Low-Quality Education a Bar to SDGs

‘To come out of a low-quality universal education is a big challenge for attaining the SDGs’

Former adviser to caretaker government Hossain Zillur Rahman on Wednesday said low-quality education poses a big challenge towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs).

The executive director of Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) came up with the remarks at a seminar on “Strategies for business benefits from SDGs for private sector”.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) organised the seminar to discuss the role of private sector in attaining the SDGs by 2030.

“To come out of a low-quality universal education is a big challenge for attaining the SDGs,” said Hossain Zillur Rahman in his speech.

He urged the government to establish at least one High School in every upazila to create skilled manpower, thus addressing the issue.

“We have seen global inequality and economic disorder over the last couple of decades. Only one percent people holds 99% wealth globally. It is also witnessed in Dhaka where only 6% people account for 40% of total income.”

“Now we have to look into the matter as to why inequality is on the rise. Is it a political failure or the social failure?” he posed a question.

Zillur suggested the government ensure business friendly environment while the private sector and NGOs should play their parts with innovations to help attain the SDGs.

In his address, Md Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister’s Office said in achieving the effective implementation of SGDs, private and public investment have to be increased.

The government has already done the mapping of ministries, gap analysis and set targets for SDGs. It has also set the responsible ministries to achieve the target.

Zillur called upon the private sector people to set time-bound strategy with goals as per the government target, but the strategy should mach with the governments.

“To alleviate poverty in real sense, we have to change our development models.”

MDG was basically project-centric whereas SDG is related to creating enabling environment for growth, he mentioned.

“Ready-made Garment is surely a growth driver for all of us in recent days, but the private sector has to create other growth driver like Agriculture sector which is still untapped.”

The most challenging part of implementing SDGs is financing that sees an annual financing gap of  $2.5 trillion, said former DCCI president Asif Ibrahim in his keynote presentation.

In reply to a question, Planning Commission member Shamsul Alam said SDGs would not be a myth when it must ensure continuous economic growth, care for social integration and protect environment.

Person with disability should be ensured a level-playing field and measures should been taken to integrate them into development process, said a participant.

According to UNDP Bangladesh Assistant Country Director Khurshid Alam, “Private sector should contribute to poverty alleviation and making investment in employment generation and environmental protection.

Investment should also be for protecting Eco system since Bangladesh is in the early stage of industrialisation, he added.

DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan focused on how SDG would reshape future  business era accompanied by diverse opportunities and challenges.

It was estimated that private investment and GDP ratio need to be scaled up to 40% equivalent to $400 billion by 2030 to meet the SDGs, he added.

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