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Consultation on Youth in Adversity in Bangladesh focusing on Whole Child Development

“Development of youth as human resource through Technical and Vocational Education (TEVT) was a dream of Father of the Nation Bangobandhu Sheikh Mujibar Rahman”, as stated by him in a speech in 1973, says Munshi Shahabuddin Ahmed, Secretary, Technical and Madrasah Education Division (TMED), Ministry of Education of the Government of Bangladesh while speaking as the Chief Guest at a national consultation on ``Youth in Adversity in Bangladesh, Focusing on Whole Child Development’’ on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 at a Hotel in Dhaka. He stated that Government is committed to expand TVET programs across the country but emphasised on the quality of delivery at every stage. He hoped that mind-set towards TVET will be improved and TVET would be the main choice of youth in future.

Dr. Md. Faroque Hossain, Additional Secretary (Technical), Technical and Madrasah Education Division (TMED), Ministry of Education and the Special Guest of the session appreciated the organizers for their initiative and emphasised on meaningful GO-NGO collaboration which can pave the way for creating more employment opportunities through TEVT programs.

Rasheda K. Choudhury, Executive Director, CAMPE and the moderator of the session expressed the hope that Education Ministry would sit with the Employers for assessing their demands for skilled manpower, prepare the expansion plan and enhance the TVET capacity to produce an effective workforce for future. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus, BRAC University presided over the consultation. It was a joint initiative of CAMPE and Synergos for conducting a mapping of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) focused on youth in Bangladesh with a view to furnish recommendations on how philanthropic funds could contribute to improving the lives and livelihood of people in adversity.

Major findings from the study were shared by K M Enamul Hoque, Deputy Director of CAMPE and Research Team Member. The concept and the findings from the “Whole Child Development Study” were shared by Esha Husain, Project Lead, Synergos in Bangladesh and Shamima Yasmeen, Research Team Member. Findings of “Youth in Adversity and TVET study” were shared by Dr. M. Ehsanur Rahman, Study Team Member & Executive Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission.

A number of participants including government officials from Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), National Skills Development Authority (NSDA), Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB), A2i, BANBEIS and representatives from development partner organizations, UN Agencies, research groups, youth led organizations, teacher associations and NGOs including those who work on TVET focusing on youth and disabilities attended the consultation. Participants appreciated the initiative and provided number of recommendations.

Key findings and recommendations included, among others, the following:
• TVET capacity enhancement to reach people in adversity;
• More investment to enhance capacity of the TVET sub-sector;
• Technological advancements and automation are changing the labour market scenario which requires new models of skills training for youth;
• Traditional TVET programs do not have the capacity to serve youth from highly stigmatized groups facing extreme adversity in the form of economic, socio cultural, political and/or geographic exclusion often depriving ethnic linguistic and religious minorities and disabled population;
• Partnership among organizations that focus on equipping youth with core competencies and human values needed for the future of work through TVET programs;
• Partners addressing the future of work through TVET and skills training programs, particularly inclusive of youth facing adversity, in order to catalyze deeper impact and increased reach, will need continued support;
• Essential skills like communication skill and linguistic skills are important for TVET graduates;
• Community based learning centres could be considered for skills development and expansion of TVET could use these existing mechanisms;
• Delivery mechanisms used by teachers also need to be revised and strengthened considering whole child development and youth in adversity;
• Both opportunities and challenges should be considered for bringing youth in adversity to TVET;
• Emerging demands in global markets, rapid change of climate and environment related factors etc. need to be considered in selecting TVET trades/skills.

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