BKTTC undertakes plan to produce skilled manpower for local and overseas job markets: Dr. Sakawat Ali

--Interview by Shakawat Hossain

8. Sawakot Ali

The Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre (BKTTC) was established in 1942 to train up the retired army of the 2nd world war and earlier this technical training centre was well-known as Mirpur Technical Training Centre and gradually it was upgraded and renamed as its present name BKTTC, said Dr. Engr. Md. Sakawat Ali, Principal, Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre, in an exclusive interview with The Guardian.

The BKTTC Principal informed that under the financial and technical assistance of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) this training centre is upgraded and renovated with modern machineries and other facilities and renamed as Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre (BKTTC), Dhaka.

He informed us that the vision of BKTTC is to be a model of centre of excellence in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for national development and the mission of BKTTC is to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes in trainees using modern technology, research and consultancy in keeping with changes in the local and global market.

The Principal hopes that in future BKTTC will play vital role in producing skilled manpower for local and overseas job market, adding that their future plan is to gain international recognition in TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) from UNESCO UNEVOC and their dream is to make Bangladesh-Korea technical training Centre as a centre of excellence in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

In an exclusive interview, the learned Principal replied to several questions, covering the entire activities, overall facilities, problems, potentials, achievements and future plans of BKTTC.  His replies are simple but smart, interesting and informative as well. The valuable excerpts of his interview are produced here for The Guardian readers at home and abroad.

The Guardian:  Please give us a brief introduction to the founding history of BKTTC.

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Principal: This technical training centre was established in 1942 to train up the retired army of the 2nd world war. Earlier this technical training centre was well-known as Mirpur Technical Training Centre. Under the financial and technical assistance KOICA (Korea International cooperation Agency), this training centre was upgraded and renovated with modern machineries and other facilities and renamed as Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre (BKTTC), Dhaka.

The Guardian:  Please discuss the vision, mission and objectives of BKTTC, Dhaka and say how far your institute has been able to implement its objectives.

Principal: The vision of BKTTC is to be a model of Centre of Excellence in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for national development. The mission of BKTTC is to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes in trainees using modern technology, research and consultancy in keeping with changes in the local and global market.

The Guardian:  In this context, would you tell us something about the organizational structure of BKTTC, Dhaka and the number of general and technical staff currently working in BKTTC, Dhaka.

Principal: Principal is the chief executive or head of the training centre. Under the principal there are 2 Vice-Principal Posts and 7 Chief Instructors, 2 Staff Trainers, 27 Senior Instructors, 48 Instructors, 21 Workshop Attendants and 37 general staff are also currently working in BKTTC.

The Guardian:  Would you say in what trades the skills certificate course is offered by BKTTC, Dhaka and who are the students are to join the courses?

Principal: BKTTC offers 1 year skills certificate course on six trades. These are: Automobile, Civil construction, Mechanical, Refrigeration, Electrical and Electronics. Entry qualification of these courses is SSC pass. BKTTC also offers short courses on 29 trades. These are: Electrician, Computer, Graphics, welding, Driving, Auto CAD (Civil and Mechanical), Mason, Rod binder, Housekeeping, Garments and CNC machine etc.

The Guardian:  It is learnt that apart from certificate courses, BKTTC is offering some modular courses. Would please mention the names and duration of all theses modular courses?

Principal: Apart from certificate courses, BKTTC is offering a good number of modular courses and these are Auto mechanics with driving, Auto mechanics with auto electrician, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Electrical House Wiring, Electrical Machine Maintenance, Civil Auto CAD (2D & 3D), Architectural Drafting with Auto CAD, Carpentry, 6-G Welding, TIG & MIG Welding, Electronics, Sewing machine operator, Mid level garments supervisor, Quality control and management, Pre-departure training for migrants etc. Course duration of the above modular courses are 3 days, 7 days, 12 days, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months and  6 months. Besides, these special courses are arranged according to the demand of the employers or organizations.

The Guardian:  What qualifications are required to attend the modular courses of BKTTC?

Principal: Required qualifications or entry qualifications of modular courses vary from trade to trade. Some trades has minimum qualification is grade eight pass. And the some other trades has the entry qualification SSC pass and above.

The Guardian:  would you inform us how many students have been trained by BKTTC in 2013?

