There is a lack of diversity in our university curricula, which needs to be addressed
Bangladesh is a very young country in terms of demographics.
Every year, a vast pool of young men and women enter the job market -- they are hungry not only to build their own careers, but also to genuinely contribute toward the betterment of the nation, and to take our economy forward.
However, high unemployment rates persist in our economy in spite of formidable economic growth in previous years, and it is clear that as a nation we have done a poor job of capitalizing on the so-called demographic dividend.
One of the main reasons for this is our failure to adequately update our educational system -- we have not invested properly in the right kind of skills training, and our authorities so far have had a poor understanding of what exactly our youth population needs.
At a roundtable held at Dhaka Tribune, organized by Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in association with Dhaka Tribune, the point was made that education needs to be more job-specific and oriented towards practical knowledge; furthermore, education should be relevant, equitable, and inclusive.
One of the solutions could lie in having our institutions of higher learning collaborate with other industries in formulating curricula that can directly benefit our economy, and connect students with jobs.
There is also a lack of diversity in our university curricula, which also needs to be addressed -- students are bombarded with the message that becoming a white-collar professional is the only worthy goal, and that is an unproductive and backward mindset which needs to change.
As the world changes, so does the nature of the skills required for the evolving workplace; if we do not keep up, we could fall behind other nations, and lose our competitive edge.