Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 28 February : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the government is committed to sustaining Bangladesh’s recognition as a developing country through the expansion of education and building skilled workforce and worthy citizens.
“Bangladesh today is a developing country. We’ve to maintain the recognition we’ve got, and for that we need to expand our educational facilities, build a skilled workforce and worthy citizens,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating a programme of distributing stipends, tuition fees, admission assistance and treatment grants among poor and meritorious students from the PM’s Education Assistance Trust at the Ministry of Education.
Sheikh Hasina joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Hasina said the government is firmly committed to building skilled and worthy citizens. “To make Bangladesh free from poverty, education is needed most. We think, like the Father of the Nation, that spending on the education sector is not an expense at all. We do consider it as an investment and that’s the investment for the future generation,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the government is setting up various universities across the country considering the demand for the modern world.
She mentioned that the government has established Maritime University and Aviation University considering the requirement of a specific area.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that science and technology-based education along with vocational one is most needed as these could create employment opportunities both at home and abroad.
She said the government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country where huge technical persons and skilled manpower will be needed as both local and foreign investments are coming there.
“We want to develop people as skilled manpower so that they can substantially contribute to economic development of the country. We’re taking steps keeping eyes on that,” she said.
Regarding the higher number of female students than the male ones, she asked teachers and guardians to find out the reason why the number of male students is falling.
Hasina also said the government has decided to reopen educational institutions on March 30 and all the teachers and employees of the institutions will get vaccinated against Covid-19 by that time. “We’ve already directed the Health Ministry to get them vaccinated,” she said.
About the vaccine for college and university students, the Prime Minister said the government will ensure the vaccine for the students whose vaccination is not restricted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu believed that no nation could achieve desired development without education.
Following the ideals of the great leader, she said, the government has established many institutions for higher education in the country to make education a multifaceted one.
Hasina mentioned that Sher-e Bangla Agricultural University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Agricultural University, Patuakhali Science and Technology University are among them.
She said steps have also been taken to establish technical institutes in every upazila, medical university in every division as well as at least one university in every district under private or public initiatives.
Describing various initiatives of her government for the development of education, Sheikh Hasina said it is implementing Education Policy-2010 as well as equity-based science and technology-related education system.
To ensure the access of all children to education, the government is providing stipends to the students in addition to providing free books and scholarships to the poor and meritorious students for higher education, she added.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that nearly 1,500 poor students are getting financial assistance for their education every year from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust.
Referring to Covid-19 pandemic, she said students can get results and complete their enrollment through digital system staying at home.
Later, the Prime Minister exchanged views with parliament members, public representatives, government officials, teachers and students at Golachipa upazila of Patuakhali, Bishambhapur Upazila end of Sunamganj, and sadar Upazila end of Bandarban district from Ganobhaban through a videoconference.
A total of 163,882 poor and meritorious students received stipends and other assistance for education and treatment through mobile phone and online banking system today under the Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust.