Even though Bangladeshi culture places high importance on institutional education, do higher test scores actually correlate to producing successful leaders for the country? While exam grades and rankings hold merit, Bangladesh is completely missing the bigger picture when it comes to maximizing education.
In order to boost national development, success should be redefined to mean something greater than achieving high exam scores and landing a well-paying job. Our antiquated view of success is robbing students of their individuality, suppressing character development and ultimately, obstructing their possibility to achieve greatness.
It is our society’s decision to be open minded and receptive to change that will propel this country to a higher international level of recognition. These are some of the pivotal changes that, if implemented, can unleash the powerhouse of creative energy that the youth undoubtedly inhibits:
Making students active participants in their own education
Allowing students to provide anonymous teacher evaluations during the middle and end of the school year. It will assist school officials to understand what changes are needed to facilitate better learning.
Permitting students to provide feedback regarding the curriculum. School administrators will see what is working well or not working for students.
Holding student government elections to teach leadership, teamwork, and responsibility while giving students a platform to advocate for change.
Encouraging group projects early on to foster exchange of ideas and collective innovation between students.
Reduce “coaching center” mentality from the learning culture
Bangladesh needs to distance itself from the practice of making coaching the principal source of learning. Instead, it should be optional tool for students who are mainly struggling and in need of an extra boost.
Only operate government certified coaching centers where there are government trained teachers. This will help eradicate unqualified tutors who are taking advantage of our weak education system.
Teachers must teach core content in the classroom setting during school hours. Most of the learning should be done at school, supplemented by daily homework assignments to reinforce topics taught in class.
Reducing time spent in coaching centers allow students to explore other hobbies and extracurricular activities.
Redesign curriculum to balance the arts and the sciences
Endorse a syllabus that emphasizes application of knowledge over memorization and regurgitation. Innovation should be valued over successful repetition.
Stop promoting a rigid controlled version of arts focused on achieving perfection. Students should experiment with new techniques and free form art to construct abstract creations. This will encourage thinking outside of the box.
Require students to complete 25 hours of community service, 25 hours of creative work, and 25 hours of physical activity (sports, dance, gym) every year to advance into the next grade.
Establish a point system for service hours, which will encourage youth involvement in the community. Students will learn how they can contribute to improving society while forming a sense of personal responsibility to others.
After school programs and student organizations
Reducing usage of coaching centers will vacate student’s schedule, thus time can be dedicated to pursuing extracurricular activities.
Involvement in school organizations will teach professional skills, time management, while allowing students to investigate depths of their personality.
This will be a healthy way for students to socialize in school and meet others with common interests.
Extracurricular activities will give students opportunity to expand their horizons and explore new interests and experiences that are not traditionally found in the classroom.
Mandatory quarterly training for public school teachers
These programs will teach standardized guidelines and new methods on how to effectively communicate and instruct in the classroom.
It will provide quarterly updates on major knowledge gaps and advancements in subject areas.
Educators will be taught how to better incorporate modern technology into the teaching curriculum.
Teachers will be trained to be aware of different learning styles in children. Implementing a curriculum that combines visual, auditory, and tactile learning methods will be encouraged to give each unique child an equal opportunity to acquire knowledge.
This program can be run by international professionals who are leaders in the field of education.
Prioritizing well-rounded students for university admissions
Higher education should stop relying heavily on judging the merit of students by a standardized test score. Test scores do not accurately reflect a young person’s potential. It mainly highlights who is a good test taker, while excluding creative merit and independent thinking.
If institutions demand more well-rounded individuals, students will naturally engage in character building activities to boost their resume.
Chosen as an Honorable Mention at A Paper for Progress, an international essay contest organised by Edge, the Foundation in Bangladesh. Discover the complete work on Edgethefoundation.com