There is a saying that "when your only tool is a hammer all your problems look like nails." It seems the only tool of some of the Islamists is bringing death to somebody.
The latest act of some religious nutcase is to send a death threat to the Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid. His fault? Leading the formulation of a proposed "national education policy for Bangladesh" and posting the draft on the ministry website [bn].
The salient features of this new education policy which is set to be enacted this December:
- Increase primary education from 5th to 8th class.
- It will integrate Madras education and vocational education into the general education
- It will establish mandatory core subjects for primary-level education: Bangla, English, mathematics, Bangladesh Studies, social environment and climate change, and information technology and science.
- Every School will have a mandatory library equipped with necessary books
- More scholarships for the poor
- No physical punishments
- Arrangement of lunch for the students
- Education for indigenous students in their mothet tongues
- Facilities for the disabled
- Standardization of teachers qualifications
- More training for the teachers and promotion will be connected with experience and training and many more
In a nutshell the national education policy will make changes at the grassroots levels of the education system.
Nirmal Gomes, a specialist in Educational Administration & Policy Studies, wrote in E-Bangladesh about this new education policy. He discussed the importance of a complete education system and this policy is close to that:
A holistic education policy implementation is most essential in the reality of Bangladesh. Every students need to be developed their emotional, physical, social, and intellectual growth. The education policy must acknowledge and emphasize the spiritual, intellectual, social, physical, and psychological needs of young children from the beginning of its establishment and this will continue to foster growth in each child. Besides promoting skill-based education, the policy must encourage children to learn and nurture the social and cultural values, integrity, tolerate, respect and love others, service to others, and to be a responsible person. The students can learn all these good values from schools.
Now it seems a quarter is not liking the idea of a unified education system. The idea of introducing Science and mathematics to Madrassa students seem to be detrimental for some people's agenda. They think this policy is not emphasizing on religious education. It seems this idea is fed by the Islamist political parties as if they lose control on Madrassas then their politics will be difficult.
I think this education policy is not the ultimate solution for Bangladesh, but its a start. Lets not derail this road of change paying heed to threats of some religious fanatics. The policy needs your support.