Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday asserted that the Bangladesh of 2041 will be a smart Bangladesh where each person will have technological knowledge and the country will not lag behind in the world arena.
“Our education and learning such as e-education, e-health, e-businesses, e-economy, e-governance will be technical knowledge-based,” she said.
The premier said this while the nationwide opening free textbook distribution programme by handing over books to students of primary and secondary levels for academic year-2023 at a function at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). National Textbook Festival is set to be celebrated across the country on January 1.
She said the entire country, including all villages, will have technological knowledge and the government is taking measures for this.
“We’ve launched Satellite Bangabandhu-I and will launch our second satellite. We will connect different parts of the country through submarine cable. We will provide broadband internet all over (the country),” she said.
Mentioning that Bangladesh attained the status of a developing nation when it celebrated birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of the country’s independence, Sheikh Hasina said now none can belittle Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh has now attained a position in the world. And Bangladesh of 2041 will be a developed and prosperous golden Bangladesh, which will be also a smart Bangladesh,” she said.
She added: “From now on, if we groom our children with sincerity, none can stop this progress march of ours.”
Sheikh Hasina said that to make “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041, the children will be provided with all facilities to be the driving force for that.
“We will develop our children in such a way so that they could cope with the coming days that will be technology driven and make them prepared to be the skilled manpower for the upcoming fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR),” she said.
She asked all to pay special attention to flourish the hidden talents of the children through nourishing their curiosities.
“Keeping our eyes towards that we have to build them as the country’s citizens appropriate for the smart Bangladesh by 2041,” she said.
The Prime Minister said that the prime aim of the government is to create technical and technology skilled manpower through providing technical and vocational education.
“Our entire population will be technologically smart, they will not leg behind the whole world,” she said.
The Prime Minister said although the government imposed austerity in many affairs to save public money due to coronavirus and Ukraine-Russia War, but it did not compromise regarding the printing of textbooks for the children.
“…we did not forget the matters of children, we did not compromise on printing their books, yes we saved money from other sides (imposing austerity), but we have given special attention to printing their (children) books (textbooks),” she said.
She said that due to the coronavirus and Ukraine- Russia war, prices of all commodities have increased which led to imposing of austerity by the government in many public expenditure areas, but the government did not impose austerity in printing the textbooks of the children and distributing those on the first day of the new year.
To do this, she said, the government has defied all obstacles including coronavirus, Ukraine-Russia war and price hike of all items.
She mentioned that if the children of the country can be built up with sincerity then there is no force in the world that can stop the development and advancement of the country.
With Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, MP, in the chair, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, MP delivered the welcome address at the ceremony.
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossen, MP, spoke as special guests.
According to National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), as many as 33 crore 91 lakh 12 thousand and 300 textbooks are expected to be distributed at primary and secondary levels across the country.
The government has printed these textbooks by maintaining proper standard for pre-primary, primary, secondary, Ebtedayee and SSC level students and all students will get textbooks for free on the first day of the New Year (2013).
The primary level textbook festival will be held centrally at the central playground of Dhaka University (DU), while the secondary level textbook festival will be held at the Kapasia Pilot High School grounds in Gazipur.
The present government started distributing free textbooks from 2010 academic year and so far distributed a total of 434,45,80,211 textbooks.
Highlighting her government's initiatives to keep the students' education running during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister said that from the time of Corona to till now, children are studying at home as the government took the initiative - “my school is in my house” - through television.
“These measures have been taken so that none can evade studies,” she said, adding: “Education programmes have been conducted across Bangladesh through Sangsad TV. It has also been run through BTV. I think Sangsad TV can always be used by the Ministry of Education.”
She also revealed that they have a plan to launch a separate Terrestrial TV channel for education.
Mentioning that none except the Awami League government has taken initiatives for education, Sheikh Hasina said those who came to power after 1975 did not take any measures to free the people of this country from illiteracy. “It is sad for the nation.”
In 1996, the Awami League formed government and formed the education commission again, she said.
She added that they started implementing a project to increase the literacy rate and teaching the aged people was also incorporated with it.
She said education is the biggest tool if people are to be freed from poverty. “So, we took new steps to educate the entire nation and we constituted a new Education Commission.”
But, the Awami League government could not implement it because of the end of its five-year tenure, she added.
After BNP-Jamaat came to power in 2001, she said, they pushed the country back into darkness and this is the reality.
Sheikh Hasina also said that from 2006 to 2008, another dark era came into the lives of the country’s people.
“In the 2008 election, people voted for ‘boat’, we formed the government again. Since then we again aimed at - how we will free the people of this country from illiteracy and since 2010 we have started distributing free books,” she added.