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Educational Crisis: Challenges and Way Forward

Educational crisis should be addressed properly. Photo credit: UNHCR

Educational crisis should be addressed properly. Photo credit: UNHCR

The Drawback and Need

Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC) and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) conducted a survey on education in villages and slums in the cities in the country and the survey result has been published very recently. The survey result shows that 78,60,000 pupils in primary and secondary education are at risk because of the learning gap derived from the detrimental pandemic. The result on educational crisis is significant that validate the so much talking on anticipated learning gap and the relevant risk factors like drop out.

As per UNICEF and UNESCO published report, 370,00,000 students had been suffered from less learning acquisition due to the closing of schools for the covid-19 pandemic. As per the report, if Asia wants to fulfil the education target of the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDG) 2030 of the UN, it has to increase the education budget by an average of 10%.

This is notable and obviously noticeable that the allocation for education is lowest in Bangladesh among the South Asian countries. The research was done by the Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) with the assistance of UNICEF reports; two-third of the students from pre-primary to higher secondary could not attain the online learning process. A survey steered by UNESCO, UNICEF and World Bank on National Education Responses to Covid-19 School Closures where 149 countries participated. The survey revealed out that “low-income countries and education systems that were already lower-performing prior to the pandemic are at greatest risk for experiencing the most significant learning losses.”

Now, what should we do? Many scholars, educators, teachers, and other pertinent professionals have already suggested many processes and modalities, but still, most of these are not in action.

Where We Are

To assess the present status, we have to conduct a national level assessment process and that can provide us with information about the situation where we are. This information is very much imperative because it can help us shape the strategy to go forward.

Nevertheless, we do not see any action on this although the schools are open for about two months. Still, there are some challenges with vaccination and health issues, but this assessment phenomenon should be a reality within this year; so that we can start the strategy to fill the learning gap from the beginning of the new year. Otherwise, the learning gap will widen, which can impact the negative compulsions like dropout, rate of completion, etc.

Select Zones and Categorize the Pupil

On the basis of the national assessment, critical analysis is needed to structure the strategy of expediting the learning process. After having this, we can figure out the learning needs and the challenges pertinent to them. A very practical and visionary strategy would be beneficial to overcome the devastating situation in the learning progression.

We should select zones that lag behind and categorize the students as per their level of achievement. Geographically, some zones may be prerequisite more support as they lag behind and do categorization of schools as well within the zones. Again, students of a particular class should be categorized as per their level of achievement and learning modality should be fitted with the level of students to overcome the challenges pertinent to their learning gap and allow them to go forward with their full potential.

Extra Support for Slow Achiever

In a particular class, there may have the fast learner, slow achiever and moderate ones. Would it be possible to accelerate the learner progression for all sorts of students with a generic teaching-learning modality? It is logically ridiculous. There should have suitable modalities fitted with their specific learning needs, otherwise, the process will not work as well. The slow achievers may have some reasons to be slow and without having any measures for addressing the needs to eradicate the reasons, they cannot perceive and achieve accordingly.

At the same time, the slow achievers demand supplementary effort to expedite and enhance their learning procedure, obviously, it would not be the same as for the fast or moderate level of learners. So, extra support would be needed for the slow learners and this support might be extended even after school hours.

Increased Allocation to Meet the Demand for Educational Crisis

This is not so essential to clarify and it is well accepted that extra support demands extra resources. Without having the resources, nothing will happen as per expectation or strategy. Generally, the education budget is lowest in Bangladesh among the countries in South Asia. Now it is an emergency period due to a pandemic that demands extra support, meaning extra allocation. If we try to meet the demand created by the emergency situation, the education budget should be increased.

Creating More Opportunities for Students in Classroom Doings

The terminology ‘child centred’ is theoretically a popular theme among the learning processes. However, how the class would be child-centred? Practically do the learners are in the centre of all doings in the classroom situation? Actually, the learners are not in the centre of all happenings in the classroom.

In maximum schools, the teachers dominate all the settings and processes of a particular classroom and the learners follow and do as per the teacher’s instruction. The learners do have not much time to think independently or in a group to attack the problem and do things to learn. Hence, we have to allocate more time and create more opportunities and flexibility for the learners so that learners will learn by doing and thus, the classroom will be child-centred.

Educational Crisis: Wrap Up

Recovery from the educational crisis is imperative and should be universal, but it is especially essential for us, as lower-income countries faced the most losses as per the study conducted by UNESCO, UNICEF and World Bank. Here, time is crucial and how rapidly we respond to the devastating issue is decisive; then, the education recovery will be more productive and effective.

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