‘People want to be ensured for their Basic Rights in Education and Health through ensuring Good Governance’

On 2nd March SUPRO organized National Convention making the slogan ‘People want to be ensured for their Basic Rights in Education and Health through ensuring Good Governance’. National convention was held at LGED Auditorium (level-2), LGED Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka. More than 450 SUPRO district committee members and local level civil society people from 45 districts of 7 divisions of Bangladesh along with SUPRO National Council Members has joined in this program. Besides, participants from national prominent civil society representatives and representatives from different media, education institutes, students, social activists participated in this convention.

The convention was for the whole day and mainly divided into four major sessions, these are -In-augural session. Session on Health, Session on Education and Closing Session.

In-augural Session:

Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chairperson, Bangladesh Human Rights Commission was the Chief Guest of the in-augural session. The in-augural session was started with national anthem and SUPRO theme song.

Md. Arifur Rahman, General Secretary, SUPRO has delivered his welcome speech. In his welcome speech he said that this is a unique opportunity to uphold SUPRO to all. He also uttered that SUPRO is working with more than 600 civil society members from 45 districts within 7 divisions of Bangladesh. In his speech he specially expressed his gratitude to Oxfam Novib for its support for such a long time with SUPRO. Again he welcomed all before to make the convention successful.

The In-Augural session was presided by Mustafizur Rahman Khan, Chairperson, SUPRO.  Before moderating the session took a space to express his deep gratitude to all the convention guests by uttering that in spite of worse situation of the country everybody has joined the convention, which will be the great spirit for SUPRO work in future. He also said, today is the special day for SUPRO because we have gathered here like a family. He also hoped that very soon SUPRO will extend with it’s activities in countrywide. SUPRO is not only working for good governance but also trying to reach the message of equity in all aspects in grassroots. By sharing the dreams for better society he declared the inaugural session. In the starting of the program he requested to Mozibur Rahman, Treasurer, SUPRO for presenting the key note Convention paper.

Mozibur Rahman, Treasurer, SUPRO has presented the main concept note of the National Convention focusing the main slogan ‘People want to be ensured for their Basic Rights in Education and Health through ensuring  Good Governance’. SUPRO EB Member Daisy Ahmed and NC Member Shamima Akhter Moonmoon were the part of the discussion highlighting the scenario of grassroots related with the theme of convention.  

Special guests of this session were-  Dr. Ajoy Roy, Education Specalist; Prof. Dr. M. Ohiduzzaman, Former G.S. Dhaka University Teachers Association; Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Eminent Politician; Asuntha Charles, Associate Country Director, Oxfam Novib; Dhana Ranjan Tripura, Policy and Camping officer, Oxfam Novib;

The chief guest of inauguration session Dr. Mizanur Rahman said, “I think in terms of talking with the representatives of 45 districts I am talking to whole Bangladesh.” SUPRO is working to ensure equitable society as well as to ensure human rights for all. He said “we should resolve the discrimination of education sector,  if we use the word genocide in the current context then the 1971’s bloodshed will be undermined. We will see the light through the mass uprising that created on February 5, 2013”. He urged all to come forward with united efforts and join the struggle for establishing the human rights.

Asuntha Charles, Associate Country Director of Oxfam Novib, expressed her opinion in her speech about SUPRO. She was delighted to be a part of the convention.  She told that as an alliance of grassroots organization, SUPRO already proved its strength. She also said Oxfam Novib is very much concern about essential services like education, health and social safety net. She appreciated all SUPRO members from grassroots for their role to establish peoples’ right especially for poor and marginalized group regarding essential services.

Education Specialist Dr. Azoy Roy said, those who are responsible to ensure good governance they should be transparent and accountable.

Politician Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, “I have well informed with SUPRO’s strength, I think SUPRO will continue this type of work to ensure the human rights for the pro-poor.” Criticizing current role of politicians, he told that the politicians do not speak for the people which should be their prime role. He also said that good governance will not be ensured until and unless the process of fair politics is established.  

Professor Dr. M. Ohiduzzaman  said that he was happy to join this program. He thanked SUPRO by saing, SUPRO research papers and publication is too rich for even an university teacher. He remembered all martyred of liberation war at the beginning of his speech.

Policy & Camping officer, Oxfam Novib, Dhana Ranjan Tripura thanked SUPRO to uphold local voice to national. He also urged to uphold local voice to regional and global as well.

