Captured by the lure of coaching
Since the tutors’ chief objective is to enhance academic scores, they are likely to adopt shortcuts, usually by using shortened notes, past question papers and end-of-semester mock tests. Thus, instead of having a full working knowledge of the chapters, our brains are often clogged with some abstract highlighted notes and formulas. It can be easily inferred that we will lag behind in the occupational field in future with such a dysfunctional system. Then why are the students, parents and teachers still associated with the industry of private tuition?
Because of the result-oriented system, students going to coaching centers are seen to pass with better results than those who do not. Ergo, parents prioritise the attainment of the best GPAs to ensure a seat in a top-notch university, so that their children can stand tall in the competitive job market. Students are also enticed by the scope of achieving better scores with minimum effort.
The reasons school teachers also teach at coaching centers are twofold. Firstly, the longer duration of classes in coaching centers gives them the opportunity to use visual aids or conduct mini-experiments to demonstrate the practical implementations of the text. Secondly, the Bangladeshi teachers are not sufficiently financially motivated by the official education system. As a result, they have to resort to private tuition to support their families.
Constructive steps should be taken to motivate the teachers to work harder
How can we solve this crisis?
First and foremost, the number of school hours should be increased from five or six hours to nine hours per day. In this way, teachers will get sufficient time to extensively explain the text while making students practice past question papers, and can also incorporate visual aids with mini text-oriented activities. Extended school hours will not exhaust students – in China, students attend school for 9.5 hours a day.
Secondly, constructive steps should be taken to motivate the teachers to work harder. The chief method of motivation will have to be monetary, since teachers will resort to private tuition if they cannot live comfortably on their school salaries. Then again, raising the average salary of teachers would depend on the accounts departments of the respective schools, whose hands are tied by the revenue obtained from school fees. At the end of the day, the school fees will have to be increased to make the additional effort by teachers possible.
This idea might seem like it will exacerbate the problem. However, parents are already making surplus expenditure in the education of their children by paying for private tuition. If that amount could be navigated into the school fees, everyone can benefit from the system. Private tutors not teaching in schools will not be adversely affected as they can easily acquire jobs in schools which will be requiring extra staff to support the extended hours.
Another method that can be employed to motivate the teachers to work harder is to extend the National Professor Award to a ‘Best Teacher Award’ that can be given to the 64 best teachers from 64 districts annually.
The steps that should be taken to implement the aforementioned system are, passing legislation to permit extended school hours with a specified increase in school fees, passing legislation to obligate the school authority to fire a teacher found guilty of teaching privately, and issuing the Best Teacher Award with proper supervision before nomination. The absence of one of these steps would make the overall system collapse. Therefore, it is necessary that all these steps are taken simultaneously to ensure its efficiency.
The collection of steps I proposed are not at all perfect. In fact, none are, as every proposed idea will have some flaws. We will have to deal with the drawbacks of a new system and modify it from time to time to make the system successful. However, we must venture to take a few significant steps first.
This text was chosen as a Best Entry at A Paper for Progress, an international essay contest organised by Edge, the Foundation in Bangladesh. Discover the complete work on Edgethefoundation.com