Perhaps, it’s time for a rethink of early education
THE notion that too much pressure is put on little minds too soon has been in circulation in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world for quite a while now. A letter signed by 127 senior social leaders in the United Kingdom and published in the leading British daily Telegraph, saying the proper age for schooling to begin should be above six instead of five, seems to reinforce such a view. The argument in favour is simple – throwing children into the stressful sphere of too much formal learning at a tender age severely hampers their ability to develop an individual character. The concern of the British social leaders should not remain confined within the UK only since, in Bangladesh too, many parents and teachers apparently exert too much pressure on children to deliver acceptable academic records from an early age. The worry emanating from ‘too much too soon on children in schools’ is prevalent in Bangladesh because urban trends show children as young as three or four being sent to school to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. While these three basic pillars are essential for academic growth, there is hardly any reason to impose them on soft minds. Needless to say, in a society where excelling in education is deemed a pivotal prestige factor for the parents and family, the notion of learning through play and games is often overtaken by a grim competition between adults, making children helpless pawns.
Of late, schools aspiring to be the best in academic result seem to have also joined in this culture, compounding the misery of toddlers. The common understanding in Bangladesh seems to be that the earlier a child is inducted into formal education the better the chances he or she has in the future career market. Of course, any person has the right to an established respectable life with the support of a solid education though robbing the best part of someone’s life of unvarnished joy cannot be condoned under any circumstances. When Western social leaders are protesting against their education policies, which are already deemed progressive, compared to generally rigid pedagogical approaches in South Asia, a rethink of our own education system could very well be in order. That means a thorough reassessment of how we look at education and what we expect from it. Since a revolution to revamp early education is underway in the west, Bangladesh should also open up to reforms. The government can lead the way by initiating a debate on the issue in different forums, involving the conscious sections of society.
comments powered by Disqus
THE notion that too much pressure is put on little... Full story
BECAUSE ‘defensive alliances which have fixed and limited objectives are often more durable’, the ‘Syria-Iran alliance has survived’ more than three decades of unwavering and insistent US-led military, economic, diplomatic and media campaign to dismantle it, but it is still enduring... Full story