Archive for the ‘Primary Education’ Category

Govt mulls new pay scale for primary teachers

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 23, 2009 in Primary Education

The government is planning to introduce a new pay scale for all primary school teachers in a bid to end wage discrimination in the government, registered and community schools which will be implemented from the next fiscal year.

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Motahar Hossain said, “Huge wage discrimination is existing at different types of primary schools. But the government wants to remove it. We will introduce a new pay scale for primary teachers so that the same qualified teachers can receive equal salaries.”



Primary Education in Shambles-3

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 16, 2009 in Education, Primary Education

Govt faces big task to get total literacy

7 lakh new teachers, 30,000 schools needed

The government faces a great challenge in realising its election pledge of total literacy in the country by 2014 because of the heavy dropout of children from primary schools and acute shortage of teachers.

Academicians and researchers think that to reach these targets, the government will have to recruit seven lakh new teachers — preferably trained — and build 30,000 new schools and 60,000 new classrooms in existing schools within the next two years. (বিস্তারিত…)

Primary Education in A Shambles- 2

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 7, 2009 in Primary Education

One teacher for 55 students

Lack of contact hours behind students and teachers at primary level is one of the main reasons behind poor quality education imparted at primary schools across the country.

Lack of enough — and trained — teachers and insufficient space at schools lead to the poor performance of children. (বিস্তারিত…)

Primary Education In A Shambles-1

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 7, 2009 in Primary Education

70pc can’t read, write even after 5-yr study

The quality of the country’s primary education is so substandard that around 70 percent of students who complete the five-year primary level education are unable to read, write or calculate properly.

According to a new government study, 69 per cent of students who have completed primary school are not able to read news headlines in Bangla newspapers properly. (বিস্তারিত…)

Same syllabus for all types of primary edn mulled

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 4, 2009 in Primary Education

The government considers same syllabus for all categories of primary schools across the country to minimise social divides created by different education systems, the education minister said yesterday.

“The lessons may be taught in English in English medium schools. But the syllabus will be the same,” Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said.

Eleven systems of primary education exist in Bangladesh creating sociocultural divisions, he observed.

The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the “English in Schools” (EIS) programme jointly launched by The Daily Star and private cellphone operator AKTEL at Spectra Convention Centre in the capital.

The new syllabus would include the country’s language, history, geography and culture, among other subjects, the minister said.

If one cannot speak mother tongue and does not know the history and culture of the motherland, the bondage with his or her country becomes weaker, he said. A tendency of neglecting Bangla has developed here for some or other reasons, he added.

Citing that education is being downgraded by serious lack of quality teachers and absence of a consistent education policy, the minister said the present government has initiated steps to upgrade the education policy based on the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission report.

The minister said the education policy formulated by the Qudrat-e-Khuda Commission after independence was upgraded in 2000, but the next government postponed it.

“It has become a tradition in our country that one government formulates a policy and another cancels it. This time we want to change that practice,” he said.

“We want to upgrade it with opinions of education experts. This is not a party matter. We are serious about it,” he added.

The daily star 05.02.2009

Compulsory edn up to SSC by 2012

Posted: জানুয়ারি 31, 2009 in Education, Primary Education

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the government is resolute to enforce compulsory education up to Secondary School Certificate (SSC) level by 2012.

Steps would be taken soon to implement the programme, he said, adding: “We would take measures to remove illiteracy from people up to 45 years age.”

Nurul was addressing a meeting at Beanibazar Govt College playground with upazila AL President Abdul Hasib in the chair.

To face the huge and multiple challenges of the new world, the minister said the country’s total education system needs a big change immediately.

“We would formulate an education policy within months on the basis of the Kudrat-E-Khuda Commission report of 1974,” Nahid said, adding that it would help greatly in eradicating illiteracy.

While the AL was in power in the past regime, a pro-people draft education policy was prepared but the BNP-led alliance put things in balance and took measures in this regard, he added.

He further said that the government would also try to introduce a unified primary education system throughout the country in place of the existing different types of education to end the huge discrimination in the primary education sector.

Upazila Chairman-elect Abdul Khalique Mayon and Vice Chairman-elect Ruma Chakravarty also spoke at the programme.

The daily star 01.02.2009

Building the classroom around children

Posted: জানুয়ারি 26, 2009 in Primary Education

AS the classroom is the focus of concern of PEDP II, our purpose is: first, to explain the relevance of organising the classroom around what children are like and how they learn; and second, indicate what needs changing and how.

