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‘Child safety a must for building a developed Bangladesh’

Published : 14 Nov 2021 10:10 PM

Without protecting children, we will not be able to build a developed, prosperous and non-discriminatory Bangladesh, said the Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology  Mustafa Jabbar. He said that in order to develop a child's skills, creativity and talent, the child should be prepared as a student without putting pressure on the test results. He said the more digital the country, the more digital crime and the importance of digital security increases. Children cannot be isolated from digital devices or the Internet. However, for their safety, the child needs to be involved in the digital device by following the parental guidance. The Minister also stressed on the need for teachers and parents to acquire skills in digital devices to meet the challenges of the digital age without imposing the responsibility of online engagement on children.

The Minister was speaking as the chief guest at an exchange meeting on child protection context and tasks organized by the non-governmental organization Breaking the Silence at Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) auditorium in Dhaka on Sunday.

President of Breaking the Silence, Daily Ittefaq Editor Tasmima Hossain presided over the function. , NCTV members Professor Mashiuzzaman and Professor Reazul Hasan and Roxana Sultana, Executive Director of Breaking the Silence were present. Anwarul Islam Sikder, advisor of the organization conducted the programme.

The Minister of Telecommunications said that it was essential to build a social revolution in the development of children in the spirit of poet Sukant's commitment to make the world livable for children. "Children are our future," he said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's main mantra is to build the future generation as an asset. Mentioning that groundbreaking programmes are being adopted and implemented in this regard, Minister Mustafa Jabbar, founder of Digital School for Children in Gazipur, near Dhaka in 1999, said that the era of paper book based education has come to an end with the development of digital technology. Today's education needs educational data, interactive, multimedia and digital content. To this end, digital education is being introduced in 650 primary schools in remote areas of the country on a pilot basis at the initiative of the Department of Posts and  Telecommunications.

“We have created digital content from first to 5th grade so that children can enjoy learning. As a result, students who are taking lessons in this manner are able to complete one year course in three months,” he added.

The minister said that it needs to be clarified whether the children will be connected to the internet or not. He said that in the digital age, there is no opportunity to limit education to the classroom only. To this end, the government is working to connect education online with classrooms. 

In her speech, Tasmima Hossain stressed on the need for joint efforts to protect children and said, "We have to break the silence.” She noted that the silence has already begun to break.

BTRC Chairman Shyam Sundar Sikder stressed on the need for awareness of parents to ensure safe internet for children. He gave an overview of the work being done by the government, especially the BTRC and the Department of Posts and Telecommunications on digital security. He said that BTRC has formed its own digital security cell. BTRC maintains all-round communication with social media including Facebook. Through the CTDR, the BTRC is shutting down sites that promote terrorism, militancy, sectarianism and anti-state propaganda. He said the government is doing all kinds of work to build safety and awareness of children.

Roxana Sultana, executive director of the organization, highlighted the Breaking the Silence program on child protection since 1994, saying, "We want a culture of silence." She said that this discussion meeting was organized to break that silence. He mentioned that the cooperation of all is needed for this.