On Education policy

Reflections on education policy 2010 and people’s participation

The directives as noted in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh have been taken into consideration in the formulation of National Education Policy 2010. The UN Child Rights Convention that emphasizes   the ensuring of rights of children in every member state has been a further area of consideration. The primary objectives of this policy are directed toward the cultivation of human values. It seeks to prescribe ways through which citizens can be groomed to become leaders in pro-people development programs and progress of the society. They will become rational and intellectually accomplished human beings with ethical perceptions, who have respect for their own religion as well as for others’ faiths. Education will help them to grow up as non-communal, patriotic and efficient persons free from superstitions. And simultaneously, it is only education that can equip the nation to acquire the qualities and skills that will strengthen Bangladesh to work with equal capacity and pace of the global community.

This education policy will work as a basis for an education system suitable for the delivery of education which will be pro-people, easily available, uniform, universal, well planned, science oriented and of high standard according to the constitutional  directives and it will also work as a strategy to counter all problems. With this idea in view, the aims, objectives there are thirty goals and objectives in the education policy 2010 are mentioned. Out of those the main goals and principles are as follows.

1.         to reflect the Constitutional guarantee at all levels of education and make learners aware of the freedom, sovereignty and integrity of Bangladesh;

2.         to stimulate the intellectual and practical qualities of the learners so that moral, human, cultural, scientific and social values are established at personal and national levels;

3.         to inspire the students with the spirit of our war of liberation and develop patriotism, nationalism and qualities of good citizens (i.e, sense of justice, non-communalism, dutifulness, awareness of human rights, cultivation of free thinking and discipline, love for honest living, the tolerance of corporate life, friendliness and perseverance);

4.         to promote the continuity of national history, tradition and culture through an inter-generational process;

5.         to remove socio-economic discrimination irrespective of race, religion and creed and to eradicate gender disparity; to develop non-communalism, friendliness, global fraternity, fellow-feeling and respect for human rights;

6.         to help students grow up with sound moral character through lessons from their respective religious teachings and moral sciences;

7.         to extend the use of information and communication technology (ICT)  instrumental in educational process at every level

8.         to take special measures for the development of education of the backward classes of the country including the street-children;

9.         to ensure the education of the physically and mentally challenged learners;

10.       to create a society free from the curse of  illiteracy .

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

Pre-Primary Education: Before the children begin their formal education, we need to create an environment conducive to the growth of the universal human dispositions like the senses of endless wonder, infinite curiosity, joy and inexhaustible fervour that reside in the deep recesses of the infantile psyche. And this environment will prepare the children mentally and physically.

So one-year pre-primary schooling must be introduced for 5+ children. Later, this will be extended up to 4+ children.

Primary Education

The duration of primary education will be extended from Class V [now in practice] to Class VIII.

Primary Education will consider the followings

v Integration of different streams

1.         A uniform curricula and syllabus will be followed in some specific subjects at all the streams of primary education such as government and non-government primary schools, kindergartens (both Bangla & English media) and ibtedaye madrassas across the country.

2.         All institutions including the kindergartens, English medium schools and all types of madrashahs will have to register themselves with concerned authorities in compliance with set rules.

v Curricula and Syllabi

1.         Specific subjects such as Bangla, English, Moral Science, Bangladesh Studies, Mathematics, Social Environment, Natural Environment with emphasis on topics like climate change, Science and Information Technology are to be there in the syllabus as compulsory subjects for all students of diverse streams of primary education. Teaching of respective religious studies and moral education will be introduced as a compulsory subject right from the primary level.

v The age of admission/enrollment

1.         The existing rule for the age of admission at 6+ will be made compulsory.

2.         The ratio of teacher and students in primary education will be 1:30. This goal will be achieved in phases by 2018.

v         The environment of the school

v         Education materials

v         Solution to drop-out

v         Children of ethnic groups

v         Physically challenged students

v          Street children and other ultra-deprived children

v          Acute discrimination of primary schools of different types and locations

v          Teaching methods

v          Student assessment

v          Improvement of schools, monitoring for quality education and community participation

v          Teachers’ recruitment and promotion

v          Teachers’ selection

v          The supervision and monitoring of education within the school.

Adult and Non-formal Education

v          The objective of adult and non-formal education will be to make all the adult citizens of the country literate by the year 2014.

v          This chapter address the following

u  Adult education

u  Non-formal education

u  The coordination of initiatives in the mass education sector

u  The law related to mass education

u  National awakening and volunteers

Secondary Education

v The secondary level of education will include Classes IX to XII. At the end of this level, students will choose different streams of higher studies according to their capabilities, or they will earn their livelihood by their acquired vocational education or they can seek further vocational skills.

v Curriculum, Syllabus and Textbooks

1.         There will be three streams at the secondary level, general, madrasa and technical and each stream will have several branches.

2.         For all streams, uniformity will be maintained through some stipulated compulsory subjects, such as Bangla, English, Bangladesh Studies, General Mathematics and Information Technology.

