Bitter-Sweet Experience of Going to School
main goal of education should be to teach children honesty
and sincerity so that they can change the country's image
for the better in the future. In reality many educational
institutes bother little about teaching basic values and are
too busy trying to extract as much mony as possible out of
the students. The government's latest step to register English
medium schools is very laudable. But what are they really
going to achieve by getting these schools registered in terms
of changing or upgrading?
many parents will tell you getting a child into a 'good school'
can sometimes become a nightmare. It is impossible to get
children admitted to the desired school without the right
backing of either money or the proverbial mama-chacha
connection. Six-year-old Maiysha's mother Rumana expresses
not that there aren't enough schools in Dhaka, it's just that
their standards aren't up to the mark. I got my son admitted
to the school of my choice only after I agreed to pay Tk 1
lakh outside the normal admission fee of Tk. 20,000. I couldn't
put him into an English medium school because of the high
expenses, but because of the underhand methods carried out
by the school authorities I had to borrow money from my relatives",
complains a visibly upset Rumana. "It's difficult for
middle class people like us to bear this burden. Now I don't
know how I'm going to manage to put my two-year-old into a
good school in the future."
parents from the school verified this information. The school
in question has recently opened new sections for some classes
to accommodate the rising number of expectant 'brilliant'
students. Apparently, only about a fourth of the students
in these sections actually qualify through the proper admission
test process. The rest of the students are taken only after
they pay an amount ranging from Tk 70,000 to Tk 1lakh.
is a 38-year-old housewife, but she is hardly at home ; even
on weekends it will be a rare event to find her there. Arifa
spends most of her time taking her 11-year-old daughter, Cynthia
from one private tutor to the other. It is not because Cynthia,
is a slow learner, Arifa has to put in this extra effort on
her so that she remains in her teachers' good books and her
exam sheets are marked more 'leniently'. Little Cynthia is
aware of these tactics that are used to help her pass her
exams, so the question arises here, what is this child actually
Mehnaz who refused to take private lessons from her Math teacher
was shocked when he gave her just 9 per cent in her SSC pre-test
exams. "I had practised everything thoroughly and I knew
I could not receive such a low mark," she says. She challenged
her teacher, asking him to show her the exam paper but he
refused. Frustrated but not dispirited she took her SSC exams
where she received a whopping 98 per cent marks in Mathematics.
When she showed this mark to her principal, he then went to
her Math teacher and asked to see the paper concerned. He
then found out that Mehnaz had actually received 70 per cent
in that particular exam. The Math teacher was promptly fired.
concern for parents whose children go to English medium schools
is that the premises are not spacious enough to be schools.
Not only are the classrooms claustrophobic, there is no open
space for children to refresh their minds outside the classroom.
It is this confinement that discourages children to think
outside the box. Since Dhaka is becoming a city of apartments,
children should at least be able to stretch their legs when
they are in school. That would also motivate them not to think
up early morning excuses to skip school.
or some regulating body should follow all the activities of
these schools more closely so that these institutions can
be held accountable for not doing their job.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004