The government plans to modernise the primary education system by extending it up to class VIII and introducing a final examination at the end of this level.
The process of the modernisation of primary education will start after formulation of National Education Policy in line with the recommendations of the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission-1974, education ministry officials said.
The policy formulation will be completed within a couple of months.
Besides, a 15-member national textbook expert committee led by Dhaka University Teachers’ Association former general secretary Prof Akhtaruzzaman has already been formed to update syllabus, curriculum and contents of textbooks of primary level.
The committee will consult with teachers and experts and prepare recommendations within next one month, primary and mass education ministry sources said.
The primary and mass education ministry is now very much concerned about the quality of education at the primary level and also planning to update the system.
A recently published survey report of directorate of primary education (DPE) revealed that around 70 per cent of students who completed five-year primary education are unable to read, write or calculate properly.
“We are thinking about improving the quality of education in primary schools. Primary education may be extended up to class VIII as most of the five-year primary completed students usually forget much of what they had learnt within a few years,” said Motahar Hossain, state minister for primary and mass education.
He added that a final examination will be introduced after completion of eight-year primary study to evaluate students.
The final examination might be held under a primary education board, which will also provide successful pupils with certificates, the state minister said.
Most of the academicians say that primary education should be extended up to class VIII because five years of study is not enough for children to remember the skills of reading, writing and calculations.
Many recommendations have been made with a view to updating the existing primary education. Some are in favour of recruiting primary teachers through the public service commission (PSC).
Immediate past caretaker government had a plan to introduce BCS primary under the PSC but the present government has not yet taken any initiative in this regard.
“Most teachers at primary schools do not have adequate teaching skills. Teachers should be recruited through BCS examination for primary schools to ensure a certain standard of skills. Besides, the quality of textbooks will have to be updated,” said renowned academician Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury.
The national textbook expert committee, formed on March 9, will make recommendations on how to solve the textbooks crisis permanently and distribute quality textbooks to the students at the beginning of an academic year.
Meanwhile, the committee held three meetings and consulted with academicians, teachers and people of other professionals.
Prof Akhtaruzzaman said they have finalised an 11-point recommendation that includes strengthening the monitoring system, expert committee comprising progressive minded academicians for writing and changing syllabus and curriculum, and eliminating guidebooks or notebooks.
Source: The Daily Star, 06 April 2009