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Note-Guide Traders and Coaching Teachers are Spreading Confusion: Education Minister

Dhaka: Education Minister Dipu Moni has expressed concerns over confusion regarding the new curriculum and alleged involvement of some teachers with note-guide businesses and coaching centers. She raised these concerns during a discussion on the proposed amendments to the Thakurgaon University Bill 2023 in the National Parliament on Sunday (October 29).

Regarding the amendments proposed by the anti-education alliance members on this bill, Education Minister Dipu Moni commented on the relevant issues. She mentioned that there is no fixed examination system in the new national curriculum, which is not entirely true. Previously, there used to be only semi-annual and annual examinations, but now continuous evaluation is in place. Students’ daily progress, how they are learning, and their active participation are all assessed. Apps have been developed for this assessment, and it will be easier for teachers to perform these tasks. Some issues are arising because manual work is now necessary. There is a lot of registration required for anything new, which is causing some problems. Some people are saying that they are providing assignments and group work from Google. Now, students will gather information from various sources and work together on group projects and presentations.

She said that in the global context, what we are talking about in terms of education, there are discussions on where we are lagging behind. We are repeatedly lagging behind in soft skills. We cannot communicate well. The skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and teamwork are now being acquired from childhood to adolescence. If we do not do that, we cannot provide all these skills at once in universities. That’s why these subjects are being taught in the new curriculum.

She mentioned that the term “dim bhaji-alu vorta” (eggplant fry and mashed potatoes) is often used, which is completely inappropriate. There are 121 chapters in the sixth grade. Among them, there is a chapter called cooking. Why this cooking chapter? We all learn it at home, either by our mothers or someone else. This chapter is important, but they are not learning it. A person will think about this when he/she cooks. Among the 121 chapters, only one deals with cooking, and students will see cooking only once in the entire year, during a school picnic. It is not something done at home, and that’s the fault of the teachers. Therefore, teachers are being given training repeatedly.

She said that there are no instructions for taking cooking from home to school. Those who are doing this, are questioning it. Buying art paper is not the point. The use of old newspapers at home, calendars, etc., is mentioned. This is also not understood by some teachers, but they are doing it as they please. And we don’t have to raise chickens at home. Confusion has been created in this regard as well.

She added that some teachers are involved with the protesters. We have seen interpersonal relationships in some places and have investigated them. The schools there have informed me that these guardians are not their guardians. Many are not guardians. They are mainly coaching business owners and note-guide entrepreneurs. They are worried that their business may suffer.

She stated that results have already been obtained from the new curriculum. What we need is being obtained from the students. Now, if we allow them to write something, they can. If we allow them to speak, they can speak. If we ask them to create, they can create.

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