Since our country has been increasing the percentage in literacy rate, there still exists a vast gap or difference among the schools in rural and urban areas and so does the students. There are many factors that make it challenging for all of us to achieve hundred percent literacy rate in Bangladesh. Several governments took various initiatives to make education an important wing of the development of the country. However, there was lack of monitoring, which eventually made the plans fail. The international and local NGOs are also taking several measures especially for the schools in the rural areas to mitigate the challenges and to educate the children. Still, there exists an enormous disparity between urban and rural areas in terms of education due to a few significant factors.
Lack of funding from various sources: Lack of government subsidy is one of the major reasons for the lack of development in the schools in rural areas. Whereas, in the urban areas, people can understand the importance of education and strive to give their kids the best education. In the rural areas, the scenario is completely different. The families’ hard-earned money is spent after the family to feed them three times a day. Therefore, they look forward to government subsidy, which is not always available. Moreover, there is no proper system to monitor where the money goes that the government provides for these schools. Corruption is imminent in these sectors which keeps the funds from reaching the right hands.
Also, not many private sectors are moving ahead towards financing the schools in the rural areas, which would have been a great support to these schools.
Lack of Quality Education: In the urban areas, people are more exposed to the globalisation and thus, they value the quality of education, but this isn’t the case for rural areas. There is no way to evaluate the quality of education that is being provided. Most of the districts have their own systems of educating the children which are not validated or checked by the national board. The quality is deteriorating day by day and there is no one who can ensure the quality of education such as proper lesson plans, teachers’ training, extracurricular activities for students, discipline and so forth.
Lack of Qualified Teachers: There is lack of qualified teachers due to lack to training. No one is taking appropriate initiatives to provide teachers’ training program in order to keep them up to date about the current world, current scenario of the country and the globalisation.
Lack of Infrastructure: Poor infrastructure has led the schools in the rural areas to fail due to absence of proper laboratory, library, examination procedure, lesson plans, stationeries and overall set-up of the school. In the urban areas, the schools (both government and private) are backed up by proper financing, which has made it possible to set up proper infrastructure that is helping students to learn lessons with practical experience.
Compliance with the Curriculum: The curriculum that the schools in rural areas are following is not always the same as that of in the urban areas. The Bangla curriculum (National Curriculum) is not being managed, maintained and monitored in a right manner to maintain the quality level. Whereas, in the urban areas, they have easy access to National board and the english medium schools are following the Edexcel, Cambridge and so forth curriculums which is easily updated through the use of technology.
Follow up/monitoring from teachers and parents: The teachers in the rural areas are not too motivated to teach, although till date, teaching is deemed to be a very respectable profession and teachers do value it. Yet, low payment, not enough children in the classroom, lack of classroom participation, lack of cooperation from the parents’ sides- all these factors make it challenging for the teachers to remain motivated. The parents in the rural areas are not that educated, thus, they are not always concerned about what their children are learning.
Whereas, in the urban areas, even the parents are not that educated, they still are concerned about the progress of their children’s education. They communicate with the teachers on a regular basis. A lot of educated mothers do not work only because of their kids. This interest from the parents’ end gives a moral boost up to the teachers and students also become very aware about their results and learning.
Disparity between genders: In the rural areas, we still live in the arena where we think that our daughters do not need education as they will be married soon and will be working in the kitchen only. It decreases the percentage of students in school. A lot of girls stop going to schools after class V or VI. In the urban areas, the parents understand the value of education and thus, they do not differentiate between their son and daughter that much. They want to provide them with equal level of education.
Measures that can be taken to mitigate these disparities
- Both government and private sectors should come forward for funding the schools for the infrastructure other relevant materials in the rural areas for the sake of overall development of the nation
- Teachers training should be arranged by hiring trainers from schools in urban areas who are already trained in various subject matters
- Monitoring committee should be formed in order to properly monitor the progress of the schools and quality education in the rural areas
- Parents and students must be counseled regarding the importance of education
- Teachers must be motivated by providing extra benefits/rewards such as best teacher of the year and also, students should be encouraged by acknowledging their efforts in obtaining excellent results and also in the other areas such as extracurricular activities and discipline
- Various awareness programs should be arranged by schools from urban areas to educate the personnel associated with the schools in rural areas. Parents can also be included to make them realize the future of their children depends on the education
- Lastly, we all must realize our accountability towards our community and the nation as a whole