The educational system in Bangladesh is three-tiered and highly subsidized. The government of Bangladesh operates many schools in the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels. It also subsidizes parts of the funding for many private schools. In the tertiary education sector, the government also funds more than 15 state universities through the University Grants Commission. Bangladesh conforms fully to the Education for All (EFA) objectives, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and international declarations. Article 17 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides that all children between the ages of six and eighteen years receive secondary education free of charge.

There is a famous saying in Bangladesh: “Lekha pora kore Je Gari Gora chore se" (Those who are educated will succeed). This traditional thinking of education as the ticket to the good life emerges in different ways and degrees in Bangladesh. Education is seen as something that is received rather than achieved and it has increasingly become dependent on certificates. Bangladesh's three-tiered and highly subsidized educational system has failed in different ways, being dictated by different political regimes that have ruled Bangladesh over the last four decades. One of the biggest causes of this failure is the absence of an effective education policy and its implementation. In the last four decades, Bangladesh, a nation full of possibilities, is suffering from various problems that need solving. Primarily, it has never seen the implementation of a progressive, scientific education policy. Dictators and democratic political regimes alike have denied the need for an effective educational policy, despite the country's constitutional commitment to it under Article 17, to provide all children between the age of six to ten with a basic and free education. Higher education is only a way to gain access to a better job, when learning and the quality of education is secondary and the higher degree itself is primary. This horrifying attitude towards higher education is leading the nation towards a pattern of unemployment that could have been cured by having more university graduates. This implies that the system is not working efficiently or effectively. The race for the material side of education or the polluted system of education in Bangladesh has made education inhuman and the pride of the elite. In this system, both public and private institutions have become vehicles for those with money and power. And those who enjoy a better education get better higher education as well. So, the poor cannot even think of getting education at a private university, due to the cycle of education and prosperity and in public universities, most poor people cannot keep up in the race for education.

The government should consider introducing a liberal education, as Donald Knuth advocates, “I don't know where I heard it first, but a liberal education is supposed to teach you something about everything and everything about something. It should, instead of introducing a generalized national education policy, consider a liberal system that would extensively accommodate each and every individual citizen from their respective positions, in which education would be a system of transmission of civilization.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020