Don’t keep children under pressure for study: PM

Early childhood education
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the National Primary Education Week, 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka on March 13, 2019. Photo: BSS

Urging everyone to give children education with joy Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon all to not exert additional pressure on the tender-hearted children for studying.

“Additional pressure shouldn’t be put on tender-hearted children for studying. It should be taken care by all that the children can get education amid cheerfulness and play and without having fear,” she said while inaugurating the National Primary Education Week, 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka.

She requested all the guardians and teachers for not indiscriminately asking the children for ‘study’, ‘study’ and ‘study’ as they can be losing their interest in learning and getting frightened of it, saying, “All should help the children to flourish their usual talents.”

“In many countries children are sent to schools at the age of seven, but in Bangladesh children are being sent at their tender ages. So, the guardians and teachers should be more careful about giving additional pressure on them,” she also said.

Speaking about her referral of a child to a school for admission, she said that the school authorities gave the child a printed question paper to answer. The prime minister posed a question saying, if the child could answer the question why the kid should go to the school?

The premier asked all concerned to cancel the procedure of giving printed question papers to class one students and suggested making area-wise proper arrangement for admission of children.

Sheikh Hasina also asked the guardians to refrain themselves from getting involved in unhealthy competition about their children’s future and said in many cases it has been witnessed that there is no competition among the children but it exists among the guardians.

State Minister for Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Md Zakir Hossain presided over the function while its secretary Md Akram-Al-Hossain gave the welcome address.

Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and former Minister Mostafizur Rahman spoke on the occasion.

A video presentation on progress and success regarding primary education in the country was also screened at the function.

The premier also distributed medals and certificates among the recipients of ‘Primary Education Padak ‘, in 19 categories and students of primacy schools for securing first, second and third position in the cultural and sports competitions in 15 categories.

Director general (DG) of Directorate of Primary Education Dr AFM Manzur Kadir moderated the medal and certificate distributing part of the function.

Recalling contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to education, the premier said “Bangabandhu took firm steps to build an illiteracy free country by making primary education universal and compulsory and making education free for women after independence in 1971.”

Bangabandhu, under whose charismatic leadership Bangladesh had achieved independence, nationalized 36.02 thousands schools and the job of all the primary teachers of those schools in accordance with the recommendation of Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission constituted by Bangabandhu in 1972, she mentioned.

“The education policy which was prepared at the end of 1974 in line with recommendations of the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission could not come to the light after assassination of Father of Nation along with his family members except me and my sister,” the premier said.

Following the footsteps of Bangabandhu, the Awami League, after assuming power in 1996, took measures for an inclusive education system involving physically challenged and remote areas children and formed education commission to formulate an education policy, she continued.

The education policy finally was formulated in accordance with the Qudrat- e-Khuda Education Commission in 2009 as the Awami League came to power for second term and started its execution in 2011, she added.

“In the education policy, we have given topmost priority over primary education as the foundation of children depends on primary education,” she said.

In order to ensure quality primary education of all children, currently the fourth primary education programme [2018-2023] has been implemented with a budget of Tk 38.40 crores, she also said.

To this contest, the government has already made computer education compulsory in secondary level and is working to make it compulsory in primary level, the premier said.

Multimedia classroom system has already been introduced in many areas and the entire country will be brought under the system in phases, she mentioned.

Highlighting the government measures taken for checking dropouts, the premier said her government has introduced school feeding system along with giving text books free of costs, stipend for female students, constructing schools in every two kilometers.

Describing the children as future of the nation, she said, “You have to read attentively and to be a good citizen of the country as we want to build the next generation with the values inspired by the spirit of our Liberation War, ethics and principles.”

Speaking about his government initiatives in education sector in the last 10 years, she said, “We have appointed around 45 thousand teachers in the last ten years. The post of head teachers has been upgraded to second class while assistant teachers’ salary scale has been upgraded.”

Due to our relentless efforts and sincerity of the AL government, the literacy rates rose to 73 percent from 45 percent in the last 10 years, she added.

The premier said her government has successfully implemented some new steps, including introduction of ‘pre-primary class’ while recruitment of 26,000 teachers is under process for pre-primary classes in the nationalized primary schools.

Stressing the need for physical, mental, social, aesthetic and emotional development of the students, she said inter-primary school sports and cultural competition are being held with the participation of primary school students to ensure their physical and mental development.

“Bangabandhu Gold Medal Primary School Football Tournament for boys and Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Gold Medal Primary School Football Tournament for girls are being organized at school and national levels,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said that scouting is necessary for every school to make the students disciplined.

The premier requested the teachers to be idol for students, saying, “You are the nation builders. You will have to be an idol for them because the innocent kids follow you. If someone does errors or crimes, there is less impact of that on the children. If a teacher commits wrong then its impact is serious on them.”

She also called upon all to work together to build a hunger, poverty and illiterate free ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu by implementing the ‘Vision-2021’ to make Bangladesh a middle-income country and ‘Vision-2041’ to make it a developed one.


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