Rural students’ commitment  to build Smart Bangladesh

Publish: 8:37 PM, February 28, 2023 | Update: 8:37:PM, February 28, 2023

Z A M Khairuzzaman : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently announced that her government would turn the country into ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.

“We’ll make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041, and that Bangladesh will be a Smart Bangladesh,” the prime minister said. She also said the government has fixed four bases — smart citizens, smart economy, smart government and smart Society — to make the country ‘Smart Bangladesh’. Each pillar must function for us to succeed, and that they are all dependent on each other to maximize the benefits.

“Every citizen will be skilled in using technology, economic activities will run through using technology, government will be (technologically) smart … we have partially done that. And the whole society will be (technologically) smart,” she said.

To fulfil the premier’s ambitious plan,the students of a rural school expressed their desire to extend their helping hands towards the PM.They vowed to build Smart Bangladesh with their humble efforts.

The meritorious students of Amena Baki Residential School and College in Dinajpur’s Chirirbandar upazila, who obtained GPA-5 in this year’s SSC and HSC examinations expressed such desire at a reception accorded to them by the founder of the institution, Professor Dr M Amjad Hossain, also a war-wounded heroic Freedom Fighter (FF), to whom Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina awarded the prestigious Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award) in social service category for his outstanding social work to change the fate of underprivileged boys and girls as well as marginalised people of society, including hapless women.

The students spent a day at their hub of learning full of celebrations, learning and inspiration while vowing to build Smart Bangladesh with their efforts.The GPA-5 achievers enjoyed the day hanging out with their friends. Their guardians and teachers also joined the event.

The students who thronged the venue said joining such a programme was a new experience for them. Marking the occasion, they promised not to be involved with any corruption and environmental pollution.

Congratulating the parents, teachers and guardians of the students, the Amena Baki Residential School and College founder  urged the students not to flinch from new experiences and to follow their hearts. He urged the students to be humane. He said, “You have to bounce back whenever failure comes. Always remember that life is not a 100-meter race, it is a marathon. You must prepare yourself for that long journey.”

“We want Bangladesh’s victory in every sector. You are the strength and future of the country. You must win this fight. Always respect your parents and teachers who were behind your success,” said the Swadhinata Padak-winning social worker, who made the students pledge to say no to drugs and lies. He also highlighted the need for leading a disciplined life.

He said that students must be made efficient through proper knowledge and training to build a developed and Smart Bangladesh, envisioned by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, by 2041. He further said the students should dream of becoming skilled human resources, adding “It is not necessary where you have born in but it is important how you build yourselves”.

“The students will build Smart Bangladesh by tackling challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is helping to fulfil all their dreams,” said benevolent Amjad Hossain.

The world is changing constantly through new innovations. Bangladesh too is witnessing this change. Our new dream is to build a modern, innovative and smart Bangladesh by 2041 under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041 is about more than a futuristic Bangladesh, more than 5G internet, more than 100% smartphone penetration, more than 100% high-speed internet penetration, more than going cashless.

Smart Bangladesh is about being inclusive, about the people, the citizens of Bangladesh. It is about bridging the digital divide by innovating and scaling sustainable digital solutions that all citizens, regardless of their socio-economic background, can benefit from. Building on the launch pad created by Digital Bangladesh, Smart Bangladesh is the next major step towards realizing Bangabandhu’s dream of Sonar Bangladesh, a Golden Bangladesh.

Vision 2041 is less than two decades away. We have achieved a lot of things but we are still very far away from our ambitions. We have many miles to go before we successfully reach there. For Vision 2041, where we want to build a Smart Bangladesh, we can no longer limit our thinking to just more digital infrastructure, better connectivity, and further digitization of services. For Vision 2041, with the rapid change in the world, with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution bringing seismic change to everything, we must evolve beyond what we are comfortable with.

Technology is an inevitable component that will only grow in importance. As we proceed from the 2020s to the 2030s and reach the 2040s, much of humanity is yet to know what technological marvels will appear in the next two decades. What will be important is for Bangladesh to be pro-active with respect to the technological advancements that materialize. In other words, it is the transformation of our entire society, down to each and every citizen of Bangladesh, that is expected to occur if we are to build a Smart Bangladesh for 2041.

What is needed above all else is a concerted effort, for a whole of society approach.

As the first step in the journey of a developed Bangladesh, the country has already become a developing one from a least developed country. Bangladesh will become an upper middle-income country by 2031, while the country will be a developed country in 2041. In order to accomplish the vision, different short, medium and long-term plans will have to be taken. Ultimately, through collective efforts of all the overall living standard of all the people of Bangladesh will be improved by ensuring the basic needs of people — clothing, shelter, education and medical care- up to the grassroots level in the country. In the long run, a developed golden Bangladesh will be built through its transformation.

The writer is a columnist. E-mail: