Monday, April 03, 2006

'Education Reform :: Schedule'

[First installment of continuous topic -- education reform in Bangladesh.]

In the heart of the problems of Bangladesh is a mismatch in timing. Given a swing range of two months, the first semester in BUET starts in mid-February. This needs to be moved to either late-August or mid-January to make the system completely synchronous with the Western system.

My suggestion is to start the semester in mid-September, if possible. This would make sure that the final semester would end at around mid-September. This would give the graduating students a chance to apply for higher education from the following Fall. At present, students have to wait as long as two years in some cases. This only serves to take away the motivation and momentum of students.

A more drastic change would be to shift the academic calender from January to August. I consider that to be too radical and unnecessary. There being no clear distinction between Fall and Spring now-a-days and the culture not being one that fosters seasonal trends, the January-December session can be left the way it is until completion of 10th grade.

The timespan between mid-10th grade to the publishing of HSC results can only be termed as 'A Series of Unfortunate Incidents'!

10th grade classes should end by mid-September. SSC examination should be held in early-January. Results would come in by mid-April. Admission tests for HSC should be administered by late-June and classes should begin by mid-July at the latest.

The 18 months of higher-secondary studies would end in mid-January, according to the proposed calender. HSC exams should be administered in mid-April and results should be published by mid-July. University admission should be completed by mid-August and classes should resume by early-September.

Why all the rush? Why bother revising all the established customs to adjust with some foreign system? What ever happened to the freedom to write our own terms?

Such questions are entirely ideological and require persuasion in a completely different tone. That would be the topic for a future installment in Education Reform.

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