Sunday, August 20, 2017 12:03:40 PM
Dr. Anu Mahmud :
From the long ancient period, education has been playing an important role for flourishing humanity. It has also geared up the standard of life. Knowledge is power, knowledge is light and education is the backbone of a nation. Another name of education is self-confidence and way of development. Educated nation means developed nation. On the other side, illiterate nation is undeveloped, backward, under backward minded - it has become prominent as we see in the undeveloped countries.
Since education is very important in our micro and macro human life, so the question is, what will be the aim and goal of education, what will be the infrastructure of education and what will be the theme or factors of education, student's interest and intention, demand of the society and necessity of the nation? Or how the education system will be connected with development and prosperity those are reflected in the education policy of a country? So considering the above facts, for an independent and developing nation, a national education policy is an urgent need. Besides, the traditional educational policy, considering the socio-economic background of our country and placing the vast illiterate population in the front line, another matter should be taken into consideration. That is mass education.
In general, mass education means education for the people. Its main aim is to make people educated and convert them free from at least minimum illiteracy level or make them literate. It confirms education opportunity for all. Overall, acquired education can meet the required personal and social demand, people's welfare, development and prosperity of the country and nation and indicated for the progressiveness, be given emphasis to the society in those matters. So, person's expectation, desire, demand of the society and ignoring the national interest creation of a few number of literate or 'Elite' is fully oppose in this education policy - which was the aims and goal of the education policy that was introduced in 1835by the 'Mcaulay' in India during the British colonial period.
The main target and vision of Bangladesh independent war in 1971 was not only to get the national freedom or political independence, but that was directed for achieving the overall freedom for the Bengali nation. It means, the independent Bangladesh will be a state of the people and its all sorts of policy or works would be guided for the people or for the welfare of the people.
During the Pakistan period, due to the continuous Bengali nationalist movement under the leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, this concept got the shape and after the passing of days those issues become stronger. During the war of liberation in 1971, those expectations converted into mass consciousness. So, our newborn state, in the name of People's Republic Of Bangladesh, the word 'people' was decorated. Four state policies were - Democracy, Socialism, Secularism and Nationalism, so the education policy of this state should be people oriented. We identified those issues and made total focus of the highest confirmation of the Constitution of Bangladesh adopted by the government led by Bangabandhu in 1972. In this regard, section no-17 of the constitution indicates that:
(a) To introduce same type of mass and overall education for all and for setting the stages by law, to educate all the boys and girls without pay and be mandatory,
(b) To make education adjustable to the society and to implement those requirements for proper trained up people and for creation of citizen with good mentality,
(c) Will take proper necessary steps to abolish the illiteracy within the specific period of time fixed by the law.
The outlook of Bangabandhu regarding the mass education was very transparent. He could able to understand clearly that we have no other alternative way for our development and prosperity except the existing provision of education for all. Education was so important to him that, he considered it as an important investment. During his election campaign in the general election of 1970 in his speech to the nation over radio and television what he mentioned related to education issues were very much important to take under consideration:
(1) No other best alternate way is available without capital investment in the education sector to form a sound social system.
(2) After 1947 due to decreasing number of primary schools in Bangladesh (the then East-Pakistan) the number of illiterate people has increased, that was a very realistic fact.
(3) Our 80 percent population is illiterate and every year more than 10 lacs of illiterate people are adding in our country.
(4) More than 50 percent children of the nation are suspended from getting the facility of primary education.
(5) Only 18 percent boys and 06 percent girls are getting the opportunity of primary education.
(6) We think the minimum 04 percent resource of national income (production) should be required to invest in the education sector.
(7) The salary of the teachers of colleges and schools especially the primary teachers should be increased remarkably.
(9) Illiteracy must be erased out.
(10) A 'crash program' will be taken for giving compulsory free primary education for the children of 05 years of age.
(11) The door of secondary education will be opened for classes.
(12) Medical and technical universities including new Universities will be set up without wasting of time further.
(13) Our attention will be focused to the issue of that the taking of higher education for meritorious students may not be hampered for their poverty. (Ref: Anu Mahmud (Edited): Bangabadhur Bhason: National publication (Revised Edition), 2015, Page-45)
During the post-liberation period, the government of Bangabandhu did not hesitate to give the recognition of people's oriented education system in the constitution only, but due to different limitations they took many initiatives to implement this vision.
Under the mission to achieve the vision of people's oriented education the following steps were taken:
(a) All the primary schools of the country were nationalized,
(b) Establishment of 11 thousand new primary schools,
(c) Highest allocation in the education sector,
(d) An Education Commission was formed with 18 members under the Chairmanship of great Scientist Dr. Kudkot -E- Khuda on July26, of 1972. On May30, 1974 ' Kudrot Commission Report' was published in 36 chapters containing of 430 pages.
Though a change has been occurred in the national and international arena occurred, but after the many decades of time this report is being considered as an extraordinary to all concern (though due to changing situation some parts of this report are required to be brassed up or modified). Regarding the great contribution of Bangabandhu, the report noted:
'This gigantic work was not possible to complete without the desire, interest and assistance of the Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We are grateful to him'. (Introduction: Kudrot -E- Khuda Education Commission Report - 1974).
But it was the great tragedy for the nation that the father of the nation was brutally killed by the anti-liberation and re-actionist forces on August 15, 1975. After that the agents of those forces were in the state power. So, the Kudrot -E- Khuda Commission Report was not focused in daylight and for the long time, the nation has been deprived of proper education. Not only this, during those period some unsuccessful steps were taken to change the character of people oriented education system.
It is not necessary to explain about the importance and necessity of a people oriented education system. For us education is the main and important step towards development and prosperity. We have no alternative way in future if we could not able to remove the burden of illiteracy. Under the concept of 'Global Village', without knowledge, science and technology we have no other alternative way to survive in the world competition. But it is hopeful for us that the present government led by Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the Father of the Nation has fixed a target to remove the illiteracy from the country within a specific period of time. The nation has already lost their valuable times. So, it is our urgent task to proceed speedily in every respect of our national life. It should be realized on the basis of the instruction given by the Father of the Nation.
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