Sustainable Development Goal 4 is quality education for all. It is actually necessary for everyone. Education is a part of our fundamental right. If the education is not of standard, there is no benefit in taking that education. No more messing around with education. We have to move forward. We have to emphasize quality education. It is the responsibility of all of us to educate the future generation of the country without destroying it, just as teachers have a responsibility for our quality education, parents have a role to play, civil society has a role to play, and administration also has an important role to play. Education in the general sense is the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Education encourages the full development of an individual’s inherent qualities and helps in acquiring the skills needed to become a productive member of society. A curriculum is a set of subjects or a comprehensive outline of a particular level of education. The curriculum includes learning goals, objectives, content, teaching methods, assessment techniques, various materials and other educational programs of the school. Therefore, the importance of curriculum in education is immense.
Ensuring enrollment of nearly 100% of children in primary schools, reducing the dropout rate, achieving equality of children in enrollment from primary to higher secondary, stipends, distribution of free textbooks to all students at the beginning of the year, nationalization of a large number of primary schools, the appointment of the sufficient number of female teachers in primary schools and education and Work is underway to increase the literacy rate. They deserve praise for maintaining the above-mentioned achievements through the multi-pronged efforts of the present government during the Corona period.
Due to the depth and extent of the damage to education due to the corona pandemic, it is necessary to take the initiative in formulating and implementing an integrated education restoration action plan to eliminate its impact from generation to generation and to return the education system from the desired trend. Capacity building of educational institutions, urgent renovation of physical infrastructure, uninterrupted supply of teaching and learning materials, cleanliness of schools, safe drinking water and hygienic regulations were essential to ensure.
It is necessary to involve all parents, teachers’ representatives and teachers’ organizations related to education in order to take initiatives to reform and make the education system progressive. The education policy states that disparities in the education sector will be gradually eliminated – disparities between urban and rural, between teachers in public and private educational institutions, between men and women, and general and technical-vocational education. Since independence, the education system has been repeatedly tested at various times. After Bangladesh became independent, a commission was formed in 1972 headed by Dr. Qudrat-e-Khuda. Which came to be known as Qudrat-e-Khuda Commission. Before the last National Education Policy 2010, 6 commissions functioned. According to the report of the commission, not all things have been implemented in the education system or many commission reports have not seen the light of day. It seems that it is not possible to achieve the correct standards even with repeated changes in the educational system. This shows the disorganized nature of the education system. It is natural that there will be changes in the education curriculum over time.
Before discussing the recently approved subjects, it is important to know what are the important changes in the new curriculum. It is known from the ‘National Curriculum Outline’ that this education policy is effective from this year. In 2023, the curriculum will be taught in the first and second classes in the primary and in the sixth and seventh classes in the secondary and in the third, fourth and eighth and ninth classes in 2024. This curriculum will be fully implemented by 2025. The main issues raised in the curriculum are two-day holiday in educational institutions, no examination till class III, marks in the hands of teachers in all classes, cancellation of PSC, JSC and JDC examinations, no division of departments at the school level, learning assessment will be added to public examinations, SSC examination. The teacher must play a central role, as he/she is the best person to ensure that what his/her students are repeatedly hearing, saying, reading, doing, and seeing, is accurate. Here it is important to be accurate in listening, speaking, reading, doing and seeing, because if things are wrong, the student will learn wrongly. According to this theory, the student is not instinctive with any faculty in his brain or mind by which he can distinguish between right and wrong. That is, according to behaviorism, since man learns only through experience, the student will learn in the same way and only through the experience that the teacher takes the student through.
Students need to be intelligent to acquire quality education. But by teaching them traditional math, science, or other subjects, it is possible to change them to only one type of intelligence and not others. Human intelligence has many other dimensions. Each student is more intelligent in each field. If they can understand it and take action, their intelligence will develop rapidly. If only one type of intellectual practice continues in educational institutions as it is now, then only a few students will change in intelligence, while others will fall behind.
Students need to be intelligent to acquire quality education. But by teaching them traditional math, science or other subjects, it is possible to change them to only one type of intelligence and not others. Human intelligence has many other dimensions. Each student is more intelligent in each field. If they can understand it and take action, their intelligence will develop rapidly. If only one type of intellectual practice continues in educational institutions as it is now, then only a few students will change in intelligence, while others will fall behind.
