Development of Education: Reformations towards Knowledge Society

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Bangladesh’s commitment to education has been clearly stated in its Constitution and development plans with education being given the highest priority in the public sector investments. Article 17 of the Constitution clearly spells out that- The State shall adopt effective measures for the purpose of-
a) Establishing a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and extending free and compulsory education to all children to such stage as may be determined by law;
b) Relating education to the needs of society and producing properly trained and motivated citizens to serve those needs;
c) Removing illiteracy within such time as may be determined by law.

The National Education Policy 2010 has been prepared in tune with this article of the Constitution and various national and international conventions.

Formulating National Education Policy

The National Education Policy was formulated after consultation with various educational experts and stakeholders, which is currently being implemented in phases. The Policy envisages education which helps build a poverty free, secular, progressive and democratic society in the long term. It envisages developing children into educated, productive and skilled workforce as well as instill in them national cultures, traditions and moral values. The NEP gives utmost significance to pre-primary education. All 5 year old children are being brought under this scheme, with the plans to extend the plan to include 4 year olds too. The NEP advises the government to start pre primary education in all schools. The NEP asks for more teachers to be recruited and increasing the number of classrooms. These are to be implemented in phases. It also emphasizes on the study of arts and literature.

National Education Policy 2010 the Prime Features Education Policy (2010)

 Shifting primary education from 5th to 8th class
 Distributing modern and rewritten books among the students at the first day of the year
 Integrating Madrasa education and vocational education into the general education
 Establishing mandatory core subjects for primary-level education: Bangla, English, Mathematics, Bangladesh Studies, social environment and climate change, and ICT
 Every School will have a mandatory library equipped with necessary books.
 More scholarships for the poor meritorious
 No physical punishments for students
 Arrangement of lunch for the students
 Education for indigenous students in their mother tongues.
 Facilities for the disabled
 Standardization of teachers qualifications
 More training for the teachers and promotion will be connected with experience and training and many more

Education Policy (2010) also visualizes promoting access to quality education for all. The present government is working to bring about qualitative changes in the education sector.


Some of the implementations of new education policy are given below:

 Distribution of 27 crore books in 2013 among the primary and secondary school students has started and the books are also available on the website
 Holding terminal examinations for class V and class VIII students have begun and the success rate in secondary and higher secondary exams. Which system has gave a new dimension to the education policy
 Nearly 100% kids goes to school
 11% women can now read and write than the previous government.
 26,200 primary schools have been nationalized.
 Preschool program introduced
 For the first time stipend for the girls is allocated in graduate level.
 Government has raised the number of stipends for school students to 30 lakh from 17 lakh and included 1,624 educational institutions in the monthly payment order (MPO)
 The present government has recruited about 80,000 assistant teachers for primary schools
 The PM said work has started to construct 3,000 secondary schools, academic buildings in 71 colleges and 306 model schools
 11 secondary schools and 6 colleges are being set up in Dhaka city, at the same time one university would be established in every district of the country.
 the government has formulated a new law to enhance quality of education in private universities
 For expansion of higher education, University of Professionals has been opened in Dhaka, Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur and Science and Technology University in Pabna,
 Work has started for setting up six specialized universities, that initiatives have been taken to set up one technical school in every upazila.
 Madrasa education is being modernized and religious education has been made compulsory at the secondary level.
 Thirty model Madrasas have been set up, vocational courses introduced in 100 Madrasas and honors courses opened in 31 Madrasas, and urged all to educate the new generation properly in religious education and modern teachings.

