Notion of Human Resource Development in Macro Economic Stratum: Bangladesh Perspective Part-Ii

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Present State of HRD in Bangladesh in Different Sectors:

Development in Education Sector:

Sixty-two development projects in education sector have been allocated Tk 95667.00 lacs under ADP in financial year 2001-2002.

Development in Secondary and Higher secondary education:

1. Emphasis through the improvement of science and technology.

2. High priority to education through information and commutation technology.

3. Infrastructure development such as classroom and laboratories.

4. Adequate supply of books.

So far, physical constructions of 4724 educational institutes have done. Beyond constructions, scientific instruments and furniture have been supplied to 4724 institutes. In order to meet up development needs, 18 development projects at a cost of Tk.71868.00 lacs are under implementation in secondary and higher secondary sector including madrasah education in the current financial year.

Development in technical and vocational education:

i) Introduction of SSC vocational course in Non-government high schools in each Thana,

(ii) Establishment of thirteen new vocational training institutes,

(iii) Renovation, expansion, and modernization of the college of Textile Technology and opening of four departments,

(iv) Modernization of existing 20 polytechnic institutes and establishment of 18 new polytechnic institutes are mentionable.

As a part of development program, 13 development projects are being implemented in technical education sector. These projects have been allocated Tk.8150.00 lacs including Tk.8485.40 lacs as project aid.

Development in higher education:

Among various development projects in higher education sector

 (1) Establishment of One Science and Technology University in each of the 12 greater districts (Where there is no university),

 (2) Construction of flats for teachers and residential halls for the students of Dhaka University are mentionable. Besides, different projects for further development of the existing universities are also mentionable.

In order to accelerate development in higher education, University Grants Commission is implementing 19 development projects. These projects have been allocated Tk.8150.00 lacs in the financial year 2001-2002. The entire amount comes from GOB as grant.

 Development in Madrasah education:

1. Construction of selected madrasahs under the assistance of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Reconstruction/extension of madrasahs under the loan assistance of IDB are mentionable.

At present, total number of madrasahs is 7122. Out of them, 4890 are Dakhil, 1074-Alim, 1017-Fazil, and 141 are kamil madrasahs. There are 3 public madrasahs at kamil level.  In order to develop these madrasah, a number of development projects are under implementation in the Annual Development Program of 2001-2002.

Programs for overall quality improvement of education:

In order to ensure overall quality improvement in education, various steps and programs have been formulated and undertaken.

a. Improve education through updating curriculum. b. Laboratory research has been expanded in different educational institutes. c. Examination system has been reviewed and revised.  d. Grade system has been introduced in the SSC exams instead of traditional division system.  e. With a view to reducing population growth rate, curriculum on population education has been introduced through a project in secondary higher secondary, technical-vocational and madrasah education streams. f. In order to prevent unfair means in the examination halls, it has been decided that teachers involved in such illegal activities if found will be taken to task. g. Invigilation teams have therefore been strengthened and mass awareness has been inspired. h. Educational research and training on educational management are being disseminated through NAEM. i. The Ministry of Education has taken the work of establishing international mother language institute.20

Programs for the expansion of women’s education:

1.Emphasis has been given on reducing disparity between male and female in education sector.

2.In order to expand women’s education, nurture empowerment and ensure women’s participation in development activities, female students have been provided stipends in secondary schools in 460 rural upazillas. Stipend programs have been able to play a landmark role in reducing dropout and increasing enrollment in secondary education. As an outcome of stipend program the rate of teenage marriage has decreased rapidly. In order to empower women in education sector, different development projects are being implemented, such as,

a. Female Secondary Stipend Project; b. Female Secondary School Assistance Project (2nd phase); c. Establishment of 3 Mohila (Female) Polytechnic Institutes at 3 Divisional Headquarters; d. EU assisted Program to Motivate, Train, and Employ Female Teachers in Rural Secondary schools (PROMOTE).

Programs for facilitating the poor students:

Ministry of Education is implementing a number of development projects to facilitate the poor students.

