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Experts suggest paradigm shift in education system

WT24 Desk

The country’s education system needs a paradigm shift for making it learning-oriented from the result-based one, say educationists and academics, UNB reports.  They suggested overhauling the examination and evaluation systems both at secondary and higher secondary levels, as result-oriented education system has made students dependent on coaching centres instead of helping flourish their talents.

They said the poor performance of students in university admission tests expose the sorry state of the country’s secondary and higher secondary level education. The recently published admission test results of ‘Kha’ and ‘Ga’ units of Dhaka University (DU) showed that more than 83 percent applicants have failed to get even the pass marks (40 marks out of 120) in the tests.

Only 14.68 percent and 17.56 percent candidates obtained the pass mark in DU ‘Kha’ unit (Humanities) and ‘Ga’ unit (Business Studies) admission tests of first year honours courses for academic year 2015-2016 while the pass rate in Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations was 69.60 percent this year.

Most of the students, having excellent results in SSC and HSC exams, showed poor performance in the DU admission tests taken on the basis of the same syllabuses the student followed at secondary and higher secondary levels. It was not the first time. The same debacle in the admission test results was seen last year when only 9.55 percent and 20.61 percent admission seekers got the pass marks in DU ‘Kha’ unit and ‘Ga’ unit admission tests respectively.

Noted educationist Serajul Islam Choudhury told UNB that the poor performance of students in university admission tests has proved the failure of result-centric education system. “It doesn’t help flourish their talents. Good results do not mean flourishment of merit,” he said.

The present education system is examination-centric instead of learning-oriented one. Students have become largely dependent on the coaching centres instead of the classroom study in schools and colleges, said Serajul Islam, also a Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University’s English department.

Prof Nazrul Islam, a former chairman of the University Grants Commission, said the standard of education both at secondary and higher secondary level has slipped drastically over the last few years. Claiming that the question papers of university admission tests are standard by and large, he said it has become a matter of grave concern as to why students, having excellent results in SSC and HSC, could not obtain even the pass mark in university admission tests.”

“The government will have to think it seriously and sit with experts to find out ways to improve the quality of education,” Prof Nazrul Islam suggested.  However, Siddiqur Rahman, a professor at Dhaka University’s Institute of Education and Research, finds the problems elsewhere — both in SSC and HSC examinations and the admission test system.

“It‘s not a problem only with the education system; it maybe with the admission test process. We should review both the examination systems to detect the real problem,” he said. Siddiqur Rahman said steps need to be taken to reduce the influence of coaching centers on the education system saying, “It’s not possible to stop coaching business by just enacting law. Bringing changes in the question pattern may reduce the dependence on coaching centers.”

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