We have flaws in our education system, and we know that even without looking at the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI). Our education system has certainly expanded and grown. As a result, enrolment in educational institutions has increased. But this is growth of education only in terms of quantity, and it is a sad reality that we have failed to ensure the quality of education.
One of the major reasons behind Bangladesh witnessing a decline in terms of quality of education is that we do not have a sufficient number of good teachers.
A good teacher must possess certain qualities, which depend on his or her interest, qualification and background. In addition, we have a shortage of teachers.
In some cases, we fail to recruit good quality teachers. We have seen teachers getting recruited by institutions on the basis of their political affiliation. Some teachers have even entered the profession through patronage of higher authorities. But this is not the way it should be. Teaching is a noble profession and a person who wants to become a teacher must possess the willingness to teach.
Moreover, we do not provide proper training to our teachers and they do not have any accountability as well. We do not monitor what the teachers are teaching in their classrooms, rather, we focus on the grades.
Secondly, we have too many public examinations and these do not contribute to improving the quality of education. Instead, they contribute to harming the quality of education. Earlier, we had just two public examinations and in my opinion, those were more than enough.
Thirdly, we have privatised our education. There are too many private universities in the country. Though we are being told that it is allowing more people to obtain higher degrees, but their education is only classroom-centric, which cannot produce great scholars.
On top of all the above mentioned reasons, the most problematic issue is that we do not have any standardised education system. We have general education, madrasah education and English medium education systems and the curriculum is different for each. So from the beginning children get enrolled at different educational institutions that follow different curriculums. As a result, there is discrimination from the very beginning.
We are continuously placed among the bottom 10 of the Global Talent Competitive Index and that is not good news. It is high time we address our problems. We need to recruit more teachers so that the student-teacher ratio comes down.
The recruitment process of teachers should be made transparent as well. Moreover, we need to introduce a uniform curriculum for our students before they enter universities. After doing that, we can hope to obtain a better ranking in the GTCI and improve our quality of education.
Professor Serajul Islam Choudhury is an educationalist.