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Saturday, December 16, 2017 08:51:54 PM
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Poor leadership blamed for failure of multimedia classroom project

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THE modernization of Secondary and Higher Secondary education introducing multimedia classrooms and ICT laboratories as newer teaching methods for students appear to have utterly failed to bring about any success as a media report on Tuesday said blaming poor leadership for it. The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) introduced the project in 2014 at a cost of Tk 305.6 crore as part of digitalization of teaching at 26,000 schools.
It distributed computer and other equipment to set up multimedia classrooms and ICT laboratories for schools, colleges and madrasas across the country but as it appears the project has produced nothing except wasting fund against huge procurements.    It was really a significant step towards digitalization of our education at mid-level. Teachers were trained from each of the schools and other institutions to run multimedia classrooms and create room for involving more ICT methods in teaching. But its  failure to bear fruits has caused a big setback to reform the teaching system.   
A recent survey of DSHE on the performance of the project highlighted that it is not functioning in most educational institutions and blamed lack of enough skilled teachers and leadership from concerned government authorities for the failure. Absence of proper monitoring, teachers' neglect and shortage of subject wise trained teachers and classroom facilities have been equally blamed.
The project could have significantly changed schools' teaching methods and career-building outlook of students. But its failure shows only big project is not enough to bring about big success. It lacked proper planning and preparatory measures to make the project sustainable from the beginning to produce the desired improvement in teaching at the end.
Big budget only creates opportunity for big corruption and misuse of government fund. The education sector is one of the highly corrupt sectors with dishonest officials running most of the projects and contractors supplying them under the cover of political leadership. Lack enough monitoring and accountability is allowing them to misuse projects' fund.
They have so far used the multimedia classroom project as a showcase project of development by the government without matching leadership to make it work. The government is also reportedly introducing a massive modernization programme of Secondary and Higher Secondary education now at a cost of $16 billion; which is about Tk 120 thousand crore to be implemented over the next five years.
We are afraid that the fate of the smaller digitalization project of Secondary School Education may be a wider ramification of what setback it may face if the government proves equally incompetent to plan and implement it with care and far sight. Not tall talks, people want to see real development in the ground.

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