Even though the demand for skilled manpower is sufficient at home and abroad, people in Bangladesh consider technical and vocational education inferior to mainstream education, says a study.
The findings of the study conducted by Brac were revealed at a workshop styled "Media Sensitisation on Youth Perception in TVET" on Wednesday.
"Many students are not interested in technical and vocational education as it is considered inferior to mainstream education socially. Youths who want to choose this stream of education are opposed by their family members and community," finds the study entitled "Youth perception on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Subsequent Employment".
Around 11% of the youths who participated in the survey had the opportunity of taking technical and vocational education but only 3.2% of them have taken the education.
A very small number of them studied secondary, higher secondary or diploma, while some others did different short courses and informal training.
A total of 1,232 youths aged between 18 and 35 years from 10 districts of Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions took part in the study.
Dr Md Mokhlesur Rahman, senior operations officer of the World Bank, said the quality of the teachers in technical colleges was not good.
"This is one of the main reasons behind the poor condition of the technical and vocational education system," he said.
Tasnim M Rahman, head of Brac's Skill Development Programme, said, "Students get the opportunity of choosing the field of their education in class nine but 43.8% of them do not know about it (technical and vocational education). 23.3% of youths do not know anything about technical education."
The reasons behind this situation are – considering technical education inferior to general education, a lack of information and awareness about technical education, having no idea about the impacts of this education in life, social barriers for girls and teachers' negative impression about it.
However, 74% of the youths who took technical and vocational education have been employed, according to the Skills Development Programme conducted from 2012 to 2019.
Dr Md Mokhlesur Rahman said, "Currently, 40% of the total workforces in Bangladesh are skilled. Of them, only 20% are recognised skilled people, who have institutional education and training. Now we need to build recognised skilled people."
He, however, put emphasis on quality education.