The National Curriculum and Textbook Board is going to recommend not to hold any public examination up to Class-X and not to divide students into groups according to disciplines of science, humanities and business studies from Class-IX in line with a newly developed curriculum framework.

The new guidelines recommend not to introduce textbooks at pre-primary level and not to hold annual examinations till Class-II but to evaluate students’ class performance applying continuous assessment.

The new framework would require school authorities to employ continuous assessment based on daily classroom activities and hold examinations to evaluate students starting from Class-III.

The continuous assessment method would be applied till Class-X while students would appear in public examinations in five subjects — Bangla, English, mathematics, social science and science, according to the guidelines.

They would, however, study 10 subjects from Class-VI to Class XII, according to the guidelines which also state that in Class-XI and Class-XII, children would choose the disciplines as per their aspiration but would study Bangla, English and ICT as compulsory subjects.

The educationists welcome the recommendations of curtailing the primary education completion examinations and junior school certificate examinations in the curriculum guidelines.

NCTB chairman Narayan Chandra Saha, however, told New Age on Tuesday that the aim of preparing the guidelines was to develop a contemporary curriculum aimed at enhancing the skills of children to meet the 21st century challenges.

‘We are now evaluating  the guidelines taking public opinions. After approval of the guidelines by the national curriculum coordination committee, we will start developing curriculums for each classes and would prepare syllabuses and publish textbooks  based on the new curriculums,’ he said.

The new curriculums would emphasise classroom activities and at the same time would reduce number of textbooks and examinations as ordered by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, Narayan said.

While children from Class-VI to Class-X at present studied 12 to 14 subjects, Narayan said that they would study 10 textbooks in each of these classes after the introduction of the new curriculums.

‘However, some textbooks will cover several subjects,’ he said.

Education minister Dipu Moni on Thursday told the parliament that the textbooks based on the latest curriculums would be distributed from 2022 and the groupings based on science, humanities and business studies from Class IX would be abolished on the same year.

At present the curriculums developed in 2012 are being followed.

The NCTB in 2017 initiated the new curriculum development project and set a target of publishing new textbooks in 2021.

Narayan said that due to the COVID-19 outbreak they would not be able to meet the target.

He, however, could not say when the NCTB would be able to hand over the set of the guidelines to the NCCC and when they would start developing the new curriculum for each classes.

‘Recommendation of curtailing the PEC examinations at the end of Class-V and JSC at the end of Class-VIII is a good move,’ Dhaka University retired professor Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque said.

‘Though I have not yet seen the guidelines, but by reading about those in the newspapers, I assume that it is another donor-driven initiative. And the government as before is doing experimentations with the children without analysing the consequences,’ he said.

Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque further commented that successive governments after the independence destroyed the education system of the country doing experimentations prescribed by the donor agencies, NGOs and bureaucrats.

‘But the government did not execute the Qudrat-e-Khuda education commission’s guidelines which was focused on developing skill-based ideal citizens,’ Abul Kashem lamented.

BRAC University professor emeritus Manzur Ahmed said that like any other policies and laws, the government as usual develops good curriculums but fails to execute them while developing textbooks and teachers’ manuals.

‘Skilled textbook writers and teachers will be required to execute the guidelines proposed by the NCTB,’ he said.

NCTB chairman Narayan Chandra Saha admitted that they were facing a serious shortage of quality textbook writers.

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