June 20, 2021

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Good students are not appreciated, others are full of sandalwood

I have heard many stories of the best students at one time. Sounds like a fairy tale. I was interested to know about those who were first on the board or whose names appeared in the merit list. How they fall, what they eat, when they wake up, what they like, and so on. This kind of interest is with all the celebrities all over the world. Whether he is a movie hero-heroine, footballer, cricketer or boxer. The Prothom-aloWhat is the interest of the meritorious students to take the autograph of a shooting celebrity of the same age once in a program! I was sitting for 30-40 minutes in the empty auditorium of a famous college with the popular physicist Ali Asgar at the award ceremony of the science festival. Suddenly I saw a tide of joy among the students. What happened? Good luck with a sports commentator. The competition started for the students to take pictures before whom. The students of this college are very talented. Most of them will be doctors, engineers or scientists. Science is their livelihood. But they have no interest in the famous physicist!

Man is the best creature of creation but not for his hands, feet, nose, ears, eyes or physical strength. He is the best in the power of the brain. It is not possible to increase the physical capacity more than 3-5 times in hundreds of exercises. Usain Bolt can’t run three times faster than us, Sergei Bubka can’t jump three times our height or the strongest man in the world can’t lift us three times as much. But an Einstein will be able to come up with a solution that we, the 160 million Bengalis, can’t do! In addition, the brainstem craft is much more reliable than any other craft. A batsman can score a double century in one innings and be called in the next innings.

But it is almost impossible for a meritorious student to get 90 once and get 10 the next time! How neglected that power of the brain is to us! Many enjoy watching boxing, and bullfighting, the race to survive on a crazy bull, also gives pure joy to the best creatures in creation. But they are not interested in watching the game of chess. The difference between the Chess Federation and the Board of Control for Cricket shows how indifferent and uninterested we are in brain-centered activities.

Ordinary working people must be entertained. We have to organize popular programs for him. However, for the welfare of the country, positive change must be brought in the place of people’s interest. The progress of a densely populated country like ours depends on how strong we are in knowledge, science and technology. Jamal Nazrul Islam, a world-class scientist from Bangladesh, used to lament that there was no money for holding a conference in our country. There is a dire lack of programs, incentives, competition for excellence in education in our country. But competition is the most cost-effective way to achieve excellence.

Competition in education disappoints students. So the competition is extinct today. But when they can’t be champions of football, man of the match in cricket, or song, dance, they don’t get frustrated! As many problems in education. Whatever is good or bad in reading, it cannot be expressed in a high or low voice. Failure outweighs success in all areas of life. There is no point in turning away from that failure, artificially hiding it. And if you have to hide, then no competition can be organized.

For a long time, the board authorities had been printing merit lists. We also have various complaints about that merit list. Not coming up in the list may also be due to inconsistencies in the assessment. And this problem exists not only in education, but in all cases. When the judges give numbers in the song competition, doesn’t the question arise about their evaluation? It is true that some people are coming to the merit list due to corruption. There is no human activity where there is no corruption. I will skip that work to avoid corruption? Rather a sustainable corruption-free approach should be initiated. How many sleepless nights did thousands of students study to get their names on the merit list of 20 students? Now there is no such competition. If investment in education is only 2% of GDP, then if there is no incentive, then why would young people spend time on learning?

The religion of youth is to face challenges, no one wants to be second. When we students face challenges in various international competitions, they do well there. The students of Bangladesh are doing better than the students of IT superpower India in such programming competitions. School-college students become champions in programming competitions with university students, even though they do not have programming in their curriculum. It’s only possible because there is competition! Niaz Morshed is the first grandmaster of South Asia in chess. Viswanathan Anand became the Grandmaster after his plight, later he became the World Champion. But we did not put Niaz Morshed forward properly

Before the age of 30, a Ronaldo earns several hundred million euros. And even at his double age, a mature haired Einstein can’t earn 1 percent of his income!

Suppose, if we reward the man of the match in a match with one thousand rupees in cash, how many people will play that game? A Figo or Ronaldo earns hundreds of millions of euros before he turns 30. And even at his double age, a mature haired Einstein can’t earn 1 percent of his income! In this reality, how many scientists will meditate on knowledge without any motivation? Is Einstein’s contribution to the advancement of human civilization less than that of a player or an entertainment star? If a Nobel laureate physicist and Shah Rukh Khan were present at the same time somewhere, wouldn’t the best student of physics push the Nobel laureate and try to see Shah Rukh Khan at a glance? Where the importance of science or talent is not in the meritorious, what will be there among others?

Ordinary people should not understand the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics, but socialists should understand its importance. The President of the United States invites Olympiad winners to the White House one day a year! 300 years ago, all the knowledge of physics could have been written in a book of one thousand pages. Now not all knowledge can be contained in a thousand books of that size. So now a lot more knowledge is needed. Many young people need to be encouraged to acquire knowledge.

The merit list of public examinations has been published for almost a hundred years, but no student has ever been informed that he has got the highest marks this year or so far in Mathematics or Chemistry or in Bengali or English or in various formats. If there were these records, the students would try to break them, there would be competition, which is in all areas of sports. The 100 meter run was recorded in a short time. The slightest difference, however, is how important it is. But I do not recognize a much larger gap in education. These statistics of the game are again memorized by the meritorious students to become champions in various quiz competitions!

In the history of the world, sometimes there is a stalemate in solving some problems. Any science academy award announced for the solution has been solved immediately. Many problems have been solved since the list of unresolved issues presented by David Hilbert at the IMU in Paris in 1900 or the announcement of the Millennium Award by the Clay Mathematics Institute. So in education as in other fields, rewards and incentives are important.

The problem is to speak loudly about the performance of reading. When this student is the last in the race, not only the spectator, the contestant himself can know, there is no problem. Schools and colleges were ranked on the basis of performance. That too is excluded because some clever organizations make themselves the first by wheels. Can’t we formulate a policy where good rank cannot be achieved without excellence? At present we can no longer rely on the interrelationship between numbers and the level of knowledge. In this same argument, there should be no interrelationship between grades and knowledge. So there is no reason to think that there has been a positive passage from number to grade. Due to the grading system, there is no difference between the fourth grade and the first grade. In the education system of the developed world, however, there is a correlation between knowledge and grades. If we try, we can also start such a method.

We have nothing to say about the quality of education. None of our universities get honorable rank. The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, but 50 of the top 100 universities are theirs. There, educational institutions, students and teachers are all ranking in various indices. There is no ranking system for educational institutions in our country.

I am proposing something to overcome this situation.
1. Introduce healthy competition in education as before.
2. Introduce number system instead of grade.
3. Organizing Olympiads at different stages with the winners of each class and subject.
4. Much more research and investment like GRE in formulating and evaluating corruption free question papers.
5. The names of the students, educational institutions, upazilas, districts and divisions who have excelled in judging various indicators are also listed on the webpage and rewards are given.

Education is just one of the many activities in human life. Not all crafts will be the same as in other fields and there is no need to keep it a secret.

Mohammad Kaikobad Distinguished Professor of BRAC University and Fellow of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences