Secondary education is crucial for any student. Proper education at the secondary phase provides a strong foundation for higher education. However, an alarming picture regarding secondary level teachers has been revealed in a recent Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) report titled 'Education Watch Report 2018-19'. The report dealth with the theme, 'Secondary School Teachers in Bangladesh: In the light of SDG 4'.
The survey assessed education and training of the teachers as well as their income and job satisfaction. It studied their workload including teaching-learning in the classroom and the use of multimedia, private tuition and guide books.
According to the survey, most of the teachers have no special training for key subjects like English or science. About 70 per cent biology teachers, 75.50 per cent physics teachers and 77.50 per cent chemistry teachers have no subject-specific training. Also, 67 per cent Bangla teachers, 78 per cent information and communication technology teachers, and 64 per cent general science teachers, and 66 per cent accounting teachers have no training. Some 34 per cent of the teachers lack any professionals degrees including B.Ed., M.Ed. or BPEd.
A teacher with a higher degree does not necessarily mean a competent teacher. Training is essential to become an efficient teacher. Due to the lack of training most of the secondary teachers do not have confidence. The survey also reveals that only 0.40 per cent teachers assessed themselves as highly competent, 15 per cent as competent and 39.80 per cent as moderately competent, 27.6 per cent as averagely competent, 13.70 per cent as limited competent, and 3.50 per cent as incompetent. All the teachers would assess themselves as competent if they had the training.
The government has recently taken initiative to teach students using multimedia classroom, but it was frustrating . Many teachers lack any training to run multimedia. Load shedding, classroom crisis, and lack of equipment as well as faulty accessories, and lack of preparation are among other predicaments. The authorities concerned send multimedia equipment to the schools but do not assess whether the teachers have the training to use these and if the required infrastructure was in place. The mathematics teachers were at the top of the teachers (30.10 per cent) using multimedia classroom teaching with 30.10 per cent. They were followed by accounting (29.6 per cent) and ICT (29.4 per cent) teachers. Among others, 26 per cent of the English teachers, 23.9 per cent of the chemistry teachers, 22.9 per cent of the biology teachers used multimedia.
These statistics signify how weak the state of our secondary education is. Educationists think the less attentive students are the more likely to join the teaching profession. This is a lack which could be made up by training. Most of the teachers are left out of training. This proves the negligence of the government. The teachers have become more dependent on guidebooks as they do not have training.
Then there is private tuition. Under such conditions, the students will be deprived of the necessary learning. The ignorance of the teachers over syllabus, education policy and SDG add to the concerns.
Deputy minister of education, Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, said teachers would be brought under training, but did not further specify anything. A deadline should be announced and subject-based training must be made compulsory for secondary teachers without delay.