9 May 2012, Dhaka. “Education should be about something more than just read and write, as you (Sir Abed) said it's about giving a chance, it's about sustainable development of education, it's about knowing our environment, about taking initiative and much more than that. "- Ms Irina Bokova, the first woman Director-General of UNESCO, said this while in conversation with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. In a meeting on 9 May 2012 at BRAC Centre, Ms Irina Bokova along with her high officials, met with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed for a discussion which was primarily focused on BRAC integrated and sustainable approach towards development sectors, especially in Education and Health. UNESCO Education Speciallist Kiichi Oyasu, Director of BRAC Education Programme Dr. Safiqul Islam and Director of Institute of Educational Development Ms. Erum Mariam were also present in the meeting.
During the meeting, they discussed about BRAC’s activities in the education arena. For capacity building in public sector, BRAC introduced Institute of Educational Development under BRAC University, where Masters Degrees and various short courses are being offered. Dr. Safiqul Islam, Director of BRAC Education Programme, discussed about innovative approaches of BRAC Education Programme like boat schools in haor areas, mother language based school for ethnic children and special education opportunity for children with special needs.
Ms Irina Bokova mentioned the importance of showcasing positive development stories. She also appreciated the way BRAC works closely with the government to bring synergy in the outcomes. She has invited the Chairperson to attend a meeting in UNESCO's headquarter in Paris where they will discuss about the post 2015 agenda on the next goals of UNESCO. She also wants UNESCO to work closely with BRAC in Asia and Africa where BRAC is working.
When Ms Irina Bokova mentioned about quality improvement in teaching and learning process, Sir Abed mentioned that teaching and learning can be improved only by the government’s involvement, since they are leading the education system.