Dhaka : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered a massive restructuring of the country’s education system integrating the knowledge-based and practical learning to further advance the overall development of Bangladesh.
“A competent manpower is the main tool to carry out the development activities. So, technical and vocational education should gradually be streamlined in the education system to build manpower for development, production and prosperity,” she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating an international conference on ‘Skill for the Future World of Work and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Global Competitiveness’ at Osmani Memorial Hall in Dhaka. “Many people consider our huge population as a burden. But it’s not true if we can build up them with education and proper training. Human resources are our best assets,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said multidimensional use of new inventive technologies is rapidly changing the public life. People are taking best advantage of useful technologies, which are changing the production system very quickly, shrinking job opportunities.
“Here, skilfulness is the only key to a sustainable development and guarantee for job,” she said adding that now the whole world’s foremost goal is to poverty alleviation and improving the living condition of the people through the best use of science and technologies.
Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) and Manila based inter-governmental organization of Asia Pacific region Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) jointly organized the conference in association with Ministry of Education (MoE), National Skills Development Council (NSDC).
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and director general of CPSC and co-chairman of the steering committee Ramhari Lamichhane attended the function as special guests while president of IDEB and chairman of the steering committee of the conference MA Hamid was in the chair. This international conference will address the future demand of skilled manpower and the acceleration process to ensure the demand-based quality TVET. Sheikh Hasina thanked the organisers for including the useful and time-befitting issues as the themes for discussion of the conference.
She expressed the hope that the conference would contribute to develop new knowledge and replicable models that could be applied in both developed and developing countries. The prime minister said her government has already taken many projects for development of human resources by giving special importance to technical and vocational education.
Her government’s prime and foremost goal is to create a competent and knowledge-based society, she said.
Sheikh Hasina noted that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had asked the country’s first Education Commission in 1974 to give topmost priority to vocational education.
In line with this, she said, the present Awami League government after taking office has been giving utmost importance to the technical and vocational education.
She said the number of students in this medium was only 1.8% when her party took office in 1996 and now the number has risen to 14%. The government has plans to increase the number to 20% in 2020, 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2040, she added.
“We are trying to transform the technical education into a time- befitting and effective learning system,” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is in an extremely advantageous position as 49% of its population was below 24 and “we have to make the demographic dividend useful”.
She said the country now needed to restructure its education system emphasising “time befitting technical education” to derive the dividend of having huge number of young population and “equal importance have to be given to educate both male and females”.
Sheikh Hasina said 49 government polytechnic institutes, three being exclusively for women, and 467 private polytechnic institutes are currently conducting four-year diploma engineering course.
“Every government polytechnic institute now has a second shift and the government now decided to establish world-class polytechnic institute in 23 remaining districts,” the premier said. Four institutes, she said, would be constructed at divisional level for women in addition to technical school and college for women in every divisional town.
The prime minister said her government moreover decided to construct at least one technical school and college and a Technical Training Centre (TTC) in every sub-district while works towards that end already began in 100 sub-districts. Sheikh Hasina said under the government plan primarily a public school and a college will be transformed into technical school and college where diploma engineers could be taught.
The prime minister urged the diploma engineers not to compromise with the quality of work while implementing government projects saying “proper execution of the government plan depends on their perfect management, sincerity and honesty”.
Sheikh Hasina said the 7th Five year Plan recommended for efficient manpower at six levels to implement the national development plan, ensure application of ICT at all level of the administration and provide one-stop service to the people.
In view of this the prime minister said the learning methods and tools from primary to university level must be consistent with the local and global demand and standard of labour market.
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