Each upazila to have a technical school & college: PM

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Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled a government plan to establish a technical school and college in every upazila to create skilled workforces in the country as she inaugurated the diploma engineers’ convention in the capital here.

“A project has been taken to establish a technical school and college in every upazila for building a skilled workforce in the country, and the work on establishing 100 such institutions has already begun,” she said.

Besides, she said, the Ministry of Education has been working to set up four new government women polytechnic institutes and 23 world-class new polytechnic institutes in the country.

The premier said In the last 9 and a half years nearly 500 government and private polytechnic institutes have been established country-wide as “there is no alternative to skilled human resource with technical expertise”.

The premier also unveiled a government plan to build an elevated circular road around the Dhaka city while by now “we’re implementing mega projects like metro rails and flyovers, and constructing Padma Bridge in our own funding”.

Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 22nd National Convention of the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) at Ganabhaban here, by releasing balloons and pigeons, and urging them to work devotedly to present a beautiful future to the next generation.

“I call upon all including the diploma engineers to work with devotion so that the next generations get a beautiful future,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the nation has lost 21 valuable years from 1975 to 1996 during which no actual development of the country was made.

“The little development made in the 21 years was of the rulers and a few people . . . the majority of the population was deprived and it’s my responsibility to free them from deprivation,” she said.

But the prime minister said Bangladesh now graduated to a developing country as her government took steps in a planned way as “we’ve to go a long way”.

“(So) we’ve undertaken many projects for the development of the country and the people are getting its benefits,” she said.

She, however, urged all to lay priority to the nation building discarding thoughts of one’s own benefit saying “whatever we got and didn’t get, we’ve to build the country first”.

The premier said her government enhanced salary and allowances for the government employees’ up to 123 percent and created scope and facilities of work for all.

IDEB President AKMA Hamid presided over the function, while General Secretary Md Shamsur Rahman delivered the keynote speech.

Apart from the huge number of diploma engineers, ministers, PM’s advisers, parliament members, secretaries, foreign diplomats and delegates and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office were present at the function.

The prime minister said she is doing politics for the welfare of the people of the country utilizing every moment saying “I do politics for changing the lot of the people, not my own fate and that’s why the country is advancing fast”.

The premier, however, pointed out different barriers and challenges her government faced in infrastructure development particularly referring to the Padma Bridge issue.

“Unnecessarily false corruption allegations were brought against me and my family regarding the bridge and I took it is a challenge declaring that that we will construct it by our own financing,” she said.

The premier said “a Bangladeshi Nobel laureate losing his MD post of a bank in legal battle with the government requested the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (to stop funding) and the World Bank was (subsequently) directed to stop funding” for the project.

“I then declared that we will build the bridge through our own money as I came to power for changing the lot of the people, not committing graft,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Canadian Federal Court later gave judgment that the World Bank allegations were false and fabricated.

She reiterated that her government’s wants to develop all villages of the country like towns by ensuring civic amenities and improved lifestyle for the rural people.

“We’ll make sure that each community of every village will get urban facilities and can lead a decent life. We’ll turn every village into a township,” she said. The premier said by now “we are providing all kinds of facilities in villages which are available in towns so that people’s tendency of migrating to towns is decreased” and towards that end the government was providing low interest loan to construct multistoried building in rural areas.

She said diploma engineers play an important role in the government development activities as they are responsible for implementation and quality assurance of development works in the field level.

“Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world having 160 million people in a small area. We have to ensure proper and sustainable use of resources in a bid to make available their food, clothes, houses and other basic needs,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The premier said the government was developing 100 special economic zones across the country and a hi-tech park in Gazipur as it wants to utilize the benefit of demographic dividend.

“These will create a large number of employment opportunities in the country,” she said.

The premier said engineering colleges and universities, science and technology universities were set up, developed & expanded in different districts of the country, while online admission in diploma engineering courses and double shift have been introduced in the public polytechnic institutes.

“A project has been taken-up for enhancement the admission capacity to 1 lakh instead of 25 thousand in the government polytechnic institutes,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said the government has approved a project amounting to Tk. 3600 crore for construction of a 10-storied building, installation of workshops/labs and create about 7 thousand posts of teacher-employees in 49 public polytechnic institutes.

Sheikh Hasina said Vocational and Madrasa Department has already been set up in the ministry of education.

“We’ve formulated and implemented the National Technical Vocational Qualification Framework (NTVQF) and Bangladesh Qualification Framework (BQF) will also be formulated in the same way,” she said.

The premier said a proposal was now being considered to set up a Technical and Vocational University for higher studies and research-technology based education.

On the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between Bangladesh and India, she said, the IDEB and Hindustan Machine Tools International are jointly setting up Common Facility Centre (CFC) in Khulna and Jessore for small and medium enterprises (Professional Training Institutes).

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Awami League government always contributes to the development of IDEB. “We allocated Tk 100 million for the construction of IDEB Bhaban in 1996 and Tk 190 millions in 2009-2013,” she said.

The prime minister said the government took a new project of Tk. 100 million for training and capacity building of IDEB Bhaban in 2014, which has been completed.

She said the construction of 25-storied IDEB Bhaban project is going on and in continuation of this, a project for the vertical extension (from 11th to 15th Floor) of IDEB Bhaban including establishment of Training and Research Lab is under process for final approval.

Bangladesh, she said, has graduated to a developing country and the government has adopted 100-year Delta Plan 2100. “Through implementing the Delta Plan, we shall build a prosperous, developed and sustainable Bangladesh by 2100.”

“We want to be a developed and prosperous country keeping our heads high in the world. Our aim is to turn Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021 in the golden jubilee of our great independence and a developed one by 2041, Insha Allah,” she said.

Earlier, the prime minister handed over IDEB Gold Medals to three diploma engineers for their contributions to the field.

At the outset of the function, she also talked to “TVet” a robot innovated by the diploma engineers.BSS.

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