Bangladesh has certainly made remarkable progress in expanding the primary education, especially raising enrolment of the students and bringing gender parity. But our education system is not yet pro-poor and the quality and curriculum do not effectively serve the goals of human development, said educationist and eminent literary personality Dr Anwara Alam.
She told New Age that insufficient government secondary schools causing various problems in Chattogram. It is too late to focus on this problem, she believed.
‘In Chattogram, if you had boys your top priority would be to get your children admitted at Chittagong Collegiate School and the second priority would be Muslim High, and after that, Nasirabad Boys, etc. As these government high schools have very limited seats, not all students are lucky enough to allowed admission in these schools. Then there are options of taking admission in private schools like Saint Placid, Cantonment Public School, Bangladesh Navy School, Ispahani Public School, and result wise these schools are also doing very good in public exams,’ she pointed out.
For parents of girls the first choice would be Dr Khastagir School, and then Chittagong Government Girls’ High School, she added.
When guardians do not manage to enrol them in government high schools, parents go for private schools for girls. Bangladesh Mahila Samity Girls’ High School, Silver Bells Kindergarten and Girls’ High School etc.
Most of the government high schools are performing fantastic but not every school guaranties quality education.
Among the private schools, some have become known for outstanding results. These include Bangladesh Mahila Samity Girls’ High School, Silver Bells Kindergarten and Girls’ High School, Cantonment Public School, Bangladesh Navy School, Ispahani Public School, etc.
People think that the reason behind good results of the government schools is that they automatically attract quality students during admission. For example, Chittagong Collegiate School and Dr Khastagir School get the meritorious students of Chattogram.
It was not clear whether these government schools were doing well in public exams because they get superior students or their teachers were well equipped to deliver quality education, she said.
‘Compared to the government schools, private schools are doing a fine job. There are renowned private schools that has been boldly competing with the government schools. They try their level best to perform well in the public exams and if we can go through the details of Junior School Certificate and Secondary School Certificate result it would become visible why, how and what make them do well in the exams,’ she said.
In SSC 2019, Chattogram Collegiate School clinched the 1st position, Government Muslim High School the 2nd, while the 3rd position went to Nasirabad Government Boys’ High School, 4th to Dr Khastagir Girls’ High School, 5th to Bangladesh Mahila Samity High School, 6th to Chittagong Government Girls’ High School, 7th to Bangladesh Navy School and College, 8th to Bangladesh Cantonment Public School and College, 9th to Chittagong Government High School and 10th to Cox’s Bazar Government Boys’ High School.
So, uneven position of these two types of schools exists here. In the education sector, Chattogram City Corporation is a great contributor. Among the 12 city corporations in the country only Chattogram City Corporation has been running schools which are equipped with modern education materials, computer lab, multimedia classroom, etc.
Education gets top priority in CCC budget, as a result education department made huge success in the last few years. Though at the beginning the overall performance was not up to the mark, but for last few years the CCC-run schools made commendable success in terms of pass rate, said the educationist.
Anwara Alam also added that already it is too late to set up new government schools in Chattogram which is considered to be the commercial capital of Bangladesh. So, a concrete solution from the concerned agencies is needed to overcome the challenge, she added.
She told New Age that in developed countries citizens were bound to send their children in a school of his locality and they developed infrastructure considering all these. In Bangladesh area wise school facility is necessary, she emphasised and added that the policy makers can make it mandatory for the citizens.
‘A student who lives in one corner of the port city, he or she should get available school in the area which can save time, money and energy. It does not put pressure on the roads also since usually there are huge traffic congestions during school hours,’ she explained.
She appreciated the government’s initiative to set up two new schools in Chattogram. But she expressed her concern that these schools would take long time to go into operation and a lot more time would be needed to ensure good results by the students.
So she urged the government to set up more new government schools.
‘The government can also nationalise the existing renowned schools which are running well for many years. Because we need at least 5-6 years time to set up new schools, but to nationalise few existing schools would be trouble-free,’ she argued.
It would minimise the education cost for many parents and as for students, they would be able to get education from a government school.
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