On the new textbooks
FIRST of all, I would like to thank the authorities for being able to distribute textbooks to students on time. The design of the textbooks will surely help our next generation to go far ahead in future. Those who design the textbooks are praise worthy for their foresight.
As far as I know, the teaching of English (Second Paper) is done in Bangla in almost every school. But the textbook of the subject is printed in English. The question is how the students can understand the English version books while a majority of them have failed to understand the Bengali version books. My intention is not to underestimate the students.
As a teacher, I think I have a keen understanding of the realities on the ground. Now the government may claim that it recruited a sufficient number of teachers for the schools. But what good can the recruited teachers may bring if they are not properly trained?
That is why the students in most places have to go to coaching centres or to private tutors. It appears that the government wants to shut down the coaching business. But how will it be possible if the classroom environment is way below the standard?
A few days ago, I found some of my students with the new textbooks of English Second Paper. I told one to read the first chapter of the book, which is about sentence. I knew they studied the same topic in earlier classes. But they could not understand the language and even did not try to read. I think the failure of the teachers and policymakers rather than ability of the students is responsible for this. If the books were designed with Bengali subtitles, they would be more helpful than the current ones.
In the English First Paper textbook of class X there are descriptions of some of our neighbouring countries such as India, Maldives and Nepal. This addition, I believe, will be helpful for the students in future. But I was shocked as I find out that there is no information on Pakistan and Afghanistan while both of the two countries are included in SAARC. It is true that we have blood memories about Pakistan as we had to fight against them to achieve our independence in 1971. But our new generations must be provided with the knowledge about their neighbours. Knowledge must not be limited.
I humbly request the authorities to pay some thoughts on these issues.
Md Saiful Kaisar
Department of English
International Islamic University Chittagong
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