Zarif Mahmud : The absence of tests in the new curriculum has sparked criticism from parents. Demands have been raised that the entire curriculum should be cancelled. The parents also joined the movement to demand the return of the examination system. The government is going to accept their demands and decide to bring back the examination system.
A coordination committee has already been formed regarding the evaluation system and curriculum headed by an additional secretary of the Ministry of Education. Changes are also being made to the ‘Naipunya’ app for evaluating students. But whether the examination will be full marks or partial marks will be final after the recommendation of the committee. This information has been informed by the responsible sources of Ministry of Education and National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB).
On February 1, Education Minister Mahibul Hasan Chowdhury held a meeting with the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) and organizations and individuals associated with the education curriculum. In this day-long meeting, he wants to know the details of the ‘crafts app’ made for evaluation and which countries have been referenced in the new curriculum.
After providing the information from NCTB, he formed a new committee last Thursday (February 1) by holding a review meeting regarding the distribution and improvement of the curriculum and textbooks. The committee has been asked to report the review at the earliest. It will be implemented this year itself after receiving the recommendations of the committee.
It is known that the government has launched a new curriculum in 7 classes of primary and secondary level in two years. The new curriculum is scheduled to be introduced in a phased manner for classes V and X in 2025, class XI in 2026 and class XII in 2027.
In the new curriculum, the examination system has been abolished in all classes and a new system of evaluation has been adopted. Instead of choosing a department in class 9, students can study in the department of their choice in class 11. As a result of these sudden changes, parents, students and various circles became upset.
According to the responsible sources of the Ministry of Education, the student-parents reacted angrily to the cancellation of the examination system in the new curriculum. Former education minister Dipu Moni wants to ignore their demands and maintain the curriculum. However, after the 12th parliamentary elections, the government removed Dipu Moni from the post of education minister. Mahibul Hasan Chowdhury took charge as the new education minister. It is with responsibility that the education minister talks about the ongoing debate on the new curriculum.
He said, some suggestions are coming from various quarters about the new curriculum. Taking these into consideration, changes can be made in the curriculum and evaluation system. Because the curriculum is not 100% permanent.
When asked to know, National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) Chairman Professor Farhadul Islam told Dhaka Post that in the meeting held last Thursday, the education minister asked for detailed information about the new curriculum. Among them, he asked for detailed information on how assessment is done in craft apps, countries from which reference has been taken in developing the new curriculum. We have provided this information.
In response to the question whether to return to the examination system or not, the chairman said that there has been a demand from all quarters to hold at least 30 to 50 marks exam without canceling it altogether. The committee has been formed to review these issues. After receiving the committee’s recommendation, what is actually happening can be said.
Sources related to the Ministry of Education say that after the introduction of the 6th and 7th grade curriculum in 2023, there was a storm of criticism. Senior NCTB officials have suggested not to introduce the new curriculum in 8th and 9th classes in 2024 due to various errors and inconsistencies. But the former education minister Dipu Moni very forcefully introduced the new curriculum in class II, III, VII and VIII. From selecting the writers of the new curriculum, the minister himself sees everything. He keeps the entire manuscript at home. That is why the manuscript did not reach the printing press at the specified time. As a result, the books reached the hands of students of 8th and 9th class late this year.
Exams of 30 to 50 marks in new syllabus
The stakeholders claimed that the examination system has been abolished in the new curriculum to teach the students in a joyful environment and teach them skills, creativity, knowledge and new perspectives instead of relying on rote memorization. However, parents complain that students do not want to sit at the reading table due to the new system. They claim that children don’t want to study because there are no tests. They want at least 50 marks exam to be held. In the face of their demands, the policy makers are thinking of keeping the exam of 30 to 50 marks.
In this regard, NCTB Chairman Professor Farhadul Islam said that parents have been demanding this. Since there is an evaluation review committee, they will talk to everyone and come up with a realistic and acceptable recommendation. Then action will be taken accordingly.
Rakhal Raha, convenor of ‘Sammilit Shiksha Andolan’, an organization of parents agitating against the new curriculum, said that the committee has been formed to review the curriculum – I consider it an initial victory. At the same time, there will be a demand that the committee should give a report based on the opinions of parents, teachers and students.
He said, let them review and determine how many marks the exam will have. However, I demand that there should be an exam to keep the students on the reading table.
The minister wanted to know whether there is an examination in the reference country or not
The education minister asked to know whether there is an examination in the countries from which reference has been taken in formulating the new curriculum. At the same time, he wanted to know the comparative picture of our country with the geographical location, economic structure of these countries.
At this time, the officials of NCTB told the minister that the work of assessing and analyzing the needs of this new curriculum of 2017 has started. Then after 6 researches at various times the Prime Minister was shown. After he gave his permission, it was first drafted and officially published in 2021. Then in 2022, the new curriculum was introduced experimentally in 60 schools in different regions of the country. Based on its results, the first implementation of primary level 1st and 2nd, secondary level 6th and 7th will start in 2023. In 2024, a new curriculum has been introduced in classes III, IV, VIII and IX.
At this time, the minister was also informed that the curriculum of many European countries including Finland, United States, United Kingdom, Australia have been seen as reference. Besides, the curriculum of Japan, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan has also been seen. The new curriculum has been formulated from the experience of the curriculum of these countries.
This curriculum is designed with the idea of ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ i.e. global in thought but implemented within the country’s limited resources and infrastructure. After hearing all this, the minister asked the reference countries to give a detailed report on the implementation procedure and examination of how the entire new curriculum came about. NCTB then sent it to the ministry.
Minister wanted to know
Ministry of Education has developed ‘Naipunya’ app to store learning and summative evaluation data and automatically prepare report cards in the new curriculum evaluation system. Guidelines for using the web version of this app have been sent to educational institutions. Guideline how to select educational institutes login, branch, shift, teacher, student, teacher of prescribed subject using web version of Naipunya app. The education minister wanted to know the beginning and end of how the students will be evaluated in these apps.
How amendment will be given
NCTB says, if there is any change, amendment or revision in the new curriculum, it can be implemented at any time of the year. Because no book is complete yet. All are experimental versions. In April last year, the board sent more than four hundred revisions to two books of classes 6 and 7.
This year students of second, third, eighth and ninth classes are reading new books. Since all books are new, they are experimental. All books are being checked for usefulness. The board has already been asked to inform the board if there are any corrections including mistakes in the books. Anyone can report the mistakes to the board. After that in the next month of October, revisions can be made or eliminated.
According to NCTB, at least 300 schools across the country will be physically present for eligibility verification. Schools in cities, villages, coastal areas will be given more importance. This process will be conducted in all types of public and private schools. This will include schools for the disabled. Opinions of students, teachers and parents will be taken. They will send them in written form to NCTB. After receiving their opinion, the expert committee will meet and decide.
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