Does Primary Education Hinder Child Development? A Study of Six Selected Primary Schools of Dhaka City in Bangladesh
The study was intended to explore the effects of primary education on the childhood of the students of Dhaka city. Primary data for this study were collected from 18 students of 6 schools of Dhaka city by using semi-structured interview schedules. The study reveals that several factors pertaining to primary education such as unwillingness to go to school, excessive burden of textbooks, pressure of homework, lack of opportunities to play, frequent number of examinations, parents’ unhealthy competition for good results have adverse effects on child development. The study puts forward that the adverse effects of primary schools including Government primary schools and kindergarten schools have caused adverse physical, psychological, cognitive and personality development among the students and disrupted their joyful and playful childhood and social learning. Unified primary education is a utopia in Bangladesh making disparities among the students of different categories of schools. Children are going to school with a heavy bag loaded with textbooks, notebooks and other needed things. Children are going through mental pressure about their results and good grades which are appreciated with chocolates and their bad results are depreciated with rebuke and punishment. The most important factor of students’ attraction to go to school is the opportunity to play with the friends. Free, joyous, playful and colorful childhood of the primary level students is disappearing in the urban areas of Dhaka due to excessive study pressure in the primary level. However, the study recommends that a unified primary education system should be ensured in Bangladesh as soon as possible which would help the social, emotional and cognitive development of the children protecting their colorful childhood.
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