Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (Jun 11) said no one could pull Bangladesh back again if children of the country are given the opportunity to flourish their talent. "If we give the opportunity to develop the talent of our children, no one can take this country back again," she said while addressing the opening ceremony of the distribution of stipends, tuition fees and awards among insolvent and meritorious students at her office, local media reported.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that her government has given stipends to increase research and innovation, saying "Our children are very much meritorious and the stipend, given to the students to develop their talent, would contribute to our socioeconomic development."
"We are putting the highest emphasis on it," she added.
The PM said Bangabandhu Creative Talent Search is a great initiative for the flourish of talent from where a good number of talented children are being nurtured.
"Today, our children have got the opportunity to flourish their talent and now their innovative power is being bloomed," she said, adding "None can take the country back, pull the country into darkness."
Sheikh Hasina asked the students to groom themselves properly to take the country forward, further raising their heads with self-dignity on the world stage, not bowing down to anyone.
"We'll have to keep in mind that we'll take the country forward. Inshallah, this Bangladesh and Bengali nation will move forward, raising their heads in the world arena with self-dignity and self-esteem. We'll not bow down our heads to anyone. It is our promise," she said.
Pointing at the students, the premier asked them to always keep in mind that this country is a victorious nation in the Liberation War and they didn't bow their heads down to anyone.
"Today, Bangladesh is a role model for development. So, we also show the path. Our meritorious children will take the country forward this way," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the country will be built as a smart Bangladesh by 2041. Smart people, smart government, smart economy and smart society would be there in the country, she said.
Noting that today is the age of science, technology and research, she asked the students to prepare themselves to move ahead, keeping pace with the constantly changing world.
Mentioning that Bangladesh gained enough success in agricultural research, she stressed the need to give more importance to medical science research now.
"We're moving forward in all sectors. But, our research is lagging behind to some extent in one area and that is the health sector. We're putting importance to medical science research... I think it needs to give more importance to the sector," she said.
Mentioning that the incumbent government has extended the area of research, Sheikh Hasina said the government has given importance to oceanographic research and the blue economy as it will make a significant contribution to the development of the country's economy in future.
Referring to the speeches delivered by several students in the event, Sheikh Hasina said, "I am really optimistic that none can take this country backwards anymore."
Sheikh Hasina said her government is successfully able to keep the higher educational institutions freed from session jam and armed violence. There was a session-jam for 6-8 years and the regular clatter of arms in educational institutions in the past, she said.
"We can at least claim that we could free the campus from that environment, coming to power in 2009," she said.
She said a democratic trend has been continuing since 2009, which is the first time in the 50-year history of Bangladesh. Thanks to the continuation of the democratic trend, the country is moving forward in the development journey, she added.
"Our literacy rate has risen to 75 percent and we've been able to ensure food security," she said.
Citing that now the people are suffering worse throughout the world, she said though the people in Bangladesh are also facing the brunt of high inflation, food grains are available here. There is no shortage of food grains.
The event was arranged to inaugurate the distribution of stipends and tuition fees among the insolvent and meritorious students from secondary to graduation (pass) and its equivalent institutions, as well as to confer the awards to the most talented students of Bangabandhu Srijanshil Mridha Oneshan-2023 (Bangabandhu Creative Talent Search-2023) and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Scholarship Award-2022.
With Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni in the chair, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury also spoke as special guest on the occasion.
Some 5,360,000 students from the secondary, higher secondary and graduation (pass) and equivalent institutions are receiving a total of Tk 1,200 crore as stipends and tuition fees, said Managing Director of Prime Minister's Education Assistance Trust Smrity Karmaker in her welcome speech.
The stipends and tuition fees are being disbursed through mobile financial services for the students.
Besides, 15 talented students from Class-VI to Class-XII, who were found through the Bangabandhu Srijanshil Mridha Oneshan-2023, were awarded, while 22 post-graduate-level students were conferred with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Scholarship Award-2022, she said.
The 15 students received a crest, certificate and Tk 2 lakh each, while the 22 students, selected for the scholarship award-2022, received a crest, certificate and Tk 3 lakh each.
Reshmi Kaniz, a class VII student of Hazaribagh Girls School and College, Tashdik Ahmed Tonmoy, a class IX student of Government Laboratory High School, Rajshahi, Queen, student of Rajbari Government College, Dr Rakibul Amin Bijoy of National Cardiovascular Institute and Hospital and Mahbuba Ahmed of Bangladesh Engineering University also spoke on behalf of the award recipients.