Objectives of ICT in Education Master Plan (2012-2021) The objectives of ICT in education are:
 To develop teaching-learning environment
 To develop professional and ICT skills of teachers
 Improving standards of teaching-learning materials
 Building up skilled human resources as per the needs of present times
 Ensuring of transparency, accountability and efficiency in educational management
 Creating accessibility of education services at the doorsteps of the poor people
 Ensuring participation of skilled persons concerned in education sector

ICT in Education master Plan
Now, in the age of “late-modernity”, the economies of the world are diverging and fluid. Businesses now see no definite boundaries to setting up; rather they prefer wherever they think their interests will be best served. Thus, like other developing countries Bangladesh sits at the forefront of the new economic paradigm. As we know that the present government envisages turning our country into a middle income country (MIC) by 2021.
But it would only become a reality if we could keep the momentum of growth up. To maintain the rate of development, the country has to go parallel with the intensity and scale of global competition. This increasing competition is placing huge demands on the education system of the country to develop a prepared and skilled workforce that can meet the ever-changing human resource requirements global economy is creating. It is unanimously regarded that an “info-techno” oriented pedagogy design and planned digitization process could be the determinants of making a country’s manpower skilled, self reliant and prepared to meet the demands of globalization.
Realizing the present nature of global world order the present Govt. of Bangladesh has recently undertaken a program named ICT in Education Master Plan (2012-2021) to facilitate the Education Policy 2010. In addition to that, to make the country a digitized the Govt. has also endorsed The National ICT Policy 2012. It is expected that the proper implementation of the policies would minimize the digital divide, ensure participation for all and generate a skilled work force for future. This master plan along with ICT Policy 2012 will facilitate in the comprehensive use of the ICT in education and employment generation. This policy framework expected to create the following opportunities.

Primary Education at a Glance

• In order to ensure 100% literacy rate, 99.47% of all eligible students of primary education to be enrolled and admitted;
• In accordance with the poverty road map, giving scholarships and stipends to 90% students of 67 Upazilas; 75% students of 122 Upazilas; 50% students of 154 Upazilas; 45% students of 154 Upazilas;
• Raising the number of scholarships and stipends from 4.8 million to more than 7.8 million;
• Establishing 7,561 schools in poverty stricken and indigenous population rich 90 Upazilas at a cost of TK 6.84 billion which has benefited 7.5 million poor and drop out children in acquiring primary education
• Introducing lottery system for admission into Class 1 of schools in cities
• Introducing pre-primary education for encouraging young children to take up education in their formative stage;
• Admitting more than 18 million children into pre-primary education;
• Taking up project in 2013 to introduce pre-primary education in all schools;
• Special project to incentivize school drop outs benefiting 70,000 children; – Providing nutritious biscuits to 2.8 million children of 96 poverty stricken Upazilas and distributing mid-day meals at 283 schools on local initiation;
• 3,447 public primary schools rebuilt at a cost of TK 1 billion and 30 million. 213 registered private schools rebuilt and 1,292 such schools extended at a cost of TK 410 million. Furniture supplied to 9,476 schools;
• Rebuilding 258 primary schools devastated by river erosion at a cost of TK 580 million. Building 398 primary schools cum cyclone shelters;
• Rebuilding 72,555 primary schools, installing 1,52157 toilets, installing 46,575 tube wells, repairing 18,703 schools. – Installing internet at 1,109 offices connected to primary education;
• Designing and distributing 58 types of teachers’ guides for Classes 1 to 5 segmented
• Recruitment of 82,725 teachers at primary schools. Forming panel of 42,611 teachers by arranging central examination for recruitment. Project to recruit 20,000 para-teachers. Positions created for 45,000 primary teachers.

Infrastructural Development
Developing educational infrastructure is crucial for ensuring congenial learning environment, incentivizing children to enroll and prevent dropouts. To that end, the current government has adopted a number of steps for building and/or maintaining key infrastructure related to the education sector, namely:

