THE results of HSC examination published on Sunday once again exposed the rural-urban divide in the distribution of resources and governmental attention in the education sector. About 42 per cent among the 33,242 GPA five scorers in HSC examination are from the capital this year, as New Age reported on Monday, according to the academicians which is a result of high scale disparity between the capital and the rest of the country in terms of educational facilities and teachers. The unequal situation in academic education has now turned to such a phase that the capital is on the one side and the rest of the country is on the other side. Only three cities of Dhaka board consist of 57 per cent of all GPA five scorers while 73 per cent of the GPA five scorers of Dhaka board are from the capital. In the past four years, over 50 per cent of the GPA 5 scorers are coming from Dhaka education board in HSC exam. This year, Dhaka city’s GPA five scorers consist of about 18 per cent of total students passed while the ratio is 0.41 per cent in Shariatpur district, 3.03 per cent in Sylhet district, 0.11 per cent in Habiganj, 3 per cent in Barisal and 0.98 per cent in Patukhali. The HSC result this year brings to the fore a more disconcerting issue that is the implicit commercialisation of the secondary educational system.
The vast majority of schools and colleges equipped with proper teaching resources and trained teachers are located in and around Dhaka. The government has failed to ensure decentralisation of quality education in intermediate and school level. More importantly, the education system has increasingly become dependent on private education. Those who cannot afford private tuition, coaching, note books and guide books, ‘model tests’ can hardly do good result in this systems. Even the students of the ‘good’ schools and colleges of Dhaka city are highly dependent on this shadow education market. The main reason for their best result is more dependent on their capability to purchase the commoditised education from mushrooming coaching centre and other supplementary educational enterprise than their hard work. Students from other districts have less purchasing power on an average that they are unable to afford these ‘educational’ commodities, especially private tuition and coaching. Therefore, to tackle this unequal divide in the education sector, the government must address this unspoken commercialisation of primary and secondary education.
In lieu of the discrepancies in the results between students from Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, the education minister have said, that he would take action against the colleges with poor result. While it is important to look into the matter of schools with zero pass rates, it is a superficial approach in the end, as it does not address the real, structural reasons behind the result discrepancies. The incumbent should address the problem stated above at the policy level and ensure that no quarters are running the educational establishment from pure profiteering interest. It is absolutely unacceptable that the results of students are becoming more dependent on their purchasing power than their merit.
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