Technical education in Bangladesh: Challenges and prospects
It is no secret that education is the backbone of a nation. Education and development go hand in hand, especially for an emerging economy. Overall, students from all walks of life need to be equipped for the professional world by learning relevant skills to thrive in it. This is where technical education comes in.
Let's get to know what this type of education really is. Apart from the basics, it is also important to know how such a learning system can aid the economic development of an emerging economy.
Fundamentals of Technical Education
At its core, technical education deals with preparing individuals for a specific trade or craft. For instance, teaching a person the necessary technical skills to become an electrician or carpenter is one form of such education. Essentially, it goes beyond the traditional classroom setting to foster a strong culture of employment, which drives the economic engine of a country. Also known as vocational education, this form of learning is vital towards human resource development in any economy, be it a developing or developed one.
That's not all; technical education is also crucial to achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) dealing with economic growth and quality education. Ideally, it is possible to achieve perpetual economic growth through a strong system of technical education and skills development. However, that is easier said than done in developing countries.
Current scenario in Bangladesh
The challenges are aplenty in the technical education sector of Bangladesh. Most individuals here prefer informal apprenticeships to learn a specific craft, like carpentry. Hence, the total number of people seeking such education is relatively low in comparison to developed countries. The traditional systems like school and madrasah education are largely dominant in this South Asian emerging economy. Additionally, ties between the formal economy and technical education systems are quite fragile. Said systems are unable to deliver the dynamic training needs of the professional world. So, what are the solutions to overcoming these problems?
As it turns out, there is hope after all. The Ministry of Education in Bangladesh is working tirelessly to establish a technical education system. This will be directly responsible for incorporating SSC and HSC technical courses into respective institutes. Eventually, it is expected that a strong practical curriculum enforced by qualified teachers will enhance the development of human resources in the country. Furthermore, the existing BTEB (Bangladesh Technical Education Board) already has various diploma certifications in place to foster skills development among the youth.
Overall, the need for technical education in an emerging economy like Bangladesh is imperative. Combating unemployment and driving economic growth are only some of the many benefits of such a learning system. Every stakeholder must work cohesively to bring about this revolution in the existing educational system.
Should Bangladesh implement the technical training policies of countries like Germany, France or England? It must be noted that adopting a foreign model of technical education that works in developed countries is going to be tough. Said models do not account for the vast array of traditional, cultural and financial barriers faced by developing nations. Ultimately, adopting such a non-viable approach is likely to result in failure.
Rather, Bangladesh should strive to pioneer its own technical training system that can eventually be a role model for fellow developing countries. After all, the country is no stranger to being a role model when it comes to development in the emerging world. Ensuring that citizens are well equipped with technical skills to prosper in the job market is of vital importance. Perhaps an educational revolution is waiting around the corner for Bangladesh.
Kazi Turin Rahman is an
MBA from Coventry University,
UK with distinction. He is an avid researcher and content writer.