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Fact Check: Are Viral Videos Truly Representing Bangladesh's New Education Curriculum?

Fact Check: Are Viral Videos Truly Representing Bangladesh's New Education Curriculum?

In recent times, a deluge of videos has been circulating across social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Messenger, purportedly linked to Bangladesh's latest educational curriculum. These videos, replete with offensive captions, have sparked widespread dissemination, thrusting the new curriculum into the limelight and drawing criticism.

Within the country, a significant number of Facebook users are indiscriminately sharing these videos, oblivious to their authenticity, and engaging in mockery. Intense debates have erupted, both in support of and against these controversial videos, raising questions about their legitimacy. The crucial question at hand is: Do these viral videos genuinely represent the teacher training for the new curriculum?

The findings of a thorough investigation conducted by Tvista into these viral videos reveal a stark reality – none of the disseminated videos align with the content of the new curriculum.

This revelation resonates with the statements made by the Minister of Education, Dipu Moni, who asserted, "The videos circulating on Facebook do not belong to our (secondary) curriculum. A group of individuals is attempting to exploit the situation for personal gain, sowing seeds of confusion. Some are even fabricating video content and disseminating it."

Concurrently, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) echoed the same sentiment, confirming that the circulated videos are not endorsed by the new curriculum. Furthermore, a stern warning was issued, cautioning that legal action would be taken against those responsible for the dissemination of misinformation.

Viral Videos

Amid the current social media frenzy, a series of videos have been widely circulated and shared hundreds of times. The most popular ones include 'Tiring Tiring Cycle Chalay', 'Frog Leap with Poem Recitation,' 'Walking and Quacking,' 'Body-Head with Cedar Leaves in Wild Dress,' and 'Dance of Teachers and Students with Modhu-Maloti Song.'

The main culprits behind the widespread dissemination of these videos are Facebook pages such as 'Face the People,' 'Tahjib Media,' 'Welcome Bangladesh,' and YouTube channels like 'Khatib Media', 'AS Media,' and others. Notably, these platforms have a history of spreading similar rumors in the past.

Viral 'Frog Dance' Video

A video showcasing a lively frog dance training session has gone viral on the internet, allegedly linked to teacher training for Bangladesh's new education curriculum. The viral footage, prominently featured on the 'Tahjib Media' Facebook page, has garnered an astonishing 3.1 million views, with 25 thousand shares and over 117 thousand reactions at the time of this report.

After a thorough investigation by Tvista, it was revealed that the video does not depict teacher training under the country's new education curriculum. Instead, it captures a scene from a Cub Scouts training program, where the frog dance instruction is a part of the Cub Scouts initiative.

Upon closely examining the viral video, the frog dance instructor and a woman beside him were attired in scout outfits, with the instructor wearing a scout scarf. Further verification led to the discovery of pictures on a Facebook account named 'Farhad Raihan,' showing individuals donning the same attire. These images were taken during the 292nd Cub Scout Unit Leader Basic Course event at PTI, Comilla, from November 26 to 30.

New Curriculum

The person behind the training, Yasin Babul (Md: Yashin), also the Head Master of Mantali Government Primary School in Nangalkot Upazila, Cumilla, clarified that the video captured a fun and educational game for children participating in the Cub Scout course. Yashin also stated that the program was not part of the National Education Curriculum but rather a delightful activity for children, which is also taught to teachers for effective instruction.

'Tiring Tiring Cycle Chalay' Video

Recently, another video that has gained significant traction on Facebook is 'Tiring Tiring Cycle Chalai'. The clip features a man reciting a poem while mimicking the act of riding a bicycle, garnering widespread attention in the past few days under the misconception of being part of teacher training for the new curriculum. However, a closer examination reveals a different narrative.

Contrary to popular belief, this video does not originate from Bangladesh; instead, it stems from a teacher training session in the Dhubri district of Assam. Referred to as 'tiring tiring cycle chalay' by Bangladeshis, it is, in fact, a rendition of the poem "tilling tilling cycle chalai feriwala jay..poetry."

Our investigation uncovered a Facebook ID and page belonging to 'Ratan Lal Saha,' who reposted the video on November 17th. In his post, Saha revealed that the video, which initially went viral in Assam in 2020, has now found its way to Bangladesh. He clarified that it was, indeed, a video of 'FLN Training on Poem Poster for Oral Language Development.' Saha, an assistant teacher in an Assam school, enjoys popularity in India for his engaging teaching methods.

Addressing the confusion, Professor Moshiuzzaman, a member of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) Curriculum Unit, stated, "I don't have information about any such manual (curriculum training instructions) in the new curriculum. Although my focus is on secondary education, I can confirm that this content does not belong to our curriculum.

Additional Circulated Videos 

Walking and Quacking: Another video that has surfaced depicts teacher training that took place in Badalgachi upazila of Naogaon district during October-November of the previous year. This training session, conducted in accordance with the prescribed manual, was an essential component of the preparation for the Math Olympiad competition.

Dress up Wildly:  Further contributing to the diverse range of content in circulation is an intriguing video originating from the neighboring Indian state of Assam. This video has added to the array of varied footage being widely shared across platforms.

Student-Teacher Dance Rehearsal: In August, a lively video captured an assistant teacher and female students rehearsing a dance performance to the tune of the popular song 'Madhu Malti Dake Aay' at an educational institution in the capital city. This dance rehearsal, involving both students and teachers, was in preparation for an upcoming school event.

Motives Behind Spreading Misleading Videos

The educational support industry, which includes coaching centers, study notes, and guidebooks, is currently undergoing a major shift. Traditionally a multi-crore industry, with the guidebook sector alone generating 3000 crore Taka annually, it now faces challenges due to the new curriculum. This change is likely to reduce the dependency on external coaching and guides, threatening the profitability of these ventures. Consequently, there’s a push to stir up opposition to the new curriculum through the spread of false information on social media platforms.

Those who previously thrived by producing and selling study notes are now struggling as students begin to see the limitations of these materials, especially post-examination. In light of this, some of these business owners are attempting to discredit the new curriculum by propagating myths, having failed to adapt their strategies effectively.

In the realm of social media, particularly on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, content creators are quick to jump on the bandwagon of trending topics. The lure of increased viewership has led some to produce videos about the new curriculum, which, whether intentionally or not, contribute to the spread of misinformation. Their primary goal often seems to be to achieve viral status for their content, regardless of the veracity of the information presented.

The Actual Curriculum Objectives

The 2021 National Curriculum Outline has launched this year, heralding a comprehensive educational reform from pre-primary up to the 12th grade. This innovative curriculum will be implemented in phases, starting with grades 1, 6, and 7 in 2023, and continuing with grades 2, 3, 8, and 9 in 2024. The rollout will proceed with grades 4, 5, and 10 in 2025, followed by grade 11 in 2026, and finally, grade 12 in 2027.

The curriculum is designed to emphasize hands-on, practical learning, aiming to foster a learning environment that is both student-focused and enjoyable. By highlighting physical activities and creativity, it intends to lessen the reliance on heavy coursework and textbooks.

A prominent aspect of the curriculum is its emphasis on education that prepares students for life and careers, contributing to the overarching goal of nurturing well-rounded student growth. The National Curriculum Outline-2021 is a pivotal move towards an educational system that is more engaging and relevant to students’ needs.

Md Motasim Billa

Md Motasim Billa


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