Gravest harm done to education

Neil Ray | Published: December 20, 2015 22:13:37 | Updated: October 24, 2017 04:41:57


Eminent writer and teacher Dr. Zafar Iqbal has complained that this government has done the gravest ever harm to education so far. His complaint is that the two public examinations held for class V and VIII have taught students of so tender an age to adopt unfair means in examinations. Teachers in various ways help examinees in such educational malpractices. 
Sure enough, copying in examination hall was not an unheard-of affair but it was unknown to young learners at these levels. Now if they are taught this black art, the future of the country's young generation is sure to be doomed. No wonder that a number of candidates appearing for admission test at the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Agricultural University the other day were arrested for copying with a device of the shape of credit cards. It is not for the first time that highly advanced digital devices have been used for such purposes. 
When students of primary and junior levels learn the lesson of unfair means adoption instead of academic lessons, they are sure to take the art to a new level when grown up. This exactly is happening now. 
When Zafar Iqbal observes that the very purpose of introduction of the structured question has been negated, it is difficult to disagree. Students are not encouraged to study their text books, instead they are guided to consult guide and suggestion books. What is even more deplorable is that questions in public examinations are set from such officially illegal books. 
The contradiction is remarkable. Such books are officially banned and so are the coaching centres. But anyone can see that classroom teaching has almost become a practice of the past and private coaching is thriving, mysteriously, courtesy of the same teachers who teach at schools but perhaps only casually. In classrooms of many schools students have at least enough space for them to sit comfortably but in the crammed coaching centres they have no such luxury and yet the main teaching takes place there!
Clearly students do not learn what they should and hence the purpose of educational reform has gone awry. Dr. Iqbal is deeply frustrated because of his association with the reform. But he makes his point clear that at no point did he and other academics involved with it suggest more than two public examinations up to the secondary level. The more enthusiastic and know-all bureaucratic brains have introduced three such public examinations up to that level. He rightly laments if the bureaucrats knew better why seek opinions from the educationists on such matters? 
People in this part are exceptionally ingenious to spoil any good system. They are quick to spot the loopholes and make use of those for bringing the entire system to disrepute. Education is no exception to this rule. More, as the respected teacher from the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) level charges against his own community, the lure of money has not allowed the system to be up-to-date and effective either at lower or higher levels of education. Question leak together with involvement of teachers in educational aberration has done a great disservice to the system. 
He mentions yet another saga of admission ordeal. If there was just one admission test for all universities like that of medical colleges, the harassment of candidates, their parents and the loss of money and long and arduous journey for appearing at admission tests of different universities could be avoided. 
But the universities do not agree to such an arrangement because of the hefty amount of money they realise from admission seekers. What a disgrace!
 
 

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