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21 April, 2021 06:26:41 PM
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Addressing the need of unified primary education

In most cases, this kindergarten culture of education disrupts our main goals of education and leads the learners to the confusing system as after education from English medium many learners are found to struggle when they try to cope with the main stream of education
Alaul Alam
Addressing the need of unified primary education

Receiving education is one of the basic rights of every human being but when education was first institutionalized in Greece, the right to receive education was confined only to the aristocratic people. Besides, only boys were given the privilege to receive education that time. However, with the passage of time education has been universal. But educational divide still pervades in many societies and countries across the globe.
Economic status is still an important variable that creates inequalities in regard to receiving education. The rich invest more for their children’s education, contrarily the poor have a little scope to ensure education for their children. Again in the materialistic world many consider education as commodity.
Certainly, economic factor is not solely responsible for this. In many cases there may be some other reasons that divide education. Once religious misinterpretation and many more conservative attitudes prevented girls from the mainstream of education but with the time the enrolment of girls in education is really noteworthy.
Undoubtedly, girls’ stipend has worked as panacea on this achievement. Again, primary education has seen a tremendous success over the almost cent percent enrollment of students, which was really a challenge years ago. But in case of receiving the unified goal primary education undergoes huge challenges which not only are creating inequalities but also disrupting unified outcome of education.
Primary education plays a crucial role to build up foundation of a nation. If the foundation is not concrete enough, the smooth flow of education in other stages is disrupted, which hardly addresses someone to be a complete resource for a nation. Our primary education broadly undergoes three streams i.e. government primary education, madrasah education and English medium education and in some cases English version under national curriculum.
Majority of students receive education from government assisted primary schools and a small elite section of society send their children to English medium schools whereas the people who are financially not affluent send their children to madrasah and many other NGO operated schools.
The madrasah system includes another two trends of education: Alia madrasah serves education under madrasah education board while Qawmi madrasash adopts an independent system of education. On top of that, there is a specialized cadet education which is unique in its system where students are taught English version education along with a separate curriculum.  
These days, to hold social status many affluent families are found to send their children to English medium schools. Apart from this, setting up English medium institutes has been a highly profited education business over the years. Consequently, the country sees the mushrooming of low quality commercial English-medium kindergartens serving business rather than ensuring quality education for students.
In most cases, this kindergarten culture of education disrupts our main goals of education and leads the learners to the confusing system as after education from English medium many learners are found to struggle when they try to cope with the main stream of education.
It is obvious that around 85 per cent students receive education from government primary schools. Though we have seen revolution in education, the challenges in providing quality education most often go unnoticed. Not only that, different studies have revealed that after completing primary education many students do not read and write properly. Students hardly have scopes to gain basic knowledge in English and math.
There may be many reasons in this regard. Firstly, teachers hardly have any scope to give students individual feedback over their performance. Secondly, teaching approaches matter that can differentiate outcomes. Again how can we say that English teaching methodology is appropriate enough to address the obstacles the learners face in the class to develop their English skills? We see many learners scared over English subject.  
Similarly, the existing madrasah education lacks science and technological knowledge. Again English education is mostly ignored in the madrasah education that makes the learners lag behind to compete with the general students. Teaching approaches, curriculum and the quality of teachers create a substantial gap among the three streams of education at primary level disrupting the uniformity in educational outcome.
But it is expected that primary education would be committed to ensuring access, presence, participation and achievement of all students.  How far it would be a model of inclusive education undergoing many trends? The moto of inclusive education not only talks about the learners of diverse communities in regular classroom but also about a uniform education system.
The national education policy 2010 aims at ensuring quality education for all children. It has emphasized to bring all socio-economically disadvantaged children into education including street children along with ensuring the rights of all children with disabilities. But many streams of primary education fail to address unified outcome.
Most countries take initiatives to run specialized and separate activities for the children with disabilities than integrating them within mainstream programmes and services that usually disrupts inclusive education and widens educational divide.
These days amid the coronavirus, education has gone online. The poor and the marginalized have hardly any scopes to enter the digital education. Studies show that more than 50 per cent students are deprived of digital learning due to many unavoidable reasons. The most vulnerable are the students from ethnic minorities and madrasah students.
However, unified education is the demand of the day that not only ensures unique education system but brings about unified goal which is crucial for our sustainable development in education as well as for the overall development. More importantly, to ensure quality and inclusive education it is imperative to introduce unified education in primary level.


The writer teaches at Prime University and a research scholar at the IBS .Email: [email protected]

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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