Directorate of Technical Education highlights disability inclusion success

Success of Directorate of Technical Education disability inclusion efforts an example for all other TVET institutes

Workshop participants led by Minister of Education, Nurul Islam Nahid (centre) hold the replication guide
The success of the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) in making its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutes disability inclusive is helping people with disabilities gain access to skills training and should be replicated in all TVET institutions an event held in Dhaka heard 28 November 2017.

The workshop (held at the Sonargaon Hotel Dhaka) was organized by the International Labour Organization’s Canadian-funded BSEP project in collaboration with Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) to share the DTE approach to disability inclusion with other ministries and government agencies.

Presiding over the event, Minister of Education, Nurul Islam Nahid said “DTE has taken a number of practical steps which have successfully helped boost the number of people with disabilities trained in its TVET institutes. I encourage all other ministries to replicate what DTE has done in order to help meet our policy goal that 5 percent of those studying in all government and non-government polytechnic institutes, technical schools and colleges should be persons with disabilities.”

As a result of measures taken to enhance disability inclusion, enrolment of students with disabilities at DTE’s 118 TVET institutes rose to 357 in the academic session 2015-16, significantly higher than the 56 students enrolled in 2014-2015 prior to DTE initiating these measures with ILO support. In all there are some 8,000 public and private TVET institutes in Bangladesh overseen by various ministries, agencies and private concerns.

Steps taken by DTE TVET institutes include the appointment of senior officials to ensure disability inclusion. TVET institutes have established partnerships with Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) or NGOs working on disability to raise the demand for TVET among students with disabilities. The accessibility of institutes for disabled students has also been considered and included in annual work plans, budgets and procurement plans.

Kishore Singh, Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO’s BSEP project said, “With the support of Canada, ILO has worked actively in collaboration with many partners to help create a policy environment as well as implement practical actions to give people with disabilities access to training and jobs. The Directorate of Technical Education has made great progress to improve inclusion and by sharing these best practices we hope they can be replicated more widely.”

A replication guide highlighting the steps DTE has taken to ensure disability inclusion in its TVET institutes was also launched at the event.

Special guest Md. Alamgir, Secretary of Technical and Madrasa Education Division (TMED), Ministry of Education added that in addition to helping people with disabilities gain access to TVET institutes equal emphasis should also be placed on creating demand within the business and industry to hire disabled workers.

Meanwhile, Ashoke Kumar Biswas, Director General DTE, highlighted the need to continue disability inclusion efforts. “While the enrolment of persons with disabilities in our TVET institutes has increased significantly there are still many challenges to be overcome. Enhanced collaboration is needed between all those working with the disabled so that the full economic and social potential of this large group of people can be realised.”

It is estimated that there are approx. 3.2 million young people in Bangladesh with disabilities. The National Skill Development Policy 2011 (NSDP) includes mainstreaming disability in all government training programmes, ensuring reasonable accommodation and developing inclusive training curricula. The policy sets a requirement of 5% enrolment of persons with disabilities in all skills development programmes.