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Problems of Primary Education in Bangladesh: A Case Study of Alokita Mission School

Prepared by:
Farzana Parvin, M. Phil. Fellow

Fahmida Haque, PhD Fellow
Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka

The objectives of present paper are to detect and identify the problems of primary education in Bangladesh and, therefore, tend a case study on Alokita Mission School to identify how these problems are being focused and how pragmatic measures are taken to reduce the problems. Therefore, the following objectives are being focused in the study:

The study would ascertain the existing problems in primary education system in Bangladesh. would try to find out an overview of the formal primary education in Bangladesh. ascertain the role of innovative programs that have been initiated in primary education by both government and non-government agencies. try to determine the economic, social and cultural barriers for effective primary education.

would determine whether the existing teachers training facilities for primary teachers is adequate. ascertain whether the present infrastructural facilities for primary education are sufficient. determine whether the present equipments for primary education are plenty and pertinent. Try to focus on the innovative programs that Alokita Mission School (AMS) has taken to provide quality education at low cost which would ensure high attendance and retention as well as a high rate of success. Whether Bangladesh would achieve the MDG.

Justification of the study

Although there has been a lot of works on the primary education system of Bangladesh, no extensive research has been made so far regarding the problems of primary education in context of urban and slum areas. Therefore, the present study intends to investigate the constraints of implementing Education for All (EFA) at the primary level in Bangladesh and then tries to find out what constructive and pragmatic measures are taken by Alokita Mission School to reduce and, if possible, remove the constraints.

This paper covers the quest for qualitative improvement of primary education in Bangladesh. In addition quantitative and strategic need has been identified through analysis of primary and secondary data collected from different sources.

Innovations in primary education & Some Models

BRAC Non-Formal Primary Education Program GSS Primary Education Program Centre for Mass Education in Science (CMES) Technology School Government Satellite School Program Dhaka Ahsania Mission Alternative Primary School Program UCEP School Terre Des Hommes (TDH) Street Children Program

Problems of primary education in Bangladesh

Spending on Education School Facilities Access to Education Class Size and Attendance Curriculum Teacher Training and Supervision Problems of Equity and Access Gender Inequity

Problems of primary education in Bangladesh

Gender discrimination Access for girls Problems of Quality Urban poverty and child Labor

Problems related to teaching

Shortage of teachers Student drop-out Over-crowded classrooms Poor physical facilities Lack of skilled teachers Old-fashioned teaching style Old-fashioned teachers training Contacts hours Teachers residing a long distance from the school Workload Low allocation of fund

Problems related to teaching

Negative attitudes towards female teachers Low salary and benefits Harassment at Upazila Education Office Limited scope of promotion for the teachers Different educational qualification for male and female candidates Absence of transport allowances for official tours Insufficient book carrying cost

Management problems
Lack of field level work experience Lack of initiatives for promotion of administrative officials Shortage of staff Engagement of the staff in other tasks Inadequate allowance for Assistant Upazila Education Officer for school visit

Corruption and irregularities at school level

Negligence of duty by teachers Illegal collection of fees/subscriptions from the students Irregularities in distributing stipend Irregularities in buying teaching-learning materials

Irregularities and corruption in the administration of primary education

Corruption and irregularities at the administrative level

Negligence of duty by the administrative officials Corruption at the Upazila Education Office Corruption and irregularities in recruiting teachers Corruption in training for the teacher Corruption in transfer of government school teachers Corruption in getting registration of non-government primary school Corruption in getting monthly payment order (MPO) of registered primary school teachers Corruption in getting pension

Alokita Mission School,

House # 58, Road # 4, Anobik Shakti Commission, Pallabi, Mirpur, Dhaka-1216

Slogan: We Go, We Love, We Serve Mission: The mission of Alokita Mission School is to provide quality education. History of the school: The Alokita Mission School started at Duaripara, Mirpur slum area in 2007 with two small rooms and three volunteers. At the beginning of the school there were only 40 children. Pupils: The poor and deprived children mostly come from slum are studying here.

Parents: The parents can not effort basic human needs. Most of the fathers are rickshaw puller or day labor, and mothers are maid servant or garments worker.

