Plan to train 40,000 as skilled drivers

A project has been taken up to train 40,000 youths as skilled drivers in order to ensure road safety and prevent road crashes. 

The project will help make roads safer on the one hand and create jobs  and self-employment opportunities in the transport sector for a vast segment of the unemployed youth on the other, experts said.

Overseas job opportunities will also open for the trained youth, they added.

“It is expected that this will alleviate poverty as well as ensure sustainable living. At the same time, the road accidents will be reduced significantly,” an expert said.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports is going to start the project titled ‘Vehicle Driving Training’ to implement this initiative, a planning ministry official said.

The cost of the implementation of the project has been estimated at Tk 105.94 crore, he said.

The project has been prepared for presentation at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), he mentioned.

If approved, the Ministry of Youth and Sports will implement the project by June 2023, he further said.

Abul Kalam Azad, a former member of the socio-economic infrastructure department of the Planning Commission in charge of the project, said, “If the project is implemented, skilled drivers will be created. Skilled drivers will play a positive role in earning foreign exchange if they work abroad.”

These will play a direct role in creating skilled drivers to ensure safe roads, he added.

Under the main activities of the project, 40,000 people interested in driving will be trained. Besides, 60 vehicles and 43 computers will be purchased for the purpose.

Apart from this, 405 office equipment and 4,708 furniture and necessary equipment  for training will be procured.

Sources said that with the increase in the number of vehicles, the rate of unintentional accidents on the road is also increasing.

Most accidents occur due to lack of adequate technical knowledge and lack of knowledge of road usage rules and traffic laws.

Several recent tragic road mishaps in different parts of the country have overwhelmed the country. The project has been proposed to create skilled drivers in the country following the directives of the Prime Minister's Office to ensure safe roads.

The project proposal stated that millions of vehicles are being added to the fleet of vehicles in the country every year, but there is no training center at the government level to create adequate number of skilled drivers in the country to operate these vehicles.

 At the private level and at the initiative of individuals, some organizations are producing semi-skilled and unskilled drivers.

As a result, fatal and tragic accidents are constantly taking place.

Many people are being maimed and killed in road accidents in Bangladesh every year.

According To the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the families of the victims suffer heavily if the bread-winners  die in an accident or become inactive due to injury.

This affects the family as well as the national economy.

According to a recent survey conducted by BRAC, there are about 380 driving training schools in the country.

Most of these schools are incapable of imparting training properly as they do not follow the correct and standard curriculum. They also do not have adequate facilities, such as driving simulators, necessary training vehicles, equipment, physical infrastructure and trained and licensed trainers.

Out of these schools, only 69 schools have been approved by BRTA.