Primary education is the foundation of education.
It is also our fundamental right (basic need).
We have come a long way in ensuring primary education. Now is the time to ensure quality primary education.
It would not be wise to expect the desired results at other levels of education unless the basic foundation of primary education is strong.
To increase the quality of education, quality primary education must be ensured.
And if we can’t do that, then our development progress will be severely hampered.
One day we may be enrolled in rich country step by step, but if we do not ensure quality primary education, there is ample room for doubt as to whether the development we have achieved will be sustainable at all.
So, to achieve SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) There is no alternative but to ensure quality education and education system.
Now the question is what is meant by quality education – education that awakens the intellectual activities of a student and makes him competent and qualified as a responsible citizen of the society by positively changing his character through the practice of his emotional and mental as well as creativity.
At present more qualified teachers are being recruited. All the students have been brought under the stipend.
The development of physical infrastructure is ongoing and slip grand fees are being paid in proportion to the number of students.
Even then, there are various questions about quality primary education.
In fact, there are several barriers to ensuring quality primary education. Meritorious students are reluctant to come to this profession.
Teachers’ salaries, allowances, social benefits and status are so low that no one is interested in choosing teaching as a profession.
And those who are there are very frustrated.
Moreover, the quality of primary education is being affected due to teacher vacancies, maternity leave, casual leave, medical leave etc.
Apart from the departmental work, the head teachers and assistant teachers, they have to be involved in various surveys, voter list updating, voting, filling up the form of stipend (Sure Cash / Nagad), making master roll and other social work besides its requirements.
Most of the time, the teachers have to engaged student related form or chart provided by the department which is one of the most barrier to achieve quality education.
Job related working activities also hampered the teachers’ teaching attention and it disturb the teacher’s concentration.
Involving the teachers in upazila education office is also a suffering for the respective school as well as the students.
In these cases, primary education is disrupted in many ways.
On the other hand, although the national education policy has set a target of achieving 1:30 teacher-student ratio by 2018, primary education is far from that goal.
Although in many schools this picture is different.
Due to the long duration of the school stay, most of the students are absent from school after the tiffin period.
Many parents have been negatively considering the position at school for so long.
Where secondary schools and institutions of higher learning are starting late and ending again before.
Most of the people feel that this is a form of psychological abuse of tender age students at the primary school level – and it is an obstacle to ensuring quality primary education.
Again, there is a wide gap between curriculum, textbooks and assessment.
Many parts of the curriculum are vague and the absence of relevant content in the textbook is creating confusion among teachers and students.
Six textbooks from two textbooks to pass the lower level of Primary education makes many students mentally weak.
Again, to conduct a fruitful class before the students most effectively the training activities are directed by the DPE (Directorate of Primary Education), training section.
On the other hand, it is in charge of monitoring the Department of Primary Education Administration section – which in many cases is hampering the quality of primary education.
In many schools, a large number of students have to sit in a small classroom to take lessons that is causing unwanted problems for both teachers and students.
All these issues have played an important role in ensuring quality primary education.
It is possible to achieve quality education by relying on education management, education administration, qualified teachers and curriculum.
In this situation, it is not possible to get quality primary education without overcoming these problems.
So, we have to attract talented students towards this great profession.
Teaching is a role model for other professions.
A teacher is a craftsman who builds people, society and nation.
We want a quality teacher to build a developed and ideal state.
Teachers’ salaries, allowances, social benefits and dignity should be increased.
And teachers should be prevented from engaging in activities other than teaching.
Necessary steps and physical infrastructure need to be developed to maintain the goal of achieving the teacher-student ratio of 1:30.
The duration of school should be shortened.
Research routines provided by academics can be of great help in this regard.
Veritable curriculum and quality textbooks can be helpful in achieving quality primary education.
And if the appointment is made after the completion of professional training such as CNEd, DPEd, B.Ed, M.Ed etc. before the appointment as a teacher, the vacancy problem related to the teacher can be solved.
On the other hand, providing promotion to teachers up to a certain position by resolving the complexities related to promotion will play a role in attracting talented students towards the teaching profession.
Modernization of education management and ICT (Information and Communication Technology) should be ensured.
On the other hand, it should be noted that quality primary education will never be ensured if fluent readers are not created.
The subject based training and the sub-cluster training have to be well organized.
The ATEO, UEO and DPEO have to pay more attention on their duties and responsibilities.
Above all, ensuring quality primary education is possible only by involving the catchment area community and becoming more respectful of the teaching profession and fulfilling one’s responsibilities and duties.
This article is written by Mr. Md. Sultan-ul-Arefin. He is a government primary school teacher, Trainer.
He thinks and tries to highlight different aspects of education.
Click to view his own website.