DhakaTribune
Tuesday April 24, 2018 12:45 PM

Education in crisis

  • Published at 06:26 PM December 28, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:12 PM December 29, 2017
Education in crisis
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Fixing our broken education system and the myriad problems currently crippling it, is therefore the first and most important step we can take as a nation to fix all our other problems

This year has highlighted how imperative it has become for our education system to be rebuilt.

It is not that our education sector is without its success stories: From the ashes of 1971, when our illiteracy rate stood at a miserable 80%, we have improved greatly to reach the position we are in now.

But, when it comes to quality, we have lagged behind immensely.

Our combined national budget for education stands somewhere around Tk30,000 crore. And this is nowhere near the amount required for all the work that the system needs.

The last year has brought into focus how desperate the current situation is: Question paper leaks are rampant, corruption is widespread, and students are overly dependent on coaching centres for grades.

And, as it stands, those who somehow manage to survive the brunt of the education system, come out with little to no useful skills that they can apply in their adult lives, thanks to the poor quality of teaching and assessment.

The system also lacks long-term planning. With our ICT sector contributing billions of dollars as an export industry, why are there not more opportunities in primary education for students to learn technological skills? Why is there no availability of vocational education, which could provide training in learning essential skills in employment?

The government must understand that education is the bedrock of development and the base on which a nation stands; especially one like Bangladesh, which has dreams of achieving middle-income status.

Fixing our broken education system and the myriad problems currently crippling it, is therefore the first and most important step we can take as a nation to fix all our other problems.

And it needs to be done as soon as possible.

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