National, Back Page

Pry edn board law soon to strengthen exam, edn system

Published : 04 Dec 2021 09:54 PM | Updated : 05 Dec 2021 03:06 PM

The government is moving forward to enact the ‘Primary Education Board Act, 2021’ to implement the plan of constituting a separate education board in order to administrate the Primary Education Terminal Examination (PETE).

The Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) has prepared a draft of the proposed law, which was uploaded on the website of the Primary and Mass Education Ministry for public opinion. 

The DPE is now reviewing the public opinion. After the evaluation, they will send the draft to the ministry. 

“We prepared the draft under the direction of the Primary and Mass Education Ministry. The public opinions are now being evaluated. We will send the draft to the ministry this week,” said Md Saber Hossain, director (administration) of the DPE. 

After getting the evaluated draft from the DPE, the ministry will begin the process for approval of the Cabinet. 

It was known that the work for constituting the Primary Education Board has begun. The formal activities of the board will begin in the upcoming year. 

The board is being formed for the management of Primary Education Terminal Examination, evaluation of teaching-learning activities to improve the quality of primary education, student evaluation, research and monitoring. 

More than three million students from 65,000 government primary schools across the country take part in the examinations every year. 

Officials concerned struggle to cope with the pressure of a large number of examinees. For this reason, all other activities of the DPE are hampered while handling the examinations. Against this backdrop, the ministry wants to form the education board. 

As per the draft law, the new board will be formed in six major units in the light of the general board. The units include Chairman’s Office, Secretary’s Office, Controller of Examinations Section, School Management Section, Systems Analyst Section and Accounts Section. 

A total of 12 posts of officers have been created in the sections. The highest power of the board has been given to the chairman. The Secretary will act as the administrative head, while examinations will be conducted under the Controller of Examinations, and book evaluation and results will also be published under the section. 

Md Saber Hossain of the DPE said that after the enactment of the ‘Primary Education Board Act, 2021’, the proposed Primary Education Board would come into effect. The board will conduct various activities, including the arrangement of the PETE and the formation of the managing committee in primary schools.

According to the sources of DPE, although speculation in the air is that the PETE may be canceled, the examinations won’t be canceled soon. So, the Primary Education Board will be formed to operate the examinations.

An official of the Primary and Mass Education Ministry said that the board would be formed to regularize the examinations. “After getting the draft from the DPE, we will send it to the Cabinet as soon as possible after completing the ancillary work. The Cabinet will decide whether the examinations will be held or canceled. If the Cabinet approves the draft law, it will be possible to implement a separate board for primary education in the next financial year,” he added.

Meanwhile, noted citizens and educationists expressed concern over the government’s move to enact a law for forming an education board for primary examinations. 

Some of them in a joint statement some days ago called upon the government to refrain from the move. They said, “The proposed law will increase the burden of books on the shoulders of children and increase the additional cost of coaching and guide books for parents. We urge the ministry to move away from this suicidal decision.”

Masum Billah, president of the English Teachers’ Association of Bangladesh (ETAB) and an education expert in BRAC Education, said that there is no need to constitute an education board for administrating the examinations for students of primary schools. He, however, said that an ‘education board’ for primary education can be formed to gear up the primary education system.

He said that the PETE threw the students at this tender age to adopt unfair means to obtain good grades that absolutely go against the real purpose of education. The young students lose the real interest in learning, getting them engaged in unhealthy competition. The traditional assessment for children should be replaced by such an approach that would give them pleasure, creative thoughts and ideas, he added. 

Masum Billah believes, “If we really want to run primary education effectively, a separate education cadre for primary education can be created. The cadre officials will work directly as primary school teachers for a minimum five years.”

Related Topics