3.         Examinations of each of these subjects of all the streams will be held with identical question papers.

4.         There will be some compulsory and optional subjects in each of the streams.

v Infrastructure, teachers and staff

1.         High schools need to be added with Classes XI & XII, while higher secondary colleges will have to add Classes IX & X. For this, the number of classrooms, furniture and educational instruments will be increased.

v          This section also addresses the           following:

u  Unprivileged students and under-developed regions

u  Economic activities and development of technology

u  Teacher-student ratio

u  Recruitment of teachers

u  Teachers’ training

u  Student assessment

u  Invigilation and monitoring

u  CadetCollege, O-Level, A-Level and adya, madhya and upadhi of Sanskrit and Pali

Vocational and Technical Education

The aims and objectives of vocational and technical education are:

u  to increase competent manpower in diverse sectors including Information and Communication Technology at a fast pace keeping in mind the national and international demands;

u  build up skilled manpower at a fast pace to create opportunities of economic development and to increase dignity of labour;

u  to create wide-ranging employment opportunities through export of skilled manpower and to enhance foreign currency earnings.

v Strategies

u  On completion of Class VIII, a student can enroll in vocational/technical education. Facilities will be created for the students of this stream so that they can gradually go up for higher education in their desired technical subjects.

u  On completion of Class VIII, one can undergo vocational training of 1, 2 and 4 years to be coordinated by mills, factories, and government technical institutes or non-government vocational training institutes situated in the upazillas and districts and thereby earn National Standard of Skills 2, 3 and 4.

u  In every upazilla, one technical education institute will be established for the expansion of technical education. Besides, the number of polytechnic institutes, textile institutes, and leather institutes will be increased.

u          In the vocational and technical educational institutions, teacher-student ratio will be 1: 12.

u          School leavers and elderly people can be turned into competent manpower by designing evening and short courses of vocational or diploma curricula with the use of the facilities of vocational education institutes.

u          Public-private partnership collaboration will be encouraged to establish new technical and vocational institutes and to develop their management. But boys and girls belonging to insolvent families will have opportunities to study in these institutions.

Madrasa Education

u          In Madrasa Education, all possible opportunities to learn Islam and to develop this stream will be ensured. Steps will be taken so that the students can understand the ideals and spirit of Islam and learn about its doctrines and ways of life.

v Strategies

u          At the Ibtedaye level, curriculum of different classes will be coordinated in tune with other streams including the compulsory subjects such as, Bangla, English, Moral Science, Bangladesh Studies, General Mathematics, Social Environment, Environmental Science with the inclusion of the concepts of ‘climate change’, and ICT. At Dakhil level, Bangla, English, General Mathematics, ICT and Bangladesh Studies will be compulsory subjects.

u          A Kowmi Madrasa Education Commission will be formed with representatives from the persons involved with the learning process and management of this stream. This commission will prepare necessary recommendations for education in this stream and submit them for the consideration of the government.

u          An affiliating Islamic University will be established for the management of madrasa education.

Religious and Moral Education

u          The objective of religious and moral education is imparting knowledge about the respective religions of the learners, improvement of the students’ behavioral pattern, and establishment of moral virtues in life and society and building of moral character of the learners.

The objectives of this education are:

u          to impart proper and quality religious and moral education by radicalizing the existing system;

u          to put further emphasis on moral aspect; along with fundamental teachings of every religion; Religious education will not limit itself only to religious customs and rituals, rather it will seek to build up the moral character of the students.

Higher Education

u          4-year Honours degree will be considered as the terminal degree and acceptable/required qualification for jobs in all sectors excepting teaching positions at higher education institutions.

u          4-year Honours course will be introduced in the colleges gradually in stead of the existing 3-year degree courses.

u          Curricula and syllabi of higher education will be updated to meet international standards. English will remain as a medium of instruction in higher education along with Bangla.

u          To uphold the quality of higher education, the private universities, proposed or approved, must maintain the standard of education, curriculum, syllabus and recruitment of teachers of high academic qualifications at par with the public universities.

Engineering Education

The aims and objectives of engineering education are:

u to produce competent engineers with practical and scientific minds and to build up technically trained manpower who can work for the development of country, for the procurement of resources, for poverty eradication and who can contribute to the improvement of the society and its economic conditions;

u to put special emphasis on information technology in all spheres of life to build up an information technology-based Bangladesh; to create engineers who are likely to work to fulfill this goal.

Medical, Nursing and Health Education

The aims and objectives of health education and medical services are:

u to produce competent doctors, nurses, specialists, consultants of high standard, dentists, health assistants and workers, health technicians and health manpower to ensure necessary medical facilities to the entire population of the country to keep them healthy and to build them up as an active population;

u  to build up capable manpower to ensure the primary healthcare for all to be provided by the government;

u to conduct medical research to invent or discover new indigenous methods for healing diseases.

u          The benefits of the advancement of medical sciences will be carried to the people, particularly to the rural population.

