December 10, 2018
Mr. Monowar Ahmed Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance,
Mr. Gias Uddin Ahmed, Additional Secretary (Development), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
His Excellency Mr. Hiroyasu Izumi, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Assalamu alaikum, Namaskar, Good Morning.
It is my immense pleasure to express my sincere gratitude and congratulations to all concerned on concluding the Exchange of Notes and the Grant Agreement for the "Fourth Primary Education Development Program," or PEDP4.
I first would like to commend Bangladesh government for its tremendous efforts to improve both enrollment rate and quality of primary education.
Since the second Primary Education Development Program started in 2004, Japan has worked with our colleagues of Bangladesh as well as other partners like Australia, Canada, EU, UN and World Bank. We are very pleased and proud of the fact that we have been a partner of the primary education development programs for long. Primary Education really matters for the future of young kids and for the prosperity of the society as well. The primary education is the base of all the higher education. Young people can climb ladders to higher education from the foundation of the good primary education.
The primary education gives young kids not only the basic knowledge but also learning experiences and ability of learn. The people who gained learning capacity at the primary education can start learning again at any life stage. This learning capacity would bring huge difference in people and society.
As you all know, we're in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution, which gives great impact not only to economy but also to society. In the past 10 years, 4 mega platformers called ‘GAFA', Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon emerged and in the near future, soon after the further development of artificial intelligence, most of the routine tasks will be automated. In the society of 4th industrial revolution, learning capacity really matters. Young kids should have precious opportunity to prepare themselves for the rapid changing environment in their long life.
In this context, we have to ensure the quality of the primary education so that people can acquire advanced knowledge and skills, and adopt themselves to new technologies.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are happy to know that, in PEDP4, the Government of Bangladesh committed new targets which greatly contribute to the enhancement of the quality of education, quality teaching-learning practices in all schools, learning environment to support participation of all children and strong governance, adequate & equitable financing and good management. Considering its importance for the primary education in the context of the development of Bangladesh, we support our colleagues' aspiration to achieve all the goals which we have committed as we have done in the past PEDPs. Japan decided to provide the grant aid up to 500 million Japanese Yen for the year 2018 to support PEDP4 to establish an efficient, inclusive and equitable primary education system which will bring child-friendly learning to all. We very much expect PDEP4 will support that children acquire not only basic skills but also the learning capacity by giving more chance to children to think for themselves and by enhancing their motivation for continuous learning.
I would like to conclude my remarks by thanking again all the concerned parties to realize this project and the participants here for attendance and by hoping this project will become another record enhancing the ever-lasting Japan-Bangladesh friendship.
Shobaike Onek Onek Donnobad. Thank you very much.