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Development of Human Resources in Bangladesh an Analysis of Institutional Supports

Development of Human Resources in Bangladesh an Analysis of Institutional Supports

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Published by: Dr. Mohammad Shamsuddoha on Sep 15, 2009
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Development of Human Resources in Bangladesh: An Analysis of Institutional Supports

Mohammad Shamsuddoha University of Chittagong Mst. Dilruba Khanam Chittagong University Bangladesh, although an agricultural country, cannot accommodate its growing population in this sector. To generate employment opportunities for the surplus workforce, it has emphasized industrialization. However, there is dearth of skilled manpower in Bangladesh both in technical and management areas. The focus is on the development of general work skills, personnel skills, and financial management. Development in these areas is essential for the industrial development of Bangladesh. The open of the industrial sector for private investment increased the need for skilled manpower tremendously in Bangladesh. Keywords: Human Resources, Institution, Education Human Resources are the most powerful propeller of a country’s economic growth and development. Human Resource Development (HRD) is concerned with improving the aptitudes, skills, abilities, knowledge, understanding and attitude of the employees of an enterprise (Jucius, 1993). There is a consensus that the quality of the education system in Bangladesh is deteriorating. This deterioration is evidenced by declining test scores, graduates with inadequate basic skills, increasing dropout rates and the widening gap between industry needs and student capabilities (Fisher, 1993; Schargel, 1993). Businesses have responded to this decline by demanding higher test scores and greater financial accountability and by implementing their own educational programs (Shalala, 1993). This paper examines these challenges and argues that business schools must become learning organizations to meet the demands of students and the workplace. (Lorange, 1996). Rationale of the study Government, NGO and other private organizations are working to develop human resources to ensure that Bangladash can compete in local and global markets. Academicians, researchers, the Government, decision-makers, and others planners and administrators agree that human resources are the most vital factor in the industrial development of Bangladesh. Formal training programs (business education, technical education, technical training, vocational training and other training programs) will play a key role in the development of its human resources. A survey of the existing literature reveals that little research has been done on this topic. Objectives of the study The objectives of the study were: 1. To examine the support for developing human resources through educational institutes. 2. To document the needed standards of education and training for the development of HRD in Bangladesh. 3. To unearth the opinion of respondents those who are involved with the Human resource center. 4. To suggest steps to increase institutional support for the further development of HRD programs and efforts. Scope and Methodologies of the study The study included participants from 25 universities (5 Government sponsored, 20 private), the Government, and private institutions situated in the capital city of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Some of the respondents were in the city of Dhaka. Data were collected through a questionnaire. In addition, the websites of participating institutions were reviewed for updated information. In total 300 respondents were interviewed during the study period. Additional information was obtained by reviewing published research conducted in the UK, the USA, and locally. Copyright © 2003 Shamsuddoha & Khanam


