Make technical edn compulsory at all levels
The three-day international conference on technical education and skills ended yesterday through adaptation of Dhaka Declaration that focused on establishing a link between Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions and industries.
The declaration called for developing awareness to popularise TVET and updating curricula of technical education for current and future employment at home and abroad.
It also underscored the need for creating a common platform (national and international) for sharing knowledge and experience for sustainable expansion of technical education in the country.
Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) and Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), Manila, in association with the Ministry of Education of Bangladesh, organised the conference titled “Skills for the future world of work and TVET for global competitiveness” at IDEB in the capital.
Researchers, practitioners, educationists, entrepreneurs, industrialists and policymakers from 23 countries attended the conference that hosted 16 seminars. The closing ceremony was held at a city hotel.
The speakers on the concluding day suggested making technical education compulsory at every level of education system and investing more in vocational training and technical education. Prof Dr hc Schroder Thomas, chair of International Cooperation in Education and TVET-System of Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, said TVET will always be changing and the country will have to be aware and adapt to the new changes.
Key personnel who are in the administration and management level also need to have education on TVET system for better implementation of relevant programmes, he added.
Prof Dr G Kulanthaivel, faculty consultant and chairman of ICT division of CPSC, said the quality of teachers in the technical institutes must be enhanced as there is a lot of technological advancement taking place.
“We've to train our teachers... The teachers have to be updated in their area and new branches like mechatronics or robotics,” he said. He suggested integrating ICT in teaching-learning process.
Mario Ronconi, head of cooperation, EU Delegation, said the overall system development for the sustainability of TVET is missing in Bangladesh. He recommended adopting a comprehensive implementation strategy.
Dr Omar Jah, vice chancellor of Islamic University of Technology, Gazipur, said there is a social stigma attached to the TVET that only the poor go to technical schools.
The mindset of considering students of technical schools inferior to the students pursuing bachelor degree should be eliminated from the society.
For eliminating the stigma, Robert Wood, chief executive officer of Melbourne Polytechnic, Australia, suggested rebranding TVET.
The TVET should be presented in such a way that students feel encouraged to take admission, he said and emphasised designing curriculum, content and pedagogical development.
Malcolm Abbott, associate professor of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, said it will be useful if TVET could be made compulsory in higher school system.
Khorshed Alam, chief executive officer of National Skills Development Council, suggested formulating a uniform curriculum so that the standard of education is recognised globally.
Dr Helen Teh, principal lecturer, department of polytechnic education in Malaysia, called upon the government to increase TVET's budgetary allocation.
Dr Sudhindranath Panda, director of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, India, suggested striving towards quality than quantity of technical institutions and teachers.
Omar Farque, deputy secretary of the education ministry, said TVET should be integrated with madrasas as huge number of students study there.