We examine characteristics of children that show why it is important to organise the classroom and teaching learning around them. Advanced “active teaching learning” helps release the best and the most creative energies of children.

Children learn from their perceptions of the surrounding environment. They learn to distinguish between different tastes, and get to identify different types of objects, shapes, sounds and colour. As they relate to these experiences they acquire skills, abilities and knowledge. This process continues until they are able to comprehend realities in the abstract.

By the time they are about 8, children learn close to 80% of what they learn in their lifetime, including development of their language. The purpose of primary education is to put together enabling arrangements in a safe environment that would optimise emotional, cognitive, social and physical development of the child. It is critically important that the school, in particular the classroom, is ready for learning to take place.

This would mean that, in conventional classrooms, children do not and cannot concentrate for about 35 out of a 40-minute period. As a result, they are inclined to drop-out. This wasteful time in the classroom, is known as “passive learning.”

Passive learning allows the teacher to assume that the majority of the children had followed the lesson. In reality, however, different children will have followed lessons up to different levels.

The teacher’s assumption leads to wrong judgement, the most unfortunate of which is labelling those who failed to keep up with the lesson as “slow learners” in need of “remedial lessons.” Thus, it is the lack of knowledge and understanding of how learning takes place that directly contributes to learner abuse.

When children get together, they naturally share their experiences and talk about what they know and are able to do. They observe, examine, analyse, draw conclusions or form hypotheses, test validity and build knowledge hands-on. This is the process of knowledge generation.

When children in the classroom sit in rows, and the teacher asks them to keep quiet and listen, it denies what comes naturally to children. It also denies them learning opportunities. It is not hunger but boredom and intimidation that drive them to drop-out.

Some children are interested in mathematics, some in language, others in music or art or sports. As a result, different children learn different skills and competencies at different paces, and it is critically important that the opportunity is created inside the classroom for every child to proceed according to her/his interest, ability and pace. Most importantly, this means that the teacher must assess individual learner progress and performance for lesson planning and that syllabus driven lesson planning is inappropriate in the early years.

The assumption that if the teacher finished the syllabus all the children would automatically learn the content is wrong. This leads to differential levels of “cumulative deficit” on the part of the learners. This is also why so many children fail or drop-out.

The more learners there are in the classroom, the more difficult it is to attend to their individual needs. Our experience suggests that 30 learners are just about the maximum a trained teacher can tackle.

The issue of individual teaching and learning also influences decision on the number of shifts a school could have. Institutionalising a single shift on the assumption that it would help increase the contact hour, disregarding the issue of learner-teacher ratio, could have disastrous consequences for learning. The relevance of contact hour is to be seen in the context of active and passive contact hour.

A conventional classroom denies attention to children’s emotional needs. It divides the learning environment into teacher and student. The table and the chair formalises the division, encouraging a relation of domination and subordination. Use of force, corporal punishment, and other forms of teacher abuse are some of the effects of this relation.

The need for emotional support has implications for learner-teacher ratio, classroom environment and reading materials. Only a low ratio, for example a maximum of 30: 1, would allow the teacher to attend to the emotional, social and cognitive needs of the individual learner.

Second, it is important that children are able to display their classroom activities such as creative writing and project work on classroom walls, creating opportunity for them to have a sense of recognition. Lastly, the books need to be not only colourful and interesting but also developmentally appropriate.

One of the indicators is that children must be able to finish a book in a single session so that they have a sense of accomplishment. This would encourage them to want to read more books.

Briefly, the challenge is, first to put in place an environment inside the classroom that is non-threatening and non-stressful to the learners. Second, allowing children to sit across or around the table facing one another so that they can interact both among themselves and with the teacher. This enables them to share, help each other out, and develop confidence to raise questions.

Third, providing the learners with a choice of activities inside the classroom so that they can move from one activity to another and not get bored. Fourth, making activities purposeful by linking them to acquisition of the defined competencies and ensuring that children learned by doing. Fifth, making available a wide selection of books that are attractive, interesting and developmentally appropriate.

Sixth, allowing learners to put on display what they had done both independently and in groups. Seventh, placing a qualified teacher, preferably a woman, in an active learning classroom.

Dr. F.R. Mahmood Hasan is an educator with special interest in primary education.

The daily star 26th january 2009