Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Teacher training must be extensive

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In the country, many fresh teachers for three different tiers of education - primary, secondary and higher secondary - are recruited in educational institutions every year.

Although the number of teachers increased substantially over the last several years, no new institute was set up to train them up. Due to a lack of fresh enterprises for the capacity building of the old ones, it is also not possible for those existing institutes to ensure proper training for the added number of teachers.

As a result, a large number of untrained teachers have been teaching students for years. Alarmingly enough, all these are evidently worsening the standard of education being imparted to students by these unskilled teachers.

Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis), in its latest statistics, said 36 per cent teachers of primary, secondary and higher secondary levels in the country are unskilled. As per the estimate, more than two lakh teachers, out of over 5.5 lakh, have remained untrained.

Besides, about 30 per cent teachers of primary education and more than 90 per cent Madrassa teachers have remained beyond training. Experts term the lack of adequate number of training institutes as one of the many major barriers to quality education in the country.

 Banbeis also said a total of 16,500 new teachers were recruited in 2017 but no training institute was constructed for them. As teacher recruitment is a continuous process, the existing institutes are already overburdened with newly appointed teachers. Accordingly, it is impossible for those old institutes to ensure quality training for the increasing number of teachers.

The scenario is even dismal for the educational institutions managed by the private sector. In the country, most of the secondary and higher secondary institutions are operated in private levels, and due to financial constraints, they cannot even sign up the required number of teachers, let alone arranging enough training for them.

To ensure quality teaching in the classroom, it is very important for a teacher to be skilled on his subjects. It is often alleged that teachers, in the country, are appointed through a flawed recruitment procedure where one's having prior training to join the post is not mandatory.

Even after fresh recruitment, it usually takes a long time to bring those teachers under training system. As a result, the quality of education those amateur teachers impart among students in the classroom remains questionable. As long as enough training before sending a teacher to the classroom is not arranged, the country will be observing recession in the quality of education.

The government must realise the unavoidability of constructing new training institutes as well as updating the existing ones. Besides, a mushroom proliferation of private institutions should also be checked.

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