World Bank (WB) will provide US$ 100 million to improve education and management at the National University-affiliated colleges to create a competitive workforce for the country.
To this end, Bangladesh and WB today signed a financial agreement. Economic Relations Division (ERD) Additional Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Zahid Hussain, Acting WB Country Director for Bangladesh, put pen on the agreement papers at the ERD.
The College Education Development Project will improve the education system of the government and non-government colleges affiliated with the National University, where around 1.6 million students are currently enrolled.
The project will also provide more than 100 competitive grants to participating colleges to improve the teaching and learning environment by introducing improved Internet connectivity, developing market-relevant soft skills of the students, and linking them with employers.
The project aims to strengthen the strategic planning and management capacity of the colleges.
“Every year 2.1 million youths enter the job market in Bangladesh and creating more and better jobs is the top development priority for the country. A skilled and competent youth workforce will help Bangladesh attaining middle-income country status by 2021,” said Zahid Hussain.
“The College Education Development Project will help create better employability of the youths entering the workforce,” he added.
The project will help fill 2,700 vacant teacher positions at the government colleges. It will promote teachers’ development and provide training for around 8,000 college teachers and managers through establishing a training consortium with national training agencies and the University of Nottingham in Britain to ensure global best practices in teachers’ training.
“For sustaining Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth, there is a strong demand for college graduates with job-specific technical skills,” said Kazi Shofiqul Azam.
“It will help achieve the country’s quest of reaching middle-income status by 202,” he added.
The credits from the WB’s International Development Association, its grant to low-interest loan arm, have a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.