Govt must train the teachers adequately
The Awami League-led government has brought significant changes with effect from January 2013 in the curriculums involving students from Class I to Class IX to, what the authorities claim, develop ‘the thinking ability, imaginative capability, inquisitiveness and creativity’ of the students. In line with the new curriculums, students from Class VI to Class X will need to take at least three new subjects such as Bangladesh and global studies, job and life-oriented studies and information and communications technology. Moreover, students of Class IX and Class X will need to take two more new subjects — career studies, and finance and banking. The new optional subjects for the students from Class VI to Class X include ethnic minority languages and culture while that for the students of Class IX and Class X include population and development studies, human resource development, human rights and gender studies and tourism and hospitality. Additionally, new topics incorporated in the new curriculums include reproductive health, climate change, HIV/AIDS, autism and right to information.
One does not need to be an expert to understand that in order to have the students benefit from the new curriculums, the teachers concerned, who are undoubtedly not familiar with its contents, need to be properly trained about it in the first place. Regrettably, however, as New Age reported on Saturday, teachers already taking classes in primary schools across the country are yet to receive the training while secondary teachers in only 19 districts, out of total of 64, have obtained some sort of training thus far. Meanwhile, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board responsible for conducting the training has planned that some master trainers are to be given a six-day training in the issues in the first phase, who would then conduct a three-day training about the same issues for teachers in their respective districts. One must admit that planned training programme is inadequate as far as the proper communication of the knowledge to the students is concerned. What is worse is that the programme has been stalled since August reportedly for lack of funds, leaving thousands of teachers responsible for teaching the subjects virtually in the lurch.
In fact, the students are to bear the brunt of all these. On the one hand, they are being deprived of the proper understanding of the new subjects and the contents introduced in their curriculums. On the other hand, they might need to take private tuition or depend on notebooks that have, though, already been banned by the government for their detrimental effects on students’ mind spending extra money to cover the deficit. Most importantly, the students in rural areas, where schools lack adequate and efficient teaching staff and logistics, may be the worst victims of such an unfortunate situation. Under the circumstances, the government must resume the trainings already stalled and provide adequate funds to start the training to cover every teacher meant for teaching the newly inducted subjects.
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