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Children of Bangladesh, as per Article 17 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, are supposed to receive completely free education up to the secondary level. However, an internal report conducted by DPE showed that about 70 percent of children are unable to perform basic mathematical calculations, or even read or write properly.

The consensus is that fundamental problems with standard education in Bangladesh is linked with lack of qualified teachers, as well as teaching methods that focus on mainly on delivering lectures and reading off textbooks with little to no interaction with students. Too much focus given to results rather than actual learning and quality divide between different types of educational institutions are also part of the problem. To add to all this, there is also corruption and a lack of transparency to account for.

One of the major components that add to the issues regarding education in Bangladesh is the lack of qualified teachers. Thousands upon thousands of teachers are recruited each year and are sent in to classrooms without any proper training.

It was observed that in secondary classes, the most common teaching methods mainly included giving lectures and reading off textbooks. There was almost no interaction in classes, as teachers mainly resorted to closed “yes” or “no” questions, to see if students properly memorized textbook information or not. Many teachers fear using innovative teaching methods because they do not want it to negatively affect the student’s examination results. The primary concern for a lot of these teachers is not in helping the students in the act of learning, but rather to make sure they do well in exams. Due to this, even though pass rates in public examinations are increasing, a large number of students fail to possess the required skill-set for someone of their educational level.

Another problem that arises in the educational sector of Bangladesh is the disparity in the quality of education provided by different types of institutions. This problem is most pronounced in case of mainstream primary schools, where except the well-known “good” primary schools, most others do not have the necessary tools to offer quality education. General consensus is that if more money is offered, a higher quality of education can be taken advantage of. Education should be a right and not a privilege. Some parents even sell their property to allocate funds needed to educate their children. A lot of other parents however cannot afford to do something like that.

When looking at the disparity in quality between the three main streams of education (madrasa, English and Bangla mediums) in the country, they can be seen to grow wider by the day.

Infrastructure is another major concern in this sector. Thousands of requests come by each year for the repair of schools but many of these requests often remain just that – requests. People blame it on corruption of authoritative bodies. Large sums of allocated funds continue to be wasted due to lack of transparency.

One of the proposed solutions to the problem at hand could to be decentralize our education system. Currently, everything is handled centrally, even though local education boards exist everywhere else in the world. In a system filled with so many inconsistencies and a lack of equity, a localized system is more than just a requirement.

Examinations should also be reformed. The need to sit for national examinations before getting enrolled in higher education institutions makes schools focus highly on preparing students by any means – through private tuition or by guidebooks. The act of learning is completely lost all along the way.

Finally, more investments must be made towards education. Investments made can help provide better facilities and also train better teachers. If the level of education is not improved upon, then students who are first generation learners and who have very little assistance from their family might even choose to not take part in the education system at all.

Bangladesh’s problems regarding its education sector are deeply rooted in to its system. In analyzing and fully understanding the problems we can start to pave the way for a future of quality education for all.

Posted in: Education, Society
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