Education in disarray

Published: 00:00, Dec 14,2018 | Updated: 19:00, Dec 18,2018

 
 

A cross-section of people share their views on current classroom situation with New Age staff correspondents Rashad Ahamad and Shahin Akhter

AK Nurul Hoque
Former principal Cadet College Services

Education has become a high profit yielding business product in Bangladesh. It is now a business for everyone — students, teachers, guardians and school authorities.
Printing of unnecessary books, unnecessary weekly, monthly, quarterly examinations and events are organised in schools only to make money. The school authorities force guardians to pay high amount for the events.
There is no library, practical life-oriented education like safety, leadership grooming and stage performance in school to inspire creativity among the students. Memorising guidebook has become the only task of a student.
Guardians also do not encourage their children to learn rather they give priority to GPA 5. Guardians invest so that their children can give them feedback. Society also evaluates a student, a school or a teacher based on the results.
Teachers are responsible for the existing situation in many ways. They are doing good business forgetting their moral responsibility. They are not giving proper lessons in classroom and forcing student to go for private tuition.
Teachers’ poor salary is one of the main reasons for the spread of private tuition and coaching centre. Teachers are compelled to do private tuition for livelihood.
None of my teachers were involve with private tuition. They felt the responsibility but now teacher treat take it as business. When we were student, there was no politics in education and among the teachers. But now everywhere, from school managing committee to teachers and students all are involved in politics.
Corporal punishment existed when we were student. Teachers would punish us but we could never dishonour them because they also loved us very much. We never complained against teachers because they did everything for the betterment of students. Guardians would hand over a student to the teachers to make him ‘a good person.’ Teachers would take care of the students as would the parents.
But what do we see nowadays? Teachers as well as students and guardians have lost their mutual trust. Guardians now do not expect their children to be good persons; they want good results.
Teachers now teach question and answer not textbooks to meet the demand of guardians and school managing committee. Guardians do not make presents of books to their children; they rather give them dolls and toys.
Teacher-student relation was previously based on responsibility and love but now it is only money.
The total education system has been damaged by various types of corruption — in admission and school inspection.
Coverage of education increased but quality of education has alarmingly fallen. Question pattern is responsible for this as it discourage students to read textbooks. Objectives, practical and fill-in the gaps are sources of huge mark. So students read them leaving the textbooks.
So-called communicative and creative methods of education are wrong decision of the government. Another wrong decision is inclusion of new subjects.
We are trying to follow curriculum of developed countries but there is severe infrastructural deficiency. After all, curriculums have become a horror for students as well as for teachers and guardians. So they are in fear. Some guardians compel his/her children to study four subjects under private tutors.
If a student attends classes and four subjects with private tutors, when would he/she read by him/herself? Let the students read first. If students cannot understand any topic even after repeated attempt, he/she may take help form someone. But now they have no time. They want to get everything ready.
Many teachers are unwilling to do private teaching but they are compelled to do it for their survival.
Guardians are unwilling to pay Tk 5,000 as school fee but happily pay Tk 12,000 to private tutors.
One must take admission in VNS, one must read in university, must get GPA 5, schools have to have 100 per cent pass — these are indications of ill mentality and an unfair competition.
The unhealthy competition has to stop if the nation is to be saved. Education should be free.
We have thousands of graduates whose knowledge is very inadequate and are involved in unproductive sectors.
The present situation is the result our social degradation. Less meritorious police men are leading luxurious life by taking bribe. Teachers also want to lead the same life so they are going for private tuition.
Educated and gentle persons were adopted at school managing committee in the past but now businessmen and politically influential persons having no knowledge are on the committee. It is also a business as the SMC members recruit less qualified teacher as a teacher in exchange for money.
A teacher who gets appointment expending huge money, what he can do everyone knows well.

SM Abdul Latif
Head teacher, Gala Gano Girls High School, Tangail

 

Education system depends on social, economic and political situation of a country. But in our country policymakers prepare new curriculums times and again without consulting with the stakeholders and considering our socio-economic condition. Present syllabus and curriculum do not match with the students’ capacity, especially those living in villages. We have no trained teachers.
Sudden change in syllabus puzzles student, teacher as well as guardian. Most of the guardians living in village as well as in towns are only interested in good result, which has become a common phenomenon.
These guardians want to their children to outpace others and consider it as the best investment.
There are 10 per cent teachers in every school who never own the profession as they are interested more about making money than dignity.
Most of the teachers are compelled to do private tuition or run coaching centres for their surviving as they still are not given a living salary and deprived of allowances. This situation is also discouraging meritorious people to come to teaching.
There is no scope to practice extra-curricular activities.
If anyone would ask me in my student life, I would reply that I will be like my head teacher Khandaker Nazrul Islam. Not only me, there were many students who followed him. I have seen how much respect he would command and what an ideal person he was. That time people would come to the teachers seeking good advice. That time I had resolved that I would be a teacher like Nazrul Sir.
Unfortunately, at present the students want to be police officer or government official to get power and money.
The government should fix these problems immediately.

Sultana Algin
Psychiatrist, associate professor of the department
of psychiatry at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib
Medical University

 

Earlier, parents would not feel very competitive. But currently the parents have become more competitive even than the teachers. The expectations of the parents from their children are now very high. They also think – ‘what I could not get in my life my child will do it.’
Currently, the students have to attend coaching classes for all subjects as pressure for good results is enormous. This also pushes up the cost of education.
Deficiency of moral values is a major problem in today’s society. The teachers are nothing but a part of this society. They teach students with only GPA 5 in mind.
All people, including the teachers, are trapped in this vicious circle of competition.
In the past, the cost of livelihood was also very low. As a result, the teachers were able to teach their students with as much time as they wanted with full attention and even spent less time at home.
But, currently, as they have to balance on both sides we are facing these problems.
The teachers are operating coaching centres only for earning extra. There is no other reason. Coaching culture is also affecting their family and personal lives.
The schools should have allowed the teachers to take extra classes on the institutes’ premises to stop coaching culture.
The authorities have to identify the basic problems like teachers’ tendency to earn extra income. Only then the problems can be solved easily. The guardians will also understand the situation and it will be helpful for them.

Ratna Sharmin
Guardian, Rampura

In prevailing education system, without golden GPA 5, students are not allowed even to take part in admission test in better educational institutions or jobs. It has become a social status. My neighbours treat me based on the result of my children. It is wrong but none can avoid it.
That is why the guardians send children to coaching or private tuition for good results. We feel that we are destroying their future but we are helpless. We only want to secure their bright future.
Actually the government system is faulty. If the government enacts a law allowing all students to sit for whatever exam s/he likes, irrespective of their results, guardian will get a great relief.
Classroom activity is not enough as teachers spend very insignificant time there. Some teacher even force student to get admission in his/her coaching centre. If the students do not follow that, the teachers rebuke and insult them and give low marks in tests.
That is why today’s students do not respect their teachers as they see immorality in the teachers and the teachers see their students only as money making tools.
But the situation was different in my time which led me to respect out teachers. Teachers are
my ideal.

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