Today is 17 September, the great education day. The student society struggled with strong resistance against the communal ideology of the then ruling class of Pakistan. All the student organizations took to the streets against this communal education policy. As part of the movement, a “nationwide strike on 17 September” was called against the then Pakistani government. An all-out strike was observed across the country on the call of the Student Action Council. Three people were killed in police firing that day. That is why 17 September is the great education day for everyone. After the blood scarifies of the student society, has the education policy of the newly independent Bangladesh become people-oriented and realistic even today?
Today’s education policy has been developed not only through the initiative of the people of Bangladesh but also through the movement. Even today, a conducive education environment has not been properly developed. Terrorism, occupation of halls, occupation of campus, corruption and irregularities are going on in the campus. The conducive education environment around the campus can further inspire the student community to develop their talents and abilities. Undoubtedly, the education system that is in place in our country cannot encourage us. In our country, education is divided into several parts – general education, technical education and religious education. In fact, the education that we need to educate the entire student society of Bangladesh has not yet developed in our country.
Although Article 17 of our Constitution has an obligation to introduce a people-oriented, science-based and universal education system, it has been neglected since the past to present even under the present government. The pledge of independent Bangladesh achieved through the great war of liberation was to implement a people-oriented, universal, science-based, non-sectarian and non-discriminatory education system. In 2009, although the present government announced the re-implementation of the Qudrat-i-Khuda Education Commission of 1972, it did not materialize in practice. Among the various features of the education policy is to stimulate the minds, actions and practical life of the students to establish moral, humanitarian, cultural, scientific and social values in the individual and national life. In fact, the education system in Bangladesh has not yet become science-based, people-oriented and practical. Due to which the sons and daughters of the helpless poor working people of Bangladesh are being deprived of real education.
If we talk about this education system regarding those who are engaged in running the state in our country, those who determined the policy – then we see that the appropriate principles and ideologies are not given priority there. Today, the education system in Bangladesh has been running an experimental manner for years. In fact, education must be people-oriented and education must be realistic. The education that is institutionalized in our country, there the process of acquiring education remains incomplete. An education system that excludes social system or ignores reality cannot be appropriate. Our student society needs education to acquire knowledge. If the purpose of education is to get a degree, to get a certificate, to get a job, then I disagree with this opinion.
The purpose of education should be to acquire knowledge in the true sense, where one person will know, realise and give due respect to another person. A human being here means a full-fledged human being with a combination of knowledge, wisdom, intellect, honesty, discipline, devotion and humanity. With all these, he/she can develop into a full-fledged human being. As far as education in Bangladesh is concerned, the environment to know right and wrong and truth and falsehood of the society is very low, similarly, people have less courage to stand up against injustice. If the education system of Bangladesh is flawed since the beginning, those responsible for running the state of our country must admit it.
There is no conducive environment for education in the whole of Bangladesh. The authority appoints teachers through corruption and irregularities. If the primary education system is not developed properly, the secondary and higher secondary education system will also fall into disrepair. Education of Bangladesh can never move forward in this mismanagement. Lack of adequate teachers, lack of academy building, shortage of classrooms, lack of hostels in colleges, lack of library in colleges etc. are the inconsistencies and various problems that exist in the field of education.
If the primary and secondary education system continues like this, then how can college, university education be better. If the primary, secondary and higher secondary education system is like this, what will the universities and medical colleges look like? Today, if such flawed education is imposed on us due to lack of quality political leadership or due to development deprived of reality, then it is never possible for our society, our country and the backward people to advance in the field of education, this is the cruel reality of education in Bangladesh. Our student friends, progressive intellectuals, teachers, civil society and above all the ruling political leaders of the country need to feel deeply about the existing problem in education system.
Primary education in the three hill districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts is in a state of disrepair today due to rampant corruption and irregularities in the three Hill District Councils run by the nominated chairman-members of the ruling party. The primary education in the three hill districts is in such a miserable condition as a result of recruitment of incompetent people through bribery and corruption and on the basis of factionalism. As a result, the illegal Barga (sublet) system of teaching in the three hill districts has become one of the recognized structures today.
Education is the backbone of a nation. That is why education cannot be manipulated or dishonest. Everything in the world has been achieved through education. Today airplanes are flying in the sky, trains are running, people have gone to the moon, incredible improvements in the medical system, agricultural improvements, phenomenal industrialization, development of human civilization, religion, philosophy, science, art, literature, culture and the amazing success of human beings, all these are achieved through education. So human civilization has also been created with education. This civilization will last as long as the quality of education remains.
Education has a huge contribution to make in improving the human economy. The resources that were once produced in America in one year, 87% of that wealth is achieved through education. Then we have got all the resources of the world through education. Will those who are engaged in the management of the state of Bangladesh still run the education system this unrealistic way and will commit corruption and irregularities in the field of education? My question remains! I think we can get a people-oriented, non-communal, democratic and progressive prosperous country in 10 years if the allocation for education is increased up to 90% by reducing budget of all the ministries of Bangladesh and zero-tolerant to the corruption and irregularities in the field of education is ensured.
In the case of the CHT, before establishing Rangamati University of Science and Technology and Rangamati Medical College, we demanded to the government to make such arrangements so that the primary, secondary and higher secondary education and government colleges can be run properly. But the government has taken an anti-people role in establishing Rangamati University of Science and Technology and Medical College by denying that demand in view of the reality of Chittagong Hill Tracts. On the other hand, a paramedical institute has been demanded to improve the quality of healthcare in the hills.
The people of the hills feel that it is not appropriate to set up Rangamati University of Science and Technology and Medical College without giving priority to these basic issues. Even then, following the policy of coercion, the anti-people University of Science and Technology and Rangamati Medical College were established in Rangamati, leaving the primary, secondary and higher education in the CHT ineffective. From this reality of the government, it can be easily inferred that the people in charge of running the state have no desire to make the education system of Bangladesh people-oriented and pragmatic. But everything in the world that is great, everything that is eminent, everything that is good and everything that is best, all the things come from education. Today, on the occasion of the great education day, the education policy of Bangladesh should be an education policy for all and become a people-oriented and practical education policy – this is the expectation of all.