Good or Bad? Early Education (Pre-schooling)

Good or Bad? Early Education (Pre-schooling)

September 5, 2019 12 By Ronny Jaskolski


Early Schooling in Bangladesh and Parents’
Role by Ohidur Rahman A new trend in education is early schooling
particularly in cities. The trend is expanding intensively and spreading
everywhere rapidly. The trend is not yet clearly positive, rather
mixed depending on the children’s family background in particular. That is why it should require quite a few
speculations, considerations, comparisons and reflections mostly on individual learner
and his/her surroundings so that the right choice has really been made. Education was a continuous process from class
I to matriculation, then a little more up to intermediate, then a little more up to
graduation, then a little more up to B.A. (Hons) instead of B.A. (Pass). That is not all. Without M.A. education was not complete, even
when M.A. was not still a pursuing degree for BSc graduates and engineers. Still competition in the job market is not
happy with Bangladeshi MA. It wants a foreign MA like water purifier. Then comes the need of a 2nd MA for those
who find it impossible to earn a foreign MA. Students are helpless since it covers their
whole youth and their parents are in a snafu situation because they cannot bear the expenses
when they want their offspring earn money rather than spend it. But what to do? The job market does not listen to their cries
for help especially because the job seekers are increasing much more rapidly than the
jobs. Besides, the private jobs are expanding far
more rapidly than the government ones. Here the priority goes to the close relatives
and well-acquaints. As a result, proficiency loses its strengths. To balance the competition the unknown need
to pursue extra degrees and special proficiency. For all these the most lucrative degree is
Doctor of Philosophy well-known as PhD. It has become a part of continuous degree
after MA. To upgrade the existing position this PhD
is also very influential and the post-doctoral is an extra qualification. But it is a matter of more than 22 years of
education. Whereas the parents are mostly destitute and
awaiting the jobs of their sons in particular in Bangladesh, they are bound to carry on
the educational expenses. This is not all. The other substantial difficulty is the early
education of their offspring. The early education is well-known to most
of the urban people, even to the suburban. Children who are around 4, are ready or even
forced to go to school, no matter how much they feel sleepy in the early morning, how
much they contribute to traffic jam for the office-goers, how much they are vulnerable
and susceptible to the road accidents, how much they stay empty-stomach for long in the
morning, how much they take fast food as it is available on roadsides in the dazzling
and colourful packets, and above all, no matter how much the parents have to spend extra money
and their valuable time for their early schooling. Is this all? Not at all. The children cannot enrol in Class I at the
age of 6 or even 7 because they have to cross Play, Nursery, KG-I and KG-II before Class
I. The school authority may be happy with the
early education for the sake of quick name and fame along with cash in huge amount. Sometimes, the authority evasively try to
intimidate the parents expressing how difficult it is going to be for the young learners to
cope up with the other children who have already finished the early schooling. The authority may even try to prove and establish
how far it is more difficult to study for the children at present than it was earlier. Now the question is whether the early education
is widespread only in Bangladesh. No, the situation is the same everywhere else. Then the question comes what may be wrong
in Bangladesh. Shakespeare implies nothing is good or bad
if not properly thought about or considered appropriately. Some important factors may be discussed in
the following manner. The early schooling is relatively easier and
more accessible to those who can bear expenses easily, have private transport or for those
jobless mothers who need a daily outing a little for change and recreation. Still the school should be as close-by as
possible. This will save money and time, and above all,
it will decrease the traffic jam and the statistical risk of road accidents. Nowadays the number of housewives is decreasing
substantially because women are getting much more involved with jobs and the other engagements
due to modernisation and digitalisation. All are getting busier one way or the other. The children hardly live with their grandparents,
aunts or uncles who could have assisted for their schooling. All these factors should be considered before
selecting the appropriate age of schooling as well as the place and environment of the
school. The schooling should be as affordable as possible
depending on the ability of the parents. Suppose some neighbours have sent their offspring
to a rich school. Does it mean you should do the same? A common proverb is “Cut your coat according
to your cloth”. Does it mean that you are under-privileged? If you speculate you will realise the fact. It is more likely that the more you have money,
