The government has decided to build 329 new technical schools and colleges across the country, at an estimated cost of Tk20,525.69 crore, to develop skilled manpower and create employment opportunities.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday.
The meeting approved eight projects, including this one, worth a total of Tk22,946 crore.
Planning Minister MA Mannan emphasised the necessity of training labourers so that they can work abroad. He said, "Expatriates play an important role in our economy, but most of our labourers are unskilled.
Remittance will increase if we can send skilled labourers abroad. So, technical training institutes will help create employment and increase remittance flow."
The planning minister also said that just building technical schools and colleges is not enough. The prime minister has given directives to ensure that teachers are trained as well. Teachers have to be sent abroad for training if required.
He also said the rooms of the training institutes should be bright and well-ventilated.
The Technical and Madrasah Education division will implement the project between 2020 and 2024.
The government has set a target to raise vocational education admission by 20 percent to make Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021. There is an ongoing project to establish technical institutes in 100 upazilas. There is another project to develop 64 existing technical institutes.
A proposal to revise the cost and duration of the Sirajganj Bscic Industrial Park project was also approved.
The construction of the industrial park started in 2010. It will house 570 small and medium enterprises on 829 plots on 400 acres of land. Once completed, it is expected to generate employment for as many as 1 lakh people. Ten percent of the plots will be allocated to female entrepreneurs.
Initially, the estimated cost of the project was Tk379 crore, but this has been revised to Tk719 crore – an 89.80 percent increase.
The project was supposed to be completed in four years, but in the new proposal, the deadline has been extended to June 2021. This is the fourth project deadline extension. The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation will implement the project.
The planning minister said lack of coordination among the water development board, the land ministry and the environment ministry has caused the delay in implementing the project. Land acquisition, especially, was one of the main problems.
The planning minister also said that the prime minister wants a reservoir beside each factory and an improved waste management system.
The other projects approved by Ecnec include the development of selected educational institutes in Kishoreganj district, establishing the Sheikh Hasina Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College in Jamalpur, improving the Betgram-Tala-Paikgasa-Koyra road, expanding the Laksmipur connecting road and the Laksmipur-Charalexander-Sonapur-Maizdi road, and constructing SRDI Bhaban.