Primary-Higher Secondary Education: Major reforms on the horizon
The government will do an overhaul of the education system which, among other changes, will scrap any public exams before class 10 and also ensure no exams of any kind for students up to class 3.
The new curriculum will reduce emphasis on memorisation and prioritise experiment- and activity-based learning.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday approved the outline of the new curriculum, which is set to be implemented in phases from January 2023, and will be fully implemented by 2025.
The government is also going to introduce streams -- science, humanities and business studies -- from class 11. In the existing curriculum, students had to choose the streams in class 9.
After getting the PM's approval, Education Minister Dipu Moni said the government wants to change the current education system.
"We do not want that students go through the pressure of education. We want to give students education amid fanfare, replace the memorisation-based system with experiment- activity-based education," she said during a press conference at the Secretariat.
She said students would be evaluated based on continuous assessment until class 3 at schools.
Currently, these students need to sit for half-yearly and final exams every year.
Dipu Moni said for students of classes 4 to 8, 60 percent of evaluation in Bangla, English, mathematics, social sciences and science will be done through continuous assessment, and the rest through "overall evaluation."
For other subjects, students of these classes will be evaluated based on continuous assessment.
Contacted, National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) Member (Curriculum) Prof Md Moshiuzzaman explained that "overall evaluation" means exams and continuous assessment means evaluation of regular school work.
Half the evaluation of Bangla, English, mathematics, social science and science of students of classes 9 and 10 will be done through continuous assessment, and the rest will be done through exams.
Dipu Moni said students will need to take public exams after class 10, based on the curriculum of that grade only.
"The SSC exams will be held on Bangla, English, mathematics, social science and science subjects," said an NCTB official.
NCTB officials said that would mean that there will be no more Primary Education Completion Exam after class 5 and no Junior School Certificate exams for class 8.
The PECE was introduced in 2009 and the JSC exams a year later. Many educationists frequently termed the exams unnecessary and slammed those for stressing out the students.
"There was nothing about PECE and JSC exams in the existing curriculum. But the government decided to hold the exams," an NCTB member said.
The curriculum was last revised in 2012.
"We did not propose any public exams before class 10 [in the outline of the new curriculum]," Moshiuzzaman told The Daily Star yesterday afternoon following the press conference at the Secretariat.
Students of grades 9 and 10 will study 10 subjects -- Bangla, English, mathematics, science, social science, ICT, religion, health studies, life and livelihood education, and art and culture studies.
HSC EXAMS IN TWO PHASES
Dipu Moni said students would need to sit for public exams after classes XI and XII based on the curriculum of the respective classes. The HSC exams will take place in two phases, and the final result will be determined by combining results of both phases.
NCTB officials said 30 percent evaluation of compulsory subjects -- Bangla, English, mathematics and ICT -- of classes 11 and 12 will be done through continuous assessment, and the remaining 70 percent will be done through public exams.
For optional subjects, students will be evaluated based on a combination of continuous assessment and exams. But details are yet to be finalised, NCTB officials said.
Under the existing system, students of classes 9 and 10 take the SSC exam on 10 papers after studying a syllabus for two years. They sit for the HSC exams on 12 papers after studying a two-year syllabus in classes 11 and 12.
NO STREAM BEFORE CLASS 11
Dipu Moni yesterday also said the government is going to introduce streams -- science, humanities and business studies -- from class 11.
She said since the period of Ayub Khan, secondary schools have been requiring students to choose among science, humanities and business studies when they are in class 9.
Officials said most countries around the world do not have science, humanities and business disciplines at the school level. All school-level students should have similar knowledge, they said.
Students of classes 11 and 12 will study the compulsory Bangla, English and ICT. And they will be able to choose three other subjects from any of three disciplines of science, humanities and business. They will pick another subject from vocational courses.
NEW BOOKS TO ALL BY 2025
The education minister said the government will begin implementation of the new curriculum from 2023 in phases. She said they will start piloting of the new curriculum for class 1 students at 100 primary schools and at 100 secondary schools from January 2022.
Students of classes 1, 2, 6 and 7 will get new books based on the new curriculum, in January 2023. Students of classes 3, 4, 8 and 9 will get books in 2024.
Students of grade 5 and 10 will get new books in January 2025.
The NCTB started the process of revising the current curriculum in 2018. NCTB was supposed to begin phase-wise implementation of the new curriculum from January 2021.
But the introduction of new curriculum was delayed by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.