Category Archives: English Writings

Better to prevent than treat blindness

Eye-1Sufferings of the visually challenged and blind people of Bangladesh know no bounds. The people belonging to our society are not generous enough to realize the woes of these people easily. These visually handicapped people face problems in every step of their lives. Doctors opine that many of the cases relating to visual impairment and blindness have remedy. To prevent blindness, first we have to create awareness among people. It is really a matter of regret that, every year many children are losing their eyesight because of our negligence. At the same time, many elderly  people blame their fate for the blindness because of their ignorance. Continue reading

Facilitating education of visually impaired students

BANGLADBRAILLE_BDThose who see the world with eyes can say easily how wonderful it is. But those who have no sight realise it with their heart. Whose feelings are stronger? Maybe, that is a matter of debate, though the strength of realisation is universal. When visually impaired people realise the world is wonderful, they try to survive here, facing all sorts of challenges. Their dream is not different from others’. Only difference is, they have some special needs. And it is our responsibility to fulfil their needs so that they can live as a perfect human being in the society. Continue reading

Green Economy: I’m included

I can remember my childhood, the days were very much enjoyable. Obviously the environment was favorable, very often I was used to going my grandfather’s home where a river was flown beside their home. My uncles and I enjoyed our time in the river, like the boys in the picture. I can’t express that feelings with my words and I think that was the real happiness of my life. When the river was the source of entertainment. And the rivers were full of water, the people whenever get time had passed their leisure time seeing the beauty of nature on the bank of river.

Only twelve years ago I have passed my childhood and this was the scenario of that time. But the days have been changed, the rivers are not same as that I have seen in my childhood. The pictures below are the exact condition of present rivers of Bangladesh. It has been dying day by day. I can’t but regret for my younger brother who is passing his childhood, but he has no opportunity to pass his time with nature. The river had no water, it has been constraint by encroachment of men.

Bangladesh is called the riverine country. There are very much contribution of river in our country . The river is a part of our culture. Our economy dependents on it. It is a part of our history. The writers, specially poets has written poems on it, novelists has created novels on it and also many stories and songs have been created on river; Their focus was the charming scenario of rivers and natural beauty of Bangladesh. And even these descriptions were a devastating river, Which floods its shore and even villages near the river.

But at present we see its opposite picture. Rivers are dying here day by day. Here, writer refers a survey of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) which shows that- in 2010 among three hundred and ten rivers in Bangladesh fifty-seven 50% of all sales is put into advertising.”>percent of the rivers lack proper depth. He also shows the study of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), which reveals that one hundred and seventeen rivers are either dead or have lost navigability.

When this is the condition of rivers, it is very easy to guess the position of environment of our country. In this moment it is emergence to save the river for saving our environment. So, to save our rivers we have taken initiatives from our ability. We have established an organization named riverine people.

Riverine people’s strength is here we all are the university students, who are young and energetic. Primarily we are doing research activities and we have already conducted a research on dying river named Baral and we have submitted it to the government for taking necessary steps to save it, Moreover we have a group in the Facebook, which has 3343 member and also page named riverine news’ where we update the regular river related news published at the dailies of home and abroad; I am specially doing this as I am secretary of online affairs of riverine people.

Water of river is important to us, like blood. But this blood has been polluted by our activities. We have encroached it and we are responsible for these dying rivers, whenever I update our page I only see the negative news. I think firstly we need our consciousness. I am doing my work relentlessly to save our river; if it includes me in the green economy, so, I am included.

Photos: Collected from different Newspapers of Bangladesh

This post has been submitted to UNEP‘s facebook fan-page to participate at world environment Day 2012 Blogging Competition Link

Whither the education policy?

The formulation of the National Education Policy 2010 is one of the successes of the present government, but its implementation process is moving at a very slow pace.

Two years have already passed since the education policy was adopted. After coming to power in January 2009, the present government formed a committee to draft the education policy in April of the same year. The committee was headed by National Professor Kabir Choudhury. Kazi Kholiquzzaman and Muhammed Zafar Iqbal were among the other 18 members of the committee.

The committee submitted the draft of the policy in September 2009. It was then made public on the education ministry website for open discussion, soliciting opinions on the draft.

At that time, the government said that the education policy would be finalised within December of that year and the implementation process would start from January 2010. But that deadline was not met; rather it was approved in the cabinet on May 31 2010, and it was adopted in the form of a bill by parliament on December 7 of the same year.

Later, to finalise the implementation process of the education policy, 24 sub-committees were formed on January 26, 2011. The sub-committees were told to submit their reports within two or three months.

Recent media reports indicate that not a single sub-committee had submitted their reports, even after eight months. On September 29, the education minister urged the members of the sub-committees to complete their recommendations within the next 20 days. When the sub-committees could not complete it within eight months, how could they do it in another 20 days? Sure enough, more than two months have passed since and recommendations are yet to be completed.

