Education must be brought back to the classroom

Serajul Islam Choudhury | Update:

Serajul Islam ChoudhuryQuestion papers have been leaked before, but it is now more widespread than ever before. And those leaking the question papers remain out of reach.

Why are not the culprits not caught and punished? Crimes will increase if they are unpunished.

Our intelligence agencies are efficient. They catch serious militants. Even anyone commenting on Facebook is instantly identified and dealt with by them.

Then what is the problem in this case?

Actually, corruption has infiltrated every sphere of society. Question paper leaks are not isolated incidents. Hardly any importance is attached to this.

This is not an impossible task. Questions papers are not leaked in the English medium exams. I guess our authorities do not pay much attention where Bangla medium is concerned.

Our whole education system is being destroyed. The issue must be given top priority.

Exam results of the examinations are celebrated enthusiastically. But it is wrong to portray the results as indicators of progress in education or as success of the government.

Nowadays exams and results are paid excessive importance. This is a flow in education, though this is nothing new. But it has become epidemic.

In the classrooms, more emphasis is placed on exams than learning. Students go to the coaching centres and study guide books. This is one of the sources in the vicious circle of question paper leaks.

If this problem is to be resolved, those leaking out the papers must be caught and punished. But the actual problem is our focus on exams rather than studies. All the tests must take place in the schools. There should be only one public examination.

It would be unfair to add two more public exams. This would instigate further question paper leaks.

Withdrawing MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) tests is being considered. This is a good step.

Many do not understand the creative question system and so this is doing no good ultimately.

Qualified teachers are to be recruited and paid adequate salaries.

The answers must be more important than the questionnaire in the tests. Questions must be simple and the answers will indicate the level of the students’ learning.

Above all, education must be brought back to the classroom.

* Serajul Islam Choudhury is an educationist, columnist, writer, activist, and professor emeritus of Dhaka University. The piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrin.

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