23 May 2024

The New Education Curriculum and Smart Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit

Published: 11:45, 4 February 2024

The New Education Curriculum and Smart Bangladesh

Photo: Hiren Pandit

There is no substitute for work-oriented education to reduce the number of educated unemployed population. Reasons for not returning to agriculture after higher education need to be explored. Education should be multi-lateral.

We need to give importance to our education sector to become a middle-income country. Education should be of proper quality. It is imperative to build and improve child. disability, and gender-sensitive education facilities and ensure a safe, peaceful, inclusive, and effective learning environment for all.

A Smart country needs Smart citizens. Smart education is needed to become a Smart citizen. Smart education requires a combined effort of a Smart education system, a Smart environment, spirited patriots, and Smart manpower. One of the conditions of collective effort is due participation and effective role of the concerned parties. The involvement of stakeholders at all stages of planning and implementation is also one of the characteristics of the fourth industrial revolution. It applies to all alterations, renovations, or conversions. Vocational training, ICT, technology, engineering, and science need to be increased significantly. The National Curriculum Outline-2021 attempts to give a holistic view of education from pre-primary to class twelve. The framework will be piloted in two classes from 2021 and will be phased into full implementation in class 12 in 2027. It has brought about major changes in the curriculum and evaluation system of the students. All public examinations before class 10 have been canceled. At this stage, the entire evaluation will be done through continuous learning activities in the school. Some assessments in various subjects will be based on learning activities and some assessments will be through examination. Changes have also been made in the SSC and HSC examination system. Apart from this, there is no opportunity to choose a department in class nine. Instead of going to the 11th standard, students can study in the department of their choice.

As per the outline, there will be no more books for children at the pre-primary level, i.e. nursery and play. Teachers will teach them directly in the classroom. After that, students from classes I to III will be taught three books, but there will be no exams. Students will be assessed based on various learning activities conducted throughout the year. From class IV onwards, the assessment system will have both learning activities and tests. As soon as the Awami League government came to of power, it adopted a program to eliminate illiteracy and as a result, almost a hundred percent of the population is now getting an education. Bangladesh is now ahead many countries including India in terms of literacy rate. Moreover, establishing specialized universities in agriculture, engineering, medicine, and science and technology according to economic needs. These universities can directly contribute to our economic prosperity.

Emphasis on institution-centered continuous assessment in the new curriculum is positive. We have to go to this system gradually. It is undeniable that not only classroom learning but also learning through experience taking into account the surrounding. socio-economic conditions has been taken as the main learning strategy in this curriculum Learning to do one's work is important not only in the family but also in pre- and primary education.

There is a lot of discussion and criticism about the outline of the new curriculum. Various types of information have spread through social media in such a way that just as parents are worried, teachers are also a bit confused. As a result, its adverse effects on children are quite evident. Although some people have criticized the new outline, many educators and conscious circles are saying that the positive aspects of the outline are admirable and brave considering the goals of national education in the global context and at the same time they are expressing their opinions with some logical criticism.

The incorporation of projects and assignments in the education system is a laudable initiative. It is also a revolutionary idea to replace the rote test system; But in the case of project-based assessment, classroom teacher observation is necessary and a sufficient number of quality teachers are needed to implement it. In Bangladesh, the number of teachers compared to the number of students is already very insufficient, so the current system will be difficult to implement without effective initiatives.

The new curriculum, new textbooks, learning-teaching, and evaluation methods should be well understood by the teachers as soon as possible. Training after training should be done consistently. Again, there are various disparities in cities and villages. Therefore, for the implementation of the new curriculum, it is necessary to arrange for the appointment of sufficient and talented teachers, as well as to make them efficient by giving them the necessary training.

Systematic supervision and monitoring of infrastructural development and other related matters should be maintained. Apart from students, teachers and parents
are also partners in the education system. Therefore, overall development in the education sector is not possible without them. They should also give importance to adopting the education system. Besides, the training system of teachers needs to be strengthened.

It is impossible to bring any benefit by introducing a new educational system without creating a field of practice. The business of guiding and coaching should be stopped. Besides, it is also important to bring back the habit of reading textbooks among students. Bangladesh is lagging in connecting the education sector with the world of work. A large number of our population come to higher education but many do not have a clear career plan. As a result, they are not able to coordinate their knowledge with the workplace. The government has taken various steps to improve the quality of secondary-level education in Bangladesh New courses have also been introduced recently. However, according to education statistics, there is a shortage of skilled, trained teachers in secondary schools. This crisis is especially evident in subjects like English, Mathematics, ICT, and Science. The government has emphasized training to make teachers efficient.

Now with the new curriculum, the pressure on science education at the secondary level has been reduced to some extent. Because according to international standards, earlier we had extra pressure on students at the secondary level. Now it has been reduced and only what a student at this level needs to leam is being taught. According to the new curriculum, teachers with a bachelor's degree in science are enough to teach science to students. The new system will make it possible for a chemistry teacher to teach biology or a math teacher to teach physics.

By reducing the pressure on the education system, the pressure on the teachers will also be reduced and the shortage of specialized teachers will also be alleviated to some extent. Teachers are being made competent through subject-oriented training to teach the subjects properly. However, subject-wise graduate-post- graduate degree teachers are being recruited at the college level. Because what will be taught at the college level will require subject-oriented teachers. Bangladesh is also gradually gaining capacity in the IT sector due to the opening of the University of Science and Technology, making information technology compulsory in education, and as a result, various IT products such as software, and cables have started to be exported outside the country.

Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher