Primary education in Bangladesh

Md Rezaul Karim By Md Rezaul Karim, 9th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

The primary education is the basis for development of any country and the backbone of a nation too. We are to take care of it properly and timely.

Primary education

An educated nation is a developed nation, and vice a versa. Education starts from the cradle to grave. Education is not only gathering information in the memory but also changing behavior. In general sense education is any act or experience that has a formative effect. Education is also defined as the process by which the society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. In another sense, education is the expected behavioral change of mankind. So it is the responsibility of the present generation to transmit proper education to the next generation for their existence and for further development of the society. It is notable that education means not only knowledge but it also means skills and values.
Primary educational history - Bangladesh:
During the Muslim rule, Islamic education based on Mosque was introduced. These three types of education continued from the 6th century to the middle of 18th century. All types of religious education were aimed at creating moral character of the students for the worldly life and the life after death. In the colonial age, the British introduced a new system with a commercial view by establishing Fort William College in Kolkata in 1800, breaking the indigenous system of Bengal. They also tried to establish primary schools in Bengal after the system in their own country. The subcontinent was divided into two parts in 1947 and Bangladesh became a part of Pakistan. The government of the then East Bengal introduced compulsory primary education in the province in 1947 but the scheme was suspended in 1953 and finally abolished in 1957. The government established 5000 primary schools as compulsory and non-compulsory primary school. They were later renamed as model and non-model primary schools. The remarkable development in primary education was initiated by the government of Sheikh Mujib immediately after the independence of Bangladesh in 1972. The primary education was recognized as a national responsibility of the government and the fundamental right of the people entrusted by the constitution of Bangladesh. In 1972, the Mujib government formed the Kudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission to recommend objectives, strategies and action plans for creating a modern education system that would meet the needs of an independent nation and be compatible with the systems of the neighboring countries. The report of the commission was published in 1974 and it outlined the objectives of primary education as:
-to develop and nurture the child’s moral, mental and social personality;
-to bring up the child as a patriotic, responsible, inquiring and law-abiding citizen, and develop in him/her love for justice, dignity, labor, proper conduct and uprightness;
-to learn to read and write in the mother tongue, and to be able to count and calculate;
-to be able to acquire the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for a future citizen;
-to prepare for the next stage of higher education.

The commission also recommended compulsory primary education up to Class VIII and appointing female teachers to attract female students. Developments have been since that time. Finally, fifty efficiencies have been decided for completion of primary education which is very much related with the report of Kudrat-e- Khuda Education Commission. By promulgating an ordinance on October 26, 1973, the government nationalized a large number of primary schools. Now in each and every village there is a primary school. But different types of primary schools are found all over the country. There are government primary schools, registered primary schools, community primary schools, ebtedaye madrasa, kindergartens, English medium schools, high schools attached primary schools, NGO schools, mosque and temple based pre-primary schools etc. In some cases the curriculum is different and the quality of education is also different.
Though fifty efficiencies have been set for the primary level, it can be observed from a visit to a primary school that the teaching method is far from achieving it. The teaching method is completely examination oriented. The teachers and the guardians are concerned about how the students can obtain the highest marks in the examinations. Teachers are teaching with the help of notebooks even in the classroom instead of the books provided by the government for free. Teachers advise the students to memorize answers to some important questions that have selected by writing them again and again so that they do not make any mistake in the final examination. As they do not study according to the whole syllabus, they fail to achieve the real education. They fail to enlighten themselves and only memorize some information. Thus, the government’s whole arrangement for primary education becomes ineffective.
The teachers are receiving trainings from PTI, Upazila Resource Centers and also cluster-based training programmes. In some upazilas there is a project named English in Action that provides training for enhancing capability of teaching as well as English language. But in most of the cases the application of training knowledge is absent. Trainings cannot change their attitude properly to result in better performance in teaching. In the present time, quality education is a widely discussed issue in the country. In reality, quality of education is assessed by the marks obtained by students in the public examinations. The logic behind it is questionable. If we define education as sum of knowledge, skills and values, we can only assess information-based 'knowledge' and in some cases 'skill' through the present public examination system. But the values are untouched in the traditional examination system. The result of education can be assessed on the basis of the activities of these educated people in the society. The result is seriously frustrating. This is caused by the competition for getting high marks in the examination. It is true not only for the primary education but also in the field of higher education in Bangladesh. As the primary education is the foundation of a nation, the initiative of developing citizens starts here. The managing committees, teachers, guardians and students should realize the objective of education and aim for making good citizen who will be patriotic, serve the nation and fight against poverty.

