Is Bangladesh Education Policy 2009 a mirror to build a holistic individual?

September 18, 2009
By

Education agenda is one of the main schemas for every political party in Bangladesh as well as many countries across the world. This agenda is always politicized by the politicians and the party. It is good news for Bangladesh that recently the Chairman of the National Education Policy- 2009 Formulation Committee Prof. Kabir Chowdhury handed over the final draft of a new education policy to the Education Ministry Nurul Islam Nahid.

Various media reported that since the independence of Bangladesh, successive governments have formed at least eight education commissions including Dr. Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission 1972. The new education policy is one of the important agendas for the ruling government that included in the election manifesto. Awami League affirmed before the election that enrollment at the primary level of education would be raised to 100% by 2010, and education up to the level of bachelor’s degree would be made free in phase, while health care for all would be ensured by 2013. Of course, the forming of the education committee was a noble initiative for the government as well for the nation. Besides, the Sheikh Hasina government also increased the education budget 2009-2010 than any other years.

As we can see that Bangladesh education sector has been going through its chronic problems, such as quality education policy, quality of education-contents, relevance of curriculum, quality of teachers, lack of quality teacher’s training and teaching methods, school buildings and safety, accountability, effective local and national assessment tools, inadequate research funds and institutions, lack of quality educational leaders, and lack of partnership with stakeholders (student-teachers-parents-other stakeholders partnership).
It is affirmative indication that the proposed education policy 2009 incorporated the general education and Madras education, which will enable to solve a long-time multi-dimension educational practice in Bangladesh. The Sheikh Hasina administration also has emphasized educating Madrassa students on general and vocational curricula alongside religious education to bring up a skilled population for the nation.

The committee widely proposed and modified the curricula and years of studies in primary and high school levels. Besides, the committee has emphasized vocational education in the proposed policy according to the needs of the nation. However, the committee has excluded some of the vital elements, such as promoting volunteerism, environmental studies, health and nutrition, character education, and conflict resolution. If we research on the last 37 years of Bangladesh education, then we can ask questions on the quality of education that the primary and higher educational institutions have been providing to the nation! What kind of education the elderly people have received? What kind of education the children have been getting from the schools and colleges/universities in the present day? People’s negative, destructive, unproductive, unprofessional, unskilled, and unethical behavior and attitudes, and actions could be the most important elements in order to justify the outcomes of the education.

A holistic education policy implementation is most essential in the reality of Bangladesh. Every students need to be developed their emotional, physical, social, and intellectual growth. The education policy must acknowledge and emphasize the spiritual, intellectual, social, physical, and psychological needs of young children from the beginning of its establishment and this will continue to foster growth in each child. Besides promoting skill-based education, the policy must encourage children to learn and nurture the social and cultural values, integrity, tolerate, respect and love others, service to others, and to be a responsible person. The students can learn all these good values from schools.

Early age is the best learning stage of every child. What the children learn at the early age they remember and practice them at a later age. The modern educational institution’s main goal is to nourish and develop each child’s spiritual, physical, emotional, social, academic growth and knowledge, and skill. The school focuses on the growth of the whole person. Education should emphasize the great products and discoveries the human mind. Curriculum should help students clarify their beliefs and values and thus achieve commitment and dedication to guide their lives. To achieve the goals the school works closely with every student and develops a strong relationship and partnership with all parents and stakeholders to make the school effectiveness and productive. If there are quality education policy for the primary and high school levels and thus implement effectively, then the students can develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary for a productive life to go to higher education or to serve the community, nation, and world.

For example, in addition to the final exam in the end of the 12th grade (high school), the government can adopt 100 hours volunteer service in the education policy. Every student must complete his/her 100 hours volunteer service to the community through various organizations/social clubs in order to achieve the high school certificate. This service will enable every student to be involved in social activities. They could see deeply the social problems, social needs, their responsibility to the community. This exposure can enrich their knowledge to analyze the problem, learning to think effectively, and promote ability to critical thinking in solving the community problems. This would also increase the young volunteerism and help them become socially responsible and care giver citizens.

