Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
MD Bayazid Khan

Bangladesh offers free and compulsory primary education to all school-aged children and the government adopts various steps to make it successful as nobody would be left out of school. The country has made remarkable progress in boosting enrolment and attendance in primary education alongside reducing dropouts considerably. However, still, a considerable number of children have been out of school because of dropout or have never been enrolled in school due to social adversities, unfavourable living conditions because of geographical impediments and last but not least financial constraints. In addition, the government has a deep concern for the recent rise of dropped-out children because of confronting huge learning losses or engaging income-generating activities for livelihood embraced during the pandemic. Despite the progress that has been made in education especially in the primary education sector over the years, still there is room for much improvement in the field of creating access to receive basic education for these unfortunate out-of-school children.

Children that are out of school tend to be mostly from economically disadvantaged households and vulnerable populations of urban slums and hard-to-reach/remote areas like low-lying haors, tea gardens, Chars, tribe inhabited areas, hilly areas etc. Above mentioned areas’ vulnerable families also have financial problems that certainly discourage them from receiving the basic education of their children. So, they need to provide not only the opportunities of acquiring foundational literacy and numeracy but also to provide skill-developing training to make them employable and competent in the labour market.

Work-based learning can provide a strong learning environment and develop job-oriented skills for school children. Employers must get benefit from recruiting these learners by utilizing their productive skills of them. The country also benefited from an increase in skilled labour and ensuring out-of-school children’s smoother transition from school to stable employment without heavy government investment.

Work-based learning is a promising way of engaging never enrolled or dropped-out youths to work by making them employable through providing skills development training as well as foundational literacy and numeracy knowledge. Work-based learning provides young people with an alternative way to learn that is a blend of job-oriented and academic. It can provide a bridge into careers, equip them with skills that are in demand in the labour market and connect them to potential employers.

Employers’ or industry owners’ engagement is essential to make work-based learning initiatives for out-of-school children/youths a success. Therefore, finding ways to make work-based learning more attractive to employers is a key challenge for policymakers. The government needs to motivate employers by clarifying the philosophy of this philanthropic initiative that which not only provides an opportunity for employers to show social responsibility but also is well aligned with their business objectives. There may be an MOU with the government and employers for providing logistic and monetary support to run the work-based learning centres as a collaborative initiative. Learners also have a contract with the concerned employers to work for the employers for a stipulated time with the rationale wages.

Work-based learning may promote and develop both academic and skill development learning in school children and empower them to become successful in the job market. Their developed job-oriented skills and achieved academic knowledge may be demanded by the international labour market too. Therefore, developing a significant number of out-of-school children into skilled workforces by nourishing them through launching work-based learning centres should get the most priority from the government and the following step might be considered by the government.

The government may sign an MOU to the employers to run countrywide work-based learning centres providing logistic, technical and monetary support. Curriculum development and management-related activities might be administered by the concerned ministry and directorate.

BOESL may be given the responsibility of running some centres in each district so that skilled manpower might be developed for international labour market recruitment.

Skill development training courses might be selected considering the learning centre area’s labour market demand as well as local natural resources that have alignment to used raw materials by the employers. Target students’ family professions may also be considered.

A flexible timetable may become effective for the smooth running of the centres. In addition, the students might be provided nutritious food and a monthly stipend.

Considering the massive demand for skilled labour forces in the competitive domestic and international labour market as well as fulfilling SDG targets, the government may introduce the work-based learning approach for mainstreaming up to the second tier.

By Md Bayazid Khan - Bangladesh

The writer works for primary education in Bangladesh.

8 thoughts on “Work-based learning for out-of-school children in a developing country”
  1. It was great to read your article on out of school children. The strategies are well defined along with implications that how children will get the education as well he/she will skilled in work base employment. The interesting thing which attracts me that they will be empower and getting education to provide things back to country development ?? keep it up to write more good articles.

  2. Dear Bayazid Sb., It is nice to see your work again in the magazine. You share very practical tips to empower and educate out of school children. In Pakistan a large number of children are out of school. I have forwarded your work to related NGOs working in Sindh. These ideas may help them to improve their program designing and activities.
    Thank you.
    Regards

  3. Unemployment due to low literacy and lack of skills are two major barriers to development for under developed countries. Writer has pointed an strategic and remedial solution to these two crucial elements which policy makers at government level are unable to address so far.

  4. Unemployment due to low literacy and lack of skills of are two major barriers to development for under developed countries. Writer has pointed an strategic and remedial solution to these two crucial elements which policy makers at government level are unable to address so far.

    1. It was great to read your article on out of school children. The strategies are well defined along with implications that how children will get the education as well he/she will skilled in work base employment. The interesting thing which attracts me that they will be empower and getting education to provide things back to country development ?? keep it up to write more good articles.

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