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Education is in a Coma
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Education is in a Coma

So many countries have education systems that are ailing or struggling to remain viable, and it appears that might also be the case in Bangladesh. Monica Islam, a 29-year-old correspondent from that country, argues that the rewarding of unruly students, among other things, is affecting the quality of education being provided. She believes urgent changes must be made to bring the education system “back to life.”

 

While teaching Grade 5 students in a local Islamic school, I came across a textbook passage titled “Rewarding Thugs”. The passage postulated that rewarding unruly students will encourage them to change their behaviour. Well, it seems Bangladesh and possibly elsewhere in the world have adopted this and other unhelpful approaches, much to the detriment of our students. While we are busy pampering unruly children, the education system is fast becoming obsolete. 

We have taught our children to believe that not education but wealth, privilege and references will beget them a comfortable job. Why should our children study if they know that in the end, their father’s financial clout will secure them a passing grade? It is a tug of war between education and money, and certainly, the latter emerges as the winner. Education has become far more commercialized than we would like it to be. Subsequently, it has lost its value. 

Now, there is very little link between education and the skills needed for the ‘real’ world. Jobs – even the administrative ones – require working with statistical software programme STATA; or with search engine optimization (SEO); or Umoja, which specializes in helping companies build social platforms and marketing. The issue is that students are never taught about these and other similar platforms in school or university. As a result, companies such as BDJobs have been left to fill the gap with job-relevant courses for people who will join the labour market. 

The erosion of education also correlates with the random non-standardized recruitment of teachers. Why are high school graduates being made to teach Grade 7 students? How can a part-time student teach a senior class? There must be something fundamentally wrong in the way we recruit educators if we are employing teachers who do not know the universal skill of drafting a letter!

The comatose state of education can be further attributed to the wrong social environment at home. A child knows all the informal words, but struggles with the meaning of elementary words, such as involved, effect, strength and aid. What are our mothers, fathers and home tutors doing? Are parents failing to impart basic knowledge or to lay the foundation for their children to learn? Are they neglecting their role as the first agents of socialization in their children’s life, leaving it to less qualified people? 

Our learning centres need to align themselves with the latest technology and methodology. Technology is critical to a robust education system, so the use of computers is essential. And where computers are used, they need to be upgraded routinely.

Additionally, modern methods and the latest strategies in teaching must be practiced to bring out the best in our students. Our leaders, the supposed intellectuals, cannot continue to gamble with the future of our country. We need to act fast to reverse the situation and bring education back to life.

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Photo Credit: Canva

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About Monica Islam: I am just a writer-journalist waiting for a major breakthrough. I identify as a global citizen, but by birth, I am Bangladeshi – if this makes it any easier for you to talk to me. I read almost anything and everything. My interests are in the areas of health, education, sustainable development, and the leisure industry.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles

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