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July 21, 2013

Mathematics and Science Education in the 21st Century
~To Ensure Joy of Learning for All Children~

An intensive and interactive joint seminar on "Review of the Revised Curriculum Materials and Recommendations for Future Improvements of 21st Century Mathematics and Science Education in Bangladesh" was held on July 21st, 2013 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. All key change makers from the Government of Bangladesh and Development Partners attended in this seminar.

The second phase of the JICA supported program, "Strengthening the Capacity of Teacher Training in PTI to Improve Classroom Teaching" started in November 2010 and will continue until November 2016. One of the major areas of this program is to support National Curriculum and Text Book Board (NCTB) in its on-going revision process of math and science curriculum and textbooks.

The objective of this seminar was to share the issues emerged from review of the revised curriculum and textbooks in Bangladesh with all the concerned stakeholders, and also to find the way to improve them further based on the suggestions and recommendations by the curriculum development specialists. At the moment there is a weak linkage between national curriculum and textbooks and also a lack of periodical curriculum assessment at classroom level is an issue. Presenters linked reforms in the curriculum to enhance learning outcomes in a pragmatic way. In this seminar many constructive recommendations were made for further improvement of curriculum, for example, better textbook writers who would consider Bangladeshi context should be selected.

Dr. Takao Toda, Chief Representative JICA Bangladesh, emphasized that: 1. standard curriculum and textbooks in international context should be achieved; 2. quality education for future generation especially in Mathematics and Science need to be ensured; and 3. curriculum should be pro-active to make new generations creative.

In the first two sessions, six presenters from Hiroshima University (HU), Saitama University (SU) and University of Philippines (UP) shared some important comments. The modernized Science and Mathematics education in the world today have curriculum that focuses more on affective aspect and problem solving skills of children's learning. International trend of curriculum development should ensure higher thinking skills for children. In order to make all Bangladeshi children benefit from the new curriculum, an academic association to strengthen professional community is necessary. In the following four sessions some issues and suggestions to the primary science and mathematics curriculum, textbooks and teacher support materials were presented, how they are linked with teaching and learning as well as assessment.

Prof. Takuya Baba, Vice Dean, IDEC, Hiroshima University, emphasized on the importance of improving the quality of teachers and developing the curriculum in global perspective.

Feedbacks from the participants: opening a "Research Wing" for Mathematics and Science at NCTB was urged, adequate expressions and explanation to primary level was requested in Mathematics and Science contents so that children understand what is written in the textbooks, materials were asked to be developed in right context, weakness of curriculum and textbooks, the fact that teachers at primary level are loaded with huge classes, lack of coordination in curriculum development were pointed out as existing issues.

This seminar built a very good partnership for continuous professional development of the curriculum. Mathematical and Scientific literacy is essential for critical thinking, problem solving and acquiring necessary knowledge/skills/attitude as citizens of Bangladesh.

PhotoPresentaton by Prof. Hiroyuki Ninomiya Mathematics Educaion Dep., Saitama University

PhotoFeedback from Prof. Quazi Afroz Jahanara, Professor, IER, Dhaka University

PhotoFeedback from Dr. Siddiqur Rahman, Professor (Rtd.), IER, DU

PhotoExhibition of Sample textbooks from Japan

PhotoBangladeshi Students using textbook in classroom


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