Dhaka, March 8, 2012 — The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program in Bangladesh celebrated International Women’s Day by distributing 7,500 books to 75 girls’ schools and colleges across the country. Books for Asia Bangladesh aims to reach every girls’ school and college in the country in order to close the gender gap in education through access to information and knowledge. While 60 percent of the men in Bangladesh are literate, only 47 percent of the female population can read and write.
The former Deputy Speaker of the Bangladesh government and Member of the Standing Committee of Ministry of Finance, Professor Ali Ashraf, MP, said, “Bangladesh is fortunate to have such a noble program like Books for Asia help us improve the quality of our education by providing world-class education materials to our students. It is our responsibility to support the best possible way to keep this program running successfully.”
Vice Chancellor of Atish Dipankar University of Science and Technology, Dr. M. Abul Hossain Sikder, said, “Books for Asia is one of the best programs in Bangladesh. Not only do they provide quality education material but also hope that our students can compete with the world. Support for girls’ education is a unique effort by this program.”
Also in attendance were Director and CEO of Rapport Bangladesh Limited, Dr. M Mosharraf Hossain; The Asia Foundation’s Bangladesh Country Representative, Mr. Hasan Mazumdar; Books for Asia Coordinator Ms. Sukla Dey; and representatives of the recipient institutions.
The Asia Foundation acknowledges John Wiley & Sons, Pearson, Lynne Rienner, W.W. Norton & Company, and other American publishers for their generous donations of brand-new books.
Books for Asia has donated more than 2 million books to Bangladesh since the country’s independence in 1971.