Every crisis has a silver lining, she said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has said people need to drop their total dependence on examination based assessment and focus on the bright side of e-learning that this pandemic has forced them into.
“Every crisis has a silver lining. This pandemic has brought us the opportunity to utilize the online tools we already had to teach students to use from all levels. We need a blend of e-learning and physical classroom in post Covid-19 days in the future,” she said on Saturday.
She was speaking at a Zoom Webinar on e-Learning organized by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI).
She said Bangladesh was heading towards a combination of distance learning and classroom learning anyway but the Covid-19 situation has accelerated it.
“We have to accept the new normal. This distance learning should continue even after the pandemic is settled,” Dipu said.
The education minister also said it is very unfortunate that students prioritize memorization over actual learning which gets in the way of the purpose of education.
“The purpose of education should not be excelling in exams or getting a certificate. The real purpose of education should be learning new things, developing values and ethics, and becoming a global citizen,” she also said.
Dipu further pointed out that students who are graduating in this pandemic with online classes should not be looked down upon.
“These students are no less than the students who graduated before this pandemic hit the world. In fact, these students have a great quality that is adapting to new ways of learning” she said.
Prof Mohammad Istiaq Azim of North South University (NSU) said a large section of this generation has internalized technology based learning as part of their general education, and the policymakers should design education systems keeping that in mind.
“This generation thinks globally and we have to accept that. Digital learning is a useful tool in many countries around the world and this pandemic has shown its necessity to the world,” he said.
He recommended a need based analysis when the Covid-19 situation is settled to see if the government and different organizations could take this digital learning forward.
Riyadh Hossian, former vice president of DCCI, said e-learning is the need of the hour and it should be taken forward even when students will get back to school.
Professor Khawaza Iftekhar Uddin of United International University (UIU) pointed out some disadvantages of distance learning in the context of Bangladesh education system.
“Many students in Bangladesh are not good with creative thinking since our education system is heavily based on examination based assessment and memorization. Teachers also need to be trained on how to develop creativity in students,” he said.