Monday, 24 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Technical students to be equipped to deal with 4IR challenges

Published : Monday, 20 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 261

Bangladesh is moving forward like other developing countries using technology. Technical education is the key tool for the fourth industrial revolution challenge in Bangladesh.

The government has taken groundbreaking steps to improve technical education. However, many believe the implementation of the Apprenticeship (Amendment) Act-1968, removal of teacher shortage and government recruitment of all trades will make it easier to deal with the 4IR challenges.

The technical education institution of Rangpur has changed the overall situation in the division in last 15 years. A multi-storied building was constructed on the place of broken classrooms and thousands of students have been taking lessons from the institution to become entrepreneurs and self-employed.

The private technical educational institutions are also running in pride beside the government institutions. More than 15,000 students are studying in technical educational institutions in Rangpur city. Some new trade has been launched. However, there is a shortage of teachers in some institutions.

Regarding Rangpur Technical School and College, electrical, electronics, computer, civil, power, welding, pharmacy, machinery, automobile, RCA, total 10 trades are running. There are total 2,500 students. Eight occupations of different levels are running under the four-month short course NTVQF (National technical and vocational qualification framework). IT Support Technician, Graphics Design, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Consumer Electronics, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Welding, Computer Operations Driving, Auto Mechanics and Plumbing are available. Assessment and evaluation are also conducted here through BTEB and NSDA.

Ayub Ali, Principal of Rangpur Technical School and College, said, "We have various trade and short courses here. There are 100 teacher posts here but 50 to 60 teachers continue. If there is sufficient number of  teachers, teaching will be easier."

Technical teachers said various trades have been introduced in northern region by geographical location.

Navigation trade has not started for absence of sea and seaports in the northern region. As a result Rangpur students can study navigation. Again students are not allowed to choose electro medical due to no official circular. Parents are also hesitant to teach this subject. Tajul Islam, Vice President of Rangpur Polytechnic Institute, said, "Many hospitals in Bangladesh have large equipments but haven skilled manpower to operate them. If government gives a circular, many students will get motivation to study this subject."

Farooq Hossain, a teacher at Kurigram Polytechnic Institute, said, "Each sector should have two or more manpower in the concerned department. It is necessary to make it a law. In 1984, President Ershad passed the law that there should be at least two pharmacists to run pharmaceuticals. If this is made mandatory in each sector, then interest among students will increase."

The Apprenticeship Amendment Act 1967 was passed 14 years before independence. According to this law, after receiving education in various trades, students will get training in different companies with salary. Students will be familiar with modern equipment and also skilled manpower will be created.

Kawsar Hossain, a third-semester student of Electrical at Rangpur Polytechnic Institute, said, "We practice by watching demos during our practical. Our education system needs to change with the progress. But its not possible for the authorities to change the equipment every year. In our technical education there is law to do internship in various government institutions after completing the course. But it is not common yet. It is the high time to start.

Engineer Farid Uddin Ahmed, Principal, Rangpur Polytechnic Institute said, "Every year new equipment is coming out. We cannot buy the equipment at will. For this we have to float tenders and get approval. This is time-consuming and expensive. Apprenticeship law should be implemented, the students will get familiar with all the new technologies and they would be fully proficient."

There are 50 government technical institutions in the country. Also there are more than 500 private technical institutes. Total 42,700 students are admitted every year in government technical education institutes. About 30,000 students pass out from government technical education institutions every year. These students will take the 4IR challenge to Bangladesh later. A well-thought planning needs to create a skilled population.

Engr Md Rakib Ullah, Director, Technical Education Board Curriculum said, "Technical education institutions are fully prepared to take the four IR challenges. Dr Raju is working in our research cell. He is always researching which schemes will further advance technical education. Apprenticeship Amendment is essentially Industrial Attachment. Its work is similar to doctors MBBS completion and internship. Just as students gain experience as interns, so does the work. We mainly educate students with demos. People who study well actually watch demos and apply what they learn in the workplace. So it shouldn be much of a problem. Shortage of teachers is everywhere it will gradually improve."

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