Government had little role to claim credit in the successful exam results by students in Bangladesh. Credit goes to parents, children and international organizations. It is a sad scene to see mothers waiting for their kids outside school gates under scorching heat, rain and muddy pavements. They have no choice but to bear such hardships due to lack of any proper arrangement for commuting to schools. Dhaka lacks organized public transport system to cater to the needs of young students at school. Streets of Dhaka are not at all secured enough to send children to school on their own. Those who can afford private transport are not any better off either. Spiraling fuel costs makes it impossible to make several trips to schools, especially if classes have different schedules. School facilities have reduced to buildings and stairways. In some private schools classes are held in the garage when rooms run out of space. After all, there is lots of money to be made. There are schools in every corner of a crowded town, without any government regulation, guideline or administration. Some schools get away by charging exorbitant fees and other charges. There is no local authority to check the quality or the eligibility of private schools. Is the government blind to these realities or do they not give a damn about our children’s education?
Teachers prefer to give minimal training at schools in order to create the need for private tutoring, where monthly fees are few multiples of school salary. Parents place education over other desires hoping to provide a bright future for their children, which forces them towards private tutoring. They work extra hours at work, reduce expenses in family budgets and make other financial sacrifices. Rising inflation has further squeezed real income, forcing parents to make bigger sacrifices than before. Petrol prices are always going up, although politicians claim that it corresponds with international markets. It never does. It only goes up, whereas international markets go up AND down.
International organizations provide funding for school textbooks, teachers’ training and education policies seemingly at free of charge. But there is a cost to everything. Organizations promote mass education through financial aid and consultancy services to the government, with the condition that, government must promote concepts as desired by the donor organizations. Concepts such as ‘goodness’, ‘truthfulness’, ‘honesty’ are taught from a secular view. What is wrong with that? From a secular point, values are never permanent, and therefore they are subject to change depending on situations from time to time.
Students have understood that to go up in life the most important element is the accumulation of wealth. Free markets, commercial banking and capitalist economic order are the means to achieve their desired goal of a ‘successful life’, as taught by educational institutions. Such materialistic concepts are hammered into young minds in a way that they crush any conflicting value system that hints at disrupting their “success” factor.
We feel proud that our kids have shown their natural talents and abilities. They are capable to meet any challenge in life. Unfortunately, we have unjustly imposed the secular materialistic concepts of life to them. They deserve something far better than this. They are smart enough to understand that this world is a temporary stage. There will be another life after death, where everybody will be held accountable for all their deeds. Whoever does a good deed equal to the weight of an atom will see it. Whoever does a bad deed equal to the weight of an atom will see it. TMQ 99:7-8 (Surah ZilZal).