The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education is going to receive a grant of $68 million from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to face the Covid-19 fallout and recover some losses.
"We have submitted proposals seeking $73.9 million to ensure 100 percent enrollment, check dropouts and impart a quality education. We held a virtual meeting with GPE high-ups [about this] recently," said Md Akram-Al-Hossain, secretary to the primary and mass education ministry.
Speaking to The Business Standard, he also said, "As a member of the Asia Pacific region of GPE, I am sure that our ministry will get a minimum of $68 million. We will get it by June."
The ministry is yet to decide on the utilisation of the fund, he said.
Officials at the ministry said it has held several meetings on how to invest the funds.
An official of the ministry, wishing to remain anonymous, told this correspondent that they will spend some money for safety purposes against the novel coronavirus pandemic. They have a plan to set up a wash block and basins at every school across the country.
"We will also provide masks to students once schools open. Schools will also be provided with machines to detect temperatures," he said.
Professor Emeritus at Brac University Manzoor Ahmed told The Business Standard that it will be helpful for the ministry to face the virus fallout if it gets the grant.
"Actually, the government must invest a large amount of money to make the stabilise enrollment, and ensure a quality education. It is also a must to increase the budgetary allocation in the education sector," he said.
"We have been successful in achieving the enrollment target at the primary level. However, we have failed to ensure a quality education. The novel coronavirus has brought more challenges before the government," he added.
The Global Partnership for Education is a multi-stakeholder partnership and funding platform that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries in order to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning.
GPE was launched in 2002, and today is engaged in nearly 60 developing countries, as well as with: donor governments, international organisations, private sector, teachers, local and global civil society organisations, and non-governmental organisations – all devoted to helping children receive a good quality education.
Along with coordinating funding, the GPE supports low-income countries to develop and implement their national education strategies, provide financial support and technical expertise.
Since 2003, GPE has helped enroll nearly 22 million more children in school, including 10 million girls, has supported the construction of over 52,600 classrooms and trained around 300,000 teachers.