Claiming that the present government has almost achieved its ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said computer education would gradually be made mandatory at primary level in a bid to expand the ICT use.
“Computer education has been made mandatory at the secondary level and it’ll gradually be made mandatory at the primary level,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a function at her office marking the handover of computer lab in one secondary educational institution in each district with the grant provided by Indian government.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Sharan spoke at the program chaired by ICT Minister Mostafa Faruk Mohammad.
ICT Secretary Nazrul Islam Khan, Deputy Commissioner of Barisal Md Shahidul Alam also spoke on the occasion. Shankar Kumar Saha and Jannatul Mawa Chowdhury shared their feelings on behalf of the teachers and students respectively.
The decision to establish one computer lab in one secondary school in each district of Bangladesh was incorporated in a joint communiqué issued during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in Dhaka in September, 2011.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has almost become a digital country and steps would be taken so that everyone could use ICT.
She said Bangladesh has made a good progress on ICT use compared to other countries. “We want Bangladesh to make further progress in ICT use and be built in light with the Liberation War spirit by 2021.”
Sheikh Hasina said that her government has ensured good governance and justice in the country through establishing e-government alongside development of ICT infrastructures and expansion and ensuring right to information.
Besides, works in government offices have got dynamism following the establishment of ICT network between the ministries and government offices at division, district and upazila levels.
Criticizing the BNP-Jamaat government for its failure to improve the literacy rate, Hasina said the Awami League government in its previous term lifted the literacy rate to 65 percent. Later, during the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat government, the literacy rate got down to 45 percent. “When the country was moving ahead, we had to fall behind?”
Highlighting various successes of the present government in the education sector, the Prime Minister said the bandwidth price has already been reduced and its speed would also be increased. “We’ve moved into 3G internet services and will move into 4G.”
Putting emphasis on continuing the school feeding program, she said if the school feeding program remains operative with the active participation of local people and elected public representatives, then the trend of dropout in schools would gradually come down.
Noting that education is the backbone of a nation, Hasina said, “An educated nation can only turn Bangladesh into a hunger- and poverty-free ‘Sonar Bangla’ for which the present government is working tirelessly.”
Citing the India-Bangladesh partnership in the fields of trade, commerce, power, energy, culture and academic exchange, he said India is committed to strengthening this partnership further.
Later, the Indian High Commissioner handed over the Prime Minister a token computer lab.