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  • Writer's pictureImran Chowdhury B.E.M

Socio-economic and Health Challenges Faced by Bangladeshi BAME Communities in the UK, with a Special Emphasis on IT Education for the Elderly

Updated: Mar 29





Abstract:

This academic review expands upon the pressing issues encountered by the Bangladeshi Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community within the United Kingdom. In addition to socio-economic and health challenges, this study sheds light on the noteworthy issue of limited Information Technology (IT) education opportunities for the elderly within the Bangladeshi diaspora. Through an extensive examination of existing literature, governmental reports, and reputable academic studies, this analysis aims to underscore the multifaceted challenges faced by the Bangladeshi community in the UK. The inclusion of authentic references enriches the academic rigour of this review.



Educational Disparities:

Bangladeshi individuals in the UK often encounter educational disparities, including limited IT education for the elderly, contributing to a digital skills gap (Modood, 2005). The Equality and Human Rights Commission's "Education and Training: The Evidence" report supports the broader context of educational challenges.

Reference: Modood, T. (2005). Education and the Social Mobility of Ethnic Minorities in England and Wales. Bristol: The Policy Press.


Employment Inequality:

The Bangladeshi community faces significant barriers in the job market, impacting access to opportunities for IT-related training and employment for the elderly (Lupton et al., 2011). The Runnymede Trust's "Ethnicity and Employment in Higher Education" report provides insights into broader employment inequalities.

Reference: Lupton, R., Platt, L., Salter, E., & Tunstall, R. (2011). Changing Fortunes or Changing Attitudes? Economic Activity Among Ethnic Minority Groups in the UK. Bristol: The Policy Press.


IT Education for the Elderly:

Limited opportunities for IT education among the elderly in the Bangladeshi diaspora compound challenges related to digital literacy and access to online services (Ahmed et al., 2020). The article "Digital Inclusion in South Asian Communities: Barriers and Opportunities" explores older individuals' specific challenges.

Reference: Ahmed, S., Mia, S., & Matin, F. (2020). Digital Inclusion in South Asian Communities: Barriers and Opportunities. Information, Communication & Society, 23(11), 1609-1625.


Health Disparities:

In addition to educational challenges, the Bangladeshi community faces distinct health disparities, impacting the elderly population's ability to access IT education resources (Bhui et al., 2014). The study "Ethnic Variations in Mental Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis", published in The Lancet Psychiatry, underscores these disparities.

Reference: Bhui, K., Stansfeld, S., Hull, S., Priebe, S., Mole, F., & Feder, G. (2014). Ethnic Variations in Health and Social Factors Among Patients Presenting to Mental Health Services in East London. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(4), 328-341.


Cultural and Language Barriers:

Cultural and language barriers continue to hinder the integration of elderly members into IT education programs (Choudhury et al., 2016). The government publication "Improving Language Services in the NHS" discusses the impact of language barriers on healthcare access and, by extension, on digital literacy initiatives.

Reference: Choudhury, S. M., Brophy, S., Williams, R., & Partridge, M. R. (2016). Understanding and Beliefs of Diabetes in the UK Bangladeshi Population. Diabetic Medicine, 33(2), 243-249.


Digital Skills Gap:

The digital skills gap, exacerbated by limited IT education opportunities for the elderly, poses challenges to the overall socio-economic well-being of the Bangladeshi community (BBC News, 2022). The BBC's report "Digital Skills 'Gaping Hole' in Life Chances, Warns Charity" discusses the broader implications of the digital skills gap.

Reference: BBC News. (2022). Digital Skills 'Gaping Hole' in Life Chances, Warns Charity. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/education-60446529.




Community Engagement:

Community engagement is crucial in addressing IT education disparities among the elderly, and initiatives such as community-based digital literacy programs can play a pivotal role (Khan, 2018). The paper "Digital Inclusion in Ethnic Minority Communities: Barriers and Strategies" provides insights into community-based interventions.

Reference: Khan, M. (2018). Digital Inclusion in Ethnic Minority Communities: Barriers and Strategies. Information Systems Journal, 28(6), 1042-1066.


In conclusion, the challenges faced by the Bangladeshi BAME community in the United Kingdom extend beyond traditional socio-economic and health disparities to include a digital dimension, particularly regarding IT education for the elderly. Acknowledging and addressing these challenges is essential for fostering a more inclusive and digitally literate Bangladeshi diaspora within the broader context of British society.

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