The Challenges of Science Education in Secondary School Level: A Case Study from Chakaria Upazila of Cox‟s Bazar District
In the present context of the fourth Industrial Revolution, science education is considered as the
appropriate tool for the development of a nation. Accordingly, the government of Bangladesh has laid
significant emphasis on science and technology education as a gateway to development with an
aspiration to build a „Digital Bangladesh‟ and to attain the status of a middle-income country by
2021. However, contrasting to a large number of government initiatives, a declining scenario of
enrollment in science groups at the secondary level has been reported for nearly a decade. This
situation is likely to be worse in rural areas as it was evident from a visit to Chakaria Upazila of
Cox‟s Bazar. Drawing attention to the underlying problems of science education, this study attempts
to provide an account of the present scenario of science enrollment at secondary school level in the
rural Bangladesh, and identifies the factors responsible for the enrollment pattern. The ten years‟
trend analysis on science group enrollment provided a clear picture of declining scenario since 2010.
Compared to the other two groups of Business and Humanities, preferences to be enrolled in the
Science group at secondary level steadily showed a marked decrease from 2009 to 2018. Complexity
and volume of the science syllabus creating “Science Fear”, weak teaching capacity, shortage of
science and mathematics teachers, scarcity of teaching materials and paucity of laboratory equipment
were found to be the key factors responsible for declining science enrollments in the secondary level
of rural Bangladesh.
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