 The objectives of these projects are:

1.To expand access of the poor in education with special attention to female participation.

2.Quality improvement with special attention to female students in order to involve them in work force.

3.To improve management and teaching efficiency of teachers and to enhance women’s participation in socioeconomic development. 

4.Short-term objectives of these projects, such as, providing stipends to the female students to increase girls’ enrollment and retaining them in continuing education. Such initiatives will assist in refraining women from early marriage and in reducing high birth rate. Educated women will be interested in engaging themselves in work force. The entire process will ultimately help in reducing poverty and improving their socio-economic conditions. 

Future Plans and Strategies in post-primary education:

The government has the following future plans and strategies for education:

(a) Take an executive decision to establish a Teaching Service Commission to streamline teacher recruitment, training and deployment for primary and post-primary education both in government and non-government schools,   (b) Operationalize reforms in textbook printing, publishing, and distribution,  (c) Take actions to consolidate a sector-wide system for public expenditure tracking survey in education,  (d) Prepare and execute an action plan for the completion of secondary curriculum revision and implementation of revised curriculum,  (e) Take steps to encourage the expansion of private TVET system,  (f) Disseminate widely the strategic plan for higher education,   (g) Establish an independent accreditation mechanism for private universities, (h) Establish quality assurance mechanism for public and private colleges and universities.

Impact of development interventions in education sector:

Poor students, especially females, who are neglected at home, are being benefited more from the projects. The stipend projects are helping in assuaging the burden of the poor parents in carrying out educational costs. On the other hand, PROMOTE project has brought opportunities for the unemployed women to have teachers training in rural areas and to get employment in rural schools. This project, which offers 839 scholarships, is working with the objective of employing 1000 women in rural secondary schools. With this end in view, several female hostels have been built in District and at Thana levels to provide accommodation. This initiative has created inspiration among the female trainees, who are looking for teachership.

Development in private sector education:

In order to control burden on revenue budget in education sector, private sector education is being inspired. A large number of schools, colleges, madrasahs, and universities have been established in private sector in Bangladesh; 2846 junior secondary schools, 15778 secondary schools, 2176 general colleges, 20 polytechnic institutes, 51 vocational training institutes, 7273 madrasahs, and 29 universities. With a view to bringing discipline in private sector education, initiative has been undertaken to establish a private service commission to conduct employment and deployment of teachers of all schools and colleges covering MPO scheme. In order to expand women’s education and for the empowerment of women, initiative has been undertaken to establish an Asian University for women in private sector.

Ongoing policies and programs:

The newly elected government has taken positive steps towards improved governance in educational management. The cabinet has already taken some important decisions for educational reforms, such as,  (a) A national expert committee has been formed to identify the possible areas of reforms in education sector.  (b) Education ministry is to prepare an action plan for the improvement of quality in education by motivating teachers to their profession and recruiting quality teachers for vacant posts. A committee has been formed for making recommendations in this regard. (c) Six language centers are to be established at six Divisional Headquarters for training in communicative English. Besides English there will be provisions for learning foreign languages such as Arabic, French, Japanese, Chinese, and German.

(d) Computer education is to be made popular at all stages of education. Ten thousand computers are to be distributed to equal number of secondary schools as a follow up of this policy. This program is being implemented now and will cover a three- year period.  (e) In order to enhance the status of teachers in the eyes of the students and the community, Nineteenth January has been declared as the “Teacher’s Day”.  (f) A Retirement Benefit Foundation for non-government teachers has been established so as to extend financial support to the non-government teachers after their retirement.  (g) Three new Science and Technology Universities are being setup. This would expand and encourage the development of science and technology in the country. (h) An MOU   has been signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the European Parliament for the establishment of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. This would encourage female education in the country further and create a new impact on empowerment of women in Asia. (i) The government has decided to expand the existing female stipend program from secondary level to higher secondary level and to make tuition fees free for all girl students up to grade xii.