Clearly, one of the main reasons behind this delay is ‘bureaucratic complexity’, as all the sub-committees are headed by a bureaucrat, like secretary, additional secretary and joint secretary. They are busy with their regular official duties and are apparently unable to provide enough time for the purpose.

The inordinate delay is raising many questions about the implementation process of the education policy. Although the government took up the issue of formulation of the education policy within four months of coming to power, as a priority initiative, its implementation process is now moving at a snail’s pace. The government did not even allocate any additional funds for the implementation of the education policy in the budget for 2011-2012. The education and IT sector got only 12.4 per cent allocation of the whole budget, similar to that of other years.

The most important characteristic of this education policy is that only two stages have been defined, instead of the earlier three stages, before the higher education stage. Primary (Class 1 to 8) and secondary education (Class 9 to 12) would replace the existing three stages of primary (Class 1-5), secondary (Class 6 to 10) and higher secondary education (Class 11 to 12).

It was expected that the extension of the primary education will start from 2012. But that is unlikely to happen. The sub-committee which is working on this extension is headed by the secretary of the ministry of primary and mass education. The sub-committee could only sit once during this entire period.

What is the necessity to form such sub-committees for implementation of the education policy primarily with bureaucrats? It could have been formed with the specialists or educationists, who would have been better equipped to do the job. In this sense, the experience of experts from the Institute of Education Research (IER) of Dhaka University could have been utilised.

The slow pace of implementation of the National Education Policy 2010 is a cause for serious concern. Although some limited progress has been made like instituting the Junior School Certificate system and starting primary-level terminal exams and the setting of structured questions for examinations. But the inordinate delay in the overall implementation of the education policy is not acceptable.

The Daily Financial express 03.12.2011

Wi-Fi and digital campus


On 6 October 2008, Computer world.com published a survey report where it said, “Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) helps college students to get better grades.” The research was conducted among 501 college students of the United States of America. Nearly 75% students said that Wi-Fi on the campus helps them to get better grades; 48% students said that they can even give up beer but not Wi-Fi. This was the condition of college students of USA back in 2008.
Now let us take a look at our university campuses. Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) is one of the most IT enabled universities in Bangladesh. It is the first university in Bangladesh providing the whole campus with free Wi-fi access for students and staffs. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) have also provided free Wi-fi access.
University of Dhaka (DU) has also Wi-Fi facilities but the coverage is very limited. Among 17 halls only 2/3 offer this facility to the students; the ratio is same for the departments and faculties. The TSC of DU has a special Wi-Fi facility which is not connected to the central system. Recently, Jahangirnagar, Chittagong and Rajshahi University have got this facility for their students and teachers. Some private universities are also joining this trend of digitalising their campus.
‘Digital Campus is the first step towards a digital Bangladesh’. We all know and believe this. Nowadays Internet is so essential in our life that if a student is not familiar with this technology, he won’t be able to cope up with the pace of modern age. It is clear that Internet offers a great assistance to the students in their research, study and other regular activities.
In Bangladesh most of the universities are still quite far from the miracle of modern technology. Most of their activities are yet to be digitalised. They even failed to provide Internet facilities to their students. Many private universities don’t have computer laboratory or cyber zone at all. In spite of being at the centre of capital, DU has only two cyber centres, which can give access to only fifty students and they have to pay high for that service.
Last year in November, the European countries observed Internet week. On this occasion Skype (voice chatting website) had provided free Wi-Fi facilities to the entire Europe. In many countries this kind of Internet facility and connectivity is available for the entire cities. According to the Wikipedia until 2008, almost 300 metropolitan cities have offered this facility to their citizens.
Last year a survey conducted by BBC showed that general people think that to get Internet facility is their right. For Bangladesh this is still a far cry. If we look at the universities around the world, Wi-Fi facility is available in most of them. And this is not a recent phenomenon. In 1999, Carnegie Mellon University made history by first providing free Wi-Fi access to its Pittsburgh campus. In 2000, Drexel University of USA provided free Wi-Fi access to its entire campus.
A national daily earlier this January published a report about the present condition of Wi-Fi in Dhaka city. It mentioned that five star hotels, aristocrat restaurants and some airports have Wi-Fi zones. Corporate offices and even some luxurious residential flats have Wi-Fi access. It reached the conclusion that Internet facility is always available for a certain group of people in Bangladesh, but not for the students.
As I have mentioned at the beginning of this write-up, the US college students couldn’t think of a life without Wi-Fi in 2008. What about the condition of our students in 2011? It’s true that we developed the concept of Internet based activities or of digital campus only in recent years. And the improvement rate is very slow compared to other countries. The government should gear up its efforts towards digitalising the country, and for that to happen, it needs to attach due importance to the students first.


(Daily Sun 9 May 2011)

Whither the education policy?


National Education Policy 2010 was approved at the cabinet meeting on 31 May. Six months passed by, we are yet to see any implementation. We have a bitter experience about past educational policies. From Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission-1972 to Moniruzzaman Mia Commission-