Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday iterated her government's firm commitment to building a developed, prosperous and knowledge-driven society in pursuit of 'Vision-2041' saying that women and girls in Bangladesh will remain in the forefront of national endeavour to this end.
The PM's voiced her commitment and made the appeal while inaugurating an International Conference on 'Girls' and women's literacy and education: Foundations for sustainable development' marking the International Literacy Day 2014 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city.
The Prime Minister also handed over the prestigious UNESCO International Literacy Prizes to the recipients for this year.
This is the first time Bangladesh hosted the prestigious programme. Usually, the award-giving ceremony takes place in Paris every year.
The Prime Minister urged the United Nations and the international community to work together with Bangladesh on girls' and women's education.
The programme was organized by the Government of Bangladesh in partnership with UNESCO, in support of the UN Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).
The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education jointly organized the event on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.
In 2014, UNESCO awarded seven (7) persons and institutions worldwide for contribution to literacy and education. They were nominated earlier by UNESCO Jury Board as per submission of nominations for 2014. However, Bangladesh did not submit any nomination for the year. The prize recipients are President of Association for the Promotion of Non-Formal Education of Burkina Faso Anatole T. Niameogo;
Education minof Ecuador Augusto Espinosa; President of Algerian Association of Alphabetization (IQRRA) Aicha Barki; Director of the Permanent Education Center Poligono Sur Seville, Spain Ana Garcia Reina; Deputy Director of the Permanent Education Center Poligono Sur Seville, Spain Isabel Dealbert; Chief Executive Officer of Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy and International Literacy Institute, South Africa Masennya Dikotla; and Director of Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy and International Literacy Institute Dan A. Wagner.
However, as a Champion Country for UN Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), Bangladesh proposed to host a one-day International Conference in Bangladesh this year on the occasion of ILD 2014.
Around 60 delegates including international NGOs from 27 countries participated in the one-day conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Hasina said the government believes that in the post-2015 development context, GEFI's focus on promoting inclusive education, improving quality of education and grooming every child can act as one of the core foundations of sustainable development and a key driving force in universalizing girls' and women's literacy and education.
She also expressed her belief that only the right kind of education can make a girl self-reliant economically, socially and emotionally.