December 4, 2020, 1:39 pm


2020-07-31 12:15:21 BdST

WB likely to give $500m loan for dev of technical education

The World Bank (WB) is likely to provide US$500 million worth of loan for the development of Bangladesh's technical education including health education following the Covid-19 outbreak, officials said on Wednesday.

The Washington-based lender had assured of providing the funds as it was closely working with the government for extending its support to develop human resources in the technical and vocational sector, they said.

The funds would mainly be used to teach and train manpower in different technical education including medical, textile, leather, ceramics, garment, construction, and light engineering etc for integrating them with the country's growing industrial demand, said an Economic Relations Division (ERD) official.

The WB had already completed a couple of missions in Bangladesh and was working with implementing agencies and partners like technical and madrasa education division and labour, industries, health, women and children affairs and youth and sports ministries, he added.

"After Eid-ul-Azha, there will be another mission from the WB when detailed terms and conditions are expected to be finalised," said the official.

According to Technical and Madrasa Education Division under the Ministry of Education, they have drafted the "Accelerating and Strengthening Skills for Economic Transformation (ASSET) project" with $500 million possible financial support from the WB.

They would mainly develop technical workforce based on national and internal demands in different sectors, a senior education ministry official said.

"We have recently completed another WB-funded Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) successfully. The proposed ASSET project will be a kind of extended version of STEP with some upgrading," he added.

The ministry official said since the Covid-19 pandemic had shown them a real scenario of Bangladesh's health services, they would focus on developing more medical related manpower under the proposed project.

Basically, he said, they had been working since 2010 under STEP to expand technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Bangladesh so that they could create an industrial demand-based manpower.

Technical Education Directorate, the implementing agency of STEP, is closely working with the public and private-sector polytechnic institutes, technical colleges and institutes for developing the workforce.

The education ministry official said they were expecting that the next project would help Bangladesh develop TVET and took it to new heights for the betterment of the country.

The ERD official said they were expected that $500 million loan would be confirmed within a couple of months through signing of a deal with the WB.

Soon after confirmation of the loan, the technical education directorate and other partners of the government would start implementing the project scheduled to be completed in five years to 2025.

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