‘Free the country from illiteracy in quickest possible time’: Prime Minister

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Dhaka, September 8: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called upon every educated people for their all-out participation to make the country free from illiteracy in quickest possible time.

“We can quickly reach to our cherished goal and declare the country illiteracy free if everybody takes the initiative to provide education to illiterate persons in their respective areas,”she said.

The premier said this while inaugurating programme of the 50th anniversary of the International Literacy Day at a function at Osmani Memorial Hall in the city.

Sheikh Hasina urged all students, student organizations, public representatives, political parties and every educated people in the public and private sector to join the drive against illiteracy.

She added: “Now country’s literacy rate is 71 percent and we can declare a complete literacy if everybody working both in the public and private sectors join the drive from their respective position.”

Sheikh Hasina said, “The country is ours. So we have to build our country to live with dignity. Literacy is a very dominant factor to make the country free from poverty.”

She said about 758 million adults in the world cannot read or write a simple sentence. “Two thirds of them are women. Literacy is vital for poverty eradication, for gender equality, for more inclusive and sustainable societies.”

Sheikh Hasina said the day is being observed this year with the theme ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’- which is very much befitting to time.

She said Bangladesh was born to be a happy and prosperous nation. But a nation cannot prosper without educating its people. So Bangabandhu, after liberation, declared education as one of the basic rights of the people, making the primary education compulsory and complimentary for children.

Saying that Bangladesh, as a nation is heading towards light fromdarkness, the prime minister said enrollment of girls are now higher than the boys and girls are doing better than boys in the exams. “So we have to increase the enrollment of the boys for equality,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government in 2013 has nationalized 26,193 schools along with the services of 1,05.200 teachers, which happened first time in the country after Bangabandhu. Salaries and allowances of the teachers have also been increased with other civil servants, she said.

With many other steps, she said, Bangabandhu also nationalized the primary education and made the female education fully complimentary up to Class IX. “The present government has declared the education as a right of the children as it’s following the footprint of Bangabandhu,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said a nation cannot progress without education and our children have interest in education. In this regard, she mentioned about the introduction of primary school termination examination saying “our children have proved that they can do better if they get opportunity.”

Minister for Primary and Mass Education Mustafizur Rahman presided over the function while acting secretary of the ministry Mohammad Asif-Uz-Zaman and director general of the Bureau of Non-formal Education Ruhul Amin Sarker also spoke on the occasion.

On the occasion a message from Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova was read out in which she said the world’s population has increased substantially, but the number of young adults without literacy skills decreased by 25 percent between 1990 and 2015.

Source: Agencies