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22 July, 2019 11:35:27 AM
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Quality technical education ensures sustainable development

Efforts to promote more inclusive economic growth and improve education system can raise enrollment among young people in developing countries and reduce disparities between genders and among social groups
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed
Quality technical education ensures sustainable development

We call 21st century as the age of knowledge. Here, world of connected knowledge work, global markets, tele-linked citizens, and blended cultural traditions demands a fresh set of responses. In this age, brainpower replaces brawn power, and mechanical horsepower gives way to electronic hertz power. Achieving education goals in our times is shaped by the increasingly powerful technologies we have for communicating, collaborating, and learning. And learning assumes a central role throughout life. The fourtth industrial revolution poses both opportunities and threats because of its speed, breadth and depth as well as system impacts. There are unlimited possibilities of having billions of people connected by mobile devices, giving rise to unprecedented processing power, storage capabilities and knowledge access. The staggering confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs, covering wide-ranging fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, material science, energy storage and quantum computing, to name a few.
Education is fundamental driver of personal, national and global development. Recognition of this has driven many countries to achieve development in all respects. Undoubtedly, education is the most important tool through which we can transform the population of our country into the useful human resource to bring overall development of Bangladesh. If we fail to give them true education or quality education, they would become a great liability forcing the country to face mounting pressure of unemployment. As matters stand today, a great majority of our graduates for want of quality education have been rendered jobless, while few of them have got optimum service, plus others are doing. Because of technical know-how and special knowledge and experience many foreign nationals are achieving huge material gains from our country. It is not only a matter of great loss for the country but also a matter of shame. Quality education is still a far cry, because there is no cohesion and uniformity between the syllabuses designed by academic institutions and the practical need of the society. In public universities, there is a provision for double examiners whereas in the private universities there is one examiner system for examining the answer scripts. As a result, there is no check and balance in remarking scheme.

Efforts to promote more inclusive economic growth and improve education system can raise enrollment among young people in developing countries and reduce disparities between genders and among social groups, but simply narrowing the gaping school enrollment rates and total years of schooling is not enough. Countries must also ensure the quality of their education system, a key challenge for the coming decades.

In the future, new information and communication, technologies are expected to stimulate the expansion of educational opportunities and to improve educational quality at the national and global level by offering a variety of innovative learning channels. For example, the ability to use new technologies to build borderless networks among Schools can offer opportunities for students in low-income countries to learn from teachers in advanced countries and vice-versa.

Lack of trained and experienced teachers greatly stands as a bar to the way of achieving quality education, which demands quality teachers. It cannot be done by the novice or apprentice teachers. Sometimes due to external pressure or favoritism, less competent candidates are selected in lieu of the most competent ones. Such type of candidates become disaster as teacher and the students are deprived their better teaching. Another factor that cannot be avoided is that those who are highly talented do not prefer education sector, which is not lucrative to them in comparison to admin, judicial and cadre service. It is tantamount what George Bernard Shaw once said that those who can do and those who cannot teach. This is no longer acceptable to the community of teachers.

Vocational has been professed as the core of education policy, but little is done to achieve the target.  Vocational training is linked with employment opportunities or providing support like bank loans, ensuring market for self-employment. Agricultural education and education for industry through poly-technique institutes are useful steps for vocationalisation of secondary education. But in order to avoid wastage and stagnation, periodic investigations should be carried out in cooperation with industry aimed at job analysis and specification in terms of levels and clusters of skills and responsibilities for technicians. There is an urgent need to relate the development of science and technology in a state to its potential for economic growth and to reduce the existing imbalances in the development of education.

National policy on education must be framed in such a way as to ensure the provision of direct link between education and employment and to evolve the system where a student passing the secondary stage may opt for some job-oriented training, which can give him an earning in future. The school must provide the nucleus of technical and agricultural education particularly in the villages and play a central role in the general raising of standards of living within the subsistence sector. Present educational facilities constitute an obstacle to rural progress because people are not trained for agriculture. Schools are regarded as responsible for fight from the rural areas to the towns. A rise in rural incomes must definitely be accorded priority in all development schemes. It is observed by many experts that one of the chief educational priorities in economically developing areas is the creation of a fully integrated system of agricultural education within the general framework of technical and vocational education. Educational planning is linked with land reforms and be processed near the centers of primary education.

So, 21st century curriculum should be planned and systematic, inclusive and consultative, led by curriculum professionals, cyclical in nature and sustainable. The curriculum itself should incorporate values of each child, comprise high quality, relevant and appropriate content and contribute to the development of competence. And it must be well organized and structured underpinned by a set of assumptions about how children learn. Technical education is not devoid of defects. It makes a man narrow and materialistic in outlook and makes him unfit for the true appreciation of art, music and literature. A highly specialized worker in the branch of industry is of no use in another. It is necessary for perfect life that man should learn to earn his living and to learn the art of living at the same time.

We must also be careful not to be too through going. While stressing the importance of technical education that goes most towards developing decency and culture is still liberal. What all educational institutions must keep in mind is the all-round of a man’s nature, to polish it and give him a chance of perfecting it. Technical education must always be aware of the higher end; and so long as it keeps it in view, it is bound to be of immense help in the building of our country’s future.

The writer is a regular contributor to The Independent e-mail: forqan.info@gmail.com

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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