Social Welfare and Human Development:

Youth Development

The youths, 36% of the total civilian work force, conform the most potentials in Bangladesh. Recognizing the fact that a disciplined and, organized, trained and educated youth community can make significant contribution to the development process, the government has taken up various programs for their socio-economic uplift. The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Department of Youth Development are entrusted with the responsibility of providing unified direction and coordination to the youth development process.

The major programs of the government for youth development include- rural youth development, skill development training, sell-employment program and community development program. The youth development program is now being expanded through increased training and credit facilities

Social Welfare

Since poverty alleviation is a major goal of the Government, thrust is being given on socio-economic development of the underprivileged groups. The main emphasis here is on adoption of integrated and comprehensive approach taking the family as the basic unit for social services programs with emphasis on family and group development rather that individual development.

The government has been implementing the following programs in the Social Welfare sector:

(a) Urban and rural community development program. (b) Development services for the physically and the mentally disabled. (c) Development services for children. (d) Welfare services for the juvenile and the distressed women. (e) Welfare services for the aged and the infirm. (f) Rehabilitation program for the addicts. (g) Social welfare services for the beggars. (h) Social welfare services by non-government organizations.

 Rural Development

More than 50% of the country’s GDP comes from the rural sector. Development of this sector is thus crucial for national development. The Rural Development and Cooperatives Division of the Government are responsible for planning implementation, monitoring and evaluation of rural development programs. Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB), the Department of Cooperatives and the Academies fur Rural Development at Comilla and Bogra play important roles in environmental efforts for rural development. Major functions of the rural development agencies include employment and income generation, provision of credit and institutional support to rural target groups, vulnerable group development, formation of rural cooperatives, provision of health care, sanitation, safe drinking water, education etc.

Alongside the public sector, the NGOs also play a key-role in rural development efforts. Organizations like the Grameen Bank and BRAC have earned worldwide acclaim in the field.

Women and Children Affairs

The government is trying hard to integrate the womesnfolk of the country into the mainstream of the development process, which is one of the main strategies for overall 50cm-economic development.

The Department of Women’s Affairs with a countrywide network and Jatiya Mohila Sangstha (National Women Association) – an organization with branches all over the country promote women’s rights, interests and socio-economic opportunities. Appropriate laws have been framed, especially during the nineties, to stop repression and discrimination against women. The government reconstituted the National Women’s Development Council in January 1997, to provide overall guidance on women’s development issues. The National Women’s Development Policy announced by the present government aims at improving the lot of the neglected womenfolk of the country, ensure equality of men and women in all spheres of national life including state, society, family, politics, administrative and economic arena, ensure security and empowerment of women, groom up women as educated and efficient human resource, eliminate discriminations and repression on women and girl-child, establish human rights of women, alleviate their poverty and above all ensure their participation in the development process. Appropriate strategies have been devised to realize these goals.

Children’s welfare has also been a priority of the government. Bangladesh was one of the first signatories to the UN charter on children’s rights. Vigorous efforts are being undertaken by the government at national, regional and International levels to promote health, nutrition, education and socio-cultural interests of children Bangladesh Shishu (Children’s) Academy with a countrywide network is engaged in 50cm-cultural programs for children. The government for children’s development and protection of children’s rights has reconstituted a 25-member National Children’s Council. A national action plan is also being drawn up for children’s development.

Labor and Employment

The present government has undertaken various measures to expand the opportunities for domestic and overseas employment. Remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad have marked a steep rise during the nineties due to a massive outflow of workers from Bangladesh. As an export item, manpower exports currently occupy the second position with an annual inflow of over 1 billion U.S. Dollars.

The Labor Policy of the present Government embodies creation of an environment conducive to improved Labour-Management relations in order to provide higher wages through higher productivity, tri-partism, productivity, provision of incentives, Labour welfare. Employment generation, earnings according to work, and a healthy growth of trade Unionism have been emphasized for ensuring basic needs of all and a balanced economic growth.

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