Developed countries should fulfill their commitment to spend 0.7 percent of their gross national income (GNI) as “Overseas Development Assistance” (ODA); otherwise, behaving as “world leaders” doesn't suit them, Education Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday.
She was speaking as the chief guest at a discussion on “Role of education in ensuring peace and development” at International Mother Language Institute auditorium in Dhaka.
Education ministry and Bangladesh National Commission for Unesco jointly organised the event marking International Day of Education 2019.
“Most of the [developed] countries don't fulfill their ODA commitment. Without fulfilling their responsibility, they cannot remain world leaders… All [countries] have to perform their duties for the betterment of the world,” said Dipu Moni.
In her speech, Dipu Moni highlighted the Awami League (AL) led-government's plans for developing the education sector.
“Though only 2 percent of GDP is allocated for education on paper, in effect it is more as all ministries also spend on skills development in their relevant sectors,” she said.
She mentioned awareness, tolerance, sense of humanity and human rights, and ethics as the fundamental objective of education, adding, “There will be no need to operate massive anti-corruption drives if everyone possesses these values.”
“Government wants to eliminate corruption. And we are accelerating anti-corruption drive in education sector too,” she added.
Presided over by Sohorab Hossain, secretary of Secondary and Higher Education Division of Education Ministry, Prof Harun-or-Rashid, vice chancellor of National University, spoke at the event.
Prof Rashid highlighted Bangladesh's achievement in the education sector in the last 47 years.
The literacy rate, 72.9 percent, is the second highest among South Asian countries, after Sri Lanka.
Speaking as special guest, Zakir Hossen, state minister for Primary and Mass Education (PME), said Bangladesh is one of the countries which provides education at the cheapest cost.
Another special guest, Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, deputy minister for education, said that the education ministry and the ministry of PME will work together to reach the goals in education sector.
Md Alamgir, secretary of vocational and technical education division of education ministry; Akram-Al-Hossain, secretary of the ministry of PME; and Beatrice Kaldun, head and representative of Unesco Dhaka office, among others, spoke at the event.
The ODA commitment was established by the UN in 1970, obligating developed countries to spent 0.7 percent of their GNI for overseas development.