Bangladesh has its sights firmly set on three major milestones over the next two decades: least developed country graduation in 2026, Sustainable Development Goal attainment in 2030 and becoming a high-income economy in 2041. Over the course of these two decades, the school children of today will gradually take over the responsibility of continuing Bangladesh’s progress as a nation. What can today’s policy-makers do to make sure that the next generation is equipped to face the challenges of a rapidly changing country in an increasingly complex world?
For Dipu Moni and Samia Huq, the answer is clear: Bangladesh needs to comprehensively reform its education system to foster shared prosperity among all its citizens. According to them, a core set of values must underpin the disparate streams of primary education, to make sure that diversity of choice does not undermine social cohesion. Whether in the national curriculum, the international English medium or the faith-based madrasa stream, every student must be encouraged to value diversity, inclusion and citizenship.
Inclusivity is the central theme of Rejaul Karim Siddique’s article, which outlines a more proactive role for parliament in removing barriers to entry into the workplace for people with disabilities. Yun Xin Lua and Muhammad Shafiullah make the case for a more systematic examination of how water, sanitation and hygiene policies can be used to combat violence against women.
Sudipto Mukerjee, Robert Simpson, Tuomo Poutiainen and Subhra Bhattacharjee look at the future of United Nations–Bangladesh partnership, as laid out in the jointly created cooperation framework covering the period up to 2026. While the UN will continue to provide strong strategic support, the major change will be in how interventions are financed.
Rumana Islam continues with Bangladesh’s external relations and explores the intricacies of Sino-Bangla relations. Junayed Chowdhury rounds up this issue with a look at how a new secured transactions regime can be a boon in access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises.
As Bangladesh enters a crucial period of growth and development over the next 20 years, it is ever more important for the stakeholders of tomorrow to have a say in the policies that are being formulated today. At WhiteBoard, we hope to provide a space for these voices to be heard.