Of course, the specific contents such as, environmental studies, health and nutrition, character education, and conflict resolution are very important to include in the primary and high curriculum. Numerous researches have shown that Bangladesh is one of the countries that by next 20 years Bangladesh will be highly affected by the climate change. As the school is the social institution and it is the right place to teach children about environmental issues and teach them how to take care the earth. Indeed, children can learn about their health and nutrition in school. In order to be a healthy person, children must know what they should eat, how to eat healthy food, what kind of nutrition in the food, and what food is important for their body. It has impression that healthy student, healthy think, and healthy student become good student. The same way, children also can get lessons to develop skills in conflict resolution and to promote character/moral life education in the early age. This learning is for life-long that would help student’s daily life and to the later workplace as well. These subjects could apply to teach according to the grade levels. It might be raised the question that who would teach these subjects? Therefore, it is very important for school’s effectiveness that the teachers must be knowledgeable, upgraded on the contents, and skilled to teach the classes. In addition, the government can create job opportunity for primary & high schools to teach health & nutrition, conflict resolution, environment, and so on. Today, the nation and the world do not need only high skilled workforce, but also need more moral developed workforce as well.

It is no doubt that the new education policy 2009 has proposed wisely excluding some of the rudiment guts that could promote a holistic person. Without promoting solid early age foundation of a child, it is impossible to build a child to absorb the digital Bangladesh and to live in the digital world. Early development of a child in a school promotes children a good/moral and productive habit, self-control, skilled, discipline life, and responsible citizen. The government should emphasis knowledge-based, skill-based and character-based education for all children equally to make the nation and the world a better place for all of us.

—-

(Nirmal Gomes is a specialist in Educational Administration & Policy Studies; Int’l Scholar Winner- recognized by the Center for Global Education, the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and Freelance Journalist)

22 Responses to Is Bangladesh Education Policy 2009 a mirror to build a holistic individual?

  1. Engr Khondkar Abdus Saleque( Sufi)
    September 19, 2009 at 4:00 am

    While we talk about education and education policy we must bear in mind that our quality of Education was much better than those of Malaysia, Indonesia ,Thailand and other South Asian countries before 1971. Even in 1970s students from South Asian countries used to come to Dhaka Universaity, BUET ,Dhaka Meddical for higher education. But all South Asian Countries are far advanced. China is sending most of its students to Australia for higher education. If we could raise our standrad Bangladesh could earn huge foreign exchange through giving opportunity to Chinese for higher edducation.
    In other fronts V Bangladesh needs better technical education. We need our people learn english to get better jobs abroad. Upto pre university level all children must get same level of generalised education .Then there should be TAFE type education for general masses while only meritorious students should go for batchelor and higher education. Even countries like Australia do not have so many Masters of Arts or even PHDs. These are waste of resources.

  2. Zahir Uddin
    October 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

    My Comments on National Education Policy-2009

    1. Let religious studies be compulsory in all branches and levels of education for achieving/acquiring the objectives and goals of National Education Policy- 2009-2 and Strategy-2.
    2. Let religious studies in all general, technical levels and all branches of education for achieving the objectives and goals of National Education Policy- 2009-2 and Strategy-2.
    3. Let the Holy Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and Arabic as a compulsory subject in all levels of Madrasha education system.

  3. Soheil Ahmed
    October 2, 2009 at 8:25 am

    My Comments on National Education Policy-2009

    1. Let religious studies be compulsory in all branches and levels of education for achieving/acquiring the objectives and goals of National Education Policy- 2009-2 and Strategy-2.
    2. Let religious studies in all general, technical levels and all branches of education for achieving the objectives and goals of National Education Policy- 2009-2 and Strategy-2.
    3. Let the Holy Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and Arabic as a compulsory subject in all levels of Madrasha education system.

  4. Mueez Abdur Rahman
    October 2, 2009 at 8:33 am

    My Comments on National Education Policy-2009

    1. Let the Holy Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and Arabic be a compulsory subject in all levels of Madrasha education system.
    2. Let religious studies be compulsory in all branches and levels of education for achieving/acquiring the objectives and goals of National Education Policy- 2009-2 and Strategy-2.
    3. Let religious studies in all general, technical levels and all branches of education for achieving the objectives and goals of National Education Policy- 2009-2 and Strategy-2.

    Admin Note: The above comments from Zahir Uddin, Soheil Ahmed and Mueez Abdur Rahman were sent from the same IP using three different email addresses.

