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Govt focuses on digital and vocational edu to build skilled manpower

The government has prioritised vocational and digital education at secondary and higher levels in a mid-term plan that seeks to create jobs and skilled manpower, according to an official document.

The plan (FY2021-22 to FY2023-24) envisages using science and technology education as a key strategy for development and poverty alleviation, report UNB.

Apart from expanding vocational education the plan seeks to develop necessary infrastructure for digital education.

It also underscores the need for increasing the financial opportunities for teachers and encouraging activities related to creative talent exploration.

To this end, according to an official document, following the 8th Five Year Plan, SDGs 2030 and Vision 2041, appropriate activities and projects are being taken by ensuring quality higher education in all fields, encouraging students to do research, ensuring information technology based education, expansion of science based education, encouraging women in higher education, reducing the dropout rate, etc. as set under the National Education Policy 2010.

The objectives are to improve the overall quality of education, eliminating inequalities in education, improving quality and expanding education.

The document said that the government is currently implementing the ‘Secondary Education Development Program’.

Activities under this include- expansion of infrastructure and setting up of new infrastructure with the help of existing development projects to enhance the capacity of secondary and higher secondary education, setting up of Upazila Training and Resource Centers under integrated education information management program, expansion of MPO schemes in private schools, provision of scholarships for outstanding students, and training of teachers.

During the COVID- 19 transition, online classes at secondary and higher secondary levels and teaching on important subjects on television under the title of ‘My school in my house’ have been introduced.

The Technical and Madrasa Education Division has placed emphasis on job-oriented technical and vocational education to facilitate the development of skilled human resources.

Some steps have already been taken to expand technical and vocational education, ensure job-focused education, and attract the general public towards technical and vocational education, said the document.

For example, projects for making computer/ technical education compulsory, organizing skill competitions, setting up technical schools and colleges in 329 upazilas along with the existing 100 technical schools and colleges, setting up women’s polytechnics in 4 divisional cities, and setting up 4 engineering universities in 4 divisions are ongoing.

The ministry of primary and mass education has taken multifaceted initiatives to ensure quality and universal primary education, and has adopted and implemented a number of development activities.

For example, the ministry has nationalised 26,193 private primary schools.

It has started using mobile banking for stipends to about 14 million students across the country by making payment to their mothers on their mobile phones.

Further, infrastructure of government primary and modernised primary schools has been developed, free textbooks are distributed, and computers and multimedia are provided in schools.

In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has started broadcasting “Learn at Home” lessons on television to keep students focused on lessons, and lessons are being broadcast on radio and community radio for students in remote areas.

In the medium term, the ministry will provide quality pre-primary and primary education, basic education, ICT, English, sub-cluster training to teachers.

One of the main objectives of the ministry of science and technology is to build a science and technology-minded nation.

The ministry has undertaken research activities on, and formulated policies and laws related to, science and technology.

In the medium term, as per the document, the main development priorities of the ministry will be providing fellowships in MS, PhD and post-doctoral courses at home and abroad for higher education in science, completion of various feasibility studies for construction of nuclear power plants in southern Bangladesh.

It also included providing world-class specialised library services for students and researchers, discovering low-cost tide and web power generation methods.

The other priorities are developing infrastructure and human resources for marine resource research, improving the quality of industrial products, and ensuring the quality of food and food products.