The Financial Express

Education: Learning over CGPA & humanity over violence

Education: Learning over CGPA & humanity over violence

A Part of the world has moved towards learning and developing educational sector and other part of the world is still indulging in producing robotic students, who only know to earn high CGPA as lower CGPA validate as failure in life. Are the creators of this ideology being educational institutions, society, family or parents, or a combined gift bundle for children? Regardless of the creator and manipulator, the perfect CGPA ideology has been successful in creating the confusion of the power of degree over the power of education. Now, is it justifiable to say, our nation has failed to reflect the value of education?

Should the education be tied only to books and to more books or the education wing should be expanded to the realm of imagination, analytical thinking, creativity, humanity, compassion and love? It's high time to take serious move for educational institutions for the betterment of children's lives by investing in providing proper education for them not only to be literate humans but good humans.

"Home is the safest place on earth", is not true anymore. The shadow of pandemic has even made home, once considered the safest place for children and adolescence are now unsafe as well. Children are growing up witnessing and experiencing inequalities, discrimination, and physical and psychological abuse at home. On top, the educational institutions have added the pressure of perfect CGPA.

Schools, colleges and universities should put in their best to rebuilding the education system to learn student psychology and teaching techniques to create the passion for learning and educating students to face the harmful social norms and violence. Needless to say, it is crucial for our country to include access to knowledge on impact of child marriage on mind and body in adulthood lives, develop clear understanding of different types of gender-based violence and abuses and how those impact ones' overall wellbeing. Moreover, being COVID resilient the education sector should take the opportunity to rethink, reshape and redesign our education system.

Our education minister Dipu Moni once stated, "Our education is entirely exam-centric." This created tremendous pressure on students and parents to earn perfect CGPA-5, which should not have been tied to high scores, instead should have been fun and passion for students. The Ministry of Education is working on reforming the education system during the pandemic. We need to play our part now by helping and supporting the government to achieve quality education. We must also focus and integrate on developing institutional capacity and systematic approach to support children with disabilities in the classroom.

The power of quality education can help children reach the ultimate knowledge, skills and confidence enough to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Education is not just about literacy, it is rather giving the power to be independent and pursue the dreams, notably for girls.

We are proud of the contribution of the private sector in the economic development of our country. We need their help to help flourish the education sector to turn our country into a safe and peaceful nation. The quality of an employee is the fruit of quality education. As a result, private sector needs to invest in education sector. In United States, after World War II the founders and leaders of large corporations were major drivers behind the development of higher education through large philanthropic foundations. In 2017, The PNC Bank contributed $72 million to work on early childhood education through Grow Up Great project. We need private sector visionaries to make a difference in society through developing our next generation.

We must consider innovation to improve educational standard, so children become educated in true sense. Imagine, if only 1 per cent of all students were co-developer of education? Our education system needs to be flexible to adopt better schooling system and parents need to understand the meaning of education. We must stop this rat race and go back to the basic and find innovative ways to promote literacy. Based on Bandrua's work on Imitation Learning, a dramas serial has been aired that portrayed the power of imitation learning to promote social change. In Mexico, approximately 1 million people enrolled in a literacy programme to learn to read after watching the drama serial, which brilliantly promoted literacy by showing characters struggling to read and become literate.

Media is playing a vital role in discovering the horrific stories of abuses on children and adolescents, where the sufferers are often left alone in their pain. When girls are not safe with their peer classmate and friends, it shows that we failed as a generation to set the right values. It is time to respond.  The recent rape case and the death of a "O" Level student has raised questions on friendship and made me realise how unsafe every place is for girls. This incident has made parents more fearful and the girls are losing the liberty of movement. Nothing has changed but nothing is the same anymore.

Quality of education should not limit itself only to reading and writing but create access to wider knowledge to know the rights and wrongs. We need to teach our children at early stage the value of learning and the power of love to be better humans. Importantly, better quality education and learning can lead humans to a path of compassion and love to that can free the world from violence!

Zarin Zeba Khan is Deputy Director, Advocacy and Justice for Children, World Vision Bangladesh.

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