Limitations of the study The study covered a very limited number of educational organizations. Some participants were neither motivated nor interested in expressing their honest opinions. The scope of the study was also constrained by limited available funding. Analysis of Findings The major findings of the study are as followsGovernment Role. The education sector is a priority area for the Bangladesh government and plays significant role in overall development of Bangladesh. Education is considered a key strategy for effective human resource development, poverty alleviation, and socioeconomic development, all which contribute to the national development. There is a pressing need to develop a large part of the population into productive workers through the coordination and interaction between people, educational institutions, training programs, and technology. The government, with this end in view, has fostered such development efforts through educational expansion and quality improvement initiatives in different sub-sectors of the educational system. Development in Education sector. There are sixty-two education development projects they have been allocated Tk.95667.00 lacs under the Annual Development Program in the current financial year 2001-2002. From this, an allocation of TK. 94287.00 lacs is for investment projects and TK. 1380.00 lacs are for technical assistance and selffinanced projects. Out of sixty-two projects, eighteen are in the secondary and higher secondary sector and thirteen are in the technical and vocational sector. Almost half of the projects belong to these two sectors. They have been allocated a sum of TK. 82642.00 lacs in the present ADP (2001-2002), which is 86.38% of the total ADP allocation in education sector. In the current financial year (2001-2002), university education has got an allocation of TK. 8150.00 lacs for 19 development projects. (www.dns3.bdcom.com). Development in technical and vocational education. Thirteen development projects are being implemented in the technical education sector. These projects have been allocated Tk.8150.00 lacs including Tk.8485.40 lacs as project aid. These projects include: (i) Introduction of SSC vocational course in Non-government high schools in each Thana, (ii) Establishment of thirteen new vocational training institutes, (iii) Renovation, expansion, and modernization of the college of Textile Technology and opening of four departments, and (iv) Modernization of 20 existing polytechnic institutes and the establishment of 18 new polytechnic institutes.(www.dns3.bdcom.com). Development in higher education. In order to accelerate development in higher education, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is implementing 19 development projects. These projects have been allocated Tk.8150.00 lacs in the current financial year (2001-2002). The entire amount comes from GOB as grant. The development projects in higher education sector include the establishment of One Science and Technology University in each of the 12 greater districts (Where there is no university), and the construction of flats for teachers and residential halls for the students of Dhaka University. Further information about other development projects at existing universities is available on the Internet (www.dns3.bdcom.com). Programs for the expansion of women's education. Emphasis has been placed on reducing the disparity between males and females in education sector. In order to expand women's education, nurture empowerment and ensure women's participation in development activities, female students have been provided with stipends in secondary schools at 460 rural upazillas. Stipend programs have played a landmark role in reducing the dropout rate and increasing enrollment in secondary education. An additional outcome of stipend program is that the rate of teenage marriage has decreased rapidly. In order to empower women in education sector, different development projects are being implemented, such as, Female Secondary Stipend Project, Female Secondary School Assistance Project (2nd phase), and Establishment of 3 Mohila Polytechnic Institutes at 3 Divisional Headquarters and an EU assisted Program to Motivate, Train, and Employ Female Teachers in Rural Secondary schools (PROMOTE). (www.dns3.bdcom.com).


Impact of development interventions in education sector. Poor students, especially females are being significantly benefited from the projects. Their participation in schools has increased. This is not surprising because they are frequently neglected in their family. The stipend projects are helping assuage the burden of the poor parents in meeting educational costs. The PROMOTE project has brought opportunities for unemployed women to receive teachers training in rural areas and to get employment in rural schools. This project is working with the objective of employing 1000 women in rural secondary schools. With this end in view, several female hostels have been made at the District and Thana levels to provide accommodations for the female trainees. This project will offer 839 scholarships as well. This initiative has created inspiration among the female trainees, who are looking for employment as teachers. Development in private sector. In order to reduce the financial burden in the education sector, private sector education is being encouraged. A large number of schools, colleges, madrasahs, and universities have been established in the private sector in Bangladesh. At present in private sector of Bangladesh, there are 2846 junior secondary schools, 15778 secondary schools, 2176 general colleges, 20 polytechnic institutes, 51 vocational training institutes, 7273 madrasahs, and more than 50 universities. With a view to bringing discipline to private sector education, initiatives have been undertaken to establish a private service commission to conduct employment and deployment of teachers of all schools and colleges covered by the MPO scheme. Initiatives will be taken to amend the Private Universities Act 1992. To expand women's education and for the empowerment of women, an initiative has been undertaken to establish an Asian University for women in private sector. Ongoing policies and programs of Government. The newly elected government has taken positive steps towards improved governance in educational management. The cabinet has already made some important decisions for educational reform, such as, (a) A national expert committee has been formed to identify the possible areas of reforms in education sector The committee will submit its report soon. (b) Education ministry is to prepare an action plan for the improvement of quality in education by motivating teachers to their profession and recruiting quality teachers for vacant posts. A committee has been formed for making recommendations in this regard. The committee will submit its report soon. (c) Six language centers are to be established at six divisional headquarters for training in communicative English. Besides English, there will be provisions for learning foreign languages such as Arabic, French, Japanese, Chinese, and German. (d) Computer education is to be made popular at all stages of education. Ten thousand computers are to be distributed to equal number of secondary schools as a follow up of this policy. This program is being implemented now and will cover a three- year period. (e) In order to enhance the status of teachers in the eyes of the students and the community, Nineteenth January has been declared as the "Teacher's Day". (f) A Retirement Benefit Foundation for non-government teachers has been established so as to extend financial support to the non-government teachers after their retirement. (g) Three new Science and Technology Universities are being setup. This will expand and encourage the development of science and technology in the country. (h) An MOU has been signed between the Government of Bangladesh and the European Parliament for the establishment of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. This will encourage female education in the country further and focus on the empowerment of women in Asia. (i) The government has decided to expand the existing female stipend program from secondary level to higher secondary level and to make tuition fees free for all girl students up to grade xii. (www.dns3.bdcom.com). Allocation of Budget in Education sector comparison to all sectors.


