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Bangladesh education curriculum to undergo significant changes

Big changes are coming to pre-primary school to high school levels’ education system. Whether students will study in the science section or any other section will be determined in class eleven. From class six to ten, everyone will have to learn the same ten subjects.

National curriculum and textbook board (NCTB) is working to refine the curriculum from pre-primary school to high school with such a proposal and plan. According to the refined curriculum, class one, class two and class six students will receive new textbooks next year. Gradually other classes will get new books.

The curriculum will be finalized within the next march and it will be fully implemented by the year 2025.

The number of books will also decrease. Subject matters will change. And SSC examination will be held based on only class ten’s curriculum. Two public examinations will be held in class eleven and class twelve, based on which HSC results will be published.

Two members of NCTB said to sources that some matters are almost finalized, and some are in the planning process. The committee comprising education experts and NCTB officers along with personnel from other levels are working to refine the Curriculums.

Primary school to high school level’s curriculums were last changed in 2012.

Primary level

According to NCTB, there will be no normal examination up to class three.

“The Curriculum is being designed in such a way to promote active learning in the students for acquiring requisite skills.”

According to Professor AKM Riazul Hasan, member (primary Curriculums) of NCTB

Schools up to class three will carry out a continuous evaluation. The books will be designed in such a way so that they can be taught practically. The names of the books may also be changed. For example, the mathematics book may be named ‘Fun in Maths’.

Former chairman of Jessore Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Amirul Alam Khan told that those who understand the whole education system should be the ones to design the curriculum appropriate for the day and age that we are in.

There will be ten books from class six to class ten

According to the proposed curriculum, all students from class six to class ten will be taught using the same ten subject. Then in class eleven, an opportunity for choosing sections will be given. Currently, students have to study the same books up to class eight and in class nine, students have to transfer into science, arts or business sections. The proposed curriculum set out the following ten books to be taught from class six to class ten: Bengali, English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology, Social Science, Life & Work, Religion, Health Education, and Arts & Culture. Currently, in these classes, twelve to fourteen subjects are taught.

Shahan Ara Begam, principal of Motijheel Ideal School & College has said that the decision of decreasing the number of books is a positive one. But she also said that the subjects should be implemented in such a way that students can learn the Bengali language and other subjects well.

SSC examination to be held based on the curriculum of class ten

At the time, the SSC examination is held based on the curriculums of both classes nine and ten. In the refined curriculum, it has been planned that SSC examination will be taken based only on the curriculum of class ten. A member of NCTB told that skills that are to be learned in class nine are tested in the educational institute itself already. Students get to class ten after passing class nine. Therefore, only class ten’s curriculum will be considered for SSC examination and thus, pressure on students will also decrease. If this is approved, it will be realized in 2024.

Education Course expert Professor Siddiqur Rahman considered the initiative to choose sections in class eleven a positive one. He said that as the country improved itself, the pillar of education must be strengthened in tandem. So, every student should be brought up to be as capable as possible by class ten. To this end, how much science, arts, or business studies should be taught needs to be determined carefully.

Two public examinations in higher secondary school level

If the plan is passed, by the year 2025, students will choose their sections in class eleven. There will twelve papers in higher secondary schools. Among these, Bengali, English, and Information and Communication Technology will be mandatory for everyone. Along with these, students will take three subjects of the section that they choose, each of which will consist of three papers. The class eleven examination will be held on the mandatory three subjects and the first part of each section wise subjects. This examination will be held under the supervision of the Education Board. The results will be preserved by the board. Then in class twelve, the students will sit for the examination on the rest of the subjects. Class twelve’s result and class eleven’s result will be combined to determine a student’s HSC result.

There are also talks of giving some flexibility regarding section choice.

If this is allowed, then students can take a subject from another section along with two subjects of his chosen section if he wants to.

A higher officer of NCTB further told that even though there will be two examinations, students will ultimately experience decreased pressure. The subjects on which examination is being taken at once currently will be divided between class eleven and class twelve.

Professor Md. Mashiuzzaman, member (curriculum) of NCTB told that many matters are under discussion. The curriculum will be finalized in February and March.

Sex education to be introduced in school and madrasa curriculum of Bangladesh

Within the span of ten years, the education board has added and changed quite a few things in the curriculum here and there. However, recently the government has decided to take the initiative to launch “Sex-Reproductive Health Education” program which is quite a breakthrough for our schools and madrasas.

The brain behind the initiative

“Generation Break Through” will run the program accordingly in schools and other educational institutions around the country. The Secondary and Higher Education Department has been working on this project for about 20 to 25 years.

In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, Project Director and Director (Planning and Development) Dr Mohammad Jahangir Hossain mentioned in that the program took place in some schools and madrasas as “Phase One”. Since the program was running successfully, the government has decided to put it in under all schools and madrasas accordingly. With the end of a successful phase, the second phase of this program will start from this year. However, the official launch of this subject will occur around 2021-2022.

Better late than never

In the beginning, there were some concerns as most teachers and education institutions were doubtful of the program. However, with proper training funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the project broke through the stereotypes by taking small and steady steps. According to the sources, despite the “social constricting” ideologies, parents in most education institutions took an interest in the program.

Elementary and middle school students are studying under this program through sports at ‘Gender Equality for All Corner’ or ‘Teenage Corner’ established in the institutions. From the second phase onward, the program will have strict rules to accommodate trained teachers, fixed content and the consistent habit of creating a healthy environment for the students.

Small steps to a safer space

In a society where sexual abuse of both genders has increased at an alarming rate, sex education is a very crucial step for us. The idea of consent is much more diverse than we think of it to be.

“Be it a village or an urban society youths are sexually active, so they must know the dos and don’ts about safe sex and hygiene, in order to make the right decisions with situations like these”

Says Nusrat Zahid, a student of Bangladesh University of Professionals, when asked about her take on this new program.

The fundamental knowledge about sexual reproductive health and safe sex will bring awareness among youths and their surroundings.

Bangladesh moves to make technical education compulsory in every school

Photograph by: Saikat Mojumder

In the midst of all our hopelessness and complaints about our education system, there’s perhaps one silver lining at last. Our education system is finally about to include compulsory vocational education at the school level.

The Education Minister of Bangladesh, Dipu Moni, expressed the necessity of implementing technical and vocational education in the education system of the schools in Bangladesh. She stated that every school has to make technical and vocational training compulsory from 2021.

“Every school must have at least two trades from which each student will choose one. If any student fails to complete higher education, he or she must get employed under the chosen programme.”

She stated.

Read more: Bangladesh earns the highest rate of trust in vaccines, France the lowest

Dipu Moni also added that the government wishes to develop this particular sector of education. So in essence, the process of reforming the education system has already started. And we can hope that a bright future lies ahead of us!

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