the less you have time or vice-versa, though there are exceptions everywhere. It is better to compare several factors which
will help find what is better. Can you certify something which is good for
someone is also good for you? To clarify, your children are not as safe
and comfortable inside a private car as they are on a rickshaw or a public transport. But you should not be hopeless since Francis
Bacon wittily advocates adversity to be preferred to advantages. For example, Razzak, the prominent former
film actor was asked why his son could not earn the similar fame or even better than
he had. In reply, Razzak said he had to make harder
efforts to build a platform while his son had already occupied it free of efforts. In fact, adversity is the real spur for moving
forward to a safer-ground. There may be usually three kinds of students. Firstly, there are students who memorise hard
and perform well in the exams up to intermediate but they cannot keep their energy in the graduation
level, and subsequently develop a distaste to studies. From my own experience and observation while
teaching at tertiary level I can identify the main reason of some of the negligent,
inattentive, irregular, careless, dull students who are devoid of exam-phobia and absolutely
free from tension and facilitative anxiety. The reason is: they had been regular in the
schools, busy with private tuitions and coaching centres only because they were afraid of punishment
by the parents. Such kind of a girl was found to have been
busy for 51 hours weekly—30 hours in the school, 9 hours in the coaching centre and
12 hours for private tuition. Her father was happy; her mother was happier;
the private tutors and coaching instructors were the happiest, though it does not matter
she was the unhappiest. Now her parents cannot keep an eye with her
as she studies at a university—free from her parents’ choices, powerful to decide
not to take part in the classes, confidently well-planned to study just in the previous
night of an exam whatever may befall upon her next. In her school life she learnt by heart the
application entitled ‘Full free studentship’. Now she learns a similar lesson entitled ‘Full
free careless life’—no tension or anxiety, no study but only fun with Facebook, dress-up,
make-up, birthdays with friends, visiting DITF, window-shopping and what not. The proverb says “All that glitters is not
gold”. Likewise, the students who perform well in
the beginning do not guarantee their consistent performance up to the last. Secondly, there are students who were free
from family pressure and somehow were still interested in school and studies. Later on they are still willing for higher
studies positively and they remain bright students from the beginning to the last. After a lot of reflections and observations
over many of these bright students I have understood the prominent reason: they were
not forced to study but were observed by their talented parents whether they were losing
their taste for studies or growing up with even better taste for studies, or if not,
what to do to return their taste for studies. To clarify, in my childhood we used to play
with toys which were able to walk straight unless blocked by a wall. The toys tried to break the wall but failed
and still kept on trying as if “Failure is the pillar of success” and like “Try
a hundred times”. But these days we see toys which turn back
or side to avert the wall and move on straight unless another wall blocks and does the same
again and again. Similarly, the boys who are forced but not
observed with caution may go astray especially when the parents will lose their hold of control
especially in their graduation level. Lastly, there are students who do not pay
heed to early education for fun and games and sports but later on, may have developed
inner urge for one reason or the other. Subsequently they may study hard themselves
and continue higher studies contentedly. They are the real self-leaners with speculation,
reflections and observations and eventually may develop insight and can go deep into the
subjects which have provoked them to ponder over interestingly. Shakespeare says “All’s well, that ends
well”. Everything has both sides—good or bad—like
a coin. The early schooling may be detrimental to
subsequent studies due to several reasons. The school teachers may be low-paid and not
well-trained and at the same time, are not motivated to discharge their duties properly. As a result, they may lose temper, fail to
control it quickly and punish the children unscrupulously. I remember the comic cartoon in The Daily
Star where the student was severely punished because he had made a spelling mistake ‘panishment’
instead of ‘punishment’ in the sentence “Physical punishment is prohibited”. In these circumstances, the teachers must
be properly paid, well-trained and motivated to be caring rather than to be stern, rigid,
bad-tempered and prone to punish. The school is not the end to studies, they
have a far distance to go. If they are properly cared and taught, they
will keep their taste for studies and will tend to study further themselves. As a result, they will require no home-tutors,
private-tutors, coaching centres and will not search the importantly probable questions
for the exams.