CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF ENGLISH MEDIUM EDUCATION IN BANGLADESH

Author: 

SHALEHA KADER

PhD defended at: 

International Culture University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Summary: 

Education across the world is changing fast to meet new challenges and emerging
problems. But in Bangladesh, Government faces severe constraints in their struggle to
expand educational access, upturn the quality of education, and advance equity. In the
education sector, often the needs are not properly evaluated and the directions of
necessary amendment are not achieved. Beside that, the education policies of 2003 as
well as 2010 are not chronologically linked up and the priorities remain to be debated,
leading to policy interventions that are at times contradictory. The paradox among access,
equity, and quality remains not to be satisfactorily resolved. Education planners are also
yet to identify approaches, methods, and allocations that would be readily acceptable to
micro planners and administrators of different educational sub-sectors.
In order to spread up the education for all within the time frame set by the UN, the
Government of Bangladesh may have to struggle with its total system to achieve that goal
of UN. In spite of having a lot of initiative both by the Government and the private
sectors to achieve the United Nations goals- it has not yet come to a satisfactory level. So
far Bangladesh Government education system did not encourage British curriculum and
examination system under the British Council to introduce the internationally recognized
system of education in the country.
Compared to the neighboring countries, education indicators of Bangladesh appears
average Though the overall standard is better than those of Pakistan and Nepal, but worse
than those of India and Sri Lanka. In India and Sri Lanka, now a day English Medium
Schools are more popular than general schools. Because of the modern teaching
technique English Medium education system gets priority to most of the parents of those
countries. Therefore we found the Indians and Sri Lankans are getting priority to the
international job markets. Some of Bangladeshi educated solvent and prudent parents
considering the globalized education and job market motivated themselves to get their
children admission under the British education system. Presently so many educated and
solvent persons got encouraged and follow the previous section of people.
Considering the growing needs of the English Medium education, around 103 renowned
English Medium School already introduced in the country1 where 88 renowned English
Medium School in Dhaka2 are providing English Education following the British
curriculum directly. Till to date the British based education system is being conflicted
with national education system.
From the survey, literature review and the interview of the related personnel significant
prospects of English Medium education were found which may help the parents to take
the decision.
Education system of a nation is framed basing on a specific philosophy of education.
Though the Western and Eastern education philosophies are different; nonetheless, both
are having some positive and negative features from different angle of perception.
Bangladesh, being one of the developing countries has blended both the Western and
Eastern pattern. Again, no philosophy of education is absolutely good or bad. With the
change of time and necessity of the technological advancement, education policy
demands moderation. An effective moderation of the education policy can make a nation
strong enough to sustain the challenges of 21st century. The limitations of existing
education system arise from the formulation the curriculum, lack of coordination between
different levels of education and evaluation system where the examination does not fairly
represent student abilities. These limitations are further aggravated by limited
infrastructure than required , lack of quality teachers and appropriate training aids, nonavailability
of good standard books, wide variation in the quality of education received
between different educational institutions, lack of monitoring by appropriate authorities,
immoral attitude of the students/teachers/persons involved in education system/
management and overall the lack of general awareness of knowledge based institutional
education. Therefore, instead of having a lot of potentials- our existing education system
is failing to achieve a global standard in regards to the knowledge, skill and effectiveness.
In this study an endeavor was made to discuss the features and potentials of English
Medium education as an alternative of Bangla Medium and English Version education
system.
Western philosophy of education is designed to prepare the students to be productive and
contributing members of the society. The curriculum and evaluation system is more
subjective. The British curriculum is also based on knowledge and skill. The English
Medium education system emphasizes on building leadership quality within a student as
well. In order to reduce the cultural, social, historical and geographical discrimination of
the Bangladeshi students- Bangla language, Bangladesh Studies are incorporated within
the British curriculum. As a whole the features of English Medium education have some
benefits of achieving global standard education.
No single serious study has already been done or no appropriate attention has given
earlier on it. Therefore, the study may be considered as a pioneer endeavor as well as the
baseline on the English medium education in Bangladesh. So, the study is very
significant from the national prospective. Besides, the several groups and individuals
could also be benefited from the study. The policy makers, educational administrators,
head of the educational institutes, future researcher, parents and students could also find
their guidelines and direction the findings of the present research. The study consists of
five chapters and it is ending with the six recommendations which are very important for
the education system of Bangladesh.
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_schools_in_Bangladesh#Dhaka, visited on 10 January 2014.
2 http://4educationalinfo.blogspot.com/2012/06/bangladesh-english-medium-s..., visited on 21 July 2016.

Defended: 

2016

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