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Education being corrupted in Bangladesh

It is said that the inception of learning ethics begin in a very young age when one starts going to school. All the way through our school life, we learn important things that are called knowledge and the basic phase begins in school. The significance of school days is worth mentioning. The beliefs and ideas that one gains from school does actually makes him different, later on, from others. I heard everyone says that school life is the best time that one can ever had. My story is quite different because my school days were the worst time that I ever spent in my life so far.

I went to one of the most well known schools in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Everyone gives a surprised look when they hear someone from that school. That was an all girl school where I went. Entering there was quite a difficult task. I was selected among the 1500 students who sat for the admissions tests. My parents were happy beyond explanation in my success. I had many dreams around my school when I got into there. I thought of my teachers, and I imagined that they will be friendly beyond measure.

Let’s just directly get into the thing that I want to discuss today. In Bangladesh the way a teacher teaches in classroom is different from many other places in the world. In places like USA and UK, education system is student centered where the wants of students are always given importance. In Bangladesh, teaching is not considered a service oriented occupation, but it is rather considered an easy way of making money.

The only thing I want to say is that some teachers have started doing business with education, but this should not be like this at any point. When I was in school I saw my teachers asked the students to come to their home and study in private in exchange of extra money. Sometimes the teachers told them the questions in advance so that they knew what they had to study. I previously said that the school where I studied is one of the most well known schools in Dhaka. I don’t know how it got such fame even after having such a bunch of greedy teachers. I felt like the teachers did not teach us properly in class. They did not clarify the hard topics in class. That was their trick in fact. They did not want to clarify things in class and expected students to come to their home to study in private. I was shocked and was spending my days with a hell of a lot of depression at this ill mentality of my teachers. I saw that the students who went to study in private getting better grades than me. I never had the ability to go there because my father did not have much money to send me there. I saw my teachers showed impatience when I asked questions in class or outside of class. When I asked for any clarifications of any topics I did not understand in class, their face took a different look with goosebumps and sheer irritations. It made me realize that my teachers had a lot other important work than answering my questions.

I never went to them to study privately, but a lot of my friends did go there, and they had much more better grades than me. A person’s school life should be happy and full of fun and amusement, but mine was different unwontedly. I was quite unhappy in my school life at Holy Cross. I was depressed, shattered and broken a lot, a hell of a lot. Finally there were times when I asked my parents whether I should go there to my teacher’s home too to study privately. My parents never agreed. My father asked me why I wanted to go there. I told him that I want to have better grades. My father was very idealistic. He said that He was not educating me only to have better grades, but to learn the difference of right and wrong. He made me understand that it was bad what my teachers were doing with me in school. He said that if I fail then it was okay, but I should never go to those teacher’s home only to have the questions in advance in exchange of extra money. That day I could not agreed to him because my school days were getting horrible. Everyone was identifying me as a bad seed. I was totally helpless, and there were a very few tests that I could do better on except the ones which I required answering using my own imagination and creativity.

All these things happened in my school. Especially the time when I was in class 8, I was sad all the time. Everyone was competitive in my class. Class 8 was the time when I needed to choose what subject I want to study, Science, Arts or Commerce. People who had 80% marks or above in each subject, they were only allowed to study Science at my school. That was the rule. As a result I had to study Commerce because my grades were very poor. There were lots of things in each subject which I needed to remember by memorizing, and I was not good at this at all.

I left my school, and it has only been around 5 years. Still now, if I think about those days, I feel horribly hopeless and sad. My teachers ruined my days at school. They ruined my happiness, my dreams.
I thank my parents. They mean a lot to me. They gave me different way of thinking. Though my grades were not that rich at school, and I was sad during all those days. My parents made me realize that if I went to those ill-natured teachers’ home, then this would be unfair to the other students who could not go there maybe because of financial inability or because of their honesty.

I look at myself now. Though I had very poor grades, I am not in a bad position right now. Comparing to all those students at my school who went to study privately to the teachers’ home and got the questions in advance, I am much more in a better position. However, differentiation is not my duty today. I just want to make our school teachers know that they should treat the students well in school. They have given this great duty to educate the children and enlighten their lives so that they can make this world a better place. They can’t treat them like they are bad seeds and ruin their lives. Teachers are supposed to be polite and patient to work out the problems of their students. They are also being given payment for this job at school. It proves the ill mentality of our teachers when they do not take proper class and indirectly force the students to come to their home to study privately so that they can earn extra money. They should know it is really hard for those students who do not have such financial ability to pay any extra fees.

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olutosin's picture

MOVING AND REAL

My beautiful sister, I can really understand everything you wrote, it is the same everywhere in the developing, may God help us, even my 5 year old babay girl has to take extral lesson so that she would have good grades, may God hlep us, and help us again, I studied English Education in my first degree at the University of Lagos and we were taught that extra classes are not good for students, they are supposed to learn at their own pace and rest too, our teachers may be wrong but I did not attend any extral lessons and we did well in those days.

What is supposed to be shared in class is only reserved for those who paid the lessons fee. Now teachers want their rewards on earth through dubious means.

It is the same in Nigeria.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Shaila Sharmin's picture

Hello

Thank you for your comment. In Bangladesh, some ill-natured teachers do not teach properly in class and they ask students to come to their home and for these extra hours, they demand higher amount of money from the students.Schools are giving them payment for having classes, but they do not clarify the hard topics and most of the time avoid answering the questions in class. As a result, students are bound to go to those teachers' home because everyone wants to have better grades. I really hate this system. The school authority as well as the Transparency Bureau in Bangladesh should take necessary steps as soon as possible to solve this issue. With this, the parents and the students are also required to solve their mentality.

Shaila Sharmin
Undergraduate student of
PP&E (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
Asian University for Women
20/A, M M Ali Road
Chittagong, Bangladesh

JaniceW's picture

So sad

Shaila,
It is such a shame that your experiences at school were not positive ones but your insights speak to your active mind. You may not have received the grades you wanted but you are curious and have the ability to think through issues as you have done here. That is commendable and will serve you well in spite of your grades and as your father noted, has taught you the consequences of a corrupt system.

It seems that it is not only at your school but throughout the education sector in Bangladesh that corruption is pervasive. The fact that teachers are not required to spend adequate time in the classes while their students are being forced to pay bribes to learn what they should be taught in the classroom in indicative of the neglect in the teachers' regular classes and involvement in private teaching and consulting.

I am sorry you had such a negative experience but hope you will continue to speak out so that more people will learn of these issues and fight to bring more accountability and transparency to the education sector. Best wishes,
Janice

Shaila Sharmin's picture

Hi Janice

Thank you for your inspiring words. Yes, you are right. It was not only in my school. Everywhere in Bangladesh, it is the same.

Shaila Sharmin
Undergraduate student of
PP&E (Philosophy, Politics and Economics)
Asian University for Women
20/A, M M Ali Road
Chittagong, Bangladesh

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