We are receiving one after another distressing signals from the education sector. Education at the primary, secondary and tertiary level is plagued by ugly display of partisan politics, corruption, teachers’ truancy etc. Add to this, the lack of competent teachers and lab facilities, and lax monitoring system has worsened the situation.
Some positive achievements are no doubt there, like increased enrolment at primary level, increase in the number of schools and bridging of the gender gap in enrolment. Also a move is taken to provide midday meal in rural primary schools intended to cut the rate of dropout. Question leak in public examinations has been controlled almost dramatically.But then, there is no good news as to the quality of education. The lead story in yesterday’s Daily Sun citing a research publication says, the quality of secondary education has declined alarmingly due to lack of proper teachers training. The research shows the grim picture of secondary school education, mentioning that some 55 per cent teachers of English and mathematics do not have any training to teach students on two such major subjects.
Although the pay and status of teachers has been raised in recent times, it cannot be said that teaching is one of the sought-after professions in Bangladesh. While most brilliant students go for engineering, medical science or administrative jobs, mediocre students are taking up the role of teaching primary and secondary students. For this reason, the subject-based training of secondary teachers is very important in the context of our country.
However, teachers alone cannot be blamed for the sagging quality. The intrusive role of coaching centres is one of the many other causes responsible for the falling standard of teaching. Because of the financial lure of these flourishing coaching centres, many teachers are showing great indifference and negligence towards classroom teaching.
Although the government officially banned private tuition by teachers, the coaching business is still rampant. It is not clear what keeps the government from stopping private tuition of school teachers.