GAZI MAHABUBUL ALAM, PhD
According to experts, the goal of education is fourfold, i.e. the social purpose, intellectual purpose, economic purpose, and civic purpose. Contemporary education issues include which teaching methods are most effective, how to determine what knowledge should be taught, which knowledge is most relevant, and how well the learner will retain knowledge. The contemporary education system measures proficiency with tests and assignments and then assigns each student a corresponding grade.
The Constitution of Bangladesh safeguards children’s right to free, compulsory and uniform education. Education is structured along a multi-phased (primary to tertiary, vocational and professional education) and tripartite system of management (government, non-government and private and religious), which is also linguistically distinct. While the public system includes over 38,000 institutions, non-government and privately managed ones comprise more than 48,000 educational institutions across all levels of learning.
There has been progress in implementing the right to education. The overall progress in rural and tribal literacy has been low. Most of the studies conducted earlier under the umbrella of Education Watch always endeavoured to recognise the achievement of Bangladeshi education in terms of enrolment. Afterwards, some steps were put forwarded to understand the quality of the education provided to the community. It is significant to note that within our education system, elite schools are in operation. Most of the researchers also belong to elite group and their progenies are the consumers of elite schools.
Education Watch conducted an examination with the students studying in the schools to understand the quality of education provided. It is significant to note that each school conducts ‘annual examination’ known as final examination to understand the education quality by using competency based examination which is now saying capability based. Schools are using thee examinations namely first-term, mid-term and final examination. Especial arrangement is available for the completion of each phase of school system.
We often find that today’s graduates having more qualifications are not performing the job well compared to their old counterparts having less education graduated earlier. Conducting examination doesn’t always inform us the quality of education. Researchers of Education Watch may argue that they conducted the examination in a different way what schools do regularly. If the examination conducted by Education Watch research team is comparatively better one, we should consider this for the whole system. If students always need to stay with the existing examination system practiced by the school, we can not welcome the new examination system in any means for the justification of education quality. This examination is a kind of symbol of insult to our traditional system though I want to have a substantial change to our traditional system.
We also need future trend of demand. I would be more pleased if the Education Watch collated the data on it as this helps us to design a good policy linking education with job market patter. Education research often uses either one of these (1) economic (2) social capital (3) human capital or both theoretical underpinning in order to conduct the research. I conceal that this study ignores the issue of theoretical framework and conceptualization of research. Quantitative research can inform us about a lot things and issues which are very important for policy design and moderation. We cannot survive with the census thus quantitative data and its statistical analysis always should receive a high priority. Factually qualitative research provides more insights thought into the problems.
Author: Programme Officer, ILO office in Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Email: [email protected]