Table 1: Government Budget on Education and percentage of allocation over all sectors. Year Revenue Budget All Sector 1990-91 RB 1991-92 RB 1992-93 RB 1993-94 RB 1994-95 RB 1995-96 RB 1996-97 RB 1997-98 RB 1998-99 RB 1999-2000 RB 2000-2001 RB 73102.4 79000.0 85100.0 91500.0 103000.0 118139.2 125349.1 145000.0 167650.0 184440.0 196330.0 Education 11820.1 13815.8 16743.9 18057.5 20077.3 21514.5 22955.4 26957.4 29680.0 32567.2 35996.6 % of all sector 16.17 17.49 19.68 19.73 19.49 18.21 18.21 18.59 17.70 17.76 18.23

[Source: Website of Education Ministry of Govt. Republic of Bangladesh] It is clear that Government supports the development of efficient human resources in Bangladesh. Govt. has played a vital and significant role. Future Plan and Strategies in post-primary education Make an executive decision to (a) Establish a Teaching Service Commission to streamline teacher recruitment, training and deployment for primary and post-primary education both in government and non-government schools, (b) Operationally reform textbook printing, publishing, and distribution, (c) Consolidate a sector-wide system for public expenditure tracking in education, (d) Revise and implement the secondary, (e) Encourage the expansion of private TVET system, (f) Disseminate widely the strategic plan for higher education, (g) Establish an independent accreditation mechanism for private universities, and (h) Establish quality assurance mechanisms for public and private colleges and universities. The Role of Other Institutions There are 17 state universities, 51 Private universities, 51 vocational institutions, and more than 25 NGO’s who are working hard to develop human resources through technical, educational, and specific purpose job oriented training supports (www.ugc.com). In institutions who are specialized for a specified service like BBA, MBA, Executive MBA, Insurance Management, International studies, Company MBA, Pharmacy Management, or Library Science, specific training and integrated educational modules are given to the learners. A summary of some of these specialized programs follows. Cost and Management Education. The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh and Institute of Chartered Accounts of Bangladesh, an autonomous professional body under the Ministry of Commerce in Bangladesh, is the only Institution in the country dedicated to Cost and Management Accounting education and research. The Institute's mission is to develop and promote the Cost and Management Accounting profession by maintaining highest professional standards of its members in order to enable 70-4

them to provide better services to the society. The Institute spearheads the formulation and implementation of national cost accounting standards. Its goal is to help Bangladesh become an industrialized nation by promoting and regulating Cost and Management Accounting profession towards a market economy to enhance economic competitiveness and quality of life. The Institute was reconstituted under the Cost and Management Accountants Ordinance, 1977 (Ordinance No. LIII of 1977) and regulated by the Cost and Management Accountants Regulations, 1980 (www.icmab.com) Business Education. Business education is tremendously expanded in Bangladesh. Most of the state universities and private universities provide business education based on models and materials developed in the west, particularly from the UK and USA. Out of 17 state universities, more than 10 are providing Business education through their own business faculty. They seek to develop better methods of education which will allow their students to be seen as valuable resources and help them find jobs. Of the 51 private universities, more than 40 are providing Business education for same purpose. IT Education. Some of the schools are providing IT education like Software programming, Computer science, Network engineering and E-commerce technology. Some are private franchise groups that do not provide degrees but rather specific vocational skills in IT. Table 2 Trends of Choices the Courses by potential students Course Name Professional Education Business Education Science Education Social Science Vocational Training Purpose Oriented Education & Training Not Decided Percentage 11.70% 34.90% 20.40% 18.70% 9.60% 11.20% 8.20% 100+