Daisy Ahmed, Executive Committee Member, SUPRO in her speech she told that the service of health and education should be ensured at grassroots through ensuring decentralization of governance.

SUPRO National Council Member Shamima Akter Moonmoon said that SUPRO did social audit on health and education issues every year. Social audit of SUPRO has made contribution to improve services of local health institutes in the SUPRO intervention areas which is a big achievement.

Health Session:

The second session was on health, titled ‘Health for All: Commitment & Reality’ presided by Mohsin Ali, National Council Member of SUPRO.

The keynote paper of this session was presented by National Council Member KGM Faruque. where Monju Rani Pramanik, National Council Member of SUPRO delivered her speech as discussant on behalf of SUPRO.

Key discussants of this session were-   Dr. Rashid-e-Mahbub, President, Bangladesh Sastho Odhikar Andolon;  Rokeya Kabir, Executive Director, Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sanga (BNPS).

Dr. Rashid-E-Mahbub criticized doctors who passed from any public college but don’t obey their responsibility to people though they become doctors by peoples’ money. He also said that minimum 2 years internship in remote area should be mandatory for doctors and full times has to be spent for poor villagers.  

Rokeya Kabir said in her speech that violence against women is a challenge for women health. Women health in garment sectors is more risky. She also mentioned fewer wages is one of the main causes for neglecting women heath.

National Council Member Monju Rani Pramanik told in her speech that government must increase allocation in health sector because it is still inadequate in ensuring health for all.  

Education Session:

The third session was on education, titled ‘Education for All: Commitment & Reality’ presided by M.A. Quader, Executive Committee Member, SUPRO.

The keynote paper of the session was presented by National Council Member Madhab Chandra Dutta where NC Member Sharifa Khatun and Lalit C Chakma shared their field experience on behalf of SUPRO.

Key discussants of this session were- Dr. Sadeka Halim, Information Commissioner;   Principal Md. Jahangir, GS of BCUTA , Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury, Founder of Gonosastho Kendro .

By thanking SUPRO, Prof. Dr. Sadeka Halim said that despite of having limitation on implementation of education policy, it is on progress. She also said that Right To Information (RTI) Act is helpful for student if they can utilize it properly. She said situation of women education in Bangladesh is better than that of other developing country.

Criticizing private tuition system Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury said that it must be stopped for reducing discrimination in education especially for rural level education.

Principal Mohammad Jahangir emphasis on technical education/ Vocational Education. He also criticized coaching business in education.   

Sarifa Khatun, NC Member, SUPRO shared her opinion on education. She told that the process of recruitment of teacher should be more proper and transparent. He also urged to do strong monitoring or abolishing of availability of cheap notebooks in market for to maintain quality education.

NC Member of SUPRO Lalit C Chakma told in his speech that it is essential to ensure primary education for all. He also said, indigenous people are still not in better situation in education. Indigenous people need to learn in Bangla medium in stead of their own language.

Closing Session:

Meher Afroz Chumki MP, President of Parliamentary Committee of Women and Children Affairs Ministry was the Chief Guest of the closing session.

The session was presided by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Vice -Chairperson of SUPRO where SUPRO Executive Committee Member Hosne Ara Hasi delivered her speech as a discussant on behalf of SUPRO.  Along with other Uma Chowdhury , from Transparency International Bangladesh, expressed her feelings based on her past experience with SUPRO, as former director.

Meher Afroz Chumki MP told that education is not fundamental rights for all rather than opportunity. Praising the positive role of present government in education the MP said this government has showed a big success in primary education as well as in taking initiatives on violence free schooling for girl child.

Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, being among the guests shared his views on education and good governance. He said, to ensure good governance in a society tolerance, law and order and political understanding is must.  

Executive Board Committee Member of SUPRO Hosne Ara Hasi said that dream must come into reality which SUPRO declared today towards the government, political parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and relevant stakeholders.    

In the closing session, on behalf of SUPRO Md. Arifur Rahman, General Secretary, SUPRO declared “Convention Declaration” highlighting people’s rights and role of government, opposition party , political parties and CSO representatives where the spirit of liberation war, constitution of Bangladesh, universal declaration of human rights and finally peoples’ rights were reflected.

The whole program is anchored by Samia Ahmed, Director, SUPRO; Kazi Shafiqur Rahman, Coordinator, SUPRO and Md. Shariful Islam, Associate Coordinator, SUPRO.