The mushrooming growth of low quality kindergartens in Panchagarh town and adjoning areas is threatening child education in the district. A section of opportunity-seeking ‘patrons of education’ capitalizing on the short number of government primary schools in the town and their inadequate accommodation capacity are establishing these intuitions in sader upazila and other nearby areas. These kindergartens are unable to provide education even of minimum standard. Sources said, run with poor infrastructures, these KG schools are mostly unable to provide full accommodation for kids. They have no adequate furniture, waiting room, shed for the guardians, playground, sports materials and other necessities. Congenial academic atmosphere is absent in most of the KG schools due to the above mentioned infrastructural shortcomings. The poor quality of education these institutions provide are putting the guardians in tension about the academic future of their children. Many town residents alleged that their children could receive proper education from these KG schools although they had to pay fees eight to ten times higher than the government schools. Many such KG schools have sprung up also in the rural areas. According to sources at the District KG Schools Association, about 100 such institutions have grown up in all the five upazilas of the district including Panchagarh town. Generally, the KG schools provide education from playgroup to standard V. But some of these offer education from playgroup to class VIII. They charge tuition and other fees ranging from Tk 800 to Tk3,000. Besides, they charge high for school dress, badges, notebooks, diary and transport.
The authorities of these schools allegedly make a secrete deal with different book sellers, tailors and book binders and take a handsome commission form them. Moreover, teachers in these schools are not so talented or skilled. The authorities appoint them on a poor amount of salary just to run the schools namely. These teachers cannot teach the students properly as they have no training. These schools keep no arrangement of snacks for the students during leisure. So, the kids often have to go outside and sometimes they meet with road accidents. In some cases, unemployed youths after passing HSC or BA examinations open KG schools in the rural areas to earn money, though they have no experience about it. Shami Akter, a guardian at Islambug in Panchagarh town, said the expenditures like admission and tuition fees to run study of their wards in the KG schools were so high. Financial ability of the guardians is considered as the main qualification for admission of the kinds to the schools in the town, sources said. Some people alleged that the KG schools do not follow any integrated syllabus. They have their respective syllabus prepared by the school authorities. But most of them follow government primary school curriculum in Bengali and mathematics. Moreover, most of these schools have on permission form the authorithy concerned.