"I can't college no more" – this catchy new hashtag for the young adult generation disguise a depressing truth – our youth are demotivated and tired of a framework that does not do them justice. Whether it is the ever-escalating costs of a degree or regularly paying for an exhaustive list of additional foundational courses that are often forced upon students and have no pertinence to their education – our educational institutions are missing the point that their role is not only limited to conveying content, but also about developing skills and capacities.
While a lack of attention and care from educators and parents can result in a number of problems, including violence, substance abuse and even radicalisation, the major issue that is threatening every young professional is that of poor employability.
Filling the gap
Six out of every ten graduates are unemployed in Bangladesh due to a lack of skills and growth that is restricted by a rigid educational curriculum. However, there are a number of online learning platforms that are now trying to fill this gap.
One of them is REPTO Education Center - a collaborative platform that operates as a marketplace for online courses. It aims to democratise the education system of Bangladesh by providing high quality affordable online courses for the youth. This allows students from all over the country to learn whatever they want at their convenient time. They seek to catalyse a shift in mindset across society, helping educators, parents, and others understand more clearly what success looks like in today's rapidly changing world, and why it is essential that students grow up mastering skills that will enable them to be effective throughout their lives.
“Employability of graduates in the status quo is a major concern for us. The challenge is to come out of traditional methods of teaching and curriculum to an updated version that suits our modern needs. For example, a software developer not only needs to know the theory, but must have experts explain to them how the process works, sharing with them real life experiences from the field,” said CEO and Founder Ishtiyak Sheyam.
What REPTO offers
The online base has over eighty instructors who have already generated fifty courses in Bangla. The courses cover a wide range of topics – from marketing and leadership development to language courses and graphic design. There are about thirty thousand students who are enrolled in the growing platform.
“After completing my graduation, I sent my resume to various organisations for employment and after years of waiting and still being unemployed, I became stressed out and was under pressure. Via a friend, I came to know about REPTO and I did various courses through REPTO. Now I work as a freelancer and make a living through it” expressed Rizvi Raihan, who is a former student.
Online trainers can publish content that is readily accessible to any registered student on its online platform, available at www.repto.co. Upon completion of the course, Repto can link the student professional to a network of others in the field, often helping them to find suitable jobs.