The academic year starts in January and ends in December. The ongoing holidays of all educational institutions in the country have been extended till October 31, leaving only two months left in the academic year. In the last two months, there is usually no study in the classroom, there is busyness in exam preparation, taking exams and publishing results.
That means there is nothing left to say about the current academic year. As announced earlier, the Centrally Completed Primary Education and Junior School Certificate examinations will not be held this year. It was announced on Wednesday that this year's Higher Secondary (HSC) or equivalent examination is not being held. According to the Ministry of Education, the HSC examination will be evaluated on the basis of junior school certificate and secondary examination. Fruits must be finalized by December. There are pros and cons to this decision. However, the reality of the situation that arose during the Corona period is not to be ignored.
It is really difficult to make up for the loss of education or to overcome the emptiness. In all, about four crore students of the country lost their lives in one year. Such loss of students has never happened before. Education suffered a great loss in 1971 during the war of liberation, it was a rare moment to get a new map of the nation. There were two more years of this loss in the war of liberation. The damage caused by strikes, blockades and political violence has since been reversed. But there is no precedent for losing an entire academic year in this way.
In this situation, students of private universities or English medium schools are being trampled. But among the large number of students, that number is like looking through a microscope. Apart from that, the interests and existence of the institutions are involved there. But it is no longer possible for government, government-funded, registered or approved educational institutions to recover from this loss.
The big question at this time is how to fill this gap in education. Education is a continuous process. If there is a gap in the middle of it, the student will have to suffer in the future. So there is talk of taking the academic year till March instead of December. The session can then be phased out in December over a period of two years. In that case the leave may be reduced in the next academic year. In institutions where weekly leave is two days, one day can be done, some other less important holidays can be reduced.
From the beginning, the education authorities have been thinking of many alternatives. But the vacation of the educational institution increases and every single option goes into hiding. One option was to shorten the syllabus and take the annual exam. But many academics are not in favor of it. As educationist Siddiqur Rahman thinks, let the academic year be postponed if necessary, but the learning gap is not desirable. According to him, students cannot be placed to take exams without teaching.
In fact, it would not be good to take students from one class to another without teaching them in a hurry. Because, there are some lessons that start in one class and end in the upper class. It is important to maintain this interrelationship in education.
Education experts are of the opinion that the curriculum of each class has been done in order to acquire the prescribed skills and knowledge of that class and pass it to the next class. If it is reduced, the prescribed knowledge will not be acquired. This will disrupt the main purpose of education. Besides, students will not be able to acquire that knowledge if they finish the course in a hurry. So they are also in favor of extending the academic year by two to three months.
As Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of BRAC University, said in the conversation, the academic year is an administrative matter. If it is moved, the damage will not be so much. However, the student's education should not be allowed to be harmed. In the next two to three years, plans need to be made to return to the previous routine and implement it smoothly.
The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) has also proposed an extension of the academic year to make up for the loss of students during this long holiday. The company also thinks that if the time of the academic year increases, the time of the academic year can be kept right by reducing the holidays in 2021. In that case, if the 2021 academic year starts from March and the holidays are reduced, the situation may be handled.
Due to the Corona situation, all educational institutions across the country have been closed since March 16. Classes for primary and secondary level are being broadcast on Parliament Television to compensate the students for the long holiday. Video classes are being uploaded by opening a YouTube channel titled 'Learn at home' for primary students and 'My school at home' for secondary students. Many educational institutions have started virtual education activities. But this activity is not universal, it has its pros and cons, problems and limitations.
Closing educational institutions for students cannot be the only responsibility of the government. Financial incentives have been given in various sectors, there has been a lot of publicity as well as publicity. But nothing is visible to them except keeping students at home. Our education departments or colleges and universities have not been able to launch online classes properly.
This coronal period was a great time to show the potential of Digital Bangladesh. But we saw that there is no internet connection in all parts of the country, where there is connection, the network is very weak. Even though electricity is called soylab, electricity keeps coming and going in the village. Apart from the government, no private or institutional initiative was seen in education. Reducing data costs in the interest of education was only discussed. The initiative of the universities is not enough, it is a kind of patchwork. The biggest failure in this case is the four autonomous universities (Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Jahangirnagar). These universities could not show their capabilities, let alone other ordinary universities. In the last phase, some universities including BUET, Shahjalal Science and Technology have accelerated their online education, but other universities of engineering, science and technology have not been able to do so.
In addition to the students, there is a lot of suffering for the youth of the country in the cowardly situation. The personal, family and national loss of every young person lagging behind for one year is irreparable. It will take them more than a year to complete their education, and the time to enter their careers will be delayed. Almost all types of recruitment exams including BCS exams have come to a standstill. Again, many young people have lost their jobs in Corona. The number of workers who have come on holiday, are in the process of going abroad and have lost their jobs during the coronation period is around four lakh, their families are in danger. On an average, two thousand workers are returning every day.
This is an extreme uncertainty in the labor and job market, especially in front of the youth. At least 20 lakh job seekers enter the job market of Bangladesh every year Among them 10-11 lakh jobs are provided The rest are unemployed. This number will almost double in one year in Corona. The private sector is a big part of the job market, and it will take a long time for this sector to cope with the Corona's push.
Whenever the educational institution opens, the big challenge ahead is to create an environment to maintain health and safety in the educational institution. The sanitation system of most of the educational institutions in the country is not good. Emphasis should be laid on cleanliness and sanitation of educational institutions during the coronation period. The student's body temperature should be measured. Soap, water system is needed. Students need to be encouraged to wash their hands after a class. Make them interested in wearing masks as needed.
It will take some extra money to organize these. But there is no lack of that money. This time, most of the development allocation in the education sector will remain unspent. Some of that money should be given to the educational institution, as well as to ensure that the money is spent on protecting the health of the students. Corona's experience of various government allocations and expenditures is not pleasant. In order to prevent this from happening to children and adolescents, committees can be formed at the local level. That committee may consist of local level public representatives, heads of administration, education offices, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions; Its goal is to maintain balance and transparency in spending.