2513Published on July 25, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has put emphasis on building educated manpower to keep up the success of Bangladesh’s graduation to a developing country as well as establish a hunger- and poverty-free Bangladesh.
“I think that building educated manpower is very much necessary to continue the achievement of Bangladesh’s elevation to a developing country as well as establish a hunger- and poverty-free Bangladesh,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina added: “Our aim is to establish such manpower and we are working to achieve this goal.”
The Prime Minister was addressing a function as the chief guest to distribute ‘The Prime Minister Gold Medal 2017’ among the meritorious students of different universities at her office on Wednesday.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid was present at the function as the special guest.
Chaired by UGC Chairman Professor Dr Abdul Mannan, the function was addressed, among others, by Secretary of Secondary and Higher Education Division of the Education Ministry Sohrab Hossain and UGC Member Professor Dil Afroza Begum.
Ishrat Jahan Priya of the Finance Department of Jagannath University and Sajan Dhar of Business Administration Department of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) of Sylhet, who got the gold medals, also spoke at the function.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman was present on the occasion.
As many as 163 students, who secured the highest marks or CGPA in their respective faculties at different universities of the country in 2017, were selected by the UGC for the Prime Minister Gold Medal.
The premier mentioned the investment in the education sector as the most effective tool for the development of the country and said the government always thinks that spending money for education is an investment.
“I never see spending money for education as an expense. I consider it as an investment,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said though the public universities are autonomous bodies, more than 90 percent of their expenditure comes from the government exchequer and the share sometimes stands at 100 percent or more.
“Whatever development needed for the universities is done by the government and we’re doing this so that the country never steps backward,” she added.
She said that spending money for education will build the future generation which will help materialise Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s dream of establishing ‘Sonar Bangla’.
Stressing the need for establishing Higher Education Commission for improving standard of higher education, she said the commission is being constituted as it is not possible for the UGC alone to accomplish all activities of the universities.
“The infrastructure and development of the commission will be made in line with the directives of the Father of the Nation,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the “Accreditation Council Act” has been passed in Parliament to ensure quality of education at the universities.
The premier asked the meritorious students to play a pioneering role in their working life through talent, patriotism and sacrifice for the development of the country and the nation.
“I hope you’ll give proper and right leadership to the country and the nation in future … More dynamism will be infused and peace will be established in society due to your talent, knowledge and work,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina recalled that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, immediately after independence in 1972, had recognized education as the constitutional rights of the people.
Bangabandhu reconstructed thousands of damaged schools and colleges and built new ones, she said, adding he also established the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1973 for the flourishing of higher education.
The premier said the Father of the Nation constituted the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission in 1972 for the development of education and the noted educationist and scientist submitted his report.
But after the assassination of Bangabandhu, she said, nobody executed the report, rather serious anarchy was created on the campus by handing over arms to the students instead of books.
Sheikh Hasina said since assuming office in 2009, her government has been working by giving priority to education, health and social safety. The literacy rate has increased to 73 percent thanks to the highest allocation in the education sector and implementation of massive uplift programmes, she added.
“We want that the literacy rate of the country increases to cent percent and we’re working to achieve the target,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has framed the Private University Act, 2010 for improving the quality of education and established six public universities during the 1996-2001 tenure and 13 public universities during the present tenure since 2009.
The prime minister said her government during 1996-2001 tenure established the country’s first-ever medical university in Dhaka, while two medical universities were launched recently in Rajshahi and Chattogram.
“Besides, initiatives have been taken to set up such university in all divisions,” she added.
Congratulating the meritorious students who received “The Prime Minister Gold Medal 2017”, Sheikh Hasina said: “As the meritorious students at the university level, you’re the glittering star of the higher education … your parents and family were honoured and became proud for your success.”
Mentioning that out of 163 gold medal recipients, 101 are female, Sheikh Hasina said she is delighted by seeing excellent results of the girls at the universities.
“But I will like to tell the male students to be more attentive to their studies,” she said.
Pointing out Bangladesh’s tremendous achievements in different fields, the premier reiterated her determination to build a middle income country by 2021 and developed and prosperous one by 2041.
Sheikh Hasina said investment is coming in the country which is now on the highway of development.
“We’re victorious nation and we’ll move keeping our head high, not begging to others,” she said.