Towards a definition of human resources

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Generally Human Resource (HR) is defined as the knowledge, skills, creative abilities, talents and aptitudes obtained in the population. Human resources consist of physiological, psychological and ethical components. Health and education play an important role to form human capital. Human beings create and supply financial and material resources needed for their development. Development and management of human resources is very much vital to ensure sustainable growth and development. According to the World Bank Study Report: 64% national development depends on the appropriate use of human resource, 20% on national resource and 16% on economic solvency. Development of competencies is essential for economic, technological, scientific development, foreign investment and equitable distribution of wealth. Human resource is the life blood and the most valuable asset of organization, without which other factors of production are useless. UNDP treats Human Resource Development (HRD) as the yardstick for economic development. In the word of Professor Muzaffor Ahmed “Our national crisis practically in every sphere of life reflects a deficit in vocational ethics and moral weakness in individual.” Hence, importance of HRD cannot be denied to make up ethical insufficiency.

Despite multifarious problems the country has achieved progress in a few fields in building capacity for our human resources e.g. Substantial trained and skill professionals, entrepreneurs and youthful labor force have been developed. Population increasingly educated and female education has got momentum.  Income of women also increased in many folds. Participation of female in labor market remarkably increased.  Literacy rate increased to 72.9%. Growth rate, standard of nutrition and living standard have been upgraded.  Average age limit increased to 72.8 years. Significant progress has been made in providing its citizens with improved health services, fertility, infant mortality and maternal mortality reduced to great extent. Amartya Sen pointed out in his new book “An Uncertain Glory” that “through affords of the government and nongovernment organizations, Bangladesh achieved the development in human development index and women empowerment.” At present in Human Development Index, among 188 countries Bangladesh occupies 139th place.

Poor shape of human resources: The main causes

• Currently total youth labor force in Bangladesh (between ages 15-29) is 2.08 cores.  Numbers of   jobless persons are 26 lakh and two million enter the labor market annually (Daily Star 28, May, 2017). No of population is 166.37 million (latest United Nations estimates). Number of total population has been increasing in an alarming rate. Unskilled and uncommitted vast population is becoming a national burden.

• Automaton, changing technology, climate change, job scarcity, violence, terrorism, religious extremism, political and social unrest, in equality, injustice abuse of narcotics drugs and religious extremism are not allowing our youth to become resource.

• The present job market is unable to create jobs for the youth. Moreover, qualities / skills of most graduates are unsellable in the job market.

• Due to unemployment, economic demands of the youth force remain unfulfilled and this why youth force suffer from feeling of helplessness and despair. As a result crime and informal works are growing at top speed.

• Large number of illiterate people and dropout students is hampering the speed of HRD. Dropout rate at the primary and secondary levels are about 20% and 43% respectively. Evidently, majority of these children who dropped out from school end up unemployed or in low quality jobs.

• Modern education has failed to create moral values and efficient man power. The so called student politics has emerged as a threat to destroy education.

• Like normal education, technical education has not been recognized by the authority. So qualified labor force is inadequate, which fails to meet up demand of labor market at home and abroad.

• Training for capacity building is less effective and is characterized by poor quality of need assessment, facilitation and follow up of training. More over there is dearth   of quality trainers.

• Acute malnutrition and poor health promotion is a remarkable problem to have healthy human resource.

• Trafficking of women and children tend to misuse human resource. Domestic, social violence and child labor is a great barrier to human resource development.

• Road causalities are leading cause of death for people aged 15-29 and thus significantly potential economic force is drained away through premature deaths.

• Abuse of narcotics drugs has increased manifolds in Bangladesh. Drug abuse is a great barrier to human resource development.

• Till now, people of ethnic groups living in different corners of Bangladesh are disadvantaged and marginalized. They are deprived of basic ingredients of HRD.

Conversion of our human into resource could be done by enhancing knowledge, skill and creative power of human beings.  The recommended tasks are:

• Coordinated efforts of government, nongovernment agencies and affluent people are needed to materialize the tasks of Human Resource Trust.

• Instead of the challenges and obstacles to implement the New National Education policy, fundamental structure of education must be updated and relevant education law should be formulated.

• We need to study the global job market demand, due to technological change and skills that will be required to adapt ourselves to the market requirement. In light of the study educational institutions have to rethink the core mission of education, and needs to see the employability of its students as one of its primary responsibilities. Moreover, education system should reserve the role of moral values.

• Establishment of the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) by the government in both public and private universities is a good step forward to enhance equality of education. The task of the cell should be materialized at any cost.

• Women’s empowerment needs to be ensured by the government by eliminating all types of discrimination against women and implementing Women Development Policy 2011.

• To control the worse situation of students’ dropouts, government should establish schools near villages, massive motivational campaign to create interest of parents toward study, free education at secondary level and trends of early marriage should be abolished.

• To create dependent scope for life, program for elimination of illiteracy and educating the adult has to be taken. For this purpose long term integrated efforts of government, local society and NGO’s are needed.

• The law makers need to wake up to the detrimental impacts of student politics, and should take necessary steps to confine activities of   student organization only for academic pursuit.

• Integration between normal and technical education, function of vocational training institutes should be streamlined, with adequate training facilities.

• Social, employability and entrepreneurship skills must be developed through suitably designed training programs and workshops by training institutes. The Government should embark on a plan to train up large number of youth as skilled workers for the overseas market as well as for use in our diversifying economy.

• Large scale labor intensive initiatives should get preference. The social protective policing are vital to foster HRD.  Micro credit program should be extended to help the marginalize people and the ultra poor.

• In order to ensure adequate health service provision in the community level, the government needs to be attentive about the challenges in health system by establishing good governance. Alongside we are to review the limitations and short comings of existing family planning program and promptly move to revitalize the same

• To control drug abuse, massive motivational campaign, preventive education, treatment, rehabilitation, recreational facilities, diversion programs, enforcement of laws, total closing of route and supply chains must be ensured. Torture and force killing is totally unacceptable and it must stop.

• Media should disseminate information projecting the status of different ingredients of HRD of the ethnic communities. Accordingly government must formulate policy to upgrade the process of HRD of the Adivasis.

• The concept of Gateway Strategies among SAARC countries to promote human dimensions; such as technology, research, sports and culture should be pursued by the government.

In the competitive world of twenty first century, skilled and committed human resource should be treated as a Key consideration   in building Digital Bangladesh. In this context the country needs a pragmatic and tangible step to develop human resource. To this end, nurturing the spirit of liberation war our mission should be to produce excellent human capital with intellectual, creative, technical, moral and practical skills. The foresight of the nation’s political leadership needs a more positive change to make significant progress to convert our human into resource.

Writer was former Deputy Director BRDTI Sylhet.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • Issue 13
  • Towards a definition of human resources
  • M. Shamsul Islam

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