In order to reach a conclusion about whether the education system in Bangladesh meets the international standard, it is important that we first at least gain a brief understanding of the prevailing education system. The current scenario is quite perplexing due to the existence of multiple branches of education which has created groups among the students with very little common ground. They are popularly called the Madrassa system, the Bangla Medium and the English Medium. The existence of such tiers itself is a phenomenon created due to education being turned into more of a financially tradable good rather than a right.
While analyzing the education received at schools and colleges in the country, it is not unusual to spot the lack of quality. The universities of the country themselves do not trust these results and hence the students are channeled through a rigorous admission test season; a process invisible in most developed countries and in universities that are internationally potent. There have been attempts with the introduction of the srijonsheel (meaning: creative) questions to improve the quality of education. However, even these are now available in guidebooks. How desperate is our education system where students are taught to memorize creative questions and their answers? In this respect, we have a lot to learn from the existing British Curriculum or English Medium where thought and care are invested for each question every year. Not only answering the questions is creative but so is coming up with new questions every year. Question paper leakage is a glaring glitch in our higher secondary, secondary and even primary level of education. Starting from synthesizing the questions to printing them and dispersing them by hand, the scope of leakage is far too high. We yet do not talk about open-book exams.
It is true that Bangladesh has achieved great success in bringing students and especially girls to school, but based on the above discussion, it is evident that the quality of this education is not ensured. However, it is also undeniable that quality is an inextricable component of education. With the filth of question paper leakage to myriads of mistakes in textbooks, it is not tough to reach the conclusion that pre-university education in Bangladesh is below international standards.
Dhaka University, which belongs to the top tier of universities in Bangladesh, spends only 2% of its total budget on research. The amount for 2017-2018 a meager 14 crore taka. It is worthwhile to mention here that Delhi University spends 12% of its budget on research and the amount for the same year is 20 million rupees. Bangladesh is hardly comparable in this field to its neighbor, let alone top universities like John Hopkins, Harvard that are used to spending a billion dollar every year. It is thus a pity to realize that the education standards in Bangladesh fall short of meeting international standards at all levels and neither do they ensure the attainment of 21st-century skills – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.