The World Literacy Day
Prof. Dr.Borhanuddin Khan talks on literacy
Arif Ashraf Nayan
The World Literacy Day was observed on 8th September 2006 across the globe. The main theme of this day was to create awareness about mass education among people of all classes of society. Bangladesh is still struggling to improve the literacy rate. The government has taken some appreciable measures for improving the literacy rate of the country especially in the rural regions of Bangladesh. On this occasion the writer had a conversation with Prof.Dr. Borhanuddin Khan, a respected academician who is the Dean of the Department of Law, Dhaka University and the provost of Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall. During the conversation he highlighted some key issues for developing the present education system of Bangladesh.
Talking about the development of the education system Prof. Dr.Borhanuddin Khan appreciated the initiative taken by the government for improving the education ratio by giving free education to female students up to the higher secondary level and making primary schooling free for the male students as well. Moreover, incentives are also provided to the parents of the students for encouraging and motivating them to send their children to school. He stated that the facilities for education are already there, the only thing missing is mobilizing the masses towards education. This condition can be improved by providing mass awareness programs emphasizing on the importance of education at the grass root level of Bangladesh. In spite of all the logistic and infrastructure support people are not giving enough feedback because of their attitude. Once the attitude towards education is changed there will be no looking back and it will only be a matter of time before we see improvements.
Talking about the pertinent factors for improving the present scenario he focused on improving the English communication skill of the students. He said that English is the language of the Internet and proficiency in it will greatly improve the condition of education in Bangladesh. Moreover, in this new era of globalisation, communication has become an inextricable part of life. Thus, improving English communication skills will enhance the students' ability to face new challenges efficiently.
According to Dr. Khan the general practice of education should be shifted from memorizing to more analytical base education with more emphasis on class participation from the student's end. This sort of education system will expand the intellectual horizon of the students, enabling them to think more creatively and make learning a more interesting and enjoyable experience. However, in higher level of education the focus should be more on vocational based learning which will provide the students a platform for having a first hand experience of the real world scenario. Moreover, simulation based programs should be introduced that will also provide the students with an essence of practical education experience.
In conclusion he praised reputed NGO's like BRAC for organizing different alternative education programs for providing underprivileged children with education. He highlighted the child labour issue of Bangladesh and regretted that children miss their precise schooling time due to getting engaged in various money making activities. He recommended that these children should be brought under a system so that they can also receive proper education.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006