Though it has been the principal objective of education to develop a student into a value driven man, the current system of education puts much emphasis on the results of public examination that leads the guardians to send their children to coaching centers and private tutors as they think only institutional schooling cannot bring good grades for their children. So, they remain busy to run after private coaching and coaching centers.UNESCO conducted a research on the style of examination in the education system and its influence on the learners in nine countries of the Asia Pacific Region. The researchers talked with five thousand students of various level and revealed the fact that a large portion of students need to receive help from private tutors or coaching centers and this rate is highest in Bangladesh among the countries of Asia Pacific Region.
Under the title ‘The culture of Testing: Sociocultural Impacts of Learning in Asia and the Pacific ‘based on the results of the research revealed in Bangkok that shows 92 percent students of Bangladesh receive private tuition which is 50 percent in India and the lowest in Fiji that is five percent. It is 70 percent in Kazakhstan and Vietnam, 68 percent in the Republic of Korea and 35percent in the Philippines. The UNESCO report says that the coaching business is multiplying fast in Bangladesh on the basis of private tuition and the tendency is almost equal both in rural and urban areas. Its main reason is the guardian’s expectation to get better grades for the students. Quite a good number of students belonging to both government and non-government institutions receive private tuition beyond their classroom teaching. It is also arranged inside the schools as well after the usual classwork. Before the examination guardians send their wards to coaching for better results. Another survey was conducted where 62 percent learners participated in and among them 45 percent opined that their number of examination is greater. In many countries this formal and summative assessment is decreasing but the opposite thing happens in Bangladesh.
45 percent students of our country spend more than seven hours a week in the classroom to take preparation for the examination and this is the highest amount of time spent among Asia Pacific Region. 48 percent students spend more than seven hours a week outside the classroom for examination purpose.82 percent guardians of Bangladesh observe the good results of their children by entertaining sweetmeats, and delicious dishes and inviting near and dear ones and neighbours at home. And coaching centers take the credit of these good results. Responding to results such a way does not sound healthy as opined by educationist Serjaul Islam Chowdhury. It means extra pressure on the students for making further better results and showing anger or dissatisfaction towards the low performers makes students frustrated. Some students cannot digest this reprimand or criticism that sometimes even leads them to suicide. The educationist suggests whether children are really learning things or not should be taken into consideration without putting emphasis on the results.
The Ex-Education Minister said, “Higher court has declared coaching and note and guide books illegal. But we don’t have power to implement that law. The matter is related to law enforcing agencies and several other ministers. Coaching is not legal, still notes and guides and coaching continue.’ A questions has arisen in the society whether teaching students separately or beyond classroom teaching is illegal! When doctors don’t give treatment to the patients in the government hospitals alluring the patients to go to their own clinics or the clinics where they are attached to, can we say teachers must not conduct private teaching? Students’ of different categories and the classroom setting of our institutions do not necessarily satisfy the real needs of the students of mixed category that compels students to receive private tuition. Of course, we don’t and we should not allow this situation to happen and create discrimination between the students receiving tuition at the cost of huge money to buy results and those who cannot do it will lag behind. Still, another point need to be taken into account that is teachers will tech only in the classroom and students will learn everything in the classroom sounds very good and it is supposed to happen. This situation actually tells an ideal situation that, to speak the truth, we could not have established. As in the entire system of education we could not ensure an ideal situation, how can we expect the ideal situation in terms of extra teaching only? Because of lying this huge gap between the reality and our expectation, coaching and private tuition, using note and guide books prevail in the society.
Class twelve goes with secondary level in many countries but it is in the higher secondary level in our country and students have to sit for four public examinations to cross this bar. If the examinations had been genuine and they could really assess the mental and intellectual growth of the learners, criticism and counter arguments would not have arisen. The results of the public examinations tell other stories in most of the cases. This is a set game and if the students can sense the technique of these games, they can manage very good grades without going through the text even and learning the basic idea of the things they learn. These good grades manage them good jobs also because of the faulty chain system but real learning stands far apart. These good graders may hold good positions but the real service to the state and people remains absent, this we experience.
Mainul Ahsan Nobel is participating in the Music Show in India who claims that he has little attention to institutional education and his parents are pressing and chiding him for that. Here the real thing is he developed knack towards music and he is outshining all other performances. He should be given opportunity to bloom this talent as education psychology says. We must understand this fact that we don’t feel in most of the cases. Only academic performance does not tell the whole story of education. Barely two years back in the World Economic Forum and USA based institution named MARSUR released another fact that in the work place and reduction system there lies a gap that impels Bangladesh to go behind. In Bangladesh 82 percent people aged between 25 and 54 engaged in work show 6.3 percent higher ability, 53 percent show lower work ability and 40.7 percent incapable. To develop workable population that calls for other abilities as well beyond academic performance. Why? Our students are kept busy with dealing with textbooks only and to prepare them only for examination. They are neither encouraged nor given time nor any incentive to read the books outside their text that is absolutely necessary for blooming their latent talents as well as utilize their full potential. Sooner we perceive it, the better.
Writer : Education specialist in BRAC Education Program and formerly taught in Cadet Colleges and Rjauk College