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Error Correction and Present Trend of Our Education System

PALASH RANJAN SANYAL


Let’s talk about something in which we all spend at least one fourth of our life. Some do spend their half or entire life. I am talking about Institutional education.

So, what do I mean by institutional education? Wikipedia describes, “An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities.” To me, any time being in an institute spend in learning to end up with a recognition of the system is institutional education.

If closes look at the trend of traditional education provided by the Institutions, one can see it has evolved in the following order:

Wealth based → Merit Based → Performance based →Number based.

Let me explain that a bit. At the beginning of the 20th Century, students were mostly represented by the wealthy class. From there, the shift went on to merit base-depending on merit people were given priority and opportunity. The number of students at that time was low-one of the reason merit based educational system was in place. Then came performance based. This can be considered as the best time of our system. As the people from the merit based system became mentors in the performance based system. How much you can perform on the exams would be reflected on your results as numbers. Quality was more or less proportional to numbers attained. For the last 2 decades or so the focus has entirely shifted on numbers and grades.

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Teaching Language without Textbook

MASUM BILLAH


Language teaching needs five important components such as students, teachers, materials, teaching methods and evaluation. Using materials mostly indicating textbooks gets third importance in language teaching. Can we teach English without a textbook? One thing has made me surprised to see the students of Sierra Leone do not have textbook with them. This is not because of their culture but because of poverty. Students cannot afford to buy textbooks. As teachers say, only five percent students may have text. But the students of junior secondary (grade seven to nine) speak English fluently. They do not have ample opportunity to speak English even in their families. How is it possible? I have been searching for answers for the last severe weeks and have tried to know the theories of language experts. Allwright (1990) argues that students should have materials that means textbooks for ideas and activities for instruction. From Allwright's point of view, textbooks are too inflexible to be used directly as instructional material. O'Neill (1990), in contrast, argues that materials may be suitable for students' needs, even if they are not designed specifically for them, that textbooks make it possible for students to review and prepare their lessons that textbooks are efficient in terms of time and money, and that textbooks can and should allow for adaptation and improvisation. Allwright emphasizes that materials control learning and teaching.

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Observance of National Primary Education Week 2014 and Some Relevant Issues

MASUM BILLAH


National Primary Education Week 2014 was observed in the country which started from March 09 and it was inaugurated by Prime Minister at Osmani Memorial Auditorium. She made several important announcements in her inaugural speech. One was the upgrading of the status of government primary head teachers from grade III to grade II which calls for appreciation from all concerned. Another announcement also proves extremely positive and government’s sincere effort to spread education. It is government’s target to extend ‘free primary education up to class eight and making it mandatory for all children.’ We do appreciate this effort of the government also. Her government is putting highest priority on ensuring quality education and does all necessary for things for the students.  Continuing the stipend program for female education is another pledge of the government and it has approved a project for implementing the non-formal education program for elderly people to achieve the target of cent percent literacy. Our country usually experiences the on-going effort of the one government is discarded by the following one. But the prime minister has retained the ‘stipend’ program for the interest of education only. Primary education is the foundation and main ladder of education which needs to be given serious importance. I want to add another point for the kind perusal of the Prime Minister. We know that bright students are usually not coming to teaching profession in general and in primary teaching in particular. Can we make an arrangement which will ensure a brighter career path for the talented students even though they join in primary schools as teachers? If they join as normal teacher in a primary school, they will have the scope to go to secondary, higher secondary and college level teaching. As primary is the basic level of education, the foundation must be built on a strong footing and in order to do that quality teaching is a must for them. Students who pass the primary school completion test are supposed to acquire 50 competencies but unfortunately our students are gaining only 19 competencies which are grave concerns. A recent World Bank report reveals that most children who have studied up to class five are unable to read or write. Only 25 percent of the total students enrolled acquired desired skill in Bangla and 33 percent in Arithmetic. English remains almost an unknown subject to them whereas this is the stage when they can be given good idea of English without putting any mental pressure on them.

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The Future of Language Education in Bangladesh

MASUM BLLAH


Things have truly surfaced that students are still unable to use English in their practical life even though they attain good grades in the public examinations in our country. So, assessment system should be changed to learn whether students are acquiring English. The outcome of the significant preparation for this assessment is the increased memorization solely of the required English materials that will be tested. Students have become proficient at remembering key test vocabulary, grammar and idioms; however, this technique is not effective in gaining balanced English skills combining listening, speaking, and reading and writing competencies. Again, Professor Stephen Stoynoff has said that formal examination is artificial, one-off and snapshot. It does not always reflect the originally of learners in all the situations though the whole assessment system fully relies on summative assessment system globally.

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The Significance of Celebrating Education Freedom Day

MASUM BILLAH


Using software in education is a modern phenomenon. It has emerged as a fruitful and timely means to receive and give education. As an upshot of it, Education Freedom Day is celebrated worldwide based on Free Software used in Education and Free Educational Resources. It was launched in 2013 with its first celebration in 2014. It aims at educating the worldwide public and educators about the benefits of making and sharing free knowledge and the tools already in place to achieve that objective. It also provides an international day to serve as a platform to raise awareness to existing projects and communities around the world. The non-profit organization Digital Freedom Foundation coordinates Education Freedom Day at a global level, providing support, giveaways and a point of collaboration. Volunteer teams around the world organize the local Education Freedom Days events to affect their own communities. It brings free educational resources in the spotlight to influence the teaching body and demonstrate methodologies already in place or ready to be implemented. It is the opportunity to highlight initiatives in place nearby or deployed within a similar framework, so our local educational group can quickly get up to speed and consider using a similar approach. As a member of global community Bangladesh observed the day on 18 January this year with the hope that a lot of  current efforts will get more popular within the teaching arena and that creating Free Educational Resources in general  become clearer for teachers. It also tends to empower all people to freely connect, create and share in a digital world. It is hoped that this celebration will provide a great introduction to the general public what Open Educational Resources is, its benefits and how vibrant the local community is.

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