Redo education system for 4th industrial revolution

At the eve of the fourth industrial revolution, new employment opportunities are being created for youth, but this opportunity comes with its own challenges. To utilize this newly emerged revolution, we need to generate a highly skilled youth population. Introducing updated textbooks, new policies, coalition of govt. and private sector initiatives will help us create new sectors of employment for the upcoming generations.

The roundtable meeting titled ‘Youth Employment and the 4th industrial revolution’, was held at 27th January, 2019. Organized by IID and in partnership with Prothom Alo, the roundtable hosted the fellow and volunteers of Youth for Policy, a countrywide youth network created by IID, as participants.

Among other participants Expert at National Curriculum and Text Book Board Azizur Rahman, CEO of IID Syeed Ahamed, former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Abul Kashem Khan and CEO of Bdjobs.com AKM Fahim Mashroor were present. Associate editor of Prothom Alo Abdul Quayum moderated the session.

Abul Kashem Khan expressed concerns about the current education system, ‘infrastructural development is visible, but soft skill development is scarce. We have to enable our youth to be global citizens by providing a global level of education’, said the ex-president of DCCI.

‘According to a recent survey, 84% of youth’s biggest concern is skill development & unemployment. Almost 28% of youth thinks, the current education system provides very little support in terms of finding their desired job and almost 8% of youth thinks that it doesn’t help at all, rather it creates barrier in achieving their goals’, said Syeed Ahamed referencing ‘Youth Manifesto survey’ of 2019. He continued, ‘technology is shaping our lives in a way that is beyond our expectation. Non-govt. entities, academicians, policy makers and civil society needs to work collaboratively.’

Volunteer of Youth for policy, Md. Mehedi Hasan asked to put emphasis on freelancing saying, ‘we need to encourage youth about freelancing and outsourcing. The training of freelancing should start from school level.’

Oliva Rani Sheel, another volunteer of Youth for policy, said, “Our education system is result-oriented. If we don’t adapt to new technology, we’ll lag behind.”

‘It’s hard to change the negativity around entrepreneurship when it’s part of our upbringing. Parents have to be made aware of that’ Antora Akter said. The volunteer of Youth for Policy from Rajshahi then added that youth involvement in e-commerce will make us more skilled.

Students of Govt Azizul Haque College in Bogra Md. Mizanur Rahman said that ‘new advancement in technology, like ride sharing app, is creating employment but the same advancement is responsible for unemployment as well’. While Mst. Zarin Tasnim Soroney from the same college encouraged us to become entrepreneurs.

Expert at National Curriculum and Text Book Board Azizur Rahman said, ‘the government is going to introduce technology-based textbook to adapt with the advance technology. We’ve already launched e-learning at 640 schools on pilot basis.’

Bdjobs.com’s chief executive officer AKM Fahim Mashroor encouraged youth to try to do ‘something on their own’ rather than depending on institutions for creating or providing opportunities. ‘three types of job opportunity will increase – jobs in creative sector, jobs regarding technology management and people management.’ Predicted the CEO, when asked about what type of job environment we should prepare for in the future.

Abdul Quayum concluded the session expressing optimism toward the huge potential in youth in Bangladesh saying the world is waiting for us to thrive.

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