Admission worry steals sleep of parents on New Year’s Eve
As many people in the capital Dhaka and other cities in the country prepare to celebrate the 31st December with lavish food, drinks and fanfare, to mark the end of 2016 and welcome the New Year 2017, creeping worries over poor admission facilities for students have already stolen sleep of their parents.
The time for admission - a yearly phenomenon -- of students in elementary, primary and higher classes is around and the worried parents are taking turn to every few good schools in the capital. They truly realize that getting their children through tough competition into the good schools is an uphill task but no one relents considering the future of their boys and girls.
However, only the luckier would have the smile of success,
According to Secondary Education office, this year about 71 thousand of students have applied in 38 schools in Dhaka against 10,595 seats. So what about rest of the students! Nobody knows the answer.
In a situation like this, parents are getting more tensed every day pondering where their children will get enrolled let alone the good schools.
Education Ministry doesn't have data about the students. It doesn't know how many students got admitted in class six after passing out of class five. "They (Education Ministry) are busy with holding JSC and PSC examinations but without creating adequate provisions and facilities for the students. It is as if only the headache of the parents," one housewife in Dhaka said, requesting anonymity.
"I have put aside all my personal passion for several months now just to prepare my child for the admission race," said the mother of two kids, one going to school next year.
Nilufa Yesmin, another woman, said she was worried for only son because for one seat about 141 students are competing. If her son doesn't get chance in the few good schools "we have no choice but to admit him in a low grade but costly private school."
Nilufa's husband is a clerk in a government office and he perhaps cannot afford expenses in private schools.
Now most of the schools allow lottery system for admission, so to get admission in good school is matter of luck. "My daughter Ava has qualified in lottery for admission in Class One in the Motijheel Ideal School," her father Zamirul Haque said conveying the happy news on phone to friends and relatives.
Haque said even in lottery system one child is selected from about 200 students. "This is awful completion," he added.
Khirul Alam Chawdhury who works in Bangladesh Bank told this correspondent "education is the basic right of the people but the government; while it is thinking to upgrade Bangladesh to mid-level income country (from LDC) has so far failed to ensure standard education".
"Moreover, we are worried about the admission of our children whether they can get admitted or not. None of the good schools is government school. So, how will the government achieve its goal of "digital Bangladesh?" Chowdhury asked.
Day by day the number of students is increasing in the country but how many schools the government has introduced in last couple of years, he said.
A Head Master of a renounced school said on condition of anonymity "It is a bitter truth that the government has failed to provide educational institutions for all the students. Private sector is playing an important role to fill up the gap in the education sector".
Replying to a question she said "to provide quality education we have to charge more (fees) than others. Government schools are subsidized but we have to collect all our costs like teachers salary, development and other cost from the students".
Additionally, as the government has no monitory support for the private schools so the teachers have no accountability to their duties.
For failure of the government, low-grade schools are mushrooming in the private sector. They are counting lots of money without providing quality education. And the parents have no choice to go elsewhere because of shortage of schools across the country, she said.
Kindergartens, which many say is a curse for the society, have no qualified teachers, no quality books. So the worries parents rush to few institutions which are known as good schools.