Skills 21 and TVET institutes conducted workshop on organizing policy dialogue to review NSDP

Skills 21 project-conducted a series of policy dialogue orientation workshops to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas on National Skills Development Policy.

Participants in a group work © ILO
The National Skills Development Policy 2011 (NSDP 2011), adopted by the Government in January 2012, is a comprehensive document which covers all aspects of skills development in the country. . It has been eight years since the policy is being implemented; however, there are many obstacles to implement the policy at the grass-root level.

Skills 21 project-conducted a series of policy dialogue orientation workshops to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas on National Skills Development Policy. The objective of the workshop was to build the capacity of the participants to- a) identify policy dialogue issues on TVET/skills development b) conduct policy dialogues on TVET/skills related policies and c) prepare policy brief/newsletter to share their thoughts in this regard. These workshops also aims play a critical role while reviewing the NSDP 2011.

The project organized eight-policy review workshop in Dhaka, Bogura, Sylhet, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Feni, Kaptai, Bagerhat, and Khulna from May to November 2019. Technical School and Colleges, Technical training institutes, polytechnics, and technical teachers training institutes organized these workshops in their premises. In collaboration with the Skills 21 project, the institutes invited different TVET institutes, government departments, and industries to discuss what needs to be changed, incorporated or reviewed in the NSDP.

The workshop was conducted in three segments. Firstly, NSDP 2011 was briefly presented, secondly orientation on the concept of policy dialogue and documentation and dissemination of the dialogue was discussed and finally participants did a mock policy dialogue in groups to showcase their learning along with a draft policy brief. Around 50% of the participants in these workshops heard and learned about the NSDP 2011 for the first time.

Some 250 participants participated, discussed and identified issues like Industry Institutes linkage, lack certified teachers and assessors, lack of awareness on RPL certification, etc to be reviewed or addressed in the policy for better implementation.

Mostafizur Rahman, Principal, Feni Polytechnic Institute said, “In the policy, there is a clear direction for industry-institute linkage to bridge the gap of industry-driven skills training that can assure jobs for the graduates.”

Mirza Nijowara, Officer, Department of Social Welfare, Jamalpur said, “ NSDP 2011 addresses female enrollment issue in TVET institutes however there are still obstacles for females to come to the institute, complete the training and getting jobs. There should be some direction to make the institute gender-friendly and introduce tax benefit to the industry to recruit skilled women.”

Other than these, lack of technically sound and qualified teachers, more application of competency-based curriculum, teacher-student non-standard ratio i.e. 1:100, have been discussed during the workshops.

Haripada Das, the facilitator of the workshop said, “The good thing is that the local TVET practitioners are interested to give their support and valuable feedback on the policy. They are the implementer of this policy so they know the difficulty to implement it. It has been a great effort by the Skills 21 project to bring the policy at the root level for introducing such dialogues”

Abdul Matin Hawlader, Principal, Bangladesh-Swedish Polytechnic institute said “We are pleased that the government has decided to collect the view of grass root people who implement the policy. We never thought that our voice can be heard while policy making or reviewing.”

Overall, the participant expressed their gratitude to ILO to organize this kind of workshop that broaden their knowledge and gave scope to be a part of a national initiative.

Skills 21 project is a joint initiative of the Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization (ILO), funded by the European Union. The project seeks to increase productivity and employment opportunities through an environmentally conscious, inclusive, demand-driven, and interlinked skills development system responding to the needs of the labour market.