Pre-Primary and Primary Education in Bangladesh
বাংলাদেশে প্রাক-প্রাথমিক ও প্রাথমিক শিক্ষা
Pre-Primary and Primary Education in Bangladesh
Children are the would-be leaders of our country. Tomorrow they will be at the helm. Therefore, if we expect quality leadership, from them, they must be brought up properly. The role of the environment is essential to the proper upbringing of future leaders. Metaphorically speaking, young children are like flower buds. As buds require proper care (watering, weeding), young minds need the right kind of nourishment for blooming into a full-fledged flower.
Only education both formal and informal can ensure a congenial atmosphere which is very important for the holistic development of our children. It is through formal education at educational institutions that they will grow up both physically and mentally. In such physical and mental transformation. Pre-primary and primary stages play a vital role as they form the foundation of all subsequent stages.
Education and our country:
Education is the key to the development of a nation. A well-educated nation, which is modern in thoughts and progressive and nimble in action, can help a country reach the zenith of success. So, in our constitution education has been given paramount importance. According to article 17 of our constitution:
17. The state shall adopt measures for the purpose of
(a) Establishing a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and ‘extending free and compulsory education to all children’ to such stage as may be determined by law;
(b) Relating education to the needs of society and producing trained and motivated citizens to serve those needs.”
In tune with the basic principles of education stated in our constitution, our Present Grand Alliance government is doggedly determined to diffuse the light of education to all of us. To meet such a big challenge, the government has recently prepared a National Education policy with a slogan hanging in the air :
“The wind of changed days is blowing, education is my first wanting”
In this National policy 2010, some radical changes have been suggested. If implemented properly, it can well serve the purpose of creating skilled manpower in Bangladesh. It has introduced pre-primary education (preparatory state before formal education) and emphasized primary education. Primary education has achieved a new dimension as its duration has been extended and some pragmatic measures have been recommended.
Pre-primary education refers to a kind of learning provided to children above 5 years on the eve of the inception of formal primary education. It is a preparatory stage of learning. Through this education, a child can learn a lot of things about life and these things may be proved invaluable in later life.
With a view to ensuring quality education for all. The government has decided to develop a unified curriculum for the pre-primary level. NCTB is working with the support of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MOPME), Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), related govt. and non-govt. organizations to develop the curriculum.
Central Coordination Committee headed by Secretary-MOPME, Technical Committee headed by Director General- DPE and Curriculum Development Committee by Member – primary curriculum wing, NCTB have been developed and started their job to develop pre-primary curriculum.
Objectives and Aims: The purpose of pre-primary education is to prepare our children both physically and mentally so that they can receive formal education properly. This kind of education received together with others will create interest in our children about education and school. At the same time, the little kids will be aware of the rules and regulations of the school. They will leam to:
a. Rise early in the morning and attend school in time.
b. Obey the advice and order of the teachers.
c. Respect and tolerate others.
d. Behave well with classmates.
1. Giving education through the use of colour, picture, demonstrations, mimes and other interesting ways.
2. As they are very tender-hearted by mature, special care should be taken to teach them. We must keep them in a free environment. The teachers or instructors should try to create an anxiety-free, affectionate and loving atmosphere so that they grow a positive attitude towards a school and education. Teachers should be respectful of children’s natural inquisitiveness and an inborn sense of delight or gaiety and primal innocence.
They should be taught with the good use of their inherent curiosity and exuberant nature and through the dictation of their spontaneous response to new things of the world. In technical terms, they should be given ‘comprehensible input’ based on which children will respond and come up with ‘output’. But for natural response, we must make a proper environment so that children feel secure. Any kind of physical and mental torture will hamper their learning process and create a strong aversion in them towards learning. (The theory of Krashen: The Monitor Model Theory.)
3. For successful administration of pre-primary education, teachers must be trained and there should an adequate number of teachers at every school in our country.
4. Pre Primary Education also includes ‘Religious and Moral Teaching programs at different religious institutions, headed by The Ministry of Religion.
Primary education is considered vital in our national life because it makes skilled manpower. It provides us with a sturdy plinth on which we can build up our life. So, it is imperative that government extends free and compulsory primary education to all children irrespective of social-economic problems, geographical location and physical and mental shortcomings. Standard primary education can make a person prepared for meeting the challenge of the world around him/her.
Aims and objectives:
The aims and objectives of primary education are given below:
(a) To create an auspicious environment for children so that they can attain both physical and mental development.
(b) To develop human values in our children.
(c) To make a uniform and universal system of education for all.
(d) To ignite an immortal sense of patriotism in the young minds.
(e) To provide our children with essential knowledge of living.
(f) To create a sense of dignity towards labour and fellow human beings.
(g) To create equal opportunities for all including the disabled and under-privileged children.
Existing Problems in our Primary sector:
There are a lot of problems in our primary education sector and because of these problems, we have not yet been able to achieve a hundred percent success in this important sector. Some of the problems are given below:
(a) Inadequate number of primary schools compared to the number of children to educate.
(b) Insufficient number of teachers at each primary school.
(c) Lack of awareness about education on the part of the guardians.
(d) Inability to afford educational expenses and engagement of tender aged children in agricultural and other income generating activities.
(e) Unfavourable atmosphere of the primary school in our country
(f) Long-distance of schools from residence and so a feeling of insecurity.
Primary Education and National Education Policy, 2010:
This time our new education policy has come up with some innovative changes in the primary sector:
(a) The duration of primary education will be extended to class 8 from class I. But this two-year extension will require a lot of changes. To make it work properly, we have to make the structural changes and appoint the required number of teachers.
(b) In congruence with the principles mentioned in our constitution, a uniform curriculum and syllabus will be adopted for all the primary schools. An integration of different streams will be made to ensure distinction-free education for all. It also attempts to diminish the distinction between the schools in rural areas and those in urban areas.
(c) To reduce the drop-out rate, poor children should be given as much financial support as possible. An attractive environment must be ensured to create interest in education. Female students should be taken care of with proper care.
Education is one of our basic needs. It is the prerequisite for any kind of development. Education gifts us a rare sense of humanity that differentiates us from the other species in the world. It is education that shows us the right path in life. Pre-primary and primary education are the initial stages of our education life. Through the reception of proper kind of Pre-primary and primary education, we can choose the right path in our life and advance towards a bright future.