Primary Education in Bangladesh
It is agreed by all that the education system is the foundation of a national Human Resource planning and primary education is the base of further education. For skill and knowledge proper learning is very essential too. An education system facilitates the individuals in particular and the young stars as a whole, to gather knowledge & information and to assemble ability to analyze the information for a particular Use, which has impact on personal and social life.
Primary education is a base for a person, from where the person has started to build the educational citadel for his own that is also the important part of social knowledge. In fact the primary education shapes up the mental make up of a human being. If any one go through a wrong learning process in childhood and acquire incorrect information and knowledge; it become a very difficult to correct in future life. Moreover, in primary stage, if a child failed to obtain proper learning skill, this very child would be an unfortunate one through the life. Because the very child will not have any chance, in most cases, to repair the wrong knowing or the very kid will be emerged as incompetent for further education, though in terms of intelligence the kid was had the level to be a higher educated person. On the other hand, wrong learning could be a cause for making the kids a narrow out looked human being, which could be a social problem for a nation. That is why educationists, children development specialists and social scientists are agreed that to make the young stars patriot, skillful, competent, altruistic and human, primary education of a nation must be proper and befitting to the particular state or nation.
Basic Learning Skill (BLS) is also very much related to the primary education system. BLS is a term that dealt with the education related experts and policy makers that defined as a kid who passed grade five must have the skills to read and understand any vernacular newspaper and ability of the reproduction of information to some one; to read and understand the information printed on the packet of any medicine or goods; ability to buy essentials form glossary shop and ability to pay the shopkeeper properly; ability of counting money and goods up to three digit. Skills for reading letter and ability for writing letter as reply of the letter any one got earlier. Ability to solve the general mathematical problems, including plus, minas, multiplying or dividing the numerical blocks are also included in standard BLS. And of course these skills should be related to the required social skills.
In Bangladesh, if we look to the kids of 10 or 11 years old from marginal income group, they have sufficient level of social skills. Even these kids are involved in earning of their livelihoods. But these children are not enough skill to read or write anything properly although they have a record of passing Grade Five from any government or non-government primary school. The kids from the high income group or from a parents those are educated and self employed or professional, have minimal level of BLS. The kids form middle class have the skills for reading and writing, but lack of social skills. This scenario is frustrating, I should say, though this writing is not dealing with the kids who are dropouts or have no accessibility to the formal or semi-formal learning process or education system of the nation.
Very recently the government has taken an initiative to standardize the education system, particularly the primary education. In view of this initiative, government is to introducing a national level examination at the level of grade five, which is apparently a public examination; though the approved public examination is fixed for the end of grade ten. I am not intending to debate on the legal ground of introducing a new level of public examination, my concern is about the quality of the education. Quality Education come out from quality curriculum, quality teacher, quality education management system and of course from the good intention of the influential involve in the process. It could be told that the total education system of Bangladesh is not able to integrate all quality needs of education as a whole and equality needs for primary education in particular.
I must say, the intention of the government, particularly, the intention of education minister is noble that arranging a nationwide examination for grade five students. But it is also could be said that this examination is going to develop a new divide all over the country. This apprehension could be supported by an example. a vernacular daily published a piece on Essay Writing on their education page ( August 22, 2009 issue) titled GANER DESHE PRANER ULLASH(delighting life on the land of song). This showed the status of curriculum, which is a bit hard for the pupils of grade five. This essay could be written by a grade five student with understanding. Thus, it is a reflection of the lack of quality integration in the primary level education, which could jeopardize the noble intention of quality improvement. let be attentive to achieve the minimum level of Basic Learning Skill (BLS).