On 14 October 2014, SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance held a round table discussion titled, “The Present Condition of the Country’s Education” at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka. Speakers at this meeting underscored the need for improving the standard of examinations at the institutional level, as well as in the public sector, to ensure quality education. They alleged that although thousands of students are being given GPA-5 in public examinations every year, the quality of education remains a far cry from perfect.
Speakers argued that government officials should immediately sit with educators and academics to fix admission procedures for public and private universities in the country. They maintained the nation was quite happy with candidates’ performances in the public examinations, however, the poor results obtained by students in admission tests (particularly for Dhaka University) have frustrated people and raised questions about the quality of education.
Some speakers suggested the government bolster schools and colleges so that public examinations can be held under their supervision instead of by the education boards. Dr. Badiul Alam Majumder, secretary at SHUJAN, declared schools and colleges would be more accountable if they are allowed to hold public examinations under their own management. Addressing the function, Education Secretary Nazrul Islam Khan said, “I personally think that to raise the standard of school and college-based examinations will be more fruitful than board examinations.” “If police are needed to guard the exam centers, it means that some problems lie there,” he said, adding that an improved atmosphere will have to be ensured in schools and colleges to ensure quality education.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dr. Abdul Matin Patwari, said the government has introduced a grading system imitating the United States without following its number distribution method. Additionally, Dr. Patwari suggested halting the business program for the sake of cultivating the students’ potentials. “The chaotic situation prevailing in the education system is a manifestation of the country’s overall disorderly situation,” declared Justice Qazi Ebadul Haque. He said the situation would not improve until teachers become dedicated and committed towards their profession.
Media personality Muhammad Jahangir said questions were raised about whether the results of secondary and higher secondary examinations were realistic or artificially constructed. He raised allegations that the government asks teachers to be flexible when marking. Dhaka University Professor, Asif Nazrul, said the education system is being destroyed by question-paper leakage and teachers being allowed liberties when grading.
SHUJAN president and former Adviser of the Caretaker Government, M. Hafizuddin Khan, presided over the round table while its Secretary, Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, moderated. The SHUJAN president called for a need to ensure quality education in Bangladesh. Dilip Kumar Sarkar, chief coordinator of SHUJAN, read out the written statement.