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Friday, January 27, 2023

Quality education is a must for creating human capital

Bangladesh must not lag behind other nations in today’s science- and technology-driven society in terms of developing its human capital. The ability of Bangladesh to educate and train its people in various fields of knowledge and thus turn them into skilled human resources will be critical to the country’s ability to survive and thrive in this new era.

Education is one of the most powerful weapons that can change people, communities, nations, the future of humanity, and thus the entire world. The term ‘knowledge’ simply denotes an organised approach to conceiving education, which refers to a theoretical or practical, implicit or explicit, formal or informal, systematic or particular understanding approach. Globally, we are witnessing a strong power structure that is keeping the world together and affecting human society on every level, and that emerging power structure is ‘knowledge’.

Sustainable development is not possible unless the requisite quality change in the standard of education is brought forth. Pragmatic initiatives should be taken to ensure the criteria like quality pre-university education, superior technical and vocational education, skills training, standard higher education, research, development and innovation, application of information and communication technology, etc that intervene in forming humans into human capital and transform society into a knowledge-driven society.

Education must be impactful, a life changer, and a dynamic agent to turn itself into a breeding ground for the knowledge economy. Therefore, no compromise with quality education should be made. The systematic mechanism of imparting knowledge must be very genuine in nature so that it can successfully transform into a significant catalyst for desired socio-economic changes. It is commonly seen that the concerned quarter often feels complacent about having a high rate of education and a hybrid ratio of academic results. However, Bangladesh, comparatively, is in a worse position than other countries in terms of quality education among the variables of the Global Knowledge Index. 

Policymakers and thinkers have been dreaming of a fast-digitised Bangladesh. Besides, it is projected that by 2031, Bangladesh will attain middle-income status, and by 2041, hopefully, Bangladesh will be designated as a developed country. Surely, we are in complete agreement with these lofty goals for our beloved motherland. However, the reality is unrivalled and most difficult, as we remain far behind in education, technology, and innovation, and many critical technologies remain beyond our control. There is indeed no way forward without ensuring quality education that creates human capital, and we must focus on science and technology-supported, up-to-date knowledge structures. 

Knowledge is gradually becoming the most valuable source of wealth for nations, economies, and people in the modern era. Therefore, policymakers sincerely need to realise that strategic thinking and scenario building are imminent to form a long-term future vision and to ensure a strong foothold and competitive edge in light of sweeping changes taking place at the global level. In this regard, our knowledge-transfer mechanisms must be redesigned according to competitive reality. We have to project an ever better instance of disseminating knowledge by having a justified passion for a nation’s strength to confront the multifaceted challenges ahead. 

The demographic dividend is Bangladesh’s real strength. So, the country’s large youth population has to be equipped with the right set of knowledge and skills to make them developmental change agents in a rapidly changing world. To prepare our indomitable youth as human capital and keep the tempo with a balanced economic developmoent pathway, the country might undertake a framework for formulating the National Knowledge Management Policy. The policy assistance will integrate the domains of knowledge and education impartation in a satisfactory way to meet the aspirations of the target audience. 

Human capital will never be replaced by artificial intelligence in this fast-forwarding globe. The true need for a human’s calibre and talents is infinite and constant. This is why now human capital is being considered an investable resource in the economy. So, the blueprint for reshaping humans into human capital through knowledge is a substantial issue to address. No suitable example can be found where development has been achieved without top-notch human effort and inborn brilliance. That is why knowledge-based human capital is an emerging concept of paramount importance that deserves to be undertaken stringently.

As knowledge comprising science, information technology, research, and innovation are the prime movers of the economy and society as well, humans are treated as the repository of knowledge capital in today’s science- and technology-bound society and economy. Henceforth, there is no alternative to a realistic and integrated effort to secure time-demanded education to impart quality knowledge.

Bangladesh must not lag behind other nations in today’s science- and technology-driven society in terms of developing its human capital. The ability of Bangladesh to educate and train its people in various fields of knowledge and thus turn them into skilled human resources will be critical to the country’s ability to survive and thrive in this new era. We deeply hope that policymakers will adopt suitable strategies to promote knowledge and make it the main component of establishing a knowledge economy founded on human capital.

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The author is an academic and psycho-social counsellor.

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