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Skill Formation Regimes in South Asia

A Comparative Study on the Path-Dependent Development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training for the Garment Industry


Markus Maurer

In the face of accelerated economic globalisation, many of the industries in economically less developed countries have become more technology-intensive. Skill formation processes, both inside and outside firms, are therefore changing. This study scrutinises such transformations by comparing – from the perspective of historical institutionalism – the skill formation regimes of the garment industries in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It sheds light on the differences between the trajectories of the in-firm skill formation regimes of the two countries, and reveals the important part that varying paths of educational development in both countries have played in shaping these trajectories. At the same time, the study shows how, in both countries, state-led skill formation regimes have been transformed not only by market forces and the growing importance of corporate business interests, but also by the social demand for educational credentials.


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PART D BANGLADESH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE REGIME IN BANGLADESH THE POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE REGIME BEFORE THE FORMATION OF BANGLADESH Societal life in the eastern part of Bengal has for many centuries been characterised by tensions between the two main communities – Muslim and Hindu – of today’s Bangladesh. These tensions already existed in pre-colonial times, when Bengal was ruled by the Muslim Moguls who conquered India in the 16th century and made Dhaka their administra- tive and economic centre. When the historical region of Bengal became the first possession of the British in India and the nucleus of their ex- pansion across the sub-continent from the mid-18th century onwards, it was primarily the Muslim community which suffered a loss of political leverage under colonial rule.721 This fact was symbolised by the estab- lishment of Calcutta as the power base of the East India Company at the beginning of the 18th century, and its subsequently becoming the seat of the Governor General of India in 1785.722 The Muslims’ loss of political power was paralleled by their declining welfare vis-à-vis the Hindu community, which tremendously profited from the economic, administrative and educational policies of the British.723 When the British, supported by many representatives of the Muslim community, divided Bengal into a Hindu West Bengal and a 721 Baxter, Bangladesh, op.cit. (note 31), p. 27. 722 Ibid., p. 25. 723 Ibid., p. 38. 248 Maurer: Skill Formation Regimes in South Asia 248 Muslim East Bengal in 1905, the colonial government...

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