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Shahin Akhter

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with BRAC driving school for providing proper driving training to people, including women.
BRTA would, under the MoU, test driving skill of women drivers at BRAC Driving School at Uttara before providing them driving licences in three days.
The MoU was signed at the BRTA office in the city. 
BRTA director (engineering) Mohammad Saiful Hoque told New Age on Tuesday that under the programme BRAC would provide professional driving training to both men and women.
He said that he would expect trained women drivers would get driving jobs at different offices.
Non professional drivers would get training later, he said.
On May 23, communications minister Obaidul Kader said that women ,being more cautious, would be  better drivers than men.
Women would be better drivers also because they would not overtake, do not smoke and would not speak on cell phone while driving, Obaidul Kader said inaugurating the BRAC Driving School at Uttara.
He said that the authorities should encourage women to take driving profession.
Under its Young Women’s Driving Training Project BRAC provided driving training to 21 rural women in the age group of 20 to 22, BRAC Road Safety Programme director Najmul Hussin told New Age.
He said BRTA was helping BRAC Driving School.
He said BRTA’s Driving Competency Test Board would come to BRAC Driving Training school to initially provide learners’ licence to women who would pass the primary driving test and the final licence in three days.
BRAC would open driving schools at divisional cities and district towns and prepare the training curriculum and schedule for private driving schools all over the country, said a Brac press release.
BRTA chairman Mohammad Ayubur Rahman Khan and BRAC director A Najmul Hussin signed the MoU in the presence of BRTA director (administration) Tapan Kumar Sarker, director (engineering) Mohammad Saiful Hoque and BRAC road safety programmes deputy manager Mahmud Hassan.
Road accidents cause a loss of about two per cent of GDP in Bangladesh, according to BRAC road safety programme estimates.
According a WHO survey done in 2009, 170,000 people become handicapped every year in road accidents.
Private driving training schools depend on poor quality vehicles and below the acceptable quality of training and instructors in training new drivers, showed a BRAC survey.
It also shows that only 69 out of 350 private driving schools have approval from BRTA.

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