High-level Event on the International Finance Facility
H. E. Sheikh Hasina
Hon’ble Prime Minister
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
UNHQ, New York.
24 September 2018
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Excellency Mr. Gordon Brown,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Assalamu alaikum and a very good morning/afternoon.
I thank the Education Commission for inviting me to this high level meeting.
In 2015, when we adopted Sustainable Development Goals, we committed ourselves to ensuring inclusive and equitable education for all. Regrettably, about 263 million children in the world are still out of school. About 800 million children lack basic skills to lead a decent life and livelihood.
In order to attain success in Goal 4 of the Agenda 2030 we need to invest in education and skill development sector. In Bangladesh, we have allocated 26.9% of our annual development plan in education sector.
Our National Education Policy 2010 promotes universal and quality education. We have also taken programme for out-of-school children, school feeding programme in poverty-pockets, stipend for under-privileged students and girls up to graduation level, construction and maintenance of school infrastructure, training and skill development of teachers, use of ICT, etc. to promote quality education.
We are distributing free textbooks to all the school children. This year alone, we have provided 354.92 million free textbooks to 43.76 million children. Total 13 million students have been brought under stipend programme. We have brought 211 thousand and 2 hundred teachers in Government pay roll.
Our efforts have resulted in increase of net primary enrolment rate up to 98% and decline of drop out to 18.8%. Over 3 hundred thousand out-of-school children have been brought under education facility through a project called ‘Ananda schools’, meaning ‘happy schools’.
We are also investing in improving the infrastructure and school environment. Recently 1495 primary schools have been built in areas with no schools and 1000 more are under construction. We are building 7,000 primary schools with separate wash blocks for boys and girls, ensuring access to sanitation for girls.
We are setting up 46,340 multimedia classrooms and 2,120 smart classrooms in 26,000 educational institutions at secondary, higher secondary level including in religious schools called madrasas. We have a plan to set up 64 livelihoods and lifelong learning centres in 64 districts. Currently, the government is implementing 71 education-related projects worth US Dollar 106.7 million.
Despite substantial increase in investment in education from domestic sources, there remains a wide financing gap. We are working out innovative financing mechanisms to bring adequate resources to education.
We appreciate the efforts of organizations like Education Commission for mobilizing resources for the education sector.
However, traditional method of generating fund will not be enough to fill in the gaps in education financing. We must also engage the private sector to invest in education sector to make education widely affordable and for enhancing quality of education.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Education and learning inspire individuals, set their values and ultimately enrich lives. When delivered well, education cures a host of social difficulties. It promotes individual’s ability to perform effectively and productively. It also spurs innovation and growth strengthening institutions and fostering social cohesion.
Education is also the strongest tool in ensuring sustaining peace. Let us invest in education, particularly in girl and women’s education to secure peace and progress for our future generation.
Thank you all.
Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu
May Bangladesh Live Forever.