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Govt to transform population into skilled human resources: PM

Messenger Online

Published: 18:05, 15 May 2024

Govt to transform population into skilled human resources: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (15 May) said the government has decided to update Population Policy 2012 aiming to transform the population into human resources through skill development and advancement, and emphasising vocational education.

“Very recently we have decided to update the Population Policy 2012. In the new policy, the Demographic Dividend which will continue from 2041 to 2061 is being emphasised to transform the population into a human resource through skill development and advancement, and emphasising vocational education,” she said.

The prime minister said his while inaugurating a two-day event titled “ICPD30 Global Dialogue on Demographic Diversity and Sustainable Development” that creates a platform to discuss the challenges and explore the opportunities of the world’s shifting demographics.

The programme at InterContinental Hotel has been organised by Bangladesh, Bulgaria and Japan, together with UNFPA.

Hasina said that as a result of various initiatives taken by the government, the average life expectancy of the people in the country has increased to 72.3 years in 2023.

“Currently, 62 percent of our total population is productive,” she said.

She also mentioned that at present 9.29 percent of the total population in the country is above 60 years old.

“We have implemented various programs to ensure the health services and social security of the elderly. In 2023, we have arranged elderly allowances for over 5.8 million senior citizens,” she said.

Additionally, she mentioned that the government has expanded existing social safety net to ensure the social and economic security of vulnerable groups, including helpless women, husband-deserted women, widows, people with disabilities, transgender people, and other marginalised communities.

Sheikh Hasina said that approximately 45 million people are directly and indirectly benefiting from the social safety net.

“Furthermore, we have introduced a universal pension scheme. Any citizen aged between 18 and 50 can avail themselves of this pension benefit.”

The PM said that Bangladesh has already qualified for graduation from the least developed country status by the United Nations by the year 2021.

She also said that the government has implemented 'Digital Bangladesh Vision'. “By 2041, we are moving towards building a 'Smart Bangladesh'.”

In this connection, she said that the government has identified four pillars of 'Smart Bangladesh': Smart Citizens, Smart Government, Smart Economy and Smart Society.

“To achieve this goal, we have undertaken extensive investments to transform our society, especially the youth, into a skilled workforce proficient in modern technology.”

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem, Minister of Social and Family Development Of the Maldives Aishath Shiham, Kiribati’s Minister for Women, Youth, Sports and Social Affairs Martin Moretti, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Yasushi And State Minister for Health and Family Welfare  Rokeya Sultana also among others spoke at the programme.

Representative from the government of Bulgaria also joined the opening ceremony.