Principal:  In 2013 the total passed out trainees was 30,817 (Thirty Thousand Eight hundred and Seventeen).

The Guardian:  In this context, would you discuss the professional success of the BKTTC students at home and abroad?

Principal: It is true that development of any country depends on working population. In this respect BKTTC is playing vital role for local and overseas employment generation. Employment statistics of BKTTC graduates is Local employment 30%, public sector employment 15%, self-employment 15% and overseas employment 40% (approximately).

The Guardian:  And also say where they get major opportunity for jobs?

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Principal: The students are getting opportunity for their job in local and overseas markets. Highest number of graduates of BKTTC is working in South Korea. Here it may be mentioned that Bangladeshi workforces are working in 158 countries around the globe.

The Guardian:  As a matter of fact, would you reflect on the standard of BKTTC training?

Principal: In our country we have National Skills Development Policy (NSDP). In this policy there is National Skills Quality Assurance System (NSQAS). The quality assurance manual is not implemented till now. Although there is no skills quality assurance system but we can say that our skills quality is better than the other training centre. Because we have enough qualified and trained teacher from home and abroad. We deliver training by using sufficient modern machineries and equipment.

The Guardian:  And also say who the teachers are here and what academic and professional qualifications they have to train the students in different trades?

Principal: Most of the teachers of BKTTC are diploma engineers and Bachelor engineers. The rest of the teachers are of trade holders.

The Guardian:  In this context, would you say what links BKTTC maintains with different national and international academic and training institutions to improve its curriculum, training and other relevant facilities?

Principal: Curriculum of two years course is developed by Korea University of Technology (KUT). That two years course is not running. Two years course is reduced to one year and its popularity is degraded. We are thinking to start HSC technical courses and it is under processing. At present we have no international link to improve the curriculum. But we are trying to make link with TAFE (Technical and Further Education) of Australia and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) of Philippine.

The Guardian:  Since BKTTC is offering technical training it must have sufficient equipment as well as machinery facilities. Please tell us something about this?

Principal: At the time of up gradation and renovation by KOICA, the old machineries are totally replaced by modern equipments. Every trade is equipped by modern and latest instruments. The modern equipment, machineries and instruments that we have in Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre (BKTTC) even it is not found in every engineering university.

The Guardian:  Would you also discuss what other facilities, especially library hostel or dermatomes and other relevant facilities available at BKTTC for students, teachers and officials?

Principal: In BKTTC we have two big hostels, one female hostel (seat capacity 120) and one male hostel (seat capacity 120), a big library having technical and engineering books on 34 trades. All teachers and staff have residential facilities. All trade has internet access. The whole training activities is continuously monitored by closed circuit camera.

The Guardian:  Would you inform us about the sources of fund for running BKTTC’s overall activities, especially administrative and training programmes?

Principal: Bangladesh-Korea Technical training Centre is purely a government institution. All expenses for teachers, students and staff are supported by GOB fund. We have also self-supported evening courses. The raw materials cost and teachers’ honorarium are supported by students’ admission fees.

The Guardian:  To whom BKTTC is accountable for its success and failure, especially for its overall activities?

Principal: Our controlling authority is Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). We are always accountable to BMET and as well as to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare & Overseas Employment.

The Guardian:  Would you discuss the problems, prospects and achievements of BKTTC?

Principal: Students are not available in one year skills certificate courses. Because, they are not getting intermediate valuation of their degrees.

The Guardian:  keeping all these in mind, would you discuss the future plans of BKTTC?

Principal: We hope that in future BKTTC will play vital role in producing skilled manpower for local and overseas job markets. Our future plan is to gain international recognition in TVET (Technical and Vocational Education & Training) from UNESCO UNEVOC. Our dream is to make Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre as a centre of excellence in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

The Guardian:  In the end, would you please give your valuable message for all concerned with the activities of BKTTC and especially for the millions of unemployed young generation of Bangladesh?

Principal: It is true that Bangladesh has highest population density of the world. On the other hand, World Bank’s statement is “Bangladesh’s greatest strengths is it huge population”. If we are able to make the huge population into skilled manpower then definitely this manpower will be the asset of our country. So, the millions of unemployed young generation can take this opportunity to become a skilled person having skilled training from Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre.