Postmortem of two projects and 100% literacy Muffler Raman Manikin Recently two projects related to literacy has been died. These projects were considered as the key instruments to achieve ‘hundred percent literate dreamy Bangladesh’. Both the projects require a detailed analysis. Last year in the eve of the literacy day the website of Bureau of non-formal education (BEEN) displayed ‘we are committed to ensure 100% literacy by 2014′. This year the same website has displayed, this account has been suspended’. How miserable condition of a website of digital government?
I have no question about this, but my curiosity is if the website was active what would have been written there; I mean 100% of literacy within which year. There are some reasons behind this curiosity. Before telling that, let’s see that the current status of the projects. Today is September 8, 2012 International Literacy Day. Just three years ago in 2009 The Bureau of non-formal education published a supplement in the daily newspapers on the occasion of literacy day, where it was written that the Bureau has proposed two projects to ensure 100% literacy within 2014.
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These two projects are only waiting for government approval. They are- Basic literacy and continuing education project-I and Basic Literacy and Continuing Education Project-2. They expected that by implementing these projects all illiterate of the country will be literate. We knew nothing details about these projects in one year. After Just one year, in the literacy day of 2010 a daily newspaper (Promote All) published a report on it. The heading of the report was ‘Three thousand core project to eliminate illiteracy’. It described details about these projects.
The first project is for 1 districts; the expense is TX 2 thousand and 962 core and the other project is for another 3 Hillcrest districts; the expense is more than 50 core TX. It was told that the projects will begin in January 2011, and after three steps of work it will be completed in 2013. The reason behind it, the present government declared to eliminate illiteracy from the country within 2014 in their election manifesto. The project is the result of this declaration and for the same reason The Bureau of non-formal said to ensure 100% literacy within 2014.
However, after this report in 2010 we thought that the rejects will be approved in the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (CANE) within December of the year and it will be implemented from January 2011. But that did not happen. We have been informed about the update from a report of The Daily Kamala published on February 8, 2013. The headline of the report was ‘The programs of eliminating illiteracy under challenge’. It said that the government did not approve these two projects because of funds.
The Daily Kamala also published its follow up news ‘ Mega plan to achieve literacy’ was the title of the report on April 21, 2011. The report was as like as the report of The Daily Promote All of September 8, 2010. There were more details about the projects and it teachers. The report said that the projects will be launched in January 2012. It was seen again in the supplement of Bureau of non-formal education of Literacy Day in September that the projects will begin on January 2012 and will run until December 2013.
It meaner after completing the projects in 2013 100% literacy will be ensured within 2014! It was something of hidden and unclear meaning. But the interesting matter is, after that we have passed the month of January 2012, also passed the judged in June but we did not know anything about these projects. Finally, this author himself has gone to the Bureau of non-formal education a week ago and was informed that the projects did not begin. Further details were published Just after few days on September 5, 2012 in a national daily.
The report told that the projects have been waiting since last three years for approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (CANE), but CANE did not approve it as it required a huge amount of money. At last the project implementation cost was reduced to 499 Rorer from 3 thousands core and it has been given a new proposal to approve. These projects did not get any speed for three years, now by reducing the cost, the authority is expecting to implement it very quickly.
We do not know when the project will see the light, but to me most important question is- what will be the fate of 100% literacy? May be, our Minster has given its answer, on the occasion of today’s literacy day, the state minister of primary and mass education (MEMO) said at a press conference in front of the Secretariat on September 6, 2012 that ‘ Though we cellared to eliminate illiteracy from our country within 2014, it is not possible. But we want to reach a track. However, the subject of minister’s speech ‘not possible’ is the two projects. He was compelled to say that the literacy rate is 59. 82% referring the data of the bureau of statistics. If we would see the implementation of the projects have been started, may be minister’s voice would have been different, in that case he would have said with Firmness that we will succeed within 2014. It is a matter of wonder that the government did not approve these two important projects in three ears only for the amount of money.
Although in every year they were promising that it will be started on the following year. And now by their laxity these projects had died. We do not know instead of three thousand core how the project of 499 core will be effective, or still we are in confusion whether this amount will be approved or not. Overall, it is clear that the government can do whatever but at least they do not understand the importance of literacy. They could not understand the significance of eliminating the curse of illiteracy from the country.
We haven’t seen the implementation of the constitutional obligations or the commitment of the government to ensure education for all within 201 5 as of the Millennium Development goal. Only we see their activities when every year the Literacy Day comes. As of now, they declared that it is not possible to ensure 100% literacy. How the website of Bureau of non-formal education will reveal this bitter truth is still my curiosity. Now we are waiting to see when this website will be re-launched. Muffler Raman Manikin: Journalist, Dacha, Bangladesh E-mail: manful. [email protected] Com