The status of the headmasters of government primary schools has been upgraded to grade II from grade III.
“We upgraded the status of the headmasters of the government primary schools to grade II from grade III,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced amid clapping from the audiences while inaugurating the National Primary Education Week-2014 at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on Sunday.
Chaired by Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman the function was also addressed by secretary of the Ministry Kazi Akhter Hossain and Director General of Primary Education Shyamol Kanti Ghosh.
Sheikh Hasina said that in light with the election pledges, her government has set the target of extending free primary education up to class eight and making it mandatory for all children.
Terming the children as the invaluable asset of the nation, she said that the government is putting highest priority on ensuring quality education for them and will do whatever necessary in this regard.
The Prime Minister said that to continue the stipend programs for female education is another pledge of the government and it has approved a project for implementing the non-formal education program for elderly people to achieve the target of cent percent literacy.
She said primary education is the main ladder of education and it is the sacred duty of all to ensure education for all children, as without this the desired development of a nation could not be possible.
Hasina mentioned that soon after independence, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had nationalized the primary education to build a modern and desired future for an independent nation.
Bangabandhu took the country towards its first step of advancement in education sector through nationalizing 36,165 primary schools and services of 1,57,724 teachers, she said.
The Prime Minister said that whenever Awami League was in power, it gave the top priority to education following the footprints of Bangabandhu.
In this regard, she mentioned that her government formulated a production-oriented, science-based and time-befitting education policy and had nationalized over 26,000 primary schools including the services of about 1.04 lakh teachers during its immediate past term.
The government has set up new schools where there were no schools, increased classrooms and the number of stipends, and also constructed infrastructures including setting up of new Primary Teachers’ Training Institutes.
Hasina said that in order to raise the standard of education, Primary School Certificate and Junior School Certificate Terminal examinations are being held with common question papers across the country.
As a result, she said, all students are getting extra care and encouragement for pursuing their studies and building up a mentality of competition in tender age.
She also mentioned that to infuse dynamism in the primary education, the government reduced the ratio of student and teachers in the classrooms.
Besides, the PM said that the government is providing free textbooks up to secondary level students on the first day of the year and almost cent percent enrollment in Primary schools were ensured.
She said a total of 79 lakh primary students, 4 lakh secondary level students and 1.33 lakh students from higher secondary to degree level are getting government stipends.
Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust Fund has been constituted with Tk 1,000 crore seed money to help the poor and meritorious students to continue their studies.
Besides, locally managed midday meal has been introduced in some schools which would be expanded to all schools in phases, she added.
Hasina directed the authorities concerned including the teachers to ensure strong foundation of primary education.
She mentioned that scope for online reading of books has been created through converting all books from primary to secondary levels into e-books while multimedia classrooms and ICT labs were established and teachers being imparted training in this regard.
Besides, the PM said Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib Gold Cup Primary School Football Tournaments are being held every year for flourishing the students physically and mentally as well as to create unity and competitive atmosphere.
Inter-Primary sports and cultural competitions are also being arranged from 2011 and initiatives were taken from 2010 to establish student council in every school for flourishing the leadership of children, she said.
Later, the Prime Minister distributed medals among the officials, teachers, schools and public representatives for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of primary education at national, divisional, district and upazila level for 2012 and 2013 years.
She also distributed medals among the students for their excellence in extracurricular activities including in sports, recitation, extempore speech, painting, music, acting and hand writing at national level.
Grade II awarded to headmasters