Education Policy

Our Children are Under House Arrest

Many children are busy with indoor games. Photo source: Dhaka Courier
Many children are busy with indoor games. Photo source: Dhaka Courier
Masum Billah
Written by Masum Billah

Modern civilization has given us a lot. It has taken a lot of things from us as well. Children after coming to this planet used to enjoy free movement of natural beauties, phenomena and pleasure. But now they don’t have the opportunity and access to these natural phenomena particularly the city and town children. They are born and brought up in the flat without having the touch of earth, green beauty and trees. When they go to school they are supposed to play, run and walk in the open field. But the education begins in a congested rented house and it continues up to university in the same kind of building. At the beginning of their life, their mental growth and faculties get stammered to go ahead. Its adverse effect falls on their body, mind, family and social behaviour. The fast-growing advancement in terms of modern and industrial civilisation cannot be checked and stopped easily. Nor it can be hindered and addressed quickly and easily. But for the better existence and welfare of our posterity, we must not continue this situation unhindered. The civil society, conscious section and educated people must give serious thought to this matter.

It can easily be seen with visual eyes and feel with the organs of perception that children need to play and run enthusiastically and freely in the open space for their mental and physical growth. Instead of doing that if they remain in a closed-door even after a fourth or third period they get mentally depressed and physical growth and movement get seriously handicapped. If a psychologist can set a barometer to measure the mental change of our children he/she can easily see the worsening situation of our future generation. Though the matter is so serious nobody seems to be bothered about it. Private entrepreneurs continue establishing schools and colleges and even universities in a rented house enclosed either by industries, garments or living houses or even by shopping malls. To impart real education real environment is absolutely necessary. And the presently run schools and colleges see educational facilities absolutely absent.

So what should be done in this regard? The Ministry of education will stop establishing this kind of educational institution newly? If it is done the existing educational institutions cannot afford to contain all the students. Many students will be deprived of education. so it cannot be done. The country will also have to spend a lot of foreign exchange as many students will go abroad to receive this sort of education. In every town and city, there must be a census of the number of school-going children. The number of seats in the existing schools and colleges to be counted. The rate of population growth and the number of students to be counted. Then according to the ratio of the student’s area wise and the number of seats in the existing institutions must be raised to give educational facilities to the increasing number of students.

After raising the number of seats up to a feasible state then the thought to establish new schools to be given importance. At random and based on commercial and personal will no school should be allowed to be established. Then new schools and kindergartens for children to be allowed to establish absolutely in an ideal situation where all kinds of arrangements of imparting real education exist. Suppose, the sub-urban areas like Gazipur, Tongi, Ashulia in these places big schools can be allowed to establish either on a private and government partnership basis or fully private. School field, library, gymnasium, sound pollution-free and the sound natural environment must be ensured. Within five year plan, this sort of plan can be implemented. The rising housing societies and other private enterprises seem to be busy with making houses in pollution free environment like Ashulia, New Uttara, Rim Jhim etc. This kind of endeavours must come into being in respect of establishing kindergarten and schools up to the intermediate level at least.

And the government should be seriously concerned with increasing the number of seats in govt. Laboratory school, Residential Model, Rajuk, Shaheen and this kind of schools and colleges to extend more facilities to the increasing number of students. The NGOs working in the field of education may come forward to extend this kind of facilities to the town and city dwellers. Out of many NGOs working in Bangladesh, only a handful of them works with education, particularly with elementary and secondary education. better students cling tighter to town and city schools for better education as qualified teachers show their poor presence in rural Bangladesh. This situation has encouraged to establishment of schools and colleges commercially in rented houses with the absence of real and ideal teaching-learning situation. And now the thinking of establishing schools and colleges in open space with fields and educational materials have gone into past history.

The NGOs dedicated to improving the standard of education of the country may build a good number of educational institutions offering a good environment. They may do so in cooperation with the community and even with the government but the management should be under the disposal of NGOs for better and smooth functioning of the institutions. This ideal institution will again prove the present notion of housing schools and colleges in a congested house wrong. Another phenomenon is directly affecting the students. The young students remain in the schools and colleges up to three or four pm. They without having or having dry but unhealthy food they enter into the private coaching centres established in the teacher’s houses. The very fertile time they spend following this unhealthy routine. I talked to many students waiting to go to the teacher’s house as other batches are going on. All the students confessed their stomach problem or gastric complexities due to not having their lunch on time.

Guardians, teachers, students and above all the whole society seem to run after mirage to have a healthy certificate means A+ or A or A- etc. Nowhere creativity and to test the originality of the students is encouraged. The teacher community should come forward first to bring this kind of change into the educational arena. But the teachers of important subjects take teaching just a good way of earning money. If this trend continues what will happen to the poor students? They don’t have an education? imparting teaching instead of money can be considered by other professionals but teachers should never do it. Those who do so are morally and legally not doing the right thing. To develop the society and bring a prosperity to the country the contribution of teachers must register several times greater than any other professions. Private coaching done by teachers of the students of the same school must be stopped at any rate. It is not teaching, just illegal business. The most conscious and guardian class of society should never do it.

About the author

Masum Billah

Masum Billah

Masum Billah works as a Program Manager in BRAC Education Program, BRAC, and Vice-President of Bangladesh English Language Teachers’ Association (BELTA), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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