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24 September, 2018 11:08:18 AM

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Educational policy and its limitations

National policy on education must be framed in such a way so as to ensure the provision of direct link between education and employment
Dr. FoRqan Uddin Ahmed
Educational policy and its limitations

Educational policy today has to be formulated so as to cope with the challenge of technological progress and for accelerating the pace of change in our social system so as to make it dynamic and vibrant. The pious wishes and spicy slogans contained in many of the documents and reports of the commissions and committees are seldom translated into reality for want of political will and also for lack of adequate funds.

The challenge before us is not really the challenge of technological revolution, but the challenge of eradicating poverty, illiteracy and unemployment which the colonial system has perpetrated and perpetuated and which we have failed to remove, even to reduce because of the marginal changes, which we have introduced into the system. It is time that educational planning should be a part of economic planning, educational system should be a part of economic planning, and educational system should ensure equality of access to education. It is necessary that a developing country should train its man power in technology, engineering, management, administration, teaching. But at the same time human capital formation has to the process of physical capital formation.

Human resource development is integrated into the over-all scheme of economic development. In its zeal for developing engineering  skills, a large number of Engineering Colleges and schools have been set up, but their output can now be hardly absorbed in gainful employments in their areas of specialisation. A considerable section of the scientific personnel are engaged in jobs which can neither be treated as scientific nor technical. Thus the educational policy is not related to the needs of the society or to the opportunities offered to the related to the needs of the society or to the opportunities offered to the young graduates in various branches. It involves huge wastage of young energy and state’s expenditure. This calls for a reshaping of the educational policy in view of the social and economic requirements while keeping in mind the rates of return from different educational categories.

National policy on education must be framed in such a way as to ensure the provision of direct link between education and employment and to evolve the system where a student passing the secondary stage may opt for some job-oriented training, which can give him an earning in future. The school must provide the nucleus of technical and agricultural education particularly in the villages and play a central role in the general raising of standards of living within the subsistence sector. Present educational facilities constitute an obstacle to rural progress because people are not trained for agriculture. Schools are regarded as responsible for fight from the rural areas to the towns. A rise in rural incomes must definitely be accorded priority in all development schemes. It is observed by many experts that one of the chief educational priorities in economically developing areas is the creation of a fully integrated system of agricultural education within the general framework of technical and vocational education. Educational planning is linked with land reforms and be processed near the centres of primary education.

Poverty and illiteracy vitiate the villages and prevent the expansion of education. Drop-outs at the primary stage as well as secondary stage still frustrate the educational planning. The growth of local economics can be encouraged through the training of the local small-scale entrepreneurs in trade, commerce, transport and small-scale manufacturing. This would provide jobs to the villagers and would reduce poverty and encourage literacy. Training which is closely related to work situations is very desirable but vocational education must be accompanied by general education. That would provide the bases for later specialized training. Primary education for all children must be made compulsory and free. Guardians should be persuaded, if necessary compelled to send their children to schools. Midday meals and books should be provided to children. Infrastructural facilities like good buildings, playfields, equipment for studies and games would attract the children to schools. Assessment of merit would be dropped and steps are to be taken to stop stagnation and drop-outs. State governments may raise funds from the village industries and agricultural sectors. Vocational has been professed as the core of education policy, but little is done to achieve the target.  Vocational training is linked with employment opportunities or providing support like bank loans, ensuring market for self-employment. Agricultural education and education for industry through poly-technique institutes are useful steps for vocationalisation of secondary education. But in order to avoid wastage and stagnation, periodic investigations should be carried out in cooperation with industry aimed at job analysis and specification in terms of levels and clusters of skills and responsibilities for technicians.

There is an urgent need to relate the development of science and technology in a state to its potential for economic growth and to reduce the existing imbalances in the development of education. It should be the aim of educational policy to restrict higher education to those who have talent and aptitude for it. The success of it is however dependent on the extent of the job opportunities available to those who have completed the secondary stage, the provision of correspondence course available to those who want to learn and earn. The selective procedure must be vigorous at the undergraduate level and rigorous at the postgraduate stage. To ensure the dequate standards are mentioned, the number of places available in each college or department of a university should be determined with reference to teachers and facilities available. The dilution of standards in undergraduate and postgraduate studies is responsible for the erosion of values and the dearth of competent personnel in academic institutions, public administration and other important professions.

An urgent matter that needs immediate attention is the reform of the examination system. Present examination system is dated. It cannot assess the merit of students. A system of internal assessment comprehensive and evaluative of all aspects of students, growth should be adopted. Examination should be concurrent with the teaching and not terminal at the end of course. In the syllabus, value oriented education has to be inculcated. Syllabus should aim at combining production value with humanist value. Education should promote culture which means the development of intellect and emotions. Modern craze for science and technology and commerce with neglect of humanistic studies has caused the erosion of values. Anarchy is let loose-things fall apart. To prevent this moral degradation, liberal education aiming at the promotion of skills and cultural values has to be introduced. Student should be socially aware and nationally conscious. He must be trained to be good and useful citizen. He must be educated so that he can use his professional skill with a sense of responsibility and for purposes of the benefit of mankind. In short, education must be purposive both in point of professional ability and moral rectitude.

The writer is a columnist

and researcher

IK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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