Potential productivity of next gen Bangladeshi workers drops to 46pc

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:51, Sep 17,2020


Potential productivity of the next generation workers of Bangladesh dropped to 46 per cent in 2020 from that of 48 per cent in 2018, according to the World Bank’s Human Capital Index 2020.

‘A child born in Bangladesh today will be 46 per cent as productive when s/he grows up as s/he could be if the child enjoyed complete education and full health,’ WB said in its report released on Wednesday.

Bangladesh’s score in the index dropped to 0.46 out of 1 in the HCI 2020 from 0.48 in the HCI 2018, the first edition of the index, said the report titled ‘Human Capital Index 2020 Update: Human Capital in the Time of COVID-19’.

In the HCI 2020, the WB, however, revised the previous score downward to 0.46.

In Bangladesh, the HCI score for girls is higher at 0.48 than for boys at 0.45.

In the areas of other human capital outcomes, including expected years of schooling, harmonised test, learning-adjusted years of school, adult survival rate and not stunted rate, is also higher for girls.

Bangladeshi children’s potential productivity is lower than 48 per cent the average for both South Asia region and lower middle income countries and much below the world average of 56 per cent, it said.

The HCI is an international metric that benchmarks key components of human capital across countries.

Measuring the human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by his or her 18th birthday, the HCI highlights how current health and education outcomes shape the productivity of the next generation of workers, the report said.

Bangladesh’s ranking was 106th in 2018 among 157 countries. But this year, the World Bank did not rank the countries to avoid complexities in comparison due as the number of countries increased to 174.

This year, Bangladesh, however, appears at the serial number of 123 among the countries.

All South Asian countries, except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, performed better than Bangladesh this year although the country was a better performer than India in the last season.

Potential productivity of an Indian child born today increased to 49 per cent (0.49) in the HCI 2020 from 44 per cent (0.44) in 2018.

This year, India appears at a serial number of 116th from 115th in 2018. 

Sri Lanka topped the list among the South Asian countries with 60 per cent productivity in the HCI 2020 which was 58 per cent in 2018.

The potential productivity rates for children born in Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan stood at 50 per cent, 48 per cent, 41 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

According to the report, the probability of survival to age five in Bangladesh remained unchanged at 0.97 while expected years of schooling declined to 10.2 in 2020 from 11 in 2018.

The expected years of schooling, however, rose from 8.2 years in 2010 to 10.2 years in 2020.

Bangladesh was also able to halve the gap between the richest and the poorest households in expected years of schooling from four to two years between 2004 and 2016.

The harmonised test score of 368 remained unchanged.

The score for the fraction of children under five not stunted increased to 0.69 from the previous 0.64 which means 69 out of 100 children are not stunted and 31 are stunted.

The adult survival rate remained unchanged at 0.87 per cent which means 87 per cent of 15-year olds will survive until age 60.

The 2020 HCI includes the health and education data of 174 countries — covering 98 per cent of the world’s population – up to March 2020, providing a pre-pandemic baseline on the health and education of children, the World Bank said in a press release.

The analysis shows that in the pre-pandemic time, most countries had made steady progress in building the human capital of children, with the biggest strides made in low-income countries.

The pandemic put at risk the decade’s progress in building human capital, including the improvements in health, survival rates, school enrolment, and reduced stunting, it said.

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