a) Rebuilding, and providing furniture to, 3.447 public primary schools under Government Primary Schools Rebuilding and Reform (2nd Phase) Project;
b) Rebuilding 213 registered private primary schools and extending 1,292 registered private primary schools under Registered Private Primary Schools Development Project at a cost of over TK 10 billion;
c) Rebuilding 258 schools damaged or destroyed by floods of 2007 and river erosion at a cost of TK 580 million;
d) Under Primary Education Development Project 2: Building 40,870 additional classrooms; building 398 primary schools cum cyclone shelters; constructing 23,202 toilets; digging and setting up 17,275 deep tube wells; repairing 7,103 primary schools;
e) extending operations of Primary School Offices in 58 districts; Building/extending education offices in 456 Upazilas; building 397 Upazila Resource Centers; extending 53 PTI and NEP buildings; building 10 hostels in Chittagong hill tracts. e) Project has been undertaken to rebuild 2000 schools;
f) In order to extend opportunities for education, project has been undertaken to construct 1500 schools in those areas which do not currently have any schools. Till date, locations have been identified and building work commenced in 700 primary schools;
g) In order to train able and skilled teachers, 12 PTIs have been set up in 12 districts which lacked such facilities previously;
h) In order to ensure education of indigenous people, 10 schools have been built with hostel facilities in remote mountainous areas;
i) Under Primary Education Development Programme 3: Building 31,685 classrooms to reduce the teacher: student ratio from 1:56 to 1:40; Rebuilding 2,709 schools, buildings of which were classified as risky; building 1,28,955 toilets; setting up 39,300 tube wells for ensuring supply of fresh drinking water;
building 53,250 toilets for female students and teachers and 21,955 toilets and 53,750 urinals for male students and teachers; repairing 11,600 classrooms; repairing divisional, district and Upazila primary education office and resource centers; building 14 URC buildings; building a leadership training center in Cox’s Bazar; and building a new building for Directorate of Primary Education’s Head Office.

Distribution of Free Textbooks
After assuming power, the current government has been distributing free textbooks to all students from Class 1 to Class 9 from 2009-10 sessions in order to create opportunity of education for all notwithstanding their economic conditions and to prevent the number of drop outs. From 2010 to 2013, nearly 130 million students have distributed with 9.2 million textbooks. Free textbooks are distributed every year to 100% enrolled students in primary schools around the country. From 2013, utmost care is being taken to ensure that these textbooks are received by the students before the commencement of each school year. In the beginning of the 2014 academic year, more than 23.3 million primary school goers received 115.9 million textbooks. In order to make sure that students are attracted by the books, they have been published in four coloured versions as opposed to previous black and white versions only.

Incentives for Teachers
Immediately after assuming responsibility, the current government brought 1624 private schools under the provisions of Monthly Payment Order (MPO). This has resulted in financial security for many faculty and staff members of these private institutions which in turn benefited large number of students. Additionally, faculty and staff members of all private educational institutions have been allotted with TK 300 medical allowance, TK 500 house rent allowance and for government approved faith schools (Madrassas), the previously allotted TK 50 allowance has been raised to TK 100.

Abolishing Corporal Punishment
Corporal punishment by teachers on students has been a longstanding aspect of educational culture in this part of the world. However, in order to ensure that students can study in an intimidation free education-congenial environment, a policy has been formulated by the Ministry of Education to outlaw corporal punishment of any kind administered by faculty and staff members upon students. It is hoped that this will encourage to students to study and attend schools without fear of intimidation, prevent drop outs and contribute towards building a skilled workforce.

Making Dynamic Websites
National Curriculum and Textbooks Board (NCTB)’s website has been made more dynamic. All primary and secondary textbooks can be downloaded in their e-book formats from this platform.

Delivering Lessons through Broadcast
In order to improve the quality of education in all schools of the country, and as part of a holistic teaching approach, since 14th June 2011, educational lessons on English, Mathematics and Science of the best performing public schools are being broadcast in the national television channel, Bangladesh Television (BTV). Currently, the frequency of the broadcast is three mornings a week for one hour.

Official Website of Ministry of Education, Government of Bangladesh
Official Website of Primary and Mass Education, Government of Bangladesh
Official Website of ICT division, Government of Bangladesh
UNDP Bangladesh Achievements of 5 Years in Primary Education (2009-2013), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education.

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