The government plans to increase the number of students in technical education to 30 per cent by 2030, from the existing 17 per cent.
The government has taken the move as one of its principle aim to create skilled human resources in information technology compatible with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
To that end, the government is laying emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) based education and training, according to an official document.
To meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution the government is giving importance to teaching appropriate technology-based subjects in the classroom and is allocating a budget to the National Curriculum and Textbook Board, or NCTB, for bringing necessary changes in the curriculum.
In addition, the government has undertaken several important training programmes aimed at creating a skilled IT workforce.
For example, the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority has set a target to train more than sixty thousand young people by 2025 and one lakh by 2030 to fulfil the demand of the IT sector.
More than 36,000 people have already been trained under various projects and programmes.
The project implemented by the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) has provided training on Information and Communication Technology to about 2.34 lakh people and most of them are doing jobs in various ICT companies/organisations at home and abroad.
To adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including augmented reality and virtual reality, the document said, specialised labs will be set up at every university in the country and work is underway to set up 57 such specialised labs.
Work on the establishment of Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation Centres in 64 districts and 10 Digital Village is in progress to provide proper training for young people.
Besides this, the training programmes on emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, robotics, big data, cloud computing etc. are in progress.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently in the first meeting of the Governing Board of the National Skill Development Authority (NSDA) held at her office (PMO) directed the officials to take necessary steps for realising the demographic dividend.
She mentioned that each year some 2.2 million individuals enter the job market. If this huge manpower could be trained up properly with appropriate training it would bring enormous benefits to the country.
She also asked the officials to pay attention to technology-based training programmes for grabbing the opportunities in the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution.
According to the official document, the enrolment rate in technical education, which was less than 1.0 per cent 12 years ago, is now 17.25 per cent.
The technical education enrolment rate is the percentage of secondary students enrolled in technical/vocational education programmes, including teacher training programmes.
In the 2022 academic year, 26,846 students have been enrolled in pre-vocational courses from 6th to 8th grade and 20,613 students from the 9th grade of 134 technical schools and colleges have been enrolled up to January 2022.