Bangladesh needs its supply driven education systems

by Ajoy Kar | September 29, 2010 8:16 am


Remittances sent back home by migrants are a powerful financial force in Bangladesh. Quite a number of Bangladeshis depend on their relatives abroad from their feeding to their housing facilities- migrant remittances should not be underestimated as they obtain vital imports or pay off external debts.

About 6 million Bangladeshis are working in developed countries which have been hit badly by the global financial and economic crisis. As a result of this, export dependant business are closing factories, laying off workers and are being hit by supply chain.

It has been estimated that about 45% of young people (15-19 years old), in developed countries, with no education were unemployed or out of the labour-force during the recission period.

According to UN World Food Prpgramme, about 8000 Bangladeshi unskilled workers were deported in February 2009- most of the returnees were from Gulf countries.
The skilled workers are preventing unskilled workers to enter into the job markets. To respond to changing demands for labour market, the income earners need to re-enter education and training to upgrade their competencies or to change their professions. To secur a consistent income from overseas, Bangladesh has to supply highly skilled and well trained personnel to the strong competitive labour markets.

Benefit from investment in education in terms of remittances:

Investing in education means building a better future. More and more people in developed countries are enrolling in education for the benefits of students concerned. In fact, each year about 40% of the adult population in developed world participate in further education and training program to meet the changing demand for skills. Even though the financial burden of higher education has increased, the benefit of being graduated from university is even more.

The globalizing economy and technological change place an increasing premium on a more highly skilled labour force. A research conducted on developed countries- Japan, Korea, UK, USA and Canada- revealed that unemployment rates for people without tertiary education were higher than the people with tertiary education. The US Census Bureau’s figures showed that people with high school degree earned, on an average, 48K while those with college degree earned 60K. People with doctorate degree earn 66% more than those with bachelor’s degree.

It has been observed that the employers spend nearly twice as much, on an average, to employ an experienced person with tertiary education, compared with a person in the same age group who has not completed university. A protecting education & training budget is therefore essential for Bangladeshis who will be generating, in overseas, remittances for Bangladesh.

What’s next?

As the global demand for jobs moves up the skill ladder, Bangladesh has to meet the skills standard to sustain in the competitive labour market. It has to recognise the need for huge improvements in basic education and skills standards, and to move education from rote learning to creative thinking.

Bangladesh’s educational policies for generating revenue need to be based on a solid understanding of how better skills will translate into better jobs, higher productivity and, ultimately, better economic and social outcomes.

The success of education systems in Bangladesh not to be measured by how much the country spends on education or by how many individuals complete a degree, but by how the educational outcomes achieved and by their impact on the economic and social progress.

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