What the papers say

Banking in Rice

A weekly round up of articles about employment, the labor market, skills training and workforce development. This week’s round up is drawn from The Daily Star. Here is the news for the week ending 16th June 2016.

This week in the Bangladesh English Press…

the government extends primary education to class 8 in 20,000 schools and launches an e-learning platform for the rural population. ILO insists  trade union registration is simple and transparent. There are still around 3.4 million children in Bangladesh who work in poor conditions. Bangladesh will receive US $51 million from Denmark to ensure pro poor growth and sustainable development. while farmers struggle to engage in public procurement. And duck farming yields benefits for the poor.

Primary education to be extended to class eight

To invest in the country’s human resources the government will extend primary education to class 8. Initially 20,000 out of the 63,000 primary schools will be under the program. So an additional 100,000 more teachers have to be found. And the lack of trained teachers will be a major challenge.

In the long run the education ministry will replace the class 5 terminal exam. But for the time being the exam will stay and be used to award talented students with government scholarships for classes 6 to 8.

Computer programming lessons available to rural population

Bangladesh Computer council launched an e learning platform called Its primary objective is to help the rural population learn computer programming. The council plans to use the existing fiber optic cable to reach its target population.

Registration for trade unions easier

At the 140th international labor conference, ILO the International Labour Organization discussed trade unions in Bangladesh. The ILO insists the registration process should be simple and transparent. It suggests a public database to better manage the registration process. Reasons for rejecting applications should also be part of the database. The ILO also emphasised trade union formation and operations in export processing zones.

Children still working in bad conditions

Over three a half million children between the age of 5 and 17 are involved in child labor. More than 700,000 of them are in Dhaka division alone. Since 2013 child labor has been banned in 38 hazardous industries.

Children are still allowed to work in transport terminals as porters, as domestic help, and as waste pickers. These jobs are not seen as hazardous. But children in these sectors still face poor health and harassment. The state minister for labor employment said that realistically it will take time to eliminate child labour. He promised projects that will rehabilitate these kids.

Fifty one million dollars for sustainable development

Bangladesh will receive US $51 million from Denmark  to ensure pro poor growth and sustainable development.  The funds will focus on three areas: agricultural growth and employment; climate resilience and sustainable energy; and governance and rights.

Bank accounts for farmers

The Government wants to buy paddy directly from farmers. But because farmers in Bangladesh do not have bank accounts, it’s not possible to do official business with them. Farmers say they do not have the necessary documents like birth certificates and national IDs to open a bank account. Sometimes farmers simply do not know how to open an account. The government remains optimistic and believes farmers will open a bank account when they understand the benefit of enlisting for public procurement.

Profiting from duck farming

Duck farming has helped to increase the income of 1800 families in the Haor area of Sylhet. The low set up cost and initial investment, encouraged large number of housewives and youth in this area to start duck farming. Ducklings which costs around 70 Taka each, can be sold for 200 Taka each after 4 months. The business is easy to start and maintain and so can be a means of self employment in other areas.

And that’s the news from the Daily Star for the week ending 16th June.