First public private partnership in technical education in Bangladesh

Graphic Arts Institute and Shamustshuk Printers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 3 in the presence of the Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr N I Khan. The MOU is a formal recognition of the first public private partnership to be initiated in Bangladesh’s technical education sector.

News | 08 April 2015
Graphic Arts Institute is the first of five technical institutions across Bangladesh selected by the Directorate of Technical Education to implement public private partnerships.

Dr Sheikh Abu Reza, Principal, Graphic Arts Institute, Dhaka, said they want to give their trainees practical experience in printing, but the amount of printing jobs available within the institute is not sufficient to do that. This partnership will fill that need;

The partnership means trainees will have a regular flow of varied printing jobs coming in from industry, giving them practical exposure to a range of different techniques and experience using machines. They will definitely be much better equipped for the job market upon graduating.

The partnership is a major achievement for Bangladesh’s technical education sector, industry and the ILO. The ILO is actively promoting public private partnerships through the Canada-funded Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity Project and the Graphic Arts Institute is one of the institutions that the ILO has been working closely with.

Such partnerships are the key element of the new skills development system, designed to bridge the gap between technical education and employers, resulting in more and better skilled workers.

Industry involvement in technical education is particularly crucial in the printing sector. Printing is a major area of the graphic arts curriculum, and the Graphic Arts institute is equipped with industry-standard machinery, but the machinery is too expensive to operate without external printing jobs.

Mr Reza also highlighted the other benefits of public private partnerships, such as industry attachments, visits and job placement for students, and industrial skills upgrading for trainers.

Shamustshuk Printers Ltd Managing Director Mr Saif Shahariar Jaheedi, a former student of the Graphic Arts Institute, expressed his enthusiasm for supporting the training of young people;

“Through this partnership, trainees can work with our experienced staff and get experience through doing real printing jobs for us. There is a cost benefit for our business – getting jobs done by the trainees will cost less – and we can support their learning. Our staff can also expand their theoretical printing knowledge,” he said.

Other industry organisations also interested in public private partnerships attended the event, including Prothom Alo, Gazi Enterprise and RTV. Also in attendance were high-level government officials from the Ministry of Education and Directorate of Technical Education and representatives from the ILO and industry.

Partnerships are a key element of Bangladesh’s new skills development system, which includes a host of new approaches to improving the quality and quantity of skilled workers in the country. Other initiatives include quality assurance, teacher training and nationally recognised qualifications.
The ILO is currently working with the Government of Bangladesh to reform the skills development system through two major initiatives; a CAD19.5 million grant from Canada for the Bangladesh Skills for Employment and Productivity (B-SEP) Project, and a Euro 14 million grant from the European Union for the TVET Reform in Bangladesh Project.

See the National Skills Development Policy (English/Bangla) here