  5. Nirmal L. Gomes
    October 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks you all for your valuable comments and thoughts and continous discussion on my article. I appreciate your thoughtful ideas that you are sharing with many people. What I understood from you discussion that we all want to promote “good cititens means- moral and responsible person.” School is one of the influencial social institutions. It can play a vital role. Some people talk about to include religious studies, e.g. Quran and Hadith… That’s good idea. Quran always teaches people to love, care, and serve brothers and sisters, and neighbors… It is good idea to incoperate all religious education such as, Quran-Hadith, Gitta, Bible… if can be. But we have to think wisely and critically how much religious education would teach in school wheras many other subjects need to be teach in the class every day. School can not teach everthing within 6/7 hours. Why Bangladesh can not think that school should be only the place to promote knowledgable, skill, and moral citizens. Of course, if we say moral then some people may think it is religious education. Of course, it is not but it is. Moral education is like character education which does not directly teach religious but most of the concepts come from religious… what Ancient and Greek philosophers e.g. Socrates, Plato, and others philosophers talks about moral/character education. They did not talk about particular religous but they talk about to be good citizens. Anyway, Bangladesh is one of the largest countries where there are diverse faithful and believers live together. They could teach their believers about their faith and belifs in their own institutions for the sake of the good of all human beings. The children can bring that good learning to the school for better learning and to be good humor. I think, it is not necessary to include religous studies in the school curriclum at all.
    Let us promote a peaceful and livalbe Bangladesh for all people.

  6. আবিদা সুলতানা
    October 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    It is no doubt that the new education policy 2009 has proposed wisely excluding some of the rudiment guts that could promote a holistic person. Without promoting solid early age foundation of a child, it is impossible to build a child to absorb the digital Bangladesh and to live in the digital world. Early development of a child in a school promotes children a good/moral and productive habit, self-control, skilled, discipline life, and responsible citizen. The government should emphasis knowledge-based, skill-based and character-based education for all children equally to make the nation and the world a better place for all of us.

    —-

    (Nirmal Gomes is a specialist in Educational Administration & Policy Studies; Int’l Scholar Winner- recognized by the Center for Global Education, the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and Freelance Journalist)

    How can a child absorb morality without Religious knowledge? Are we trying to support ‘no religion for people’ or ‘religion poisons everything’ for this educational system?

    Why religion subjects are lesser in number (and also treated as less important) compared to the present system.

    I think these issues should be answered.

  7. nasirul
    October 12, 2009 at 8:27 am

    If want to build a corruption,poverty & terrorism free Bangladesh then there is no altenative but religious study.If every Citizen becomes a true believing Muslim then all the problems ll be eradicated for ever from our motherland.Therefore follow the guidance of Glorious Quran and the Authentic traditions of Prophet(PBUH) and implement it in life for the ultimate development of our country.

    Nasirul
    International Relations.
    University og Dhaka.

  8. Md.Rabiul Alam
    October 15, 2009 at 4:32 am

    The education policy 2009 that published is a unbalance with all the sector of education like general education, madrashah education, Vocational education system. Every sector of education have a unique aim. general education system will led a student to be generalize person besides madrashah education system will led a student to be a person of huge knowledge in religion and finally vocation education system will led a student to fulfill their aim if the education policy deduce accordingly. otherwise if a certain subject is emphasis on all the sector as a mandatory subject then no aim will implemented for individual sector. the proposal of education policy 2009 for madrashah education system will not fulfill their aim, so it is needed to be amendment. the aim of education policy 2009 for making a student that published will not able to implement because sir jon stanly hall said ” if teach your children 3r reading, writing, arithmetics then leave 4th r religion then you will get another 5th r that is ruskelity. so to make rational nation education policy should verily emphasis on religious education system and emphasis religious subject like Quran,hadith, fiqah should be major subject.

    MD.Rabiul Alam
    Electrical & Electronics Engineering.
    RUET.

  9. safikul
    October 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    The education policy 2009 that published is a unbalance with all the sector of education like general education, madrashah education, Vocational education system. Every sector of education have a unique aim. general education system will led a student to be generalize person besides madrashah education system will led a student to be a person of huge knowledge in religion and finally vocation education system will led a student to fulfill their aim if the education policy deduce accordingly. otherwise if a certain subject is emphasis on all the sector as a mandatory subject then no aim will implemented for individual sector. the proposal of education policy 2009 for madrashah education system will not fulfill their aim, so it is needed to be amendment. the aim of education policy 2009 for making a student that published will not able to implement because sir jon stanly hall said ” if teach your children 3r reading, writing, arithmetics then leave 4th r religion then you will get another 5th r that is ruskelity. so to make rational nation education policy should verily emphasis on religious education system and emphasis religious subject like Quran,hadith, fiqah should be major subject.

  10. safik
    October 16, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    we the people of Bangladesh refuse this education policy -09.

