Vol. 5 Num 549 Mon. December 12, 2005  
Front Page

Uni-track system made an issue of political game
Says education minister

Education Minister M Osman Farruk yesterday once again tried to drum up support for his proposed uni-track education system for the secondary level saying that the system should continue even if the alliance government fails to remain in power after the next general elections.

"A section of political parties are trying to make it an issue of a political football game but the matter is not an issue of politics," the minister said at the monthly luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) held in the capital.

Andrew L Fawthrop, president of AmCham presided over the meeting where Judith A Chammas, charge de affairs of the US embassy in Dhaka and AmCham Execuitve Director A Gafur were present.

People are criticising the introduction of uni-track education system due to lack of their knowledge on modernisation of education, the minister said adding that more than 190 countries across the world have the system.

"A student has to have a minimum level of depth of understanding on all primary knowledge such as history science, commerce and mathematics and the change in education system were planned in order to increase the level of understanding," Farruk said.

The minister in his speech on 'Need for Reforms in the Education System of Bangladesh' said the government has formed two separate commissions, one for general education and the other for madrasa education to introduce wholesale modernisation and reforms in education. He said both the commissions are preparing to place their reports soon.

He said the government has introduced computer education and vocational training for madrasa students so that they gain more concentrated need based education.

Referring to madrasa education he said this system of education had originated long ago and no more than ten percent of students are currently enrolling in the madrasas.

He however declined to introduce uni-track education system in the madrasas immediately saying that madrasas have a lack of necessary science and commerce teachers to start teaching in the system of general education.

The minister expressed his worries over the recruitment system in privately run educational institutions saying that recruitment of staff without required qualities in those schools and colleges will be stopped after adopting the newly introduced registration system.

"Quality teachers are a must to improve overall quality of education," he said.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the existing drop out rate in the secondary level of education he said 35 percent students are still not going to grade six after completing primary education.

He mentioned his government's success in stopping cheating in examinations, reducing drop out rate, decreasing gender disparity and having text books available on time.