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March 22, 2018

Formation of skill development authority in limbo over tussle

Dhaka : The government is expected to decide the fate of formation of a skill development authority, which is now in limbo following a tussle between two key ministries.

The ministry of finance and the ministry of labour and employment are locked in the row over jurisdiction of the authority named National Skill Development Authority (NSDA). The proposal for making such an authority put forward by a finance division project is meant for ensuring skill development standards through effective regulation of vocational education and training courses in the country.

The next cabinet meeting may choose between two options–either setting up of a separate division on the issue or an Authority under the Prime Minister’s Office.

A committee, headed by cabinet secretary Shafiul Alam, is likely to propose the two options in the next cabinet meeting which is usually held with the Prime Minister in the chair. The cabinet will give its opinion on the matter. People, familiar with the development, told that an authority might be chosen.

The ministry of labour and employment wanted to take control of the Authority arguing that this subject is its domain. The government took the move to create the regulatory authority that would oversee skill development activities in the country in a coordinated manner. As per the concept paper, the Authority will coordinate and harmonize skill development efforts of the government and the private sector.

Currently, Bangladesh lacks such type of regulatory authority leading to poor quality of certifications. The Authority styled NSDA will provide training on skills that are in demand both at home and abroad and thus help increase remittance income of the country.

India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries have such specialized organizations tasked with promoting skills.

The Skills for Employment Investment Programme (SEIP), a project under the Ministry of Finance, took the move for establishing the NSDA. A South African consultant Alastir had prepared its organogram and functions.

Currently, 23 ministries are providing skill development training through their attached directorates. But there is no regulatory organization to monitor such training.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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