Thrust on tech education, job creation to achieve desired economic growth
Published : 18 Feb 2017, 21:48:16

FE Report
Speakers at a discussion on Saturday underscored the need for paying more attention on vocational and technical education, and creating jobs for one-third of the educated youths to ensure optimum utilisation of the country's human capital and achieve the desired economic growth.
They also laid emphasis on taking measures to ensure nutrition and better healthcare services for all of the people to enhance their working capacity.
The recommendations came up at a discussion on 'Human Capital Development' on the sidelines of a two-day second annual economists' conference 2017 at the city's BRAC Centre Inn, organised by South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM).
Dhaka University's (DU) Supernumerary Professor of Department of Economics Professor Barkat-e-Khuda presided over the session while BRAC Research and Evaluation Division (RED) director Professor Abdul Bayes attended as the special guest.
The speakers laid emphasis on increasing budgetary allocation for the country's education systems, health care services and proper use of remittances to make human development activities more meaningful.
Prof Abdul Bayes said the role of human capital differs at the various stages of development. "Earlier the economy was agriculture-based, which required primary or secondary level of education."
"When you enter into advanced economic activities like readymade garments (RMG) manufacturing, you need higher level of education for better outcome," he added.
Quoting findings of a recent research, he said one-third of the country's youth labour force remained unutilised. Many of the educated youths remain unemployed for not having technical knowledge, he informed.
"There is spree for more general or university education, rather than technical and vocational training," he said. To ensure GDP growth at over 8 per cent, the country needed to create more job opportunities through technical education, he said.
Prof Barkat-e-khuda said the remittances were not being used for developing human capital due to imprudent use. "Most part of the remittances is being used for merely consumption rather than education and other productive sectors," he said.
Prof Barkat said Bangladesh could learn from the model of East-Asian nations through huge investment in the education, controlling population growth and ensuring equity in income distribution.
"The East-Asian countries not only increased their budget, but also restructured their education system," he added.
The education system has not only been made functional but also pragmatic in the countries like China, Japan and Korea, he informed.
There is a lack of coordination among the education systems and human capital development schemes in Bangladesh, he noted.
He said Bangladesh spends only 2.4 per cent of GDP for education as compared to 5 per cent each in South Korea and Brazil, 4.3 per cent in China and 4.7 per cent in Iran. The healthcare sector also remained deemed in the country.
"The healthcare expenditure per capita is only around 40 per cent of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended standard level," he said.