Though the principal objective of education is to develop value driven individual, the current system of our education is result-oriented which leads the guardians to send their children to coaching centers and private tutors as they think that only institutional schooling cannot bring good grades for their children. So, the students remain perpetually busy running after private coaching and coaching centers. UNESCO conducted a research on the style of examination in the education system and its influence on the learners in nine countries of the Asia Pacific Region. The researchers talked to five thousand students of various level and revealed the fact that a large portion of students need help from private tutors or coaching centers and this rate is highest in Bangladesh among the countries of Asia Pacific Region.
Under the title “The culture of Testing: Sociocultural Impacts of Learning in Asia and the Pacific” the UNESCO report shows that 92 per cent students in Bangladesh receive private tuition, which is 50 per cent in India and the lowest in Fiji that is five per cent. It is 70 per cent in Kazakhstan and Vietnam, 68 per cent in the Republic of Korea and 35per cent in the Philippines. The UNESCO report says that the coaching business is multiplying fast in Bangladesh on the basis of private tuition and the tendency is almost equal both in rural and urban areas. Its main reason is the guardian’s expectation to get better grades for the students. Quite a good number of students belonging to both government and non-government institutions receive private tuition beyond their classroom teaching. It is also arranged inside the schools as well after the usual classwork. Before the examination guardians send their wards to coaching for better results. Another survey was conducted where 62 per cent learners participated in and among them 45 per cent opined that their number of examination is greater. In many countries this formal and summative assessment is decreasing but the opposite thing is happening in Bangladesh.Around 45 per cent students of our country spend more than seven hours a week in the classroom to take preparation for the examination and this is the highest amount of time spent among Asia Pacific Region. 48 per cent students spend more than seven hours a week outside the classroom for examination purpose. 82 per cent guardians of Bangladesh observe the good results of their children by entertaining sweetmeats, and delicious dishes and inviting near and dear ones and neighbours at home. And coaching centers take the credit of these good results. Responding to results such a way does not sound healthy as opined by educationist Serjaul Islam Chowdhury. It means extra pressure on the students for making further better results and showing anger or dissatisfaction towards the low performers makes students frustrated. Some students cannot digest this reprimand or criticism that sometimes even leads them to commit suicide. The educationist suggests whether children are really learning things or not should be taken into consideration without putting emphasis on the results.
But it seems our education authorities are helpless. An ex-Education Minister said, “Higher court has declared coaching and note and guide books illegal. But we don’t have power to implement that law. The matter is related to law enforcement agencies and several other ministers. Coaching is not legal, but still it is prevalent.”
Teachers of different categories and the classroom setting of our institutions do not necessarily satisfy the real needs of the students of mixed category that compels students to receive private tuition. We should not allow this situation to continue and create discrimination between the students receiving tuition at the cost of huge money to buy results and those who cannot do it and are lagging behind.
Still, another point needs to be taken into account and that is will teachers tech only in classroom and students will learn everything in classroom? It sounds very good, but to speak the truth, we could not establish such an ideal situation.
Class twelve goes with secondary level in many countries but it is in the higher secondary level in our country and students have to sit for four public examinations to cross this bar. If the examinations had been genuine and they could really assess the mental and intellectual growth of the learners, criticism and counter arguments would not have arisen. The results of the public examinations tell other stories in most of the cases. This is a set game and if the students can sense the technique of these games, they can manage very good grades without going through the textbook and learning the basic idea of the things they read. These good grades manage them good jobs also because of the faulty chain system but real learning stands far apart. These good graders may hold good positions but the real service to the state and people remains absent.
Mainul Ahsan Nobel is participating in the Music Show in India who claims that he has little attention to institutional education and his parents are pressing and chiding him for that. Here the real thing is he developed knack towards music and he is outshining all other performances. He should be given opportunity to bloom this talent as education psychology says. We must understand this fact that we don’t feel in most of the cases. Only academic performance does not tell the whole story of education. Barely two years back in the World Economic Forum and USA based institution named MARSUR released another fact that in the work place and reduction system there lies a gap that impels Bangladesh to go behind. In Bangladesh 82 per cent people aged between 25 and 54 engaged in work show 6.3 per cent higher ability, 53 per cent show lower work ability and 40.7 per cent incapable. To develop workable population that calls for other abilities as well beyond academic performance. Why? Our students are kept busy with dealing with textbooks only and to prepare them only for examination. They are neither encouraged nor given time or any incentive to read the books outside their text that is absolutely necessary for blooming their latent talents as well as utilizing their full potential. Sooner we perceive it, the better.
The writer is an education specialist in BRAC Education Programme and formerly taught in Cadet Colleges and Rjauk College