STEP Activities – Engr. Robindronath Mahato, Program Officer, STEP

STEP Activities - Engr. Robindronath Mahato, Program Officer, STEP

To face the challenges of 21st century the Government of Bangladesh has undertaken a series of reform programs in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector. As a part of the reform the Ministry of Education has been implementing a nine-year long “Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP)”. The implementing agency of the project is Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) while the Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB), the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) and the National Skills Development Council (NSDC) are co-implementing agencies of the project. The project funded by the Government of Bangladesh, Canada and the World Bank.
The project aims to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of TVET in view of increasing employability of technical graduates at home and abroad with special focus to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of the general mass, in particular.

The specific objectives of the project are:
1.To enhance the quality and relevance of TVET as a part of meeting the strategic options of the poverty reduction agenda of the government;
2.To strengthen the overall TVET system through (a) direct start-up and operational support to Industry Skills Councils (ISC) and the National Skills Development Council and (b) support to SSC (Vocational) Schools; (c) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL);
3.To strengthen the capacity of key institutions i.e., Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) and Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).

Since its inception from July 2010, the project was revised 2 times. Estimated cost of the original project was US$ 88m (GoB- 9, IDA- 79). Considering its success and importance of the project Government of Canada expressed interest to finance further and the project was revised 1st time in 2013 which was $ 105m (GoB- 9, IDA-79, CIDA- 16.71). Accordingly, in 2016 IDA provided additional $100.00m and the total project is US$225.51m (GoB-29.8, IDA-179, CIDA-16.71m). Additional (Total $120.8m; GoB-$20.8m, IDA-$100.00m). The original closing of the project was 30 June 2015. In 1st revised, it has been extended to June 2016 and 2nd revised the project will be end in June 2019.

STEP comprises of four components: (1) Improve the Quality and Relevance of Training through support to public and private institutions offering diploma programs and short-term courses, (2) Pilots in TVET in the area of Industry Skills Councils and the National Skills Development Council and Secondary School Certificate (Vocational) Schools system, (3) Institutional Capacity Development of Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB), and Bureau of Manpower Employment Training (BMET), and (4) Project Management, Communications and Monitoring & Evaluation. Component 1 is being implemented through two Windows (I and II) focusing on Diploma level training and Certificate or short-term training respectively.
Component-wise major activities and implementation progress as on December 2017 are shown below:

Component 1: Improving the Quality and Relevance of Training

Sub-component 1.1: Window I: Support to Public and Private Institutions Offering Diploma Programs: Main activity of the component is to provide a maximum amount of BDT 70 million as implementation grant to 33 selected public and private polytechnic institutions under the original and 1st revised project. Certain eligibility and selection criteria would be used to select the institutions and sanction would be determined on the basis of their respective Institutional Development Plans (IDPs). In the 2nd revised project expanded support to additional 24 (12 public and 12 private) institutions according to the agreed eligibility and selection criteria, scale up support to the existing 33 polytechnics. All technologies of the selected institutes will be included under institutional grant. The ceiling for additional 24 institutions will be @ BDT 31.20 million. The additional grant for the existing institutes will be @ BDT.19.50m, based on performance.
The grant would be used for infrastructure rehabilitation and refurbishment, modernization of equipment and teaching-learning instruments, capacity development through training, study tours, and exposure visits, contractual hiring and remuneration of guest faculty from industry, students’ training materials and cost towards industry visits, improvements of institutional administration, outreach, communications and placement etc.

Stipend will be provided to socio-economically disadvantaged students of eligible public and private polytechnics. Each selected student would receive Taka 800.00 per month. Selection of male students for stipend would be on PMT system and more or less 50% of the interested applicants will be awarded following specific terms and conditions. However, all interested female students will get the stipend.

In addition, full teaching strength would be provided to 50 public polytechnic Institutions, level playing field for competition and equity among public and private institutions will be ensured and industry linkage will be strengthened.

Subcomponent 1.2: Window II: Support to Public and Private Institutions Offering Short-Term Programs: Short term (six months/360 hours) training would be provided to 150,000 youth through 90 selected public and private training providers. Interested institution would have to submit a development proposal after meeting basic eligibility and certain selection criteria. Selected institutions will be provided a grant of Taka 21,500.00 against every student enrolled in a course. This amount is to be used to cover: (a) tuition costs to the institution, (b) Taka 700.00 per month as stipend to the student and (c) rest of the amount would be used for institutional development as per their approved IDPs. So far 1,04,036 have been trained.
Moreover, 10,000 semi-skilled laborers and officials involved in labor management will be trained in collaboration with BGMEA and related other institutions. SO far 7,635 persons have been trained.

