Technical Education for More, Better Jobs in Bangladesh

Jesmin Akter is a shining example of how technical
education can transform a person’s life. About 400,000 poor youths like Jesmin have
become established in the society, thanks to the technical training they received through
Skills and Training Enhancement Project or STEP. In Bangladesh, about 200,000 people enter
the job market every year. To create employment, the STEP played an important
role by providing with technical training. With the project’s help, about 241 government
and private technical and vocational training institutions provided short and long-term
trainings to poor youths. The trainings are provided free of cost and
the students also received stipend so that they don’t have to discontinue training
due to financial hardship..The number of female students were substantial in the training
programs. In addition, under the Secondary School Certification
(SSC) vocational programme, students received apprenticeship or hands-on training in different
factories. system. There are many people in the country who are
skilled in vocational works but have no institutional education. These skilled and experienced people are being
provided with international standard NTVQF certificates through the Recognition of Prior
Learning or RPL program. The project borne the cost for transportation,
food and lodging, and exam fees of the RPL program participants. They also received stipends. At the
outset of the project, teachers were recruited at polytechnic institutes to fill in the vacant
posts and the new teachers received training at home and abroad. Further, 56 polytechnic institutes in the
country received grants to upgrade their classrooms and build infrastructures. The STEP established close links with various
industries and formed a placement cell by signing a memorandum of understanding with
BGMEA. For the first time in the country, job fairs
were organized at polytechnic institutes where many students could instantly find employment. To nurture the student’s creativity, the
project organized skills competitions. At these contests, many young students proved
their competence through various inventions, many of which are now being used commercially. At
first just an initiative, the STEP activities now hold immense possibilities. Recognizing the significance of these efforts,
the Bangladesh government has continued the activities at a larger scale even after the
end of the project. Maybe, these efforts would create the skilled
manpower that Bangladesh needs for a better future.

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