My Education Is Not a Product

On the 13th of September of 2015, Global Voices author Pantha Rahman Reza posted an article called “#NoVatOnEducation Student Movement Is on the Rise in Bangladesh.” A VAT is Value-Added Tax. Vats are put on products and store items but the prime minister in Bangladesh decided to place a tax on education. It was first proposed as a %10 tax and hundreds of students started revolting. They would sit on busy streets and make signs until they got the attention they deserved. They eventually the government changed the tax to 7.5%.

On September 9, hundreds of university students blocked the capital’s Badda Link Road near Aftabnagar, demanding the withdrawal of the 7.5 percent VAT imposed on private university tuition fees. Twenty three students and a deputy registrar of East West University were injured when the police opened fire. It costs about $9,000 dollars for someone to go to university in Bangladesh. That might not seem like a lot but in Bangladesh that is a life’s worth of savings. A private  medical university costs twice that at $18,00. Now that is without the VAT. For a regular university that taxes can go to $675, which is roughly equal to an average fee for one trimester. People have been protesting for along time and at one point they reduced it to 4.5 percent. On the 14th of september the prime minister tweeted that all vat would be abolished.

In my life I have never had to worry about my education. It has never been a sacrifice to go to school and I have never been denied education. I cannot imagine having to pay more just because I go to school. My education is not a product, so why should it be treated as so? As a thirteen year old girl who goes to a private school my views are warped because of my lack of  experience. These people are demonstrating that if something is not write and you say something you are heard. sometimes you have to sit on a street with hundreds of people but the tax was abolished in the end. Education is a basic human right, I, and those people agree that it is not something that can be treated as a product.


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