Progress of the component:
162 diploma level polytechnic institutes (45 Public, 117 Private) selected on competitive basis as ‘eligible’ for stipend and performance contract signed. Provided stipend to 2,04,776 (4,82,407 SY) students @ 800.00 per month.
•Survey firm verified 100% household information of the students selected for stipend.
•33 diploma level polytechnics (25 Public, 08 Private) selected for implementation grant.
•34% intake increased of polytechnic institutes
•64 short course training providing institutes (47 Public, 17 Private) selected and performance contracts signed. Selection of new 10 private short course training providers is in progress.
•1,04,036 trainees received Short Course training and stipend @ 700.00 per month.
•48% Short term trainees already employed.
•Interactive database for short course trainees established.
•A total of 1278 contractual Teachers recruited for 49 public polytechnics. 867 teachers are now in service.
•A total of 5,708 principals, teachers and staff of selected polytechnic institutes and short training providers have been trained at home and abroad.
•Social safeguard ensured through increased enrollment of female students (30%).
•BGMEA completed 7,635 unskilled/semi skilled industry labors during the period out of them 89% get job.

Component 2: Pilots in TVET
Under this component, National Skills Development Council (NSDC) has been assisting in strengthening the overall regulatory and legislative framework for TVET. MoU signed with Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) through NSDC to develop industry-led standards, and training products and services. Project will be provided apprenticeship piloting for strengthening the Secondary School Certificate (Vocational). To improve job market opportunities for this large share of workers, STEP operationalized the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program in 2014, with the aim to assess and certify the skills of workers with no prior formal training or qualifications. The RPL program is being implemented under the NTVQF framework, supporting the operationalization of competency-based skills training. STEP conducted RPL assessment in 12 occupation through 20 institutes. A total of 30,000 workers have already been assessed and awarded certificates.

Progress of the component:
•Participation agreement signed with NSDC.
•Procurement plan, work plan, and governance and accountability action plan prepared
•Seed financing and operational cost disbursed to NSDC
•STEP/NSDC team formed to implement NSDC/ISCs activities.
•Computer and accessories supplied to NSDC and ISCs.
•Present situation of SSC (Voc) analyzed. The operational piloting of SSC (Voc) was started from December 2014 to the selected 7 public institutes. Under additional financing SSC (Voc) apprenticeship piloting has been expended to 20 new public/private institutes
•Project has successfully lunched and has been implementing the RPL activities.
•Project assess 30,000 candidates, out of whom 23,883 got competent certificate.

Component 3: Institutional Capacity Development
This component aims to strengthen the DTE, BTEB, and BMET – the key organizations responsible for management and quality assurance of the TVET sector. The project will help to strengthen the administrative, management, inspection and monitoring capacity of the organizations. Objectives of this component include developing TTTI, Dhaka, TTTC, Dhaka and VTTI, Bogra as modern training institutions through enhancing administrative, managerial, monitoring and evaluating capacity. The component is also providing full teaching strength to selected 50 government institutions and e-GP system on pilot basis and will be provided web based Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) and job portal for DTE, Digitization of Affiliation and Registration System (DARS) for BTEB and Development of Immigration Database of BMET including necessary hardware, software and network.

Major Implementation Progress:
•Activities to strengthen the core organizations to manage and control quality of the TVET sector, viz. DTE, BTEB and BMET are progressing.
•To provide full teaching strength, 885 teachers are working at present.
•Free and fair examination system ensured.
•Project has established a Technical Teacher Training Institute (TTTI) in BKTTC for the short course provider institutes and provided 12 day long practical/subjective training to 837 teachers
•Project also started pedagogy training to the short course providing teachers in TTTI. In the meantime project provided training to the 539 teachers in 22 batches.
•More than 5,708 teachers were provided training on administration and management, procurement, finance and pedagogy at home and abroad.
•Vertical extension of DTE and BMET building has been completed.
•Project signed MoU with Nanyang Polytechnic International, Singapore to train teachers, officials and staff and successfully completed training to 1,327 teachers, officials and staff.
•Project signed partnership agreement with the Guangzhou Industry and Trade Technician College (GZITTC), China to train teachers, officials and staff and successfully completed training to 367 teachers, officials and staff so far.
•Project also provides support to DTE and ITEES in respect of TVET (Multi-Discipline) Specialist Training Program in Singapore.
•Project organized Professional International Training on Curriculum Development in Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, Australia for BTEB staffs. By this time, 2 batches of training ware completed.
•STEP is supporting for up gradation of web based Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) and job portal for DTE, Digitization of Affiliation and Registration System (DARS) for BTEB and Development of Immigration Database of BMET including necessary hardware, software and network.
•Examination and certification system of short course trainees has been upgraded with the commencement of central control.

Component 4: Project Management and Communications, and Monitoring and Evaluation
Main objective of this component is to build a project management unit which will implement the activities of the aforementioned components as well as communicate, monitor and evaluate project activities

Progress of the component:
•PIU established; staff and consultants deployed
•Various training, workshops, seminars and conferences are being organized
•Communication materials have been developed to disseminate information
•M&E collecting date regularly
•Governance and Accountability Action Plan (GAAP) has been prepared

It is expected that on successful implementation, the project will result in with improving the quality, relevance and efficiency of the TVET education and training in Bangladesh with increased employability which will help reducing poverty and improving the quality of lives.

Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP)
Directorate of Technical Education
Technical and Madrasha Education Division
Ministry of Education
Plot: F-4/B, Agargaon, Dhaka-1207
Phone: 88-02-8181456-7, Fax: 88-02-9140538
Email: [email protected]

Feel free to contact for any details.

Engr. Robindronath Mahato
Program Officer
Skills and Training Enhancement Project.
[email protected]