  11. Nirmal L Gomes
    October 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I am glad that many people have been sharing and posting their thoughts and comments on my article that written on recent reform Education Policy 2009. Great!
    I am sure the government and all leaders will read this comments. But I urge strongly that education should be secular and modern. In promoting good/moral citizens the government can include the World Religion(Islam, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist …) class for public(government) and private schools for each class as other classes. It is not necessary to teach ONLY Islam or Christian religion. If children learn about all religions from the early age then they can get better understanding on other religions they live with… Of course, every citizen has his/her own belief/faith. The children can learn individual’s religion education from home and their own religious institutions. I am sure those who believe in One World on we live on, human dignity, respect and tolerate others, then I trust people will agree with my ideas. God bless Bangladesh.

  12. sumon
    November 1, 2009 at 4:50 am

    i think this education policy is very bed

  13. December 5, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I just read your article on recently published national education policy 2009. I agree with your comments.

  14. Nirmal Gomes
    December 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Ms. Chawdhury:
    Thanks for reading my article and I appreciate your comments on it. Yes, Bangladesh education really is at risk and urgently it needs to reform to produce good, responsible, and skilled citizens to survive in the 21st century. Other wise, the country will suffer lots today and tomorrow.

  15. Ferdousi Anis
    December 24, 2009 at 5:13 am

    A holistic education system is desirable by all, but the present education system in Bangladesh cannot be attributed to the “un” and negative words in the article. A look at the other side of the coin will show numerous Bangladeshi talents of the new generation being produced.

    Modernising education through environment studies,health and nutrition, character studies, conflict resolution, etc. is indeed a good way to developing ‘moral and responsible’ citizens. However, let us not forget about educating children with special needs in the same classroom. Schools having special needs students would provide practical knowledge to normal students to develop skills of communication, adjustment, adaptation,response and dealing with differences.They will learn to be tolerant,
    supportive,patient and contribute as responsible individuals and citizens. Practical learning offers best education and inclusion of children with special needs in classrooms will contribute to positive behavioral changes. Although this is a matter of great controversy, I agree that early age is the best age for learning as children are unaware of differences. For a knowledge-based, skill-based and character-based education system developing social, cultural and moral values is important. Children need to be exposed to practical knowledge apart from curriculum development and providing quality education.

  16. Md. Farhad Hosen
    December 26, 2009 at 11:37 am

    1. Religion must be opotional.
    2. Many of the school teachers are not fit for HSC level. So existing teachers should be proposed to joint as primary school(up to class eight & full govt). I think a good number of teacher will receive this. because it is full government and they are not fit for HSC. so that primary level need not appoint new teachers and High School level needs less teachers to be appointed.

  17. Kissor
    December 28, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I think this educational system is not so bad, but I think the main problem lies in the implementation of this system. Before making the educational system modern, the Govt. should make all the people modern linked to the educational system.It is a matter of regret that most of the teachers of school and colleges of our country is not so much modern in their mind (Specially in the rural areas). Moreover it is not clear that what will happen to our High School and College system, Will the High School Teachers be treated as Primary School Teachers and College Teachers as High School Teachers. However each new step faces some difficulties at the very beginning. Now its the Govt. turn that how could they solve, tackle and overcome this problem? But according to my little experience I will be a herculean tusk for the Govt.

  18. Adnan
    December 29, 2009 at 4:52 am

    there is no need to ban the religious study.however,in the religious education, the message of tolerence should be included.

  19. odd
    December 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Can anyone help me and send the education policy that was in vogue/practice just before this one we are talking about? I have the new one, got from website of ministry of education, without knowing the one used just before, I don’t understand the difference. I am sure, as you all discussing on this issue, you must have a copy of the requested one. I failed to find in the internet. my email: oddrishhyo@gmail.com

  20. SALMAN RIAZ
    April 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Moral knowledge is necessary knowledge for an ideal man which come from primary level,so i wish that primary education level would be coloured by compulsory Quran and sunnah knowledge.And madrasah”s students have equal right to study in public university,for that Government should apply equal education policy for all.

  21. Al Amin
    April 29, 2011 at 5:06 am

    National education policy2011 is an abominable policy for us as a muslim nation.So I think,all the pious people of Bangladesh should reject this policy and make a movement against this policy.

    Al Amin
    Department of English
    Bangladesh Islami University(BIU)

  22. NL Gomes
    April 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    The nation should emphasis education or any policy for all people, not look for particular group of people. It should be a holistic policy…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*