[Source: Field Survey, N = 300] Table 2 shows the focus areas of students who participate in education for self-development. The percentage exceeds 100 because some of the sample respondents answered more than one. The survey shows that Business education is in the greatest demand by human resource developers and entrepreneurs. Vocational Education & Training. Those who are not able to do well in primary and secondary level education in Bangladesh, may not earn a diploma yet may still do well in a vocational training program. Such programs offer the participant another opportunity to succeed and become more employable. Quality of Trainer. The quality of the teacher or trainer plays a significant role in the success of any educational program. In Bangladesh most of the teachers are using traditional methods and working from old scripts that are not up-to-date with current thinking. Students have recently begun to question the quality of instruction and this is providing some motivation for the development of stronger teacher education programs. Table 3 The Most demanded Teaching methods for Trainer Method No. of Respondents Percentage Understanding or Script Lecture 300 27% Case Method Lecture 300 15% Review & Updated Lecture 300 07% Presentation Method 300 23% Practical organization Field Work Method 300 17% Others 300 11% [Source: Field Survey] Table 3 shows that audience are very much like to see the trainer as subject matter expert who knows every in and out of the topic which they are teaching. Most of the students surveyed stressed that understanding the subject was of primary importance to them. 70-5

Table 4 Opinion of the respondents towards Trainer efficiency Variables
Clearing Thinking Empathy Sufficient expertise in relevant content Humility Resourcefulness Knowing how to find information Intuition Patience, tolerance and good humor Presentation Skills Flexibility Facilitation Confidence Ability to let go or Understanding lacking

Average Score
2.0 1.5 1.5 1.0 2.0 2.0 1.5 2.5 2.0 1.0 1.0 2.5 1.0

Average 1.65 Table-4 shows the average score for each of the thirteen variables used in the survey. The aggregate score of 1.65 indicates a moderate level of efficiency. Placement of the Learner After completing the courses like an MBA, Other Masters, IT education or other training programs, where are the students finding work? In Bangladesh, there is tremendous employment crisis and good jobs are sometimes quite impossible to secure. The private universities do better in this regard as they are in frequent contact with large companies and frequently arrange seminars, conference, workshop, etc. By this way they have increased access for their students. The total numbers of students who participate in such programs are relatively few when compared with the number of students in state universities. The state universities put more than 2500+ students into the market with a graduate or postgraduate education. There are more than 17 state universities and sometimes the figure will exceed the mansion figure. Out of 2500, 30-40% of the students find decent work; the rest struggle. Table 5. Placement of the graduate to the various sectors Degree From Sample Public 100 University Private 100 University Vocational 50 Training Institute Diploma 50 General 50 Training Specialized 40 Training [Source: Field Survey] Govt. Sector 5 3 2 1 1 6 Private Sector 43 56 32 31 36 30 Banking Sector 18 19 2 3 2 5 MNC 4 6 1 1 1 2 Others 30 16 13 14 10 7 Total 100 100 50 50 50 40

Table 5 shows that the opportunities for finding a job in government or a multinational after upon graduation from one of the institutes are few. The greatest opportunities are in the private and banking. In Bangladesh both sectors are doing well. Satisfaction of the People Assessing the level of satisfaction felt by graduates of these programs is difficult. In most cases graduates of these programs still need additional training to be seen as competent and valuable to the hiring organizations,. Problem of HRD through Institutional supports Based on a review of the literature and our study, the major problems of developing human resources in Bangladesh are:


Lack of Government Initiative. While the government says it supports human resource development it does not provide adequate funding. There is no nation-wide research regarding the quantity and quality of HRD programs. Lack of infrastructure. While educational institutions may offer strong programming to develop valuable and salable skills, they lack the facilities to deliver these programs in an efficient and effective manner. Lack of Quality. The quality of these institutions is very uneven. Some do not provide quality teachers, materials or other resources needed for students to succeed. The government is casual in its oversight of programs. Lack of Co-ordination. Human resource development activities are not well coordinated. There is no coordination among the primary, secondary, and tertiary education systems. The quality, syllabus structure, teaching methodologies, styles, and facilities for the same courses or topics differ from institution to institution. Lack of investment. Both the government and private sector provide few resources for HRD in Bangladesh. All the plans for HRD are handicapped by the scarcity of funds. Lack of trained instructor. Experienced, efficient, and trained instructors or teachers are a rarity in Bangladesh. The lack of funding makes it difficult to hire qualified instructors. Lack of Facilities. Technologies to support of learning (Multi media, OHP, Internet, Computerized program, and other audiovisual devices) are almost absent in Bangladesh. This lack of facilities constrains the development of HRD programs. Lack of Communication. HRD programs are not evaluated in Bangladesh. Because of this there is little communication between educators and students and little opportunity to make improvements to the programs or course. Improper Licensing. Government has approved so many institutions for human resource development without any given guidelines, rules, or conditions. This lack of standards allows many opportunities for the establishment of fraudulent programs. Recommendations for HRD through Institutional support Government initiatives. To develop his human resources to compete locally and globally; the government has to take major steps to create institutions, increasing the infrastructure, and make additional financing available. Proper planning and coordination. Effective planning and proper coordination is for a requirement for the development of human resources. Effective planning and coordination is equally significant for both the private and public sectors in Bangladesh. The educational infrastructure should be updated. To invest in Human Resources Development. Government and non-government policymakers should emphasize and invest more in HRD programs and encourage others to also make such commitments. Moreover, they have to provide some “soft financing” in the form of tax or VAT exemptions, tax credits and loan facilities. To create more institutions and training centre. Presently, the institutes for educational, technical, professional, vocational and other specialized training institutions are too few to meet the overall demand or need in Bangladesh. Additional institutions should be established for the sake of human resource development. To recruit trained instructors. Financial and other incentives should be provided to recruit and retain well-qualified trainers and instructors To create employment opportunities & Proper Placement. After establishing or investing in HRD, Govt. and NGO should create jobs that offer graduates appropriate employment opportunities.


Modern equipment & infrastructure facility. The institutes need modern equipment and facilities. Given the rapid pace of technological development, these facilities and technologies must be monitored frequently to keep them up-to-date. To ensure the quality. Creating and financing such institutions or programs is not enough. Everyone involved in HRD must work together and coordinate their efforts to ensure the ongoing quality of education and training in Bangladesh. Final comments The role of institutions for developing human resources is enormous. This is true for all nations. Bangladesh has a tremendous opportunity to develop its human resources and emerge as a leader. Efficient HRD can provide a needed competitive advantage in the global economy. The development of effective private and public HRD programs must be made a top priority for Bangladesh. References Fisher J. (1993), “TQM: A warning for higher education”, Education Record, Spring, pp. 15-19 Lorange, P., “A Business School as a Learning Organization”, The Learning Organization., Volume 3, Number 5, 1996, pp.5-13 Michael J. Jucius, personnel Management,(Homewood, Illinois) Richard D. Irwin, INC., 1979,p.221. Schragel. F. (1993)”Total Quality in Education”, Quality Progress, October, pp. 67-69. Shalala. D. (1993),”TQM applications in Education”, Executive Excellence, May, pp. 6-7. http://www.dns3.bdcom.com, Education Ministry, government Republic of Bangladesh. http://www.govfinance.org http://www.icmab.com http://www.ugc.com


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