Digital education is both a necessity and an advantage for the Global South. Here's why
When COVID-19 hit, Bangladesh moved fast to digitalize education wherever possible – and this model has long-term benefits for emerging economies, too.
Dr. Dipu Moni, MP, is the Education Minister of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (since January 2019). Former Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights in the Bangladesh National Parliament (January 2014-December 2018) and the former Foreign Minister of the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (January 2009-November-2013). Dr. Dipu Moni, MP was the first female Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and South Asia. She is also one of the four Joint General Secretaries and one of the four spokespersons of the Bangladesh Awami League. Dr. Dipu Moni represents Chandpur-3 (Chandpur-Haimchar) as a Member of the 11th National Parliament of Bangladesh.
Women's Rights, Health-policy and management, health financing, Socio-economic development of Bangladesh under the Constitution and foreign affairs were the priority sectors of Dr. Moni before her induction as Foreign Minister. Earlier, for nearly two decades she had been working to represent her Party leader's views to the cabinet ministers and public representatives of Asia, Europe and Americas. She has been engaged in organizing Free Friday Clinics which help the poor and vulnerable people by providing quality treatment. She has been working to build public consensus on many important issues of Bangladesh.
Dr. Dipu Moni believes in equal participation of women in politics and decision making. As one of the two Master Trainers of her Party she had organized training workshop for women activist of her Party in all Divisions of Bangladesh
After completing MBBS from Dhaka Medical College, the premier institution for medical education in Bangladesh, Dr. Dipu Moni completed MPH programme from the School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, USA. She did Masters in Law from London University and had completed course on Negotiations and Conflict Resolutions from Harvard University and Johan’s Hopkins University. She is a lawyer of Bangladesh Supreme Court.
Under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Dr. Dipu Moni led Bangladesh to achieve success in settling our Maritime Boundary issues with our neighbouring countries Myanmar and India through the landmark verdicts given by the ITLOS in Hamburg, Germany and the PCA in the Hague Netherlands respectively.
Under the leadership of Dr. Dipu Moni, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh took necessary steps to solve many problems among its neighboring countries. Bangladesh is working on these issues with due attention to the bilateral and multilateral relations. The relation of Bangladesh with the other South-Asian countries is now standing on a solid base. The SAARC Charter of Democracy, which was proposed by Bangladesh, was adopted in the 16th SAARC summit. Recently the member countries of BIMSTEC have decided to establish its secretariat in Dhaka. This is the first ever for Bangladesh to host the headquarters of any international organization.
Under the leadership of Dr. Dipu Moni, the Foreign Ministry arranged the return of Bangladeshi workers from Libya during the Libyan war.ensure safe return of 26 Seamen with Vessel who were taken hostage by the somailan pirates and safe return of 7 Bangladesh citizens who were taken hostage by the Taleban forces in Afganistan.During her tenure Bangladesh’s relation with the Middle-Eastern Muslim countries reached a new height. The Government of Saudi Arabia offered amnesty to illegal Bangladeshis living in that country through Ikama transfer which enabled More than 8,00,000 workers in Saudi Arabia to legalise themselves and similarly 2,68,000 illegal Bangladeshi workers got the opportunity to legalize themselves in Malaysia during that period.
As a result of the dynamic foreign policy of Dr. Dipu Moni, the relation of Bangladesh has become more effective with USA, UK, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and European Union.
Dr. Dipu Moni, MP brought honour for the country through her election as the first female as well as the first South-Asian Chairperson of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government had undertaken a programme to honour the foreign friends of Bangladesh who stood by and helped the Bangalees during Bangladesh's war of liberation in 1971. Dr. DipuMoni was given the responsibility to chair the National Committee formed to implement this programme. This committee successfully honoured 325 individuals and 10 organisations through six events.
Dr. Dipu Moni has led Bangladesh delegation in many high level and ministerial meetings in the United Nations. Bangladesh achieved outstanding success during her period, under her guidance. It was a remarkable achievement for Bangladesh to be elected in many international organizations and in United Nations during this period.
As the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Dr. Dipu Moni addressed many think-tanks, institutes, universities, and international organizations with the objective of fostering better understanding about Bangladesh among other nations. She delivered speeches in many recognized institutions like Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin, IISS in London, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) in Brussels, Observers Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi, South Asia Institute of Harvard University in Boston, Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs in Beiging, School of Advanced International Studies of John Hopkins University in Washington DC, Humboldt University in Berlin and Carnegie Endowment of USA in Washington DC. She has been awarded the Mother Teresa International Award for her contribution in social development and administration. She is Currently the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Asian University of Women.
Exploring new markets for Bangladeshi products and expansion of business with the different countries are the main objectives of present Foreign Policy in Bangladesh. To implement the goals and objectives, at Dr. Dipu Moni’s initiative decision was taken to open nineteen new Diplomatic Missions abroad, out of which ten new Missions started to deliver services during her tenure.
Besides fulfilling the responsibilities as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Dipu Moni was able to keep all her electoral promises to her constituency in Chandpur-3. The most significant works she has completed so far include: Construction on nearly 19 km of Chandpur-Haimchar Protection Dam (it was a demand of the people of Chandpur for a long time) to protect the region from Meghna-Dakatia river crosion; Establishment of 150 Mega-Watt Electric Power Plant; Restoration Project of Lakhsam-Chandpur Railine; establishment chandpur medical college, establishment of chandpur Fisheries institute, Marine Technology Institute, construction of 324 Primary School Buildings, 53 High School, Mardhsha and college Buildings, 237 km Road, construction of 159 bridges/culverts, establishing 38 community clinics, 11 UP complexes, 11 Sheikh Russel Digital labs and 30 Asrayan projects rehabilitating 3750 families. Realisation Chandpur inland water port modernisation project is also under process. and a special Economic Zone is being established in Haimchar. Moreover, she has taken a lot of initiatives to ensure education, health and social development in her constituency and people of that area have already started enjoying the benefits of all these initiatives.
Dr. DipuMoni is the daughter of late M.A. Wadud, close associate of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahmanand Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy in the struggle for democracy and the rights of Bangalees. Mr. Wadud was a founding member of the Awami League and is known especially for his role in the Language Movement and as the first Council-elected General Secretary of the East Pakistan Chhatra League. Mr. Wadud suffered imprisonment on several occasions in his political career. After the assassination of the Father of the Nation, due to his refusal to accept a Cabinet position in the government headed by the military dictator, he was imprisoned by the military government repeatedly.
Dipu Moni is married to Mr. Tawfique Nawaz, an Oxbridge educated Senior Advocate of the Bangladesh Supreme Court. Mr. Nawaz is head of an internationally reputed law firm. He is also a Parampara exponent of at least 2000 year old Indian Classical Musical form, namely Aalaap, on the Grande Flute. They have one son, Mr.Tawquir Rashaad Nawaz and a daughter, Ms.Tani Deepavali Nawaz.