UNICEF chief calls for listening to Bangladesh’s youth

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Henrietta Fore, executive director of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has emphasised that young generation in Bangladesh must be provided with opportunity to take better education and skills and also choose their career path.

She told a media briefing in Dhaka on Tuesday that it would be a shame on the older generation, if the youth in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world could not be offered the ‘ecosystem’ either to grow as entrepreneurs or as take proper jobs.

“As we (at UNICEF) are working in the poorest countries, we do care about digital divide. We do care about quality of education,” Henrietta Fore said, in reply to question on whether the UN body would work for addressing disparity in opportunities in education and skills.

As part of its global campaign, UNICEF launched the Generation Unlimited, an education and training partnership programme, in Dhaka.

The UNICEF chief Bangladesh’s potential of demographic dividend and underlined the need for internship and mentorship for the young people through collaborative efforts of the government and the private sector.

“In the West, people go to government jobs when they fail to become entrepreneurs,” she said when she was told that services in the public sector are a priority of the university students in general.

“We must listen to the young generation,” Henrietta Fore.

Given the country’s challenge of youth employment, International Labour Organisation (ILO) country director Tuomo Poutiainen underlined the need for giving technical and vocational education alongside raising literacy.

Kamran Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Employment Federation, pointed out that Bangladesh youth must attain skills that are required for accessing jobs at home and abroad.

In the current context of overseas employment, he added, certification of skills that Bangladeshis already have, must be ensured so that overseas employers recognise it and pay them properly.

“Bangladeshi workers in the Middle East earn one third of the Sri Lankan workers and half of the Indian workers in absence of recognition of their skills,” he regretted.

The UN secretary general’s humanitarian envoy Ahmed Al Meraikhi also spoke at the interaction programme attended by members of the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF). ERF president Saif Islam Dilal briefed the team of UN officials about Bangladesh’s development priorities and prospects.

News by: Prothom Alo