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15.05.2009 Feature Article

Quest for Quality Education

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Mohoshin Abbas
After swearing-in of the present Awami League (AL) government, Bangladesh is in a juncture of a quest for a quality education. Cabinet members, including education minister, have mentioned the need of education reforms.

It is a hard truth for a prosperous nation that it needs an economic planning to be able to accumulates wealth and ability in creating employment; an administrative and social system that ensure the rule of law; a political institutions, and most essentially an education policy that creates skillful citizen with patriotism, knowledge and kindness.

Education reform and developing of education policy is the part of total national manpower planning as well that includes the employment need, population planning, and vision of wealth accumulation in near and far future.

In view of introducing a secular, scientific and people oriented education, reforms in education sector was the election commitment of the AL-led grand alliance. After assuming state power, the education ministry, under the leadership of Nurul Islam Nahid, had also taken an initiative to reform the sector.

It should be told that prevailing education situation is a bizarre in character and nature. This type of character is closely related to the pattern of education and curriculum as well. And again it should be mentioned that for a quality education that has the ability to fulfill the national and global demand essentially related to the education management system and curriculum. In Bangladesh, the problems are stepping together through the management and the curriculum.

For quality education, primarily government and policymakers should fix up the philosophy to make sure whether education is a purchasable commodity, a free commodity providing to the people by state or it is one of the fundamental citizen rights. The philosophical clarity will give the government a management outlook to develop a proper education system.

It is also told that if education is a commodity the management of the sector will be in a mood of corporate culture, and if it is not a commodity rather one of the fundamental rights management would be in a mood of social sector development, which could be make sure by the public-private partnership under the supervision of the state and society. Another issue also needs to be mentioned that as per the Constitution of Bangladesh, Education is one of the fundamental rights of the citizens of the republic thus state and government have no scope to fulfill the need of education of the people of the land.

Presently, Bangladesh has many types of education management system. Public universities are enjoying autonomy but these are not running under a uniform system. Government University Colleges are also providing higher education but they do not have any autonomy, rather these institutes are running under bureaucracy. Non-government colleges are also providing higher education, which is managed by the administration passively under a local socio-political influence. Similar scenario is also prevailing in primary and secondary level of education. On the other hand, there is another type of educational institutes from primary to university level, are totally private owned. These are being managed through a corporate manner. Government should take in to account the pattern of education institutions for the development of a better education management system.

As pattern is concerned, Bangladesh has total non-government, total government, government supported but locally managed, madrasa, cadet, government residential, cantonment public and many unregistered and unnoticed madrasas as educational institutions. For a better management of education streamlining of these verities of education providers is essential.

In terms of curriculum, Bangladesh has many medium of teachings include Bangla, English, and Arabic mainly. As contain is concern, there are differences among the curriculum of education boards, madrasa board, Ox-Bridges, London University, US high school diploma, Edexel and many more, which is creating anarchy in the country's education system and in most cases these education systems are creating people without having mental relations with the nation and state. For an education system related to the national human resource development approach, a single education system in terms curricula must be developed, which could be able to develop a generation of similar thought that contributes in nation building process.

Now, the question is the quality assurance. Here must be told that quality is essential to encounter the global competition as Bangladesh is also living in an inter-related and inter-dependent world order. If a single management system compatible to global standard could be developed and a single curriculum could be introduced, which lead a person to be wise, skill, humane and responsible, quality will be established in the education.

Again, philosophy of education is the most important thing that should be confirmed. In Bangladesh, as per the Constitution, education is one of the fundamental rights of citizens. State is responsible to ensure the rights. Please come up with an education system and policy that be able to fulfill the demand of global needs.

Mohoshin Abbas
Mohoshin Abbas, © 2009

The author has 26 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: MohoshinAbbas

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