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POST TIME: 26 September, 2021 12:36:14 PM
Education cadre officials earn bad name in a foreign university
College teachers need at least some fundamental or basic training before entering the classroom for conducting classes. Without training they cannot be expected to deal with young students, difficult students, learn their psychology, pedagogy and andragogy.
Masum Billah

Education cadre officials earn bad name in a foreign university

One educationist once produced an article in a Bengali daily focusing on the scope of professional development of college teachers in  Bangladesh where he wrote ‘the college teachers of Bangladesh are lagging much behind, they are the most vulnerable teachers compared to the primary and secondary level teachers in terms of enjoying the professional development opportunities.’ He explained that the primary teachers need to receive PTI training either before becoming primary school teacher or they have to do it as in-service training. The secondary level teachers have B.Ed. training either before the service or during the service. Moreover, primary and secondary teachers have ample opportunities to receive training from different government and NGO run projects. College teachers have been deprived of these opportunities.
Even though hundred percent primary teachers cannot internalize and apply the techniques and skills they gain from a training, they somehow become familiar with the techniques of dealing with children and how to teach them. Secondary level teachers have to receive training from Teachers’ Training Colleges either before starting the job or receive in-service training. Here also not all the trainee teachers can dedicate themselves to teaching, however, they become somehow familiar with some pedagogical knowledge that does not happen to the teachers of college.  Moreover, both primary and secondary level teachers have seen ample opportunities to receive subject-based and pedagogical training under different projects that has definitely increased their skills but the college teachers lag behind in this race as well. College teachers have little opportunity for receiving training in teachers training colleges established for them in a limited scale. This training is not compulsory for them, nor is it widespread. In this perspective, from July 2016 to June 2021 a training opportunity has been created for college teachers under ‘College Education Development Project’ and the expenditure of the project is 130 billion US dollar. World Bank provides 100 dollar and the rest by GOB and its implementing partners are Ministry of Education and UGC. Other associated organizations are DSHE, BOU, NAEM, University of Nottingham—Malaysia Campus. That must be an excellent opportunity for college teachers who really want to develop them professionally.
To bring about changes in planning, management, implementation and monitoring the institutional activities and strengthening the next step are the objectives of this project. And making college education time befitting, developing the soft skills of the pupils and making them connected with industries go as other features of this project. We know   National University looks after more than 2200 colleges. To develop the teaching-learning situation and the development of academic areas by providing training to 16500 teachers, managers and future leaders from 122 colleges have been targeted. To fill up the 2700 vacant positions of the college is also another positive area of the project. Under this project BCS Education Cadre teachers working in general colleges went to Nottingham University, Malaysia Campus to complete their masters. Some of them looked each other’s assignment which is considered as one kind of ‘theft’. While some of them did not submit their assignment in education’ and were expelled from the course. Five of such teachers have been given punishment by the Ministry of Education. Their annual increment has been held up. Some trainee teachers were supposed to develop fundamental assignment of their own that they failed to do so. Some resorted to cheating that seriously earns bad name for the entire teaching community of Bangladesh.
University teachers, though not all, take part in different education seminars, symposiums both at home and abroad that talks about their professional development. They also produce research based write-ups in the journals and some of them conduct real research. All these go as part of their academic development. A portion of them of course get involved in politics. Some master the arts of professional development by themselves. These trends hardly go with college teachers with some possible exceptions. Their promotion takes place either on the basis of the length of service or political decision or against vacant positions. Another group of college teachers remain busy with greasing and lobbying the authorities to grasp a lucrative position that does not need any study or research that calls for just satisfying the higher authorities and suppressing the subordinates and it opens the means of corruption and misusing power. And once they occupy these positions, they cling to those till the end of their service. They have hardly any link with education or development of the staff. They follow the line of politics and discover the way of satisfying the authorities to strengthen their positions.
College teachers need at least some fundamental or basic training before entering the classroom for conducting classes. Without training they cannot be expected to deal with young students, difficult students, learn their psychology, pedagogy and andragogy. When this is so, it does have little impact on the learners. I can remember we had to receive long training just after joining a cadet college on why and how cadets take their meals together in a military style in the dining hall, pray in the mosque, attend parade and PT and do different drillings in the open field, why cadets’ letters coming from home are not given them directly without getting them checked, why yearly calendar is developed and how it is followed, why regular cultural and military events take place and how to manage them. Education cadre officers’ basic training has witnessed a big jam and so several thousand teachers don’t have any basic training that means they are conducting classes without little professional knowledge and skills.  
In these circumstances, opening scope of professional development for college teachers outside the country must be a very laudable step. Those who get selected to participate in the training must be lucky enough and so they need to utilize it very effectively. However, some cadre officials have earned bad name while attending this course that need to be dealt with seriously. Some officials did plagiarism which is tantamount to cheating in the examination. Some teachers failed because of not submitting the assignment. The ministry considers these as their inability to do the task. So, they were called for explanation but they failed to give satisfactory answers. Then the ministry formed an enquiry committee which found them guilty. The ministry has finally given them punishment that sets a good example. We want to see the teachers in a higher position in the society than any other professionals and no one has the right to lower the honour of the teachers. The entire teaching community cannot afford to take the responsibility of misdeeds of few teachers.

The writer works as an education expert in BRAC Education Program. He also taught in Cantonment College, Cadet Colleges, Rajuk College and BOU. Email: [email protected]