Teachers, students and guardians were sharply divided on a new education policy approved by parliament on Tuesday in the absence of the main opposition BNP. A group of teachers said it would make many teachers jobless and bring disaster if primary education was extended to class eight without developing the school infrastructure particularly, in the rural areas.
Another group hailed it saying it would bring a qualitative change in the education system.
Many guardians, teachers and students said an education policy should be adopted by consensus so that the next government felt no need to change it.
There was a strong opinion for sorting out the differences regarding the new education policy through discussions and consensus.
Several teachers and guardians praised the education minister for his initiative in framing an education policy.
The new national education policy, however, set the objective of freeing the country from illiteracy by 2021.
It favours uniform curricula for different school systems and modernisation of madrassah education.
It also favours extending primary education up to class eight instead of five, as the government already did.
It also favours free and compulsory education up to class VIII instead of class V, and introducing one-year pre-primary education for children over five years of age.
It favours treating the English medium education, based on Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations, as a specialised system of education.
The policy stipulates that it would require approval of the government to open institutions for imparting such education.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, urged people from all strata of the society to lend their cooperation in the implementation of the policy.
If the new education policy is implemented many teachers would lose their jobs,’ said Salim Bhauiyan, president of Teachers Employers United Alliance.