Students of Alokita Mission School are having their final examination

Total number of students: 257

Girls: 119 Boys: 138

Total teachers & staffs:

Teachers: 07 Staffs:03

To give quality education to the poor and marginal class up to primary level; To give primary health service for the students, To keep contacts with neighboring schools and maintain effective networks among them; To develop the students through different extra-curricular and cocurricular activities; To patronize the talent and meritorious students of the school through scholarship programs.

Miss. Farzana Parvin Headmaster

Teachers of Alokita Mission School

Miss. Sharmeen Akter The most efficient Office Assistant

Problems faced by Alokita Mission School (AMS)

Spending on Education School Facilities Access to Education Curriculum Teacher Training and Supervision Gender Inequity Problems of Quality Urban poverty and child Labor Job security of teachers

Problems faced by Alokita Mission School (AMS)

Student drop-out Poor physical facilities Lack of skilled teachers Old-fashioned teaching style Low allocation of fund Low salary and benefits Limited scope of promotion for the teachers

Some positive aspects of AMS that tends to lessen the above problems:
Through motivation and regular meeting, AMS encourages guardians to send their girls to schools The enrollment rate of boys and girls is almost equal in AMS. AMS prioritize small classes; student: teacher ratio is 1:37. Supervision of the teachers is high with visits from Agape Mission authority time-totime that incline them to their profession. Regular Teachers Development Workshop

Some positive aspects of AMS that tends to lessen the above problems:
To develop the skill of the teachers, Teachers Evaluation Test (TET) has been regularly performed. AMS arrange guardian meeting quarterly to share the performances of the students. Extra-curricular activities Annual Cultural Program and Graduation Cultural development: Extreme poverty often makes life devoid of decency as well as aesthetic sense. But when the children are in school, they speak in correct language, do not behave wrongly, and feel like they the member of privileged society.

Some positive aspects of AMS that tends to lessen the above problems:
Womens mobility has increased: Because of education, the mobility of women has increased. Now a growing girl sits in a tea stall serving the customers and doing bookkeeping. Similarly, girls are found to move with the household merchandise across the slum, sitting in a market corner, and doing similar other activities previously done only by boys. From acquaintance to solidarity: Through elementary education with life, orientation has been made available at the doorstep of the learners. Instead of rote learning the participants reflect on themselves as human beings. As girls, they examine their relationship with boys and other male members of the society at family, household and community levels. What they learn, they try to apply in practical life.

What steps need to be taken

Enrollment rate needs to be supplemented by the completion rate of enrolled students To achieve universal primary education by ensuring access to all would require measures to be taken at the specified age. Mandatory birth registration Provisions for school facilities of acceptable quality within easy access for young children, Awareness raising about primary education age regulations are necessary measures for increasing participation of children in primary education within the designated age-range.

What steps need to be taken

It is necessary to implement systematic reform, capacity building and organizational reform at all level, especially at the Upazila, school and community level. A sustained effort as well as a commitment is needed to improve analysis and reporting of data for critical indicators and their use for planning and management.

What steps need to be taken

Besides low efficiency, mismanagement and poor governance are the important obstacles to reach the ultimate destination. To achieve 100% net enrollment rate, 100% education completion rate, 0% dropout rate in primary education, Bangladesh will desperately need international assistance both in terms of finance and governance experience.

What steps need to be taken

a systematic minute-by-minute time-table for the teachers a focused curriculum so that the number of tasks is restricted adequate provision of low-cost materials and resources to permit and support individual and group work on-the-job training for six months so that new teachers are carefully inducted into the role they have to play and into the philosophy that lies behind it

The victories made by the state in expanding education should not be dismissed in this dialogue. The successes cannot be attributed to organizations like BRAC alone. But it must not be forgotten that the success of education programs cannot be measured on statistics like literacy rates alone. Likewise, simply providing the opportunity for education is not enough. Education needs to be encouraged for all children regardless of their place in life.

By addressing the above problems Bangladesh will be much more likely to succeed in providing its population with high-quality, universal primary education. This will provide the basis for sustainable economic and social development in the nation.

Thank you

Discussion & Questions