The new curriculum emphasizes developing and refining each of the seven types of intelligence mentioned. Currently, the students of the schools where piloting is going on, are now engaged in these intellectual exercises with great joy and interest. Earlier, there was an opportunity for linguistic and mathematical intelligence. As a result, the students who were interested in these fields would enjoy or do well, while others would pass the exam with difficulty. Since in the new curriculum, everyone will have the opportunity to pursue the intellectual pursuits of their choice, it is now difficult to find anyone in those classes who does not want to go to school or stay in school longer. It is expected that there will be no problems with the new curriculum from the student’s side. The problem will be in teacher training.
The price of all educational materials including books has increased. Due to economic reasons, people’s income has decreased, and due to the Covid pandemic, the number of students in the public and private universities of the country has decreased. The government should take initiative on how to bring the dropout students back to class. Adolescents have had to go through various changes due to reduced interest in studies, psychological and social problems, increased risk of violence, and entry into the workplace before adulthood. Decisions made by parents and teenagers regarding education will affect the next generation. Therefore, the authorities have to take groundbreaking steps to overcome the damage that has been done to education.
The price of the books should be kept at a bearable level by the parents of the students. A few days ago Digital Bangladesh now we are waiting to see ‘Smart Bangladesh’; But how can we build this smart Bangladesh, to survive in the current world or to build a smart Bangladesh, we must first look at a quality education system. The process of bringing changes in the education system for students needs to be accelerated.
A look at China shows dramatic changes in science education and capabilities. U.S. policymakers are concerned about whether China’s dominance in science will change the balance of power in the world. The success of the country today is the result of the policies that the Chinese government has taken in the past years in the field of science and technology. Over the last three decades, the Chinese government has invested many times to increase the country’s research capacity.
According to a statistic from 2015, 5 lahks 16 thousand 666 students passed graduation in the country. Among them, 40,000 students have graduated from 35 public universities. A total of 61 thousand 482 people graduated from 85 private universities. The remaining about 4 lakh 16 thousand have passed from National University and Open University. There are also many questions about the quality of education in many public universities in the country. The situation is even worse in national and open universities. Most of the students who pass out there are those who are completing higher education relying on rote learning, the traditional method sounds like this. It is heard that if you select and memorize the answers to 15-20 questions from the previous two-three years, you can get good marks in the exam. Education in private universities has also become shitty. Just get a few sheets. The exam can be passed only by reading some sheets that the teachers give in the class. Here only photocopies have to be relied upon. The shortage of talented teachers is a big challenge for quality education. Now talented students after completing their studies work as doctors, engineers, bankers, and multinational companies; But the role of the state is insignificant in the economic and social development of those who create this talented human resource, i.e. teachers. As a result, less talented people are coming into teaching, which is one of the major obstacles in the development of quality education.
Employment opportunities are very less in our country. After that, it is alleged that the quality of the students who passed the colleges under the National University is not good. Although the city-centered colleges are functioning fairly well, the condition of educational institutions in rural areas is very poor. Honors have been opened everywhere. There are no required quality teachers. Teacher-students do not attend classes regularly. Traditionally these students look like they are studying, taking certificates. But they are not able to survive in the job market. For this, it is important to provide quality education from primary education to higher education.
Every year the number of seats in public universities is increasing slightly. However, in sectors where there is demand for workers in the market, the rate of openings in all sectors is not increasing as much. Many students are getting admission to public universities because there is no demand in the job market without getting a chance to get admission to public universities. The current age is information technology. But the number of seats in public universities to study this subject is very less. Apart from this, there are fewer seats in the subjects that students are interested in. A decade or two ago, a student would have completed his secondary education, then he would have had a good understanding of Bengali, English, Mathematics, and Science. But now that is not happening. Seats in public universities are very limited. Most of the students study in the colleges under the National University. Those who have a break in their studies study in the open university. Even though the number of students has increased, the quality of higher education is questionable and no one is getting a quality education.
It is becoming impossible to provide quality education from such a big university like National University. Time will tell if these are now enriching the process of making unemployed! However, the process of taking government colleges under various public universities is going on. It will increase the quality of higher education to some extent. And the colleges under the National University will have to make major changes in the syllabus, course method, and examination. They need to combine individuality and creativity in their studies. And the opportunity to take higher education should be stopped from those colleges which do not have the necessary infrastructure. Educated and skilled human resource is the main basis of the development of any country. Quality education is needed for educated human resources. This quality education is very necessary for the progress of the country.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher