We wrote on this issue several times before. The Bangladesh Post has brought it to the fore once more. This is that even though there has been a significant surge in numbers of public and private universities over the years, massively increasing scopes for the country’s youth to get university education, there has always been question with regard to job market compatibility of the graduates they produce. In most cases, education provided in our universities is not compatible to job market demands. As a corollary of this disconnect between the needs of the market and the courses offered by higher education institutions the numbers of unemployed and underemployed graduate are ever on the rise. Against such a sorry backdrop, experts’ recommendations, as cited in the BP report ‘Education as per market demand’, for restructuring the country’s education system to make it more job-oriented are worth mulling over by policymakers. The higher education sector, for certain reasons, deserves the most careful handling in this respect.
We think the implications for the higher education sector are quite clear to every aware person. They know that the prime objective higher educational institutions or more precisely universities should be to create graduates who are more agile, have a clear understanding of how the workplace works and can see how their skills fit into their workplace; and prepare them for the idea of moving across jobs and sectors. We know the way employability is assessed in today’s world puts much more emphasis on universities’ capability to get their graduates into jobs that go with their degree discipline than students’ willingness for a career. Against this backdrop, it is imperative for universities to have an improved understanding of graduate career paths and the sharing of knowledge between universities and businesses are what we need in our higher education sector in order to produce workforce befitting the present job market.
It is amply clear people at the policymaking level have thus far failed utterly to make sure that the higher educational institutions produce skilled human resources instead of only producing certificate-holding graduates. But if we as a nation really want to take the lead in this highly competitive world there is no alternative for us than to producing knowledge-based and skilled human resources. And for that reason our universities must show more purposefulness in their works. Making comprehensive study about the present market requirements and designing curricula accordingly is of prime importance at this pint of time.