Jobs to be focused on:
For achieving the fifty qualities of primary education, everyone concerned should make efforts. Every teacher must remember the objectives and the qualities when they are teaching the students. Teachers should be prepared well before coming to the class room. It is necessary to think about the human qualities for building the children as future leaders of the nation. Practice of co-curricular activities can play a vital role in this field. It is necessary to think about the examination system. A hundred marks should not be fixed only for the written examination. Marks distribution has to be done on the basis of the fifty qualities. A certain portion of marks should be held by the teacher to evaluate the students and give proper marks for qualities like honesty, truthfulness, discipline, politeness etc.
Notebooks must be eliminated from the market so that the students will read original books prepared by the board. Government officials and teachers must be sincere about stopping the use of notebooks in the school. Mobile courts may bring good results in this regard. Consciousness among the teachers, guardians and government officers is necessary regarding developing inner qualities rather than memorizing. Emphasis is to be given on the qualities like honesty, truthfulness, humanity, patriotism, perseverance, integrity etc towards making a good citizen.
Evaluation of the teacher's training process is required for further action plan and development. It seems that the present training activities are not sufficient to change the attitude of the teachers to teach children in the proper method. The environment of the school must be improved. The structure of the building, flower garden and play grounds of a school should be attractive so that the students will feel better about coming to school. Curriculum is to be prepared in accordance with the objectives and qualities of primary education.
Primary education is the most important part of the education of a nation. It may be compared with the foundation of a building. If the foundation of a building is not strong, it will not be sustainable. Accordingly if the quality of primary education is not up to the mark, the secondary, higher secondary and tertiary education will not succeed. The children come to the primary school with fresh and sharp brain; they require proper guidance and nursing. It is the high time of to plant the seeds of the future. The future success of the children as well as the nation depends on it. So the objectives and the target of primary education must be achieved without failure for the greater interest of the nation.


Educated Population, Education, Education System, Educational Centers, Educational Ideas, Educational Institutes, Educational Stage

Meet the author

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
I am a teacher engaged with the Southern University Bangladesh. I Like to use my spare time by writing and reading. I take it as a fun and source of inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
9th Mar 2012 (#)

As I understand it, if teachers have too many students fail in the exams, then the teacher's job is put in jeopardy. Maybe the teachers have a quota for students passing their exams, and they do use the method of teaching their students to memorize correct answers, rather than teaching them to understand and then giving a correct answer . It can be compared to a parrot mimicking an answer and never understanding its own mimicked answer.
Do you think this could be the case, Rezaul?

Reply to this comment

author avatar James Williams
9th Mar 2012 (#)

nice article

Reply to this comment

author avatar Buzz
9th Mar 2012 (#)

Ivy has a point, Md. Listen to her.

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
9th Mar 2012 (#)

well written Rezaul..I agree about solid foundations...thank you..

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mikey.
9th Mar 2012 (#)

I am in total agreement with you Rezaul, A sound Primary Education is of the utmost importance, A sound foundation to build on.

Reply to this comment

author avatar ittech
10th Mar 2012 (#)

very interesting writing . Keep going .

well written

Reply to this comment

author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
10th Mar 2012 (#)

First of all I thank you all for your comments, secondly, I do respect what you think, thirdly, yes, memorizing or mimicking is still the case of the majority school. So, my feeling is that depending solely on school is not enough, parents should be involved and active to monitor what's going on. But again parents have their own businesses!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?