Science Education

The aims and objectives of science education are:

u  to prepare the learners in a way that helps them  develop their talent, practice of knowledge and creativity equal to an international standard;

u  to provide science education to the learners in a way so that the learners understand that there exists a close relationship between technology and humanities and each of them is complementary to the other; Science will be taught as a coordinated discipline.

v Strategies

u  Science education will be introduced at the initial stage. Learners will not be loaded with information but they will learn science with the proper introduction to nature, environment and facts around them. From the very beginning, they will be trained up to develop a scientific mindset.

u  There will be an integrated science course that includes its different branches for the students of Classes VI to VIII at the primary level.

u  Since the study of science is closely related to maths, special emphasis will be given to the learning of maths. Graduates in maths will be appointed as math teachers.

Science Education

The main objective of science is to understand nature. Science has been unraveling the mystery of nature by experiment, observation and mathematical logic.

v Strategies

u Science education will be introduced at the initial stage. Learners will not be loaded with information but they will learn science with the proper introduction to nature, environment and facts around them. From the very beginning, they will be trained up to develop a scientific mindset.

u  There will be an integrated science course that includes its different branches for the students of Classes VI to VIII at the primary level.

u  Since the study of science is closely related to maths, special emphasis will be given to the learning of maths. Graduates in maths will be appointed as math teachers.

u  In order to popularize science and mathematics to the students, science fair will be organized in every school in tune with annual sports. Science fair and Maths Olympiad will also be organized at national level.

u  National and international conferences will be organized regularly to create an environment of research.

Information Technology Education

The aims and objectives of information technology education are:

u  to produce competent manpower of international standard, trained and educated in information technology to perform efficiently in relevant fields;

u   Information technology will not be limited to computer science only, rather mobile phones, radio, television data collection and processing of information are also to be included.

v Strategies

u  Right from the Primary level of education, computer will be used as a tool of teaching.

u  All students will be computer-literate before they reach the secondary level.

u  In order to increase interest in information technology, IT Olympiad can be organized at national and international levels.

u  Open University will be built up as a true digital university enriched by facilities of IT.

u An Information Technology University (ITU) will be established for the purpose of training of teachers engaged in teaching of IT in higher education and to facilitate research in this field.

Business Studies

In this education policy, business studies has been treated as an integrated formation of necessary branches of knowledge that are required to conduct the activities of industries, trade and services organizations.

u Measures will be taken for extension, revision and coordination of business studies on the basis of demands at home and abroad. To do this, it is necessary to bridge the educational institutions with the private sector. This will be a continuous actively.

u Course curriculum and textbooks will be prepared for all levels of Business Studies education on the basis of the demand of industries, trade and service-oriented organizations and their prospective development. Curricula for different levels will depend on the respective demands and objectives of each level.

Agricultural Studies

The aims and objectives of agricultural studies are:

u  Raising awareness about the soil, water, natural resources, development of environmental energy and possibilities of the country.

u  Improvement of agro-based socio-economic conditions for national development.

u   Appropriate development of agricultural economy directed toward proper use of natural resources through scientific and mechanical devices.

u  Increasing land-based and water-based productivity with attention to protect natural environment.

u          Motivating self-employment through agricultural studies.

u  Undertaking extensive research on agricultural development in the context of the threats of climate change.

u  Changing the social mindset and raising awareness to treat agriculture as the key to socio-economic development.

u          Achieving self-sufficiency in food, fighting malnutrition and alleviation of poverty.

u          Creation of rural employment opportunities.

Law Studies

The main aims and objectives of law studies are:

u to help protect the lawful rights of the people and to create skilled teachers, lawyers, law experts and justices in order to ensure the rule of law;

u to create such highly qualified, morally strong, prudent and knowledgeable persons who-

m         will be able to uphold the rule of law and ideals of justice;

m         can enrich the arena of domestic and international knowledge of law;

m         will establish professional skills and ethical standards;

m         will be able to reform and improve the system of law and judgment;

m         will be able to strike balance between the study of law and its practice in view of the new demands of the changing society.

Women’s Education

The main aims and objectives of women’s education are:

u          to foster awareness and confidence among women and to strengthen women’s outlook in favour of demanding equal rights;

u  to motivate women at all levels to acquire skills in order to participate in the affairs of running the country;

u to ensure women’s participation in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development programs;

u to strengthen them in a way that they can play their roles in the socio-economic development of the country through self-employment or being employed in various positions;

u to change their existing subordinate position and to empower them to take strong steps to ensure equal rights and to resist dowry as well as violence against women.

v Strategies

u Special allocation for women’s education in the budget.

u Steps will be taken to minimize the dropout rate of girl students.

u The curriculum of the primary level will reflect a positive and progressive image of women. It will include the issue of equal rights. This may help bring up a change in the social behaviour and mindset of all students.

u Girls will be encouraged to study science and professional subjects (i.e engineering, medical, law and business studies).

u There are four women’s polytechnics in the country. In order to include more girls within the technical or vocational education net, if necessary, more polytechnics for women will be established.

u Women’s participation must be ensured at all levels of policy and decision-making, namely, in matters of primary, secondary and higher education.

u The regulations for punishment relating to sexual harassment and repression on women must be strictly followed in the educational institutions.

To be continued.