Undoubtedly textile industry contributes the most to the economy of Bangladesh. To enhance this contribution, the most wanted thing is to create skillful and qualified Textile Engineers. The Government is quite enthusiastic in this regard. In addition to the Bangladesh University of Textiles, the government has already established six Textile Engineering Colleges and more institutions are in the pipeline, providing 4 years Bachelor Degree on Textile Engineering with well-oriented courses. Government has set up these institutions to develop the students as skillful textile engineers as well as human resources, so that the textile sector of Bangladesh can be more glorious.
The 4 years Bachelor Degree has been formulated with adequate concurrence along with the practical textile sector and Lab facilities are also good enough. It has been found that there are some sophisticated and expensive machines in the labs which are even not available in highly developed industries. These institutions are unique in this regard to build students as skilled textile engineers.But the bitter truth is – most of the leadership positions in textile industries are occupied by foreign experts. According to the data of BGMEA, about five lakhs of both legal and illegal foreign workers are working in textile sector of our country and taking away TK 48 thousands crores every year. Here, the question arises in spite of taking all the required initiatives by private enterprises as well as the government, why aren't the local engineers becoming as skillful and qualified as foreign employees? Why are our local engineers till lacking behind?
Despite of having great innovative course modules, visually well-organised eye catching campus, we still have some limitations. Though the textile engineering colleges are affiliated by Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTex), they are directly controlled by Ministry of Textile & Jute. So for some decisions, the engineering colleges depend on BUTex, again for other decisions depend on ministry of Textile & Jute. This actually causes some difficulties during the maintaining & management of those textile engineering colleges.
Besides, these institutions are lacking of dynamic teachers. In textile engineering colleges, teachers are recruited through BCS process. So the students of these colleges are not getting teachers according to their different departments as per their requirements. It is seen that in some colleges, there are several teachers for teaching same subject, but in some departments there are no teachers. As a result, a teacher who has earlier completed his graduation or post-graduation from Wet Processing Department is forced to take a class of Fabric or Yarn Department and so on. This actually causes a lot of difficulties for the teachers as well as the students.
To solve this problem, sometimes teachers from BUTEX are recruited as guest teachers for those colleges. The guest teachers usually remain busy with their classes at BUTex. Managing a short period of time, they visit these textile colleges located at different points of the country, and complete the whole courses in a rush (about 5-7 days). Due to lack of time, after finishing the theoretical classes, the students do not get enough practical classes. Again about lab operating, in most cases there is no machine operator, or maybe there is one operator who can operate 1 or 2 machine of the lab. As a result, the labs and the machines bought with huge amount of money do not get utilised properly and the students do not get expected facilities.
Another fact is the textile industry of our country is in Dhaka and Chittagong centric. Most of the industries and different exhibitions about textiles take place in these two cities. On the other hand, the textile engineering colleges are located at different parts of Bangladesh. So except industrial tours, the students have no other option to enhance their industrial knowledge. Though the authorities have a plan to arrange one industrial tour in each semester, some institution only provides 3-4 industrial tours during whole four-year bachelor courses.
When students appeal to their college authorities about these problems, the authorities provide some disappointing reasons such as the risk of operating such expensive machine, high electricity bills, budget lacking etc.These small obstacles become huge factor after four years of education. Thus many students lose interest in learning practical things due to continuous deprivation and eventually cannot become adept in textile engineering. That is why industries are forced to hire foreign experts.
Technical education is one of the focus areas of the government, but regrettably the aforementioned shortcomings are hindering the growth of skilled technicians. To overcome this situation what we actually need is to maintain perfect supervision of the utilization of the resources by Government as well as students and college authorities. Only then we can achieve our target of creating skilled textile engineers.
The writer is a student of Shahid Abdur Rab Serniabat Textile Engineering College, Barishal.