Habibur Rahman

"It took humanity more than 2 million years to invent wheels but only about 5,000 years more to drive those wheels with a steam engine. The first computers filled entire room, and it took 35 years to make the machines fit a desk-but the leap from desktop to laptop took less than a decade. For much of this century, the mail and the telephone were the primary means of communication. Now faxes, voice mail and electronic mail have all come into widespread use in less than a decade. What will the next decade bring as we move into a new millennium? That’s getting harder to predict, change is coming so fast that some of the most important technologies of the 21st century may now be just a sketch on drawing board of a glimmer in the mind of genius. Then again the transcendent technologies may be right under our noses on the verge of having as great an impact as the ear or the telephone." (TIME, July 17, 1995 issue).

But the development of Human resource is far behind the pace of technological development. ‘if the man behind the machine is not skilled enough, it will be difficult to get the potential outcome from technological advancement. Therefore, development of human resource is one of the most important prerequisites for the sustenance of technological advancement.

2. Development of Human Resources

Improvement in the management of telecommunication entities and networks of a country can be achieved only trough an efficient management and development of human resources into the telecommunication environment. The government and the international agencies like ITU have put in considerable effort and investment in human resource development over the past years. But a combination of factors, viz-not so well defined national training policy, inadequate training facilities, poor incentive for career development etc. have kept a deficit of trained cadres at all levels. Cadres have also been depleted by lack of career prospects within their institutions. There are certainly well qualified persons in the technical field but they are not sufficiently trained to manage increasingly complex operations in a continually changing telecommunication system.

3. The need for training

The poor maintenance of telecommunication networks is usually attributed to lack of adequately trained staff, insufficient logistic support and poor management of maintenance personnel. This is compounded in some cases by obsolete technologies and interworking problems. The loses incurred through poor telecommunication are generally higher than the total cost for providing adequate telephone service. The problem of poor maintenance is closely linked to that of poor management. The efficiency of performance improvement through development of human competence can be attained to great extent through training.

4. Training policy

A comprehensive well planned training program is one that is tailored to meet the needs of the organization, group and individual. Organizational objectives, job descriptions of different categories of staff should be clearly defined to decide what to train and to what level of personnel in the organization. It will be useful to train management staff before the remainder of the work force is trained. This approach serves two purposes. First, trained managers will be in a better position to aid in training of their personnel. Second-information acquired during the management training session can be used in a timely manner and in a tangible way. It is also useful to provide training to policy makers and regulators responsible for overseeing the changing telecommunication sector as they need to learn new regulatory theories and implementation approaches. An effective training Programme involves training in both functional matters, such as engineering or accounting and process’ matters such as personal management. Considerations should be given to co-ordination of training programs with the social, political and economic objective of individual governments. Such co-ordination helps ensure the relevance of programs and to maximize the like lihood that training efforts translate into market success.

Some of the points to be considered in formulating training policy are:

(a) Pre-employment Training

(b) Post employment Training

(c) Basic Training

(d) Inservice Training

On deciding the policy on the above point further decision is necessary to decide on the nature of training in different levels of personnel in the organization. In any organization generally there are broadly three categories of employees as far as training policy is concerned, they are:

a) Lower-lower middle category employees generally termed crafts people.

b) Middle level personnel generally termed first line supervisory staff.

c) Middle & higher management level personnel.

An accelerated training, development and recruiting program will upgrade the skills at practically all levels, including technical, financial, accounting, economic, managerial and planning.

5. Foreign Training

Most of the time, the organization has very limited choice of types of equipment and technology, whereas the most appropriate technology for any country is one that makes optimal use of existing resources - human, material & financial. But the choice is often confined to the country or countries providing financial assistance without any transfer of technology. As a result full access to a new technology through foreign training or supplier sponsored training remains mostly restricted.

6. Telecommunication Training Facilities in BTTB.

Bangladesh T&T Board has given due priorities to establish training centre and organize training activities with the resources from Bangladesh Government & ITU[UNDP.

Telecommunication training centers have been established in Dhaka, Khulna & Bogra with a number of subentries throughout the country. These centers are mainly for technical personnel of middle & lower midlevel.Telecommunication Staff College at Gazipur established with the equipment and expert services by UNDP/ITU offers training courses mainly for middle & higher level management personnel of BT&T Board. The courses offered cover all fields of telecommunications, management and advanced technologies.

7. Course Development in Telecommunications (CODEVTEL)

The CODEVTEL project undertaken by the ITU mainly deals with the designing job oriented courses to telecom personnel in a scientific way. Standard text for technical and operation training in telecommunication have been developed by course development team helped by the ITU experts. The CODEVTEL Project has been successfully implemented in the telecom training institution of BT&T Board. Further emphasis should he given to develop training courses locally to make it cost effective and to achieve objective. Effective feed hack from the field is a need in updating training courses.

8. Incentive for Trainers and Trainees

Incentive to trainers in the training institutions of BT&T Board is almost absent. There is no direct or indirect service benefits for the trainers. As a result resource persons are less attracted to training institutions. The position can be reserved through introduction of incentive schemes. Training should be a part of career development of an individual. Through training one should be able to advance in his career. On the other hand a trainee will not be motivated for training if career development or individual benefits are not there.

9. International and Regional co-operation

International and regional cooperation in organizing seminars, meeting and workshops and also through offer of fellowships is a very effective way of making training activities really meaningful. Training of instructors and exchange of resource persons through exchange programs should be one of the important aspects deserving special priority.

10. Conclusion

The benefit of investment in training is far reaching. Performance improvement can be achieved only through training. But basic requirement has to be fulfilled first to make training fruitful. The basic issues like job description, manpower planning, career development etc. are to be sorted out as quickly as possible. Training courses have to be developed locally to make it cost effective and to achieve objectives.

With the change of technology and ever increasing sophistication, training and retraining of telecom personnel is a must to run the system. New training courses have to be developed and new training standard has to be setup. Telecom training policy is to be formulated and training as a prerequisite of career development should be accepted as a matter of policy.

Engr. Habibur Rahman joined in the T&T Department in 1964 and worked in different field of telecommunication specially in telephone external plant & switching. He was trained up in West Germany and Japan in the field of electronic switching and external plant Keeping lien with the department, he worked in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

  He was Chief Engineer in Saudi Telephone for five years and posted in Al-Baha Region (Saudi Arabia). Returning from Saudi Arabia, he worked three years as General Manager, Chittagong Telecom Region, Chittagong and then one year in Dhaka Telecom. Region and two and half year in Than a Telecommunication Region. He was posted in T&T Board as Member (Admn.) (current charge) and served for two and half year. He  worked as Director General, TSC, Gazipur. Now Retired.