As a result of the government’s inability to provide proper training for teachers, the new secondary school curricula seem to not be very successful.
Around 7.5m secondary-level students risk producing less than satisfactory performance in their examinations all because their teachers have not been trained adequately.
Many teachers say teaching the many new subjects introduced into the curricula is a challenge because they are not familiar with these subjects. Teachers in rural areas of the country face these problems the most.
The 2013 curriculum introduced by the government had several new subjects, with no emphasis on the training of teachers.
Under the present training plan, provision has not been made for all the teachers to be trained. Only individual subject teachers from schools will receive training.
Mentors, on the other hand, will be trained by certain master trainers and not by experts.
The master trainers will take part in a six-day training course and schoolteachers three days only.
The government intends to train 5200 master trainers who will train teachers at the district levels. District level training is yet to begin in many districts.
According to officials, the training for master trainers has not yet been completed although schools are already into the fourth month of the academic year. Only 1800 master trainers have received training so far.
Experts involved in the formulation of the new curricula say a three-day training programme is not adequate and poor training would have a far-reaching impact on the country.
“You may sow good seeds but if you do not nourish them, you won’t get a good harvest. Likewise, without adequate training to teachers, it will be difficult to obtain good results from the new curricula,” said Siddiqur Rahman, an educationist who was consultant in the formulation of new curriculum.
Siddiqur, also a member on the committee that formulated Education Policy 2010, said the lack of proper training to the teachers might lead to long-term issues that would ultimately affect the students.
“Teachers are the key players in the implementation of new curricula. If they are not properly trained, the whole process will be a complete fiasco.”
Salim Bhuiyan, principal of AK High School and College said teachers were facing serious problems because they had not been trained adequately for the new curriculum.
Salim, also a teacher leader, said he had gathered from teachers across the country that students might show poor performance, as their mentors themselves do not understand many of the new subjects.
A teacher at Khulna Zila School in a phone interview with the Dhaka Tribune said many schoolteachers in the rural areas were not familiar with many topics included in the new curricula.
The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) is conducting training for teachers.
The acting chair of NCTB, Nasim Uddin said: “It is not possible to train all the teachers at a time. We have started the training process which will be completed by June this year.”
The new curriculum was effective from January 2013 and students from class I to class IX got the new textbooks for this academic year.
Besides Bengali, English and Mathematics, students are studying Bangladesh and World Introduction (from class VI to X), Work and Life-related Education (from class VI to VIII), and Information and Communications Technology (from class VI to XII).
New topics like Reproductive Health, Climate Change, HIV/AIDS, Autism and Right to Information were included in the new curriculum.