The government has taken an initiative to build improved infrastructures and facilities for the primary schools in the country as well as to create improved environment for students and teachers.
To achieve the objectives, Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) recently approved a Tk 169.33 crore ‘Primary Education Development Project (IDB)’.
Directorate of Primary Education under the Primary and Mass Education Ministry will implement the project to be completed by June 2014.
Of the total project cost, the government will provide Tk 32.53 crore (19%) while Tk 136.80 crore (81%) will come as project assistance from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said a Planning Ministry official.
He said that the project also aims to ensure improved sanitation and safe drinking water for the teachers and students in the project areas.
Besides, it also targets to ensure enrollment of all children to the primary schools and also to supply education related materials to the teachers and students, added the official.
The project will cover 75 upazilas of 20 districts. These districts are Naogaon, Pabna, Sirajganj, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Bagerhat, Jessore, Khulna, Gopalganj, Kishoreganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Sherpur, Chandpur, Chittagong, Comilla, Barisal, Jhalakati, Sunamganj and Sylhet.
Under the project, a total of 180 buildings – some 160 two-storey buildings with four-storey foundation will be built in the plains and 20 three-storey buildings in the flood-prone and low lying areas.
Besides, there will be separate toilets for male and female students, arsenic-free tube wells, facility to preserve rain water and its re-use, and to set up solar panels.
Planning Ministry sources said that the government struck a US$ 18 million loan agreement with the IDB on July 2, 2011 for the project. The loan carries annual service charge of 2.50 percent having a seven year grace period with the principal amount to be repaid in 25 years.
They said that two projects have already been implemented under the financial assistance of the IDB. The government primary school construction project (2nd phase) with IDB funding was completed by June 2009.
Later, in a survey carried out by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), it was found that a notable number of schools across the country are in dilapidated condition.
Following the survey, a list of some 312 primary schools have been prepared from which 180 primary schools identified for maintenance and reconstruction on priority basis under the recently approved project.
The Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the project was held on November 24 this year where the Planning Commission recommended for moving ahead with the project.