A ‘youth cell’ under PMO is in order

Minister says as experts discuss measures for youth development

A youth cell should be formed under the Prime Minister's Office to effectively implement the action plan for youth development and reap the benefits of demographic dividends, Planning Minister MA Mannan said yesterday.

The youth development programme will bring better outcome through coordination and cooperation among different ministries and divisions, he said while addressing a virtual discussion on "Youth budget framework: an appraisal".

The discussion was jointly organised by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) and ActionAid Bangladesh.

Some officials are preparing faulty development project proposals (DPPs), which get detected later, the minister said. So, a cell should be established to strongly monitor the preparation of the DPPs.

Mannan said the country has improved significantly since 1990 to 2020.

"Now we are giving efforts on becoming a developed nation," he added.

Nahim Razzaq, a lawmaker and convener of Young Bangla of the National Youth Platform, suggested forming a youth development cell for effective implementation of action plans for youth development.

He urged the organisers of the discussion to spread the outcome of the event to create awareness among all stakeholders.

Sometimes the budgetary allocation cannot be used properly due to a lack of efficiency.

"There is a scope to work jointly with the private sector under public private partnership," he said.

Education should be driven by technology and based on the market, said Fahmida Khatun, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.

"It would not be possible to provide jobs to all. So, ensuring effective training for the youth along with providing necessary funds for start-ups are a must."

Since 2010, the ministry has been receiving Tk 30,000 crore on average every year, which are used for youth development, said Md Belayet Hossain Talukdar, additional secretary of the secondary and higher education division.

Integrity is highly needed to ensure quality education for the youth, he said.

It is the young population who go abroad and send a good amount of remittance every year, said Md Nazibul Islam, additional secretary of the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry.

An increase in budget would not ensure proper utilisation of the allocation, so proper use of the money set aside is important, he said.

"We are giving training to the youth and the number of trained hands is increasing fast. But most of them are failing to succeed in life after the completion of the trainings."

Local institutions should collaborate with the foreign ones to upgrade the training system to achieve better output, he noted.

A connection should be established between the madrasah students and technical education, said Md Omar Faruque, joint secretary of the technical and madrasah education division under the education ministry.

Around 60 per cent of the education system needs to be technical knowledge-based for a nation to develop, he said.

Now the enrolment of technical education reached only 17 per cent against the target of 21 per cent by 2020 while in 2001 it was only 1 per cent, he said.

The ministry is working with young women for their skills development to let them get involved in economic growth, said Ferdousi Begum, deputy secretary of the women and children affairs ministry.

Khadiza Nazneen, deputy secretary of the social welfare ministry, said they not only focus on the disabled and distressed people, but also the youth.

"We should find out what the youth wants," said Abu Eusuf, professor of the Department of Development Studies of Dhaka University.

A needs assessment is required to find out why the number of departments is increasing in universities, he said.

"We need to concentrate more on demand-based technical education instead of generating general graduates."

A follow-up is needed to check whether the trainees are utilising the knowledge they gained through the trainings, he said.

Selim Raihan, executive director of Sanem, chaired the discussion where Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid Bangladesh, and Sayema Haque Bidisha, research director of Sanem, also spoke. 



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