PM urges critics to help improve education standard further

DHAKA, Dec 31, 2016 (BSS)-Calling upon the critics of the quality of education in the country to come forward for a further improvement of its (education) standard, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said all things don't happen overnight.

"I would like to tell those who raise a question about the standard of education in the country that all things don't take place overnight and we didn't get what is the explanation of the level of quality," she said.

In this connection, she also said no problem would be solved by saying anything. "I think the critics should come forward with how it (problem) could be solved," she said, adding the quality is changing and everything is changing in the changing world.

The prime minister said this while formally inaugurating free textbook distribution programme for the academic year 2017 as the "National Textbook Festival" is set to be celebrated across the country on January 1.

The premier opened the free textbook distribution programme by handing over textbooks of primary and secondary levels to students at a function at her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and Primary and Mass Education Minister Md Mustafizur Rahman spoke at the function conducted by Secretary of the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Division Md Sohrab Hossain.

At the function, the education minister and the primary and mass education minister adorned the prime minister with "special uttariyas" on the occasion of free textbook distribution programme.

The premier said: "We would have become happy had we got the level of quality of education from those who are critical about the quality of education ... we would have also become happy had they provided volunteer service to those areas where the extent of quality is not accurate."

She added: "We would have become happy had the critics of quality of education visited the areas and spent time there where the standard of education is not right."

Sheikh Hasina said her government has given priority to all types of education including science and technology. "We are also patronizing the practise of sports and games and culture to flourish the talent of children."

Spelling out her government's various steps for the development of

education, the prime minister said after assuming office, the government has set a goal that everybody will have to take education as it's their fundamental rights.

Terming education as the "main base" of freeing the country from poverty, the prime minister said her government has been working tirelessly for a further development of education to achieve that goal.

"We want to establish Bangladesh as an illiteracy-free country and its aim is to build a poverty and hunger-free nation. The goal could be achieved if we make all the people well-educated," she said.

The prime minister once again defended the holding of Primary Education Completion (PEC) and Junior School Certificate (JSC) examinations, saying that such examinations boost the self-confidence of the children for sitting in higher public exams.

"I'm repeatedly saying in favour of the PEC and JSC exams, as self

confidence is being boosted up among the students to pursue education, while a consciousness has been created among the people which I think are very essential," she said.

In this connection, the prime minister said earlier scholarship

examinations were held in the country in class five and eight where a few number of selected students used to get chance for appearing this exams.

"The teachers had given attention to these students so that they obtain scholarships. But the teachers had no time to focus on other students and that's why they (students) did not give proper attention to their study," she said.

The prime minister said the PEC and JSC exams help the students to remove their fear and anxiety about higher public exams like SSC and HSC. "They are frightened and become nervous when they appear for SSC and HSC examinations directly and their guardians become more nervous," she said.

Pointing out free distribution of 225.43 crore textbooks over the last seven years since 2010, Sheikh Hasina no other country in the world could not show such an example.

"Printing and distribution of huge number of textbooks are a gigantic task and I thank all concerned for it," she said.

The prime minister said the children get a separate and beautiful feeling when they receive new textbooks. "They become interested in study when they get new books," she said.

PM's Advisers HT Imam and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, PMO Secretary Surayia Begum, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and other secretaries and senior officials were present.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid will inaugurate the central programme of the "National Textbook Festival-2017" at Azimpur Government Girls School and College in the capital at 9.30 am on January 1.

More than 5,000 students of 31 schools of the capital will join the function, official sources said.

Chairman of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) Prof Narayan Chandra Saha earlier told BSS that the government will distribute 36,21,82,245 textbooks for free of cost among the primary and secondary level students in the academic year 2017.

"The free textbooks will be distributed among 4,26,35,929 pre-primary, primary, secondary, ebtedayee, dakhil, dakhil vocational, SSC vocational, small anthropological group and visually challenged students across the country," he said.

The NCTB chairman said for the first time arrangements have been made for supplying guidelines to teachers for resolving complications over the creative question paper system. He said 60,01,024 guide books have been prepared for primary teachers while 46,66,664 books for secondary teachers.

Education ministry officials said 333,762,772 textbooks were distributed among 4,44,16,728 students of pre-primary, primary, ebtedayee, secondary, dakhil and technical students for the 2016 academic year.

"Taka 5,658.86 crore has been spent for free textbooks distribution among students of pre-primary, primary, ebtedayee, secondary, dakhil and technical students in the eight years," the NCTB chairman said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)