DU. Dr. Kazi Mahmudur Rahman, Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities and Dr. Md. Shanawez Hossain, Asst. Professor, Global Studies & Governance, IUB gave a robust key note presentation on the topic. Ms Sharmeen Ahmed, Acting Head of the Department of Social Science and Humanities, IUB delivered the inaugural speech and moderated the program.
The presentation highlighted the consequences of pandemic, Bangladesh Government's responses to the crisis, education sector in ADP allocation, poverty and education, etc. In addition, design of an immediate rescue package to salvage higher education sector by enhancing ICT support to students of public university was presented.
Rasheda K. Choudhury stated that the policymakers failed to understand the dire impact on education sector as it is not immediately apparent as for other sectors like healthcare. To this regard, she suggested the universities to come up with evidence-based research to show the impact in monetary term.
Prof. Niaz Ahmed Khan, called attention to the need for proper policies and budget allocation to address the issue of inequality for the education sector. Summing up the discussion, Prof. Taiabur Rahman reemphasized the need for an immediate rescue project for the education sector and also accented various exemplary measures taken by private universities including scholarship, reduction of tuition fees, support for online classes etc. Prof. Yusuf emphasized the importance of monitoring implementation process and urged for separating the budget for education from the budget for technology in order to get a clear picture of the allocation.
All the discussants unanimously agreed that the proposed tax on private universities and English medium schools must be withdrawn otherwise, ultimately, it will create extra burden on students, which in turn, will lead to an increased number of drop outs and that could well be the last nail in the coffin of the already struggling institutes.
Speakers shed light on fiscal measures that could both directly and/or indirectly affect the education sector of Bangladesh, and also discussed the emerging problems of this sector due to and during pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 situation.
The participants actively participated in the Q&A session and their queries were answered by the speakers. The webinar ended with a note of thanks by Professor Dr. Taiabur Rahman, Dean of SLASS, IUB.