For a country which has goals to becoming a middle-income nation in the near future, improving literacy amongst its citizens is a crucial step.
And while Bangladesh has taken great strides in improving the quality of life of its citizens, sadly, when it comes to being able to read and write, almost half the population lags behind.
While we have set the goals -- Vision 2021 had plans to achieve 100% literacy by 2017 -- we have to do much more in terms of seeing these goals come to fruition.
Additionally, past initiatives launched forth by the government have been lacklustre and eventually perished due to various administrative and academic issues.
A key problem has been that donors believe that primary education requires focus as opposed to adult literacy. While education from the ground up is extremely important, ensuring that every one in the country, no matter how old, have the skills to read, write, and do basic arithmetic is an essential cornerstone of any ambitious nation.
These are crucial elements towards not just improving people’s lives, but also boosting the country’s economic prowess.
Literacy opens doors for each and every individual to move with much more ease through life, interact with much greater efficiency, and conduct business.
What is encouraging, however, is that Bangladesh has recently allocated Tk500 crore towards a basic literacy program. If implemented, these could seriously boost the literacy rate.
We must remember that we have done much in the last few years, overtaking Pakistan’s per capita GDP recently. And we definitely have the potential to ensure that each and every individual in this country is literate.