Our National Education Policy
আমাদের জাতীয় শিক্ষানীতি
Our National Education Policy:
Education means the general process by which personality is developed and by which persons are enabled to realize their relations to one another and the universe they live in. Education is the prerequisite to the development of a nation. For this reason, every country should have a distinct policy for the measurement of proper education to its population.
Education policy is an all-inclusive concept that should take into account everything relating to education. It refers to curriculum development which includes analysis, goal setting, syllabus design, methodology and evaluation. In a word, education policy serves as an axis on which the whole education system revolves.
History of Education Policy in Bangladesh:
Under the British East India Company from 1758 and the British Raj from 1858, education was mainly reserved for the wealthy class.
In 1947, the British left the Indian sub-continent and the territory currently known as Bangladesh came under Pakistani rule as the state of East Pakistan. Education during this period was very scarce but those who had the means of acquiring it were no longer considered second-class citizens. Although the state language of Pakistan was Urdu and the native language of East Pakistan was Bengali, schools largely continued to function in English.
After the Liberation of Bangladesh, the government formed as many as seven education commissions and committees but not a single recommendation by then has been fully implemented.
Education System in Bangladesh:
The education system in Bangladesh is three-tiered and highly subsidized. Article 17 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides that all children between the ages of six and ten years receive basic education free of charge.
The three main educational systems in Bangladesh are:
- General education system.
- Madrasah education sysem.
- Technical & Vocational education system.
In order to maintain a modern, scientific and effective education system, Bangladesh Government attaches the highest priority to the improvement of the education sector. With this objective, the Government of Bangladesh formed the following Education Commissions and Committees since the independence of the country.
I. Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission (1972):
Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Policy commission was formed in 1972, headed by the leading educationist and scientist Dr. Qudrat-e-Khuda. The commission submitted its report to the Government in May 1974. Their report was formulated and based on the socio-economic and political state and cultural heritage of the country.
Qudrat-e-Khuda Commission suggested some major changes in the Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary stages of education. The salient suggestions of the report were:
- To introduce a job-oriented education system at all stages.
- To eradicate illiteracy by 1980.
- The report suggests that education at all stages should reflect four cardinal principles nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism,
- The commission also suggests that primary education should be extended to class 8, and it should be made free of cost by 1983
- To increase govt. budget in the education sector to 25% from 7%.
- It took education as a means of creating population wealth.
II. Mofiz Uddin Education Commission (1988):
After the publication of the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission Report, some of the recommendations were implemented. In 1979 the government felt the necessity of reviewing the report. Advisory council for National Education styled Interim Education Policy Recommendations which were published and the reports of the Mofiz Uddin Commission were brought to light in February 1988.
III. Shamsul Haque Education Committee (1997):
Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission submitted their report in 1974. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, the recommendations of the commission were not implemented properly. It was felt that for meeting the national needs and keeping pace with the unprecedented advancement in the field of knowledge in the contemporary world, original and qualitative changes in our education system were needed. With this view, the government of Bangladesh constituted a 56 member committee headed by Prof. Shamsul Haque in 1997. The committees have made all-out efforts for developing an education policy in order to introduce a pragmatic education system suitable for the country. The major suggestions were:
→ To follow the same curriculum and syllabus across the country.
→ To form a separate Service Commission in order to appoint teachers.
→ To make the study of English and religion compulsory from the primary level.
→ To make education service-oriented.
IV. Dr. M.A. Bari Commission (2002):
An expert commission headed by Dr. M. A. Bari was formed in 2002 to identify immediate implementable reforms of Education sector. The commission suggested several interventions in the sector which were considered later by the Education commission 2003.
V. Mohammad Moniruzzaman Mia Commission (2003):
In order to improve the quality of Education and initiate a set of reforms to develop the sector government undertook several actions of which the formation of Education Commission in January 2003 was one of the major initiatives. The commission submitted its report to the government in March 2004. The Commission Report consists of three parts and suggests 880 recommendations on all the education sub-sectors.
VI. National Education Adviser Council:
In order to improve the quality of education National Education Adviser Council formed headed by Kazi Jafar Ahmed and Abdul Baten on 5 August 1978.
VII. National Education Policy:
National Education Policy 2000 was formulated by the Awami League government of the time and the then government cancelled it in 2002.
VIII. National Education Policy (2010):
The government constituted committee headed by Prof. Kabir Chowdhury on April 6, 2009 to formulate a modern national education policy in line with the 1974 Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission.
The Committee submitted its report to the ministry on May 31, 2010. Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid handed over the draft copy of the country’s new education policy to the Prime Minister.
The committee recommended some major changes in the Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary stages of education, such as:
- Extension to primary education up to Class VIII, in place of the present Class V. Primary level would be extended to class 6 by 2012, class 7 by 2015 and up to class 8 by 2018. The final primary examination will be held at the end of class 8 and secondary school scholarships will be given based on the results.
- The committee recommended extending the Secondary level to class 12 (Class IX to Class XII).
- The new education policy stresses on modernisation of madrasah education through introducing information technology and vocational training as compulsory subjects to create skilled manpower.
- Bangla, Bangladesh Studies, Mathematics, Natural Environment, Social Studies, IT, Moral Education and Science will be made compulsory. The primary level examination will be held at the end of class 8 and secondary school scholarships will be awarded based on the results.
- The committee has also recommended to the government for increasing the number of polytechnics, textile and leather institutions for the expansion of technical education.
- The committee has also recommended the formation of a permanent education commission to implement the National Education Policy. The new education policy has also suggested unifying the syllabus for degree level subjects across all universities and decentralisation of National University.
- Three-year degree course to be extended to the four-year honours course.
- Establishing technical institutions in every Upazila.
Management of Education:
The overall responsibility of the management of primary education lies with the Primary and Mass Education Ministry. Secondary and Higher Secondary levels of education are controlled by the general Education Boards. In addition, the Madrasah Education Board covers religious education in government-registered Madrasahs. Technical Education Board controls Technical and Vocational training at the secondary level.
At the Tertiary level, universities are regulated by the University Grants Commission. The colleges providing Tertiary education are under the National University. Each of the Medical Colleges is affiliated with a public university. Universities in Bangladesh are autonomous bodies administered by statutory bodies such as Syndicate, Senate, Academic Council etc.
The government formed as many as seven education commissions and committees since independence but few recommendations by them have been implemented.
A permanent and modem education policy is essential for the development of the education sector of Bangladesh. The government must ensure quality education for the people of our country, otherwise, we are sure to lag behind as a nation. The tradition of changing education policy with the change of government must be avoided. Each government should try to implement a modern education policy properly so that we can cope with the ever-changing time.