Towards an education system based on learning

| Updated:
04 November 2022 12:20:40

Let’s take a look at a typical day for a private school student. They get up around seven o’clock, freshen up, dress, eat their meals and rush to their schools. In front of schools, a common occurrence is guards waiting outside the school gate. These dedicated guardians often wait to feed their children quickly, sometimes on the road, for another of their favorite haunts: the training centers.
Coaching courses for academic subjects are an old phenomenon in Bangladesh. Especially, in our country, students from class five to applicants for university admission regularly attend coaching centers. Many may argue that coaching centers nurture a culture of destroying student creativity and enthusiasm. While getting extra academic help is always helpful for students, misusing it can do more harm than good.
Thanks to the failure of most of the schools in Dhaka, the coaching centers have become a massive business. The introduction of creative questions is one of the many reasons behind this. According to the Secondary Education Sector Development Project (SESDP) Impact Evaluation Survey Report released by the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) in 2018 under Under the aegis of the Ministry of Planning, 59.8% of students think they need private lessons to properly understand creative issues. . If such a program is introduced and leaves both students and teachers perplexed, it should be telling. The format of the creative questions may need some modification for the convenience of students.
Very few schools can effectively teach the subjects in question. Due to very limited time and a long list of topics that often have no correlation with each other, it becomes a daunting task even for the best teachers to explain the topic content in a effective and efficient. Thus, students resort to coaching centers where they are often exploited.
Since our education is so exam-driven, there is always a horse race between each student to get the 5 GPA, be first in class, etc. However, most parents forget that the main purpose of education is to learn rather than to be the first in exams. It is important to focus less on the result and more on the journey. The constant rush to be on top of the mountain forces many to stumble and fall. As a result, they cannot reach their full potential. Such harmful peer pressure must be contained.
Some figures from Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) will reveal something shocking. At least 293 children have died by suicide and another 22 have attempted in the past 11 months. The increase is significant from last year’s 213 deaths and 11 attempts. In 2017, the number of deaths was about half that of this year.
According to many specialists, one of the main reasons for these terrifying figures is the external pressure of parents on students due to exam problems. The tragic scene in “3 Idiots” where Joy “leaves” everyone behind isn’t as far-fetched as viewers thought. Many parents force their children to study hard in the hope of a glorious future. However, they forget the present. Most parents rarely think about their child’s mental health. They forget to take them to see country roads because their children’s exams are early. Many families can’t plan a single vacation for years due to an endless cycle of school exams.
The education system should be learning based instead of exam driven. Mere book knowledge can also be related to practical wisdom. Schools must recruit qualified teachers so that they can offer the best to the class only. Teachers’ salaries must be increased and government recognition must also be ensured. Nowadays, online education platforms are widely used. Like India has Byju’s, we also have many ed-tech platforms. Students can learn a lot while staying at home using online sources, and can benefit from it.

The writer is a student at Barishal Cadet College.
[email protected]