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Target to reach 60pc enrolment in technical edu by 2050: Nahid
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid on Sunday said the government has a target to increase the enrolment in the technical and vocational education to over 60 percent of the country’s total students by 2050.
“Now, over 13 percent of students are pursuing their study in the technical and vocational education. Our target is to bring 20 percent of students here by 2021, 30 percent by 2030 and over 60 percent by another 20 years,” he said while addressing a workshop in a city hotel.
The Education Ministry arranged the workshop marking the launching of the implementation of additional financing of Tk 800 crore ($100m), provided by the World Bank, for the ongoing Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) of the Directorate of Technical Education.
The World Bank’s additional financing will provide 420,000 poor students with the skills to find better jobs in the local and overseas job markets.
The global lender in October 2015 approved the additional $100 million financing to the STEP to help modernise public and private polytechnic institutions. With the additional financing, the World Bank’s total support to the project stands at $179 million, with co-financing of $16.7 million in grants from the Canadian government.
The government is prioritising the technical education, Nahid said, adding that less than 1 percent of the country’s students had been in the technical and vocational education in 2009, which is now 13 percent.
If Bangladesh with 160 million people cannot prepare its population with modern knowledge, technical education, skills and training, they would be a burden for the country, he said.
The minister said Bangladesh has achieved significant successes in ensuring gender equality in the education. “Now, girls are more in number in the educational institutions and they’re doing well.”
He said some 51 percent of the students in primary education are girls while 50 percent in secondary and higher secondary education and 45 percent at the university level education. “And the number of girl is on the rise every year.”
WB Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan said the additional financing will help improve the quality of technical and vocational education and training.
“A more skilled workforce is crucial for Bangladesh to realise its aspiration of becoming an upper-middle income country. For this, the country needs to invest more in education, skills and training,” he said.
Public Administration Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and acting Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Shamsun Nahar also spoke at the function chaired by Education Secretary Md Sohorab Hossain.
STEP has already provided stipends to over 110,000 poor diploma students in 93 private and public polytechnic institutions that enabled them to continue education. In addition, nearly 77,000 youths have received free 6-month vocational training in 38 trades including electrical, automotive and garment sectors. Within six months of completing the courses, 42 percent of the trainees were employed.