A Seminal Work on Educational Science and Educational Practices in Bangladesh

S. M. Rayhanul Islam
Wednesday, September 27th, 2017


 

(Shikkha Bigyan o Bangladeshe Shikkha-6th Edition by Dr. Abdul Maleque, Dr.  Mariam Begum, Dr. Fakhrul Islam and Sheikh Shahbaz Riad, Published by the Ramon Publishers, Banglabazar, Dhaka-1100, February 2017, Pages: 693, ISBN: 984-70350-0176-0)

 

Like in the other countries, ‘Education Science’ has become an independent discipline in the academic arena of Bangladesh. Keen interest towards this discipline is growing day by day among the academics, education policy-makers, researchers, development professionals, students and general people. Dhaka University’s Institute of Education and Research (IER) is the pioneer in studying and researching on education. IER conducts 4Year-Bachelor, Masters, MPhil & PhD programmes in Education. A good number of public universities are also offering graduate and postgraduate degrees in education. Teachers’ Training Colleges of National University conduct Bachelor as well as Masters Courses in Education for secondary school teachers and other professionals. Bangladesh Open University also has Certificate, Bachelor & Masters courses in Education. Moreover, today many private universities are offering Bachelor and Masters Programmes in Education. Through these institutes the study of ‘Education Science’ has been growing strong day by day. But, it is an irony of fact, there is a lack of standard texts and reference books on Education in our country. In this regard, the book ‘Shikkha Bigyan o Bangladeshe Shikkha (Education Science and Education in Bangladesh)’ is a very timely and noble initiative from the authors. The University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh published its first, second, third and fourth edition in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2014 respectively.

 

The book contains sixteen chapters. The first chapter entitled ‘Introducing Education’ discusses the concept, aims, functions and scope of education.  Actually, the theoretical aspects of education are presented here.  In the second chapter, the authors delve deeper into an analysis of the concept ‘Education Science’. In general, we are familiar with the connotation ‘Education as a learning process’; however, we are less acquainted with the concept ‘Education as a Science’. The authors attempt to explain how ‘Education Science’ has become a special branch of knowledge. Chapter 3 deals with the child education. Some very important topics like ‘Child’s Growth and Development’, ‘Learning, Attention and Motivation’; ‘Intelligence & Personality’ etc. are discussed in this chapter. This chapter also sheds light on child-centric education and its main characteristics.

 

The fourth chapter entitled ‘Education in Bangladesh’ begins with a discussion on education in the constitution of Bangladesh. Mentioning various provisions in our constitution it reminds us about the responsibility of State to ensure education for all citizens. This chapter also examines the various educational commission reports formulated after the independence of Bangladesh. Especially, the aims & objectives of education described in the latest ‘National Education Policy-2010’ are explained very nicely in this chapter. In the fifth and sixth chapters, the writers elaborate the structure, curricula, administration & management of education in Bangladesh. Chapters 7 & 8 discuss ‘Teaching Methods and Techniques’ and ‘Evaluation Management’. The latest development of assessment and evaluation system in our Secondary level; i.e. School Based Assessment (SBA) and creative questions, is discussed elaborately in chapter 8. However, the authors believe, in the current socio-economic and political contexts of Bangladesh, introducing SBA may create many unwanted situation in the education sector.  The next chapter deals with a very important topic: Teacher Training in Bangladesh. Historical background of teachers’ training and different types of teachers’ training for different levels of education sector are presented here very nicely.

 

Another very important topic ‘Education and Human Resource Development’ is discussed in chapter 10. Education’s role in human resource development and Bangladesh’s position in Human Development Index (HDI) by UNDP are explained here. In the chapters 11 & 12, the writers discuss about ‘Education Financing in Bangladesh’ and ‘Efficiency and Wastage in Education’. The authors rightly observe that the allocation of money for education sector in our national budget is inadequate. Major wastages (dropout, unemployed educated, over production of highly qualified persons, brain drain etc.) in education sector of Bangladesh are described in chapter 12. Chapter 13 deals with quality education. Some important topics like quality education in Bangladesh, government’s initiatives taken for improving our education and barriers to quality education in Bangladesh are discussed in this chapter. Chapters 14 & 15 focus on ‘Educational Development Planning in Bangladesh’ and ‘Problems and Issues in Education of Bangladesh’. The authors analyze different ‘National Education Commission’ and ‘National Education Policy’ reports and draw our attention towards the challenges and issues of our education sector. In the final chapter 16, the writers focus on ‘Education in Global Perspective’. How various UN and International organizations deal with education is described here elaborately.

 

In selecting and organizing the topics of the book, both theoretical and practical aspects of education in Bangladesh have been given emphasized. As a reference, the book is unique. Overall, the book is a highly informative and recommended work. The authors of this book have extensive working experiences in the field of education. Professor Dr. Abdul Maleque and Professor Dr. Mariam Begum have been teaching and researching at the Dhaka University’s Institute of Education & Research (IER) since 1988 and 1996 respectively. Dr. Fakhrul Islam is working as a Joint Secretary with the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh and Sheikh Shahbaz Riad is an Associate Professor at the Government Teachers’ Training College, Dhaka. The authors must deserve appreciation for producing this brilliant academic piece of writing. With Foreword by Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of BRAC University’s Institute of Educational Development, the book contains abundant food for thought for academics, researchers, policy-makers, students and educational professionals a whole. For the people interested in the challenges, issues and development of Bangladesh education, this book is a must-read. Finally, the point must be made that this publication is an excellent and valuable contribution to the literature on Education.

 

The writer is an independent researcher. E-mail: smrayhanulislam@hotmail.com

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