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Quality education must be another priority now

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Update: 2016-07-21 04:58:04
Quality education must be another priority now

DHAKA: All European Bangladeshi Association (AEBA) senior executives recently visited Bangladesh to inform the senior policy makers about the Bangladesh Global Summit 2016 that AEBA is organizing in Kuala Lumpur in November.

The team met among others ministers of planning, home, and expatriate affairs; Inter Parliamentary Union president Saber Hossain Choudhury MP; and leading Neuro specialist Dr. Professor Deen Mohammad.

They also organized a press conference at National Press Club highlighting the purpose and objectives of Bangladesh Global Summit.

The six preferred areas -- Agriculture, Health, Education, Power and Energy, Sports and Culture and Tourism -- of NAB-PBO and RB interactions were also explained in brief.

In our series of introductory coverage we have already highlighted how NRB and PBO community can supplement and complement government initiatives in agriculture and health sectors. This write up will focus on education sector.

Bangladesh is marching gloriously towards achieving objectives of mid income country and high income economy by 2021 and 2041 respectively. The sustained impressive growth of GDP at over six percent over the past decade has put Bangladesh firmly on the course of its dream destination.

But having already picked the long hanging fruits Bangladesh has to hurdle over many issues and challenges to achieve its dreams. One of these is providing quality education to its citizen for developing competent human capital for planning, managing implementation and operation of many milestone infrastructure, energy & power sector mega projects.

Governments in recent years achieved tremendous successes in increasing literary percentage, encouraging all to send children and especially girls to schools. Government is continuously reviewing and updating curriculums of primary and secondary education, reforming examination systems. Many private sector entrepreneurs have set up colleges and universities for higher education side by side to public sector institutions. But whether or not quality education is imparted is anyone’s guess.

Bangladeshi universities like Dhaka University, BUET and Dhaka Medical College were among the top educational institutions in South Asia in 1970s. But in 2016 unfortunately these universities rank low. Many Bangladeshi parents are sending their children for studying abroad. This does not mean that Bangladeshis are born with lesser talent. Many Bangladeshis educated in Bangladesh are teaching with pride and dignity in top educational institutions of the world. Many Bangladeshi professionals including engineers, physicians, agriculturists and business graduates are also highly placed in different countries.
Streamlining Primary Education:

One of the major successes of the successive government is streamlining primary education, supplying books to all students at the start of the calendar year, making primary and secondary education free for women folks. But at the same time mushroom growth of kinder garden institutions is allegedly creating imbalance, loading children with huge additional burdens requiring them to go for additional coaching. Children are getting stressed. Perhaps their mental faculties are not maturing as they hardly get time to relax, playing games and involving into extracurricular activities.

Such boys and girls before crossing secondary level have to attend institutions and coaching centers for about 12-14 hours a day. They are becoming book worms. The number of Golden GPAs is astronomically increasing but many of these students failing to get admission in public universities and are either getting dropped out or if their parents can afford are studying in expensive private universities. Some go abroad.

We are not very sure if there is any reliable mechanism for evaluating the quality of education at any level. NRB and PBO academia can assist Bangladesh Government in assessing the quality and standard of primary and secondary education if AEBA can coordinate the individual efforts through its forum. Bangladesh can replicate the primary and secondary education system of developed countries. If quality education can be ensured at this level our children can eventually grow into truly performing executives and professionals in due course.

Linkages with Offshore Universities and Institutes

AEBA can work as catalyst in setting up linkages of Bangladesh institutes with leading universities and institutes (like for like). Exchange of students and teachers from universities and institutes can be expanded and broadened from the present level. Leading universities of the world can set up campuses in Bangladesh through NRB and PBO efforts for providing quality education. Many USA, UK universities now have campus in UAE, many are opening campus in China, Malaysia.

Many qualified Bangladeshi senior professionals seeking jobs abroad often finds it difficult in getting line jobs (engineers and physicians) for absence of accreditation of their qualification internationally (Washington accord etc.). AEBA can assist in working with IEB, DAB in getting the Bangladesh Institutes qualifications accredited through standard procedures.

Setting Up Training Institute

AEBA can set up a training institute in Bangladesh for Bangladeshi fresh graduates and professionals for making them ready for jobs through mentoring and coaching. Wherever required this institute can work as linkage between institutions and industries. Bangladesh will require huge competent workforce soon for managing implementation of mega infrastructural projects and operating those facilities. Many Indians, Sri Lankans and other foreign nationals are working in RMG, Textiles, Banks, Pharmaceutical and leather industries in Bangladesh while many qualified Bangladeshi graduates are struggling in finding jobs just for the lack of job preparedness.

A modern training institute with the generous assistance and, management of NRB specialists can ensure jobs for qualified Bangladeshi graduates. This will save foreign exchanges moving out of Bangladesh as many foreign nationals paid in dollars can be replaced with Bangladeshis.

We hope the above discussed matters and many other issues related to quality education and reforms in educational system can be brain stormed in ensuing AEBA championed Bangladesh Global Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

BDST: 1449 HRS, JUL 21, 2016

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