The Government of Japan will provide 500 million Japanese Yen (equivalent to approximately Tk36.76 crore or US$4.6 million) as grant to implement the project titled "The Fourth Primary Education Development Programme."
An "Exchange of Notes" and "Grant Agreement" were signed on Thursday between the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Japan.
Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance signed the Exchange of Notes and the Grant Agreement on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.
Mr Ito Naoki, Ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh, signed the Exchange of Notes, and Mr Yuho Hayakawa, chief representative, JICA Bangladesh Office, Dhaka signed the Grant Agreement on behalf of the Government of Japan.
The implementation of the Fourth Primary Education Development Programme began in 2018, and is supposed to end in 2023. The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education is implementing it.
Under the programme, the grant will be utilised in the education sector. The main objective of the programme is to improve the quality of classroom teaching of primary school teachers through providing modern training on Science and Mathematics.
Besides, supporting equipment related to teaching of Science and Mathematics will also be provided under the programme to improve the quality of education.
It is to be noted that earlier the Government of Japan had provided 2,490 million Japanese Yen (equivalent to Tk198 crore) as grant aid for implementing the Third Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP3) project for the period of 2011-2018.
Earlier on August 5, 2020, Exchange of Notes and Loan Agreement for the "Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan" amounting to 35 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to US$320 million) as budget support was signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Japan.
Moreover, on August 12, 2020, Exchange of Notes and Loan Agreements equivalent to US$3.15 billion for seven mega/large projects under the 41st ODA Loan Package, were signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Japan.
Ito Naoki, ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh confirmed that Japan's assistance for the Primary Education Development Programme will continue in the future.
The financing agreements signed between Japan and Bangladesh within July-August demonstrate that ties between the two countries are getting stronger day by day, he said.
Fatima Yasmin, secretary of the ERD, acknowledged Japan's assistance for the Primary Education Development Programme, Japan Human Resource Development Scholarships (JDS) and various other training programmes to build the capacity of government officials.
She also sincerely thanked Japan for being a committed development partner of Bangladesh.
Japan is the single largest bilateral development partner providing financial support for the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.
Until June 2020, the support has reached US$14.23 billion ODA disbursements.
Japanese loans and grants are being utilised in a wide range of areas including power, roads, bridges, telecommunication, agriculture, health, education, water supply and sanitation, rural development, environment, human resource development, among others.
Japanese assistance has contributed significantly to the overall development of the country.