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Tuesday, November 5, 2019 11:05:01 PM
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Fake primary enrolment to make illegal money

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06th-Nov-2019       
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A SECTION of primary school teachers and field-level officials have long been involved in the practice of showing higher number of students enrolled and registered for Primary Education Completion examination than the actual to misappropriate government incentive money. State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain stated that he had learned from Directorate of Primary Education officials that teachers of primary schools and madrasas and field-level officials embezzled stipend funds and other benefits in these ways.
Both enrolment and exam registration rates fell after the introduction of stipend payments through mobile banking in 2016 and the recent cross-checking of registrations for examinees with national identity numbers of their parents from the central server.
While some of the teachers have been punished we don't know the full extent of the crimes to begin with. In other words the true amount of misappropriation of funds remains unknown. Unfortunately the government's tendency to manipulate data to exaggerate its development performances helped institutional corruption grow in the primary education sector.
For years the government has been showing high enrolment and pass rates and low dropout rates in order to demonstrate that it has been achieving the sustainable development goals now and the millennium development goals earlier. But these data do not reflect the reality.
The Directorate's Annual Primary School Census 2018 showed that the net enrolment rate dropped by 0.11 percentage points from 97.77 per cent in the Census Report of 2017 which was 97.66 per cent in 2018 report. The difference between the numbers of net students enrolled in the two years should be 17,600 if the percentage rate is calculated based on country's total 1.6 crore children aged between six and 10 years as shown by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics data.
So what measures can be recommended to check corruption in the sector? One recommendation could be that the Primary Education Directorate should make some interventions as the database of beneficiaries was not owned or possessed by the DPE authorities but was under Rupali Bank and a DPE-appointed private firm.
Additionally software can be created for weeding out fake IDs so that duplication of IDs doesn't occur. The government should take upon itself the need to maintain the database so that it can accurately judge the number of students who are genuine. Exemplary punishments to teachers who are caught faking the number of students could be considered as another deterrent.



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