Remarks by Ms. Shanchita Haque, Minister, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York at the High-Level Event on the occasion of the International Day of Education ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQ, 24 January 2020

Thank you, Madam Chair.

I thank all the panelists for their insightful presentations.

We fully adhere to the principle that education is a human right. Our best investment is done when we invest in education for children.

We are in the path of transforming our country as was envisioned by our Father of the Nations who emphasized on quality education as a tool for economic development, gender equality, and eradication of extremism and communalism from the society. Our Government’s vision is to ensure inclusive and quality education for all children.

The Government of Bangladesh is committed to attaining the targets of SDG 4. It has been performing an incredible task for the last few years which is the distribution of free books to children. This year 353 million textbooks were distributed to more than 42 million primary and secondary students on the annual Textbook Festival Day. At the same time, textbooks written in various languages for ethnic minorities were also distributed.

There is no substitute for skilled human resource for the country’s economic development. The Government has invested heavily in instituting ICT based, technical and vocational education so that the large youth population of Bangladesh turns into a professional and skilled human resource. The emergence of AI and other transformative technologies are poised to reshape our job market. Therefore, we need the right kind of education which will increase the employability of our youth and allay the fear of social tensions and joblessness.

Our Government is paying close attention to ensuring education for the girls and children of the marginalized section. Scholarships and free education have been initiated for girls up to the tertiary level. We are going to start meals in schools soon to bring poor children to school and ensure food security for them.

Quality education is a global agenda and a means to implement sustainable development. The current global partnership is not at all enough to attain this global goal. While we are trying our best to provide quality education to our children, we hope that our development partners would come forward to support us in achieving productive human capital in developing countries. I conclude mentioning that more scholarships from the developed countries and more access to international finance for facilitating quality education in our countries hold the key to international partnership for education.

Thank you.