Dhaka, 04: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called upon the teachers to educate the children from tender age about practicing principles and values to raise them up as the ideal citizens of the country.
“You have to give special attention to educate the children about what is right and what is wrong. You have to provide them with the knowledge so that they can judge what is just, and what is unjust. And you have to infuse the spirit of patriotism in them to nourish them as real citizen,” she said while inaugurating the ‘National Primary Education Week-2016’ at a function at city’s Osmani Memorial Hall.
The prime minister said, “Teaching is a great profession. We still respect our teachers for the ideals which we have from them during our childhood. Your guidance and teaching are very essential to save them from the drug and militancy.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh would be completely free from illiteracy within a very short time due to her government’s constant stride since its inception in office in 2009 at a ccost of Taka 452 crore. The initiative was delayed as BNP-Jammat had shelved a ‘district-based’ project undertaken by Awami League government in its first stint from 1996-2001.
“Multifaceted programmes of our government including free distribution of textbooks, mid-day meal, school uniform and stipend helped increasing the literacy rate to 71 percent at present, and very shortly it would be hundred percent,” she said adding “We want each and every children would happily go to school.”
Minister for Primary and mass Education Mostafizur Rahman presided over the function while chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Primary and Mass Education Motahar Hossain was present as special guest.
Secretary of the ministry M Humayun Khalid and Director General of Department of Primary Education Mohamad Alamgir also spoke on the occasion.
School dropout rate was 50.5 percent during the regime of BNP-Jamaat which declined to 20.4 percent during the tenure of the present government, she said adding the government has already introduced mid-day meal for 29 lakh students in 96 poverty-ridden upazilas. “The school feeding system would be expanded in other upazilas with the help of local generous people,” she said.
The prime minister said her government has upgraded the position of head teachers from grades-three to grade two. Under the new pay scale, she announced that process is going on for elevating the salary structure of the assistant teachers’ one step forward.
On the occasion the prime minister distributed medal and certificates among the students for their excellence in sports and extracurricular activities and also among teachers, instructors and government officials for their contribution to development of the primary education.
The prime minister said a total of 1.30 crore school students are now getting stipend which was 48.15 lakh in 2009. The number of stipend recipients was double in 2010 and more students were added to the list later, she said adding the government has increased the amount of the stipend this year.
The prime minister said the present government strongly believes that education is not a privilege, but right of every child. A country can be free from poverty and self-reliant depending on education, she said.
Taking this into note, Sheikh Hasina said, her government has brought visible change in the primary education system. According to the last accounts, total enrollment of students at primary school in December, 2015 was 2.19 crore.
A total of 28.39 lakh students took part in the primary terminal examination and 98.52 percent student came out successfully. The number of students is on the rise in every school, helping a large section of population to come out of darkness of illiteracy and make easier for Bangladesh to proceed, she said.
For the success in bringing gender equality in education the UNESCO has conferred Bangladesh with ‘Peace Tree Award’ in 2014, she said adding it’s the Awami League government which do everything necessary for ensuring the public access to food, clothe, education, healthcare and shelter.
Sheikh Hasina said her government was the first in 40 years after Bangabandhu which nationalized 26,193 private primary schools bringing the services of 1,08,200 school teachers under government pay scale.
The government celebrates ‘book-festival’ on January 1 every year aimed at spreading the message of education to every part of the country. As part of this, the government has initiated a project for distributing textbooks free of cost among students under which a total of 33.37 crore textbooks were distributed this year, she said.
Pointing out the initiatives taken by her government for physical and mental development of the students, the prime minister said a “Leadership Training Centre” is being constructed in Cox’s bazaar to train up the leaders of Students’ Council.
Bangabandhu Gold Cup and Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Gold Cup football tournaments and other cultural events are being organized to flourish their sports and creative abilities, the prime minister said.