There is too much experimentation with education

There is too much experimentation with education

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There is a lot of experimentation going on with the country’s education. A kind of instability has been created in the education sector due to the open changes. Therefore, first you have to decide which policy, which curriculum will be implemented. Apart from this, we have to think about the overall issues of education without taking measures based on ‘symptoms’.

On the occasion of International Education Day, these words came up in a discussion meeting organized by the Morcha Mass Literacy Campaign of non-governmental organizations working on education on Wednesday afternoon. Education experts, economists, teachers and students and people from different levels of education participated in this exchange meeting held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital. State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Simin Hossain and State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Rumana Ali also spoke at the exchange meeting.

In the discussion meeting, the speakers emphasized on eliminating some challenges in the implementation of the new curriculum, increasing the number of teachers as well as training them and increasing other facilities.

Minister of State for Women and Child Affairs Simin Hossain requested the Ministry of Education to appoint headmasters, assistant headmasters and MLSS of all schools in the country officially (at present, assistant teachers of all private educational institutions are appointed through examinations under NTRC). He said, “If this cannot be done, we will not get quality teachers.” It has to be done.’

State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Simin Hossain at the exchange meeting organized by Mass Literacy Campaign on the occasion of International Education Day. Today at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital
State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Simin Hossain at the exchange meeting organized by Mass Literacy Campaign on the occasion of International Education Day. Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital today Photo: Tanveer Ahmed
Simin Hossain emphasized on making private educational institutions under MPO official. He said, those who are getting monthly salary under MPO (100% basic salary and some allowances), the government can privatize it by spending a little more money. He thinks it should be done. Then the corruption here will be reduced a lot and quality education can go towards.

Apart from this, State Minister Simin Hossain said to further reduce the oral examination (VIVA) marks for the appointment of teachers in government primary schools. His argument in favor of this proposal is that if this is done, there will be no recommendation to give higher marks in the oral examination. Because that number will not become the controller.

Simin Hossain emphasized on building educational institutions after seeing the usefulness. He said that buildings are being constructed in the country (in educational institutions) through various projects. A four-storey building is being constructed under a project. But there are 110 students. What is the utility of the four-story building? According to him, buildings should be built according to the number of students. He found that many schools and madrasas have more students, but no buildings. Or the building was built long ago, in which upward expansion is not possible.

State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Simin Hossain emphasized on the training of teachers and the proper opening of libraries in educational institutions.

Rumana Ali, the new state minister for primary and mass education, thinks that in educational institutions where there are few students, assessment (learning time assessment) can be done, but in schools with 150 students, it cannot be done in the same way. In that case, he emphasized on the examination system.

In the president’s speech, the co-chairman of the National Education Policy Formulation Committee, economist Kazi Khalikuzzaman Ahmad, said that there are too many experiments on education. It should be decided which policy, which curriculum will be implemented. There will be some changes and refinements along the way. But due to open changes after a few days, there has been an instability in the education sector. For example, in the National Education Policy-2010, there was no Primary Education Ending Examination in Class V, but it was suddenly introduced (later dropped). He also mentioned that he had little role in stopping it.

Kazi Khalikuzzaman Ahmad said, a big problem in Bangladesh is implementation. Policy is there, employment is there, allocation is not a problem in many places. But the problem is implementation. So effective and timely implementation is essential.

Rasheda K Chowdhury, Executive Director of Mass Literacy Campaign conducted the exchange meeting. He feels that the weaknesses of the new curriculum can be discussed. There may be mistakes. Because, it is an ongoing process. But now it is being muddied in various ways. Countering with wrong information, which is not correct.

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Rumana Ali at the exchange meeting organized by Mass Literacy Campaign on the occasion of International Education Day. Today at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Rumana Ali at the exchange meeting organized by Mass Literacy Campaign on the occasion of International Education Day. Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital today Photo: Tanveer Ahmed
Rasheda K Chowdhury feels that those who are the holders and carriers of the coaching trade and those who do not want students to go through an advanced education program are the ones who are opposing this. He questioned the opponents and said, when the draft was given on the website for two months for feedback on the new curriculum, why didn’t they give feedback?

Professor Manzoor Ahmed of BRAC University advised to think holistically about all aspects of education. He emphasized on making permanent education commission with suitable people in the light of National Education Policy-2010.

Special Fellow of CPD Mostafizur Rahman said that what was discussed here needs money to implement it in a standard manner. He advised to do this work by fixing priorities.

Some students from various educational institutions from different parts of the country participated in the exchange meeting and highlighted their problems and demands. Several teachers also expressed their views on various issues of education including the new curriculum.

At the beginning of the exchange meeting, Samshun Nahar, the official of the organization, presented various recommendations on behalf of the Mass Literacy Campaign. He highlighted several recommendations including building public opinion on the proper implementation of the new curriculum, formulating an evaluation system that is acceptable and easily understandable to all concerned including teachers, students, parents.

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