'Who cares'?! and 'nothing will happen!?' have become common answers for every problem in Bangladesh. These two types of answers are commonly practiced either implicitly or explicitly in terms of shouldering the responsibility to reform any major national problems. This phenomenon is more true in the education sector-one of the most neglected and maltreated sectors of our country.
After achieving our independence, we have gone far in developing our nation. Having gone through a lot of ups and downs we have somehow reached in a position from where we can take some pride: Our women are now working hand in hand with men, the poverty rate has diminished, and education rate is increasing alarmingly and many more! Yes, by and large, we have encountered endless success stories. But success indeed depends on sustainability and without this denominator of success we cannot go further to enjoy a better tomorrow.
Though it sounds cliché, nonetheless, truth is proper education is the solution to all problems and key to the root of any success. If the children and people of a country are educated properly, then there is nothing to lose but everything to gain.
Education makes the people 'to care' and 'to shoulder responsibility' and, consequently, it has the power to make us believe that 'something great will happen'. Creative, inventive, and resourceful education processes and systems can offer a vibrant, dynamic, and progressive society. This is high time to nurse our sick education system, reform it, and to take steps to maintain and create a brand-new standard.
So fast everything is changing and we have to be prepared for everything. Preparedness will make us reach our goals. In this, the current Corona (Covid-19) situation, along with other countries, we are facing many challenges. During these tests and challenges, students are going through a bizarre and uncertain time.
They are very paranoid about their future. A hidden fear is working in their mind and, in some cases, they are traumatized too. In digital Bangladesh, online education could have been the best solution in the given unprecedented circumstance. But, alas! though we say digital Bangladesh, we are not ready for it at all.
However, at the tertiary level many universities are ready whereas UGC could not come up with a better plan and course of action to guide and instruct the universities. Subsequently, this 'dilly-dally' and 'mix-up' handling of the condition has created a messy state. Students, teachers, and parents are now in a quagmire state from where we have no smooth and fair escape.
The world is rapidly changing and it's difficult to cope with this ever-changing 21st century's ecosphere. We cannot go back and cannot even think of it; however, we can assimilate, reform, and march forward. We must take refuge in technological support along with the vibrant, spontaneous physical classroom education to teach properly. I firmly believe that normal face-to-face interaction with students is always far better than online communication.
But, in this crisis moment online teaching could have been the best platform for both students and teachers. We are missing this opportunity because of our unpreparedness, callousness, and lack of proper instruction from authority. However, we should also remember that universities cannot be too stringent upon the teachers to conduct classes rigorously in this uncanny situation. Relax and conducive teaching-learning attitude will mentally boost both teachers and students.
Education is a life-changing force and it's fun. But, it's not 'funny' and not a 'joke' thing. We need to take it seriously to have a better generation. Already, we have wasted a lot of time. We lack good schools, colleges, and universities here in Bangladesh.
Every year a lot of students go abroad to pursue foreign degrees just because of achieving quality education. I believe, we can achieve it here if we care and believe that we can make it happen. Governments, Private organizations, and educationists should work collaboratively to make it work. We just need some passionate souls, creative thinkers, and real workers. We have to say first, 'we care' for our education and, only then, we can 'make change happen' for our children of tomorrow.
Teachers are the lifeblood and the inner engineers of any institution. If teachers are being neglected, proper education will never occur and it will surely derail. Moreover, we need a lot of trained teachers who can create possibilities and sow the seed of creativity among students. Only a good teacher can create a dynamic and proper learning environment in the classroom. Of course, we can imagine a better future and that imagination can only come through proper education. And, through good education, we can reach our individual and collective stairway to success.
We cannot wait for a Godot or Messiah to come to solve all our problems. Let's be collaborative and let's take the leadership on our way to change our education system. La Luta Continua- let our struggle continues. Let's play the magic of education to transform Bangladesh.
Md Ariful Islam Laskar teaches English Literature at Daffodil International University
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