Friday, September 4, 2009

The new education policy

THE education committee on Wednesday submitted its report to the government with recommendations of extending primary education up to class VIII in place of the present class V. The committee also made some other suggestions like extension of secondary education up to class XII and dropping SSC exams after class X. It recommended modernisation of madrasah education. It is good that the government took the initiative to formulate a new education policy. The recommendation of uniform curricula for different schooling systems and emphasis on technical education, would help increase the quality of basic education. Private institutions may also be allowed to teach other subjects, which are not against the ideals of the country. Apprehensions, however, are there that formation of a permanent education commission as suggested might create conflict with the existing bodies. The recommendation of final primary exam at class VIII contradicts the recent cabinet decision of public exam after class V. For poverty and other reasons, dropout rate at the primary level is high. Extension of its duration might lead to a higher dropout rate. Bangladesh is committed to achieving the millennium development goal of universal primary education by 2015. But, in spite of some successes, it is unlikely to achieve the goal. Net enrolment at primary level is still around 80 percent. The dropout rate at primary level is reportedly about 24 percent. Primary students will have to pass class VI within 2015 to complete compulsory primary education. Lengthening of primary courses will make achievement of universal primary education uncertain, unless the government arranges special incentives to ensure 100 percent enrolment and their retention. Improvement of education is a continuous process. Care needs to be taken to make policies realistic not idealistic. Source : The New Nation

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