All yearly terminal examinations before the one for obtaining the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) should be scrapped so students can get enough time for extra-curricular activities covering sports, cultural and social events, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique said.
Criticizing the existing approach of engaging children only in textbook-based study, Siddique advocated scrapping of the existing primary terminal and the Junior School Certificate examinations.
“There should not be any terminal examination for the students at primary and junior school levels to allow them spend more time to focus on extra-curricular activities”, the head of the country’s premier university told correspondent.
He denounced a general tendency among parents in pursuing the children for attaining higher grade point average (GPA), leaving little room for learners for extra-curricular activities in cultural, sports and other arenas to explore in themselves tender qualities.
Siddique, a leading communicologist, cited examples of Japanese and Sri Lankan education systems which stressed higher humanitarian values in the learning process while he referred to the education philosophy of Shanti Niketon introduced by Rabindranath Tagore saying that “where environment around you is considered as your text book”.
“In Japan there is no exam up to the ninth grade as they believe it is very important for children to participate in activities other than their routine studies,” Siddique said suggesting authorities to look into these systems for launching a reform initiative in the country.
The vice chancellor said some people opened so-called coaching centers to cash in the unhealthy competition among parents to make sure that their children get higher GPA, which in fact would not be of any help in shaping their future.
Siddique also suggested introduction of an identical basic curriculum for primary students in public and private schools of both the Bangla and English medium and madrasas which, he said would enable all to learn and be accustomed with the history of the country, social values and sprit of the Liberation War.
“The current education system has failed to set a higher objective of life before the students. It should be entirely revised, from the primary to university levels,” he said.
“We could save our children from being attracted to terrorism if we could make sure that our education system is equipped to instill into them the humanitarian values and set a higher objective of life,” he said.
He also urged the teachers and parents to monitor the children’s out of school activities alongside studies.