New curriculum rolls out, preparations not enough

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 1/1/2023 7:32:33 AM

The new curriculum that takes effect today might be off to a haphazard start as the teachers have not been brought up to speed with the vastly different programme.

With a view to better preparing children for the challenges of the modern world, the government has overhauled the curriculum to enable students to acquire competencies like communication, listening, and analytical and problem-solving skills.

Students of classes 1, 6 and 7 will get books based on the new curriculum from today. For students of classes 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9, the new curriculum will take effect in 2024. Class 5 and 10 students will get new books in January 2025.

Before a curriculum takes effect, teachers are given training and provided with a guide to equip themselves to effectively deliver the syllabus.

But the new curriculum, which aims to wean off students from rote memorisation, has not been piloted at the primary level due to delayed release of funds.

Neither were the teachers given any training on how to implement the curriculum nor were they given a guide, both very important steps for the implementation of a curriculum, according to Mohammad Tariq Ahsan, a member of the Curriculum Development and Revision Core Committee.

There are 4.03 lakh teachers at about 1.19 lakh schools and kindergarten teaching more than 2 crore students, according to the directorate of primary education.

"There will be a big change in the teachers' role in the new curriculum and their training should be of utmost priority," said Ahsan, who teaches at the University of Dhaka's Institute of Education and Research.

The National Curriculum and Textbook Board is now working on the final draft of the online training material for teachers, which is scheduled to take place by January 15, said AKM Reazul Hassan, NCTB member (primary curriculum).

The two-hour online training could not take place as the primary teachers were busy with scholarship exams, he said, adding that the in-person five-day training will be completed within three months.

Asked about the delay, Hassan said: "We got the money in April and then came Ramadan. So we could not start the process on time. But we don't think the teachers will face any kind of difficulty as the outgoing curriculum for the primary level was already competence-based."

Usually, the textbooks published in the first year are experimental editions and see the necessary revision in the following year's print run. So, there will be scope to revise the books if needed, Hassan added.

The situation is marginally better at the secondary level.

The curriculum, which focuses on activity-based learning, has been piloted at 62 secondary schools, and the teachers have already been provided with a guide.

"So the teachers will not face too many problems in delivering lessons in the classroom," said Moshiuzzaman, NCTB member (curriculum).

There are 2.37 lakh teachers at 18,874 secondary schools teaching 89.30 lakh pupils, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics.

In the new curriculum, there will be no public exams before class 10 and no exams of any kind for students up to class 3.

SSC exams will take place for only five subjects.

HSC exams will take place in two phases after classes XI and XII based on the curriculum of the respective classes and the final result will be determined by combining the results of both phases.

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.

It 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.

The number of subjects for students will be reduced. There will be no textbooks but study materials for the two-year pre-primary education. Students from Class 8 to Class 10 will get 10 books. Currently, these students read 12 to 14 books.

Students would be evaluated based on regular school work until class 3. From class 4 to 8, 60 percent of the evaluation for Bangla, English, mathematics, social sciences and science will be done through school work and the rest through exams.

The curriculum was last revised in 2012.

-Daily Star

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