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Formulate pragmatic policies, save education sector

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06th-Apr-2018       
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THE New Nation yesterday reported that about three lakh students have dropped out from the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations. As many as 13,03,786 students registered with 10 education boards, but only 10,18,411 examinees are taking part as regular students, that resulting in 2,85,375 students dropped out. Dropout at HSC level is a common phenomenon in rural areas and particularly for female students who become victims of forced marriage and other social problems.  In poor and marginal families, though parents admit their sons to schools or colleges family hardship bars them to sit for examinations.
Quoting Education Ministry, the report said a total of 13,719 students were absent on the first day of the HSC examinations. Obviously it is shocking news. Dropout is not only a problem of HSC level. It is also a big problem for primary to SSC level. Though incentives in the form of stipend, free textbooks distribution at a cost of millions of taka, and school feeding programmes are going on, dropout rate in primary to higher education level is increasing every year. Poverty, child marriage, high-priced note-guide books, compulsory coaching and weak teaching system are responsible for this situation. Though unbelievable, if one hundred students get enrolled in class one, out of them only 32 students retain till intermediate level, the rest 68 students dropout of the educational institutions.
Cost of education is increasing day by day. All the students have to spend several thousand taka for receiving private coaching which is arranged by their teachers. We do not understand what the significance is taking very small amount of tuition fee only from the students of government school and colleges when they have to pay many times more than their usual tuition fee to receive education.
According to UNESCO, Bangladesh has an adult literacy rate of 72.76 percent. Showing it, the government in a ritual manner has been emphasizing its achievement to gain political benefit. But increasing literacy rate does not mean that people are getting educated. Currently, the question leakage in all public exams has appeared as epidemic. And it is the real picture of our education sector.
We do urge the government to collect information about dropout rate and other problems more flawlessly so that more accurate and pragmatic policies could be formulated. Otherwise it would be impossible to save the education sector from ruining.  


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