The education system of Bangladesh is continually undergoing reforms to meet the current and future needs and challenges of the socio-economic developments of the country. In that course of changes, secondary education has achieved several positive developments.
In response to the worldwide resonance of globalization, internationalization, free trade movements, and transnational migration of academics around the world, Bangladesh has witnessed major changes in its educational scenario over the past decades.
While these changes have largely followed global patterns, especially those manifested in developing countries and in particular, developing countries in South Asia. A good number of commissions and committees were formed at different times to make changes in the educational arena.
- making education more need-based
- initiating a uniform and mandatory syllabus for some basic subjects
- inculcating moral and spiritual values
- evaluation based on continual performances in the classroom and annual exams
- remaining closed on Friday and Saturday
- having opened on national days
- no group before class eleven
Following the recommendations, the education system has been changed based on socio-political and economical status for accomplishing sustainable developments and other factors. Bangladesh has introduced a new framework of the education system. It will be implemented for all from 2023 and the new curriculum for primary and secondary levels will fully be implemented in 2025.
Existing Education Policy
The government formed a sixteen-member committee to update the national education policy 2000 which was headed by national professor Kabir Chowdhury. The final draft of the National Education Policy 2009 was formally submitted to the prime minister on 7 September 2009.
The salient features of the recommendations of the committee include revising the stages of undergraduate education from three to two, the mandatory inclusion of certain compulsory subjects under all streams of education, making education more need-based, and forming a permanent education commission. The policy paper recommends extending compulsory primary schooling to eight years.
Final primary level exams will be held at the end of class 8 and scholarships will be awarded based on the results. The new policy also recommends that secondary-level studies will extend over four academic years, classes 9-12 and the government scholarship exams will be taken at the end of class 10, as well as final secondary level exams will be held at the end of class-12.
Some fundamental subjects including Bangla, Moral Education, Bangladesh Studies, Mathematics, Natural Environment, Social Studies, IT, and Science will be made compulsory in different streams of the primary and secondary level curriculum. Accordingly, Madrasah Education will be restructured by including information technology and vocational training among compulsory subjects.
The new curriculum places importance on acquiring students’ competence. It is generally said that a student’s competence is built up by acquiring knowledge, skills, values, and ethics. NCTB points out that when a student reads or hears about how a car is driven, that is knowledge.
When the student learns hands-on how to operate the various parts of the car, being able to steer left, right, front, and back and use the brakes to halt the car, that is the skill and if the student can drive to a particular destination in the car-ensuring his own safety and that of the people, animals and other things along the way, that is competence
Aims and Objectives
- To develop a curriculum and textbooks imbued with the national spirit to cultivate humanistic values.
- A congenial and joyful environment needs to be created in the schools to promote the healthy physical and mental development of the children. To initiate a uniform and mandatory syllabus for some basic subjects.
- To help the students inculcate moral and spiritual values like the idea of justice, sense of duty, discipline and etiquettes, non-communalism, human rights, accommodative attitudes toward corporate living.
- To ignite in them the spirit of our national liberation movement and encourage them with patriotism to dedicate themselves to nation-building.
Subjects to minimize
In the new curriculum, 10 types of learning areas have been fixed for the pre-primary to class-10 level. There will be no separate books for preprimary and primary children. Eight subjects have been selected for primary students. These are Bangla, English, Maths, Science, Social Science, Religion, Wellbeing, Art, and Culture. The teachers will be given instruction books on teaching these subjects.
Students from classes 8 to 10 will be taught from 10 common books. These will be on Bangla, English, Math, Life, and Livelihood, Science, Social Science, Digital Technology, Religions Education, Wellbeing, Art, and Culture. The classes will be divided into groups from class 11.
Exams and Assessment
According to the proposed curriculum, there will be no school exams before class-3. There will be regular assessments in the educational institutions. In classes 3 and 4, ongoing evaluation is 70% percent, remaining 30% in the annual exam. In class 6 to 8 ongoing evaluation 60% and 40% in the annual exam.
In classes 9 and 10, 50% ongoing assessment and 50% annual exam. In SSC, the exam will be held on 5 subjects of the 10 subjects of class 10. These will be Bangla, English, Maths, Science and Social Science. The evaluation of the other 5 subjects will be done in the educational institution. If the new decision comes into effect, The SSC exam will be completed within 5 working days instead of 32 working days.
According to the outline of the curriculum, there will be 12 papers or 6 subjects of higher secondary (class 11 and 12) in class 11, alongside the compulsory subjects of Bangla, English, and Digital Technology, the students will have exams in the first paper of all the subjects of that particular group (three in all).
That means, in class 11, a public exam will be held on six subjects in total. In class 12, there will also be other six subjects in the public exam. In the new curriculum, there will be three papers per subject in the three subjects of each group. The HSC final results will be based on the combined results of the two exams.
Two-day weekly holiday
At present, the educational institutions have a one-day weekly holiday (on Friday). In the new curriculum, the educational institutions will remain closed on Friday and Saturday like government offices. However, schools will remain open on national days such as Shaheed Dibosh, National Mourning Day, International Mother Language Day, Independence Day, and Victory Day.
On those days no classes will be held, but the students will have to come to schools to perform various cultural programs, based on their attendances evaluation will be attached to their final results.
What experts say
The new curriculum has been prepared to keep in mind the present times, information technology, and various other matters. It will be a challenge to implement the regular evaluation. The teachers must be made more qualified and institutional capacity will have to be enhanced.
Bangladesh has made significant progress in providing more young people with access to secondary education, increased enrolment, especially for girls, increased number of schools and colleges, reduction of gender inequality in education, revision of curriculum, etc. Even so, despite all remarkable achievements, declining quality in the secondary education system, which is related to our national and day to days life.