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Dhaka Tribune

Our education cannot continue to languish

Bangladesh must focus on quality, equity, and resilience in its primary education system

Update : 23 Aug 2023, 03:09 PM
It is simply disheartening to see results of the National Student Assessment 2022 by the Directorate of Primary Education and Unicef, which tells us that 60% of the third graders and 70% of the fifth graders lack the proficiency in math appropriate for their grades while 51% of the third graders and 50% of the fifth graders lack grade-level competence in Bangla. 
 
To say this is a grim outlook would be an understatement and we wholeheartedly agree with Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, founding director of the Institute of Educational Development at BRAC University when he says that the quality of education in the country is in a dismal state. 
 
Bangladesh's struggles with its education sector have been well documented. Beyond a retrograde culture of rote learning and the chase for grades rather than learning, we have continued to fail in creating a favourable school environment for children to just learn. The pandemic also exposed the divide that exists in society, revealing even more so the need for innovative approaches to ensure learning.
 
Bangladesh must focus on quality, equity, and resilience in its primary education system. Investment in teacher training, infrastructure, and digital education tools are just the first steps required to start turning around our education and for sustaining growth.
 
We do commend the authorities concerned for realizing that change has been a long time coming, and the changes proposed recently to the school curricula are at least a step in the right direction as far as acknowledging that the old ways were simply not good enough. 
 
Moving forward, we hope that we continue to prioritize quality education. Very few components if any are more vital to ensure that Bangladesh succeeds in becoming a developed nation.
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