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13 January, 2020 11:21:59 AM
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Tertiary education needs to be purposeful

The higher education policymakers of the country have to take into account the task for turning the country’s youth into well-educated and skilled workforce
Prof. Sarwar Md. Saifullah Khaled
Tertiary education needs to be purposeful

Education enlightens human beings. There was a time when this much was enough for meaningful living of humankind. But with the change of time the purpose of education has changed. And the question as to why, how and what kind of education is required for proper development of human faculty and improvement of dexterity of the educated to meet the workforce demand of the changing time has risen. Modern time demands not merely the spread of education. But it asks whether the education you have received meets the changing demand of time and whether it is productive. Education devoid of market value is of no use and value today in this scientifically and technologically advancing world. A country may develop hundreds and thousands of educational institutions in it but the education imparted to the learners in those if not conducive to the desired demand of time is useless. Education should have not only face value but it must have use value too. So the tertiary education these days needs to be purposeful and time befitting for the contemporary socio-economic and nation building.
There is no denying of the fact that in Bangladesh the scope for obtaining higher education at the university level has beyond doubt considerably expanded over the years. But, on the other side, the standard of education provided here is still far away from global standard. That is why, to help university graduates of future days to move ahead by facing the mounting global challenges, a lot more has to be done in our education sector. It is true that a significant increase in investment over the years by both the public and private investors has taken place in this sector. In consequence, a large number of public and private universities have been established in the country. As a result the scope has widened for the youth to enter into tertiary education within the country. But the quality of education in higher stages in such universities has always been widely questioned.  

The education provided by the tertiary academic institutions in Bangladesh is far below the global standard. This is evident from the fact that the universities in the country are globally ranked as very poor. The education provided in our universities is in no way compatible with demand for modern job market at home and abroad. As a result of this there is a wider gap between the needs of the market and the courses offered by higher academic institutions here. So the number of unemployed and underemployed graduates, coming out of such universities, is increasing day by day. Here lies the crux of the problem. The knowledge, wisdom, skill, understanding, vision and intellectual growth and capability of our graduates are hardly well-matched with faster global challenges in every professional area. The graduates having little skills are not properly responsive to contemporary practical workplace situation.
To prove their mettle in the internal and global job market the graduates needs to have in-depth knowledge, sharpness, skill, capability and the sense of professionalism. These are the pivotal necessity for new graduates of today. The universities or any alma mater of higher education, against this backdrop, have to produce workforce befitting the ever-changing and challenging requirement of the contemporary job market at home and abroad. It is, therefore, necessary that the country’s policymakers seriously engage themselves to address these fundamental requirements of the changing time. This is in the best interests of nation building and manpower development for the global market. There is no alternative to producing relevant knowledge-based fully skilled human resources in this highly competitive world.

The contemporary job market at home and abroad demand educated and skilled manpower to feed the modern commerce, industrial and other sectors of an economy. The country’s education sector has to produce such educated and skilled personnel to aid the recent domestic and global economic development needs. In this front our present educational institutions are lacking far from fulfilling the requirements. So the country’s academic policymakers must have to demonstrate more prudence in designing purposeful and need-based curricula. Such curriculum needs to be matching with changing trends in global and domestic market demand.

Therefore, the higher education policy makers of the country have to take into account the task for turning the country’s youth into well-educated and skilled workforce at the earliest. This is urgent in this geographically small but populous country like Bangladesh to meet challenges to compete in both the internal and the global job market demand of the on going day.  

The writer is a retired Professor of Economics and Vice Principal, Cumilla Women’s Government College, Cumilla.

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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.

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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