Apart from textbooks, additional books are being taught at primary school level, making negative impacts on the physical and psychological health of schoolchildren.
Sources concerned said that some extra books have been recommended for schoolchildren so that they can learn more at the early stage of their academic life.
Many guardians alleged that children are bound to study additional books on the government and school management’s recommendations.
The school authorities put huge burden on the children by including many additional books in their syllabuses at the primary school level.
“Children have to struggle for carrying their bags loaded with books. They are facing huge mental pressure while reading so many books at lower classes,” said Mohammad Amin, a father of two children.
Without thinking of the psychological effects, different schools have recommended additional books for the kids unnecessarily. Children are busy with home tasks on different subjects. They hardly get time to play.
“My daughter reads in class-II at Shamsul Haq Khan School & College at Demra in the capital. She has to read nine subjects -- Bangla, English, Math, Religion, Word Book, General Knowledge, English Grammar, Bangla Grammar and Drawing,” another guardian said.
“I do not find any logic behind imposing so many books on the students of class-II. There is no reason for study of English and Bangla Grammars at this stage,” he added.
Another guardian, whose child reads at Phulkari Adarsha Kindergarten in the city, said the school authorities have recommended a number of subjects for class two. The subjects are Bangla, Bangla Grammar, English For Today, Active English, English Grammar, Math, Paribesh Parichiti, Religion, General Knowledge and Drawing.
He alleged that so many books at lower classes are making children always busy with studies and creating stress on them.
It is noted that a school here has included four English books in the syllabus of the class-II students. The books are English For Today, English Grammar, Active English, and Active English Word Book. The situation is almost similar at other classes at primary level.
Experts said there is no reason to create pressure on children at primary classes. Rather, the academic education should be enjoyable so that children can be creative and attentive to study. Unfortunately, such type of schools is rare.
They also said the curricula of government primary schools and private schools should be same as they have to answer same questions at their PSC and JSC exams.
They alleged that students are being compelled to go to coaching centres or take private tuition because they do not get enough education at classes. And this problem should be addressed properly.
Prof Dr Abdul Matin, head of paediatrics department at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College & Hospital, said children may suffer physical illness if they carry huge books. Besides, children would not be able to improve themselves if they come under too much pressure of study.
Children do not get entertainment at schools. It is important to see what they understand. A child cannot learn anything without mental preparations, he said.
Dr Md Abdul Awal Khan, a former professor of the IER at Dhaka University, said, “Students should be given school-based education, which is available abroad. This system will help them to stay relax at homes and help them to learn more things from nature and environment.”
He also said, “The disparity in the curricula of all types of primary-level schools should be reduced. A comparative study is needed.”
Prof Dr Mariam Begum of Institute of Education and Research (IER) at Dhaka University said, “To maintain social status, we are pushing our children into unfair competitions although children are not capable of taking too much pressure.”
She said that the textbooks recommended by the government are enough for the students at the primary level. “At the lower classes, schoolchildren should learn language properly instead of going through grammar books so that they can write, read and express themselves.”
Prof Dr Muhammad Kamal Uddin of psychology department of Dhaka University said, “Master of Science in School Psychology course has been launched at Dhaka University so that children do not feel pressure on their study at schools.”
“We have tried to address the issue about the physical and mental ability of a student. Children should get the opportunity of sports. But only theoretical knowledge cannot serve the purpose.”
He suggested that schools should have psychologists as many children are becoming vulnerable emotionally.