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Primary Education in Bangladesh

Although Bangladesh has achieved significant progress in primary education in terms of enrolment of the students and free distribution of books across the country, the present scenario of primary education is not up to our expectations.

The existing system creates discrimination among the students reading at primary schools although ensuring uniform primary education is our constitutional pledge.

We all know that we have several types of education at primary levels such as Bangla medium, English version, English medium, kindergarten, and Madrasa, and there is no uniformity among the existing systems. Students who read in Bangla medium school get such education which hardly matches education students get from Madrasa. Even the curriculum of English version at primary level is diverse from that of Kindergarten or Bangla medium. Since English medium education follows international curriculum like Edexcel or Cambridge, it has nothing to do with the national curriculum. But a few books on Bangla Language, History and Culture should be included in the English medium curriculum for the junior section. It seems that the whole system is very confusing, and students reading in primary schools do not get uniform and culture-specific education which will help develop their human quality, mental faculty and intellectual skill.

We need to unify the various types of education systems that exist in our country. We must create a level playing field where every student will get the same and proper opportunity. Discrimination in every stage of education must be removed or else mental separation will be established from the very beginning of their educational life, which can be very dangerous for a nation.

According to the Primary Education Census 2018, 20.8 million students were enrolled from pre-primary to grade five in all types of primary schools. However, around 20 percent of these students did not sit for the PEC and EEC exams. In 2018, the rate of completing the primary education cycle was 81.40 percent. However, 37.81 percent of these students dropped out before completing their secondary education, says a 2018 report of the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics.

Unfortunately, even among South Asian countries, Bangladesh has the lowest budgetary allocation for the education sector. Although the National Education Policy 2010, considered the country’s first comprehensive and modern education policy, has been formulated by the current government, most of its recommendations have not been implemented yet, particularly those related to the reformation of the primary education system. Further introduction of the PEC and JSC exams, defying the education policy, has pushed the students, parents, and teachers into a rat race of getting A+ at any cost. As a result, more than 20 million children are going through a torturous, joyless education system where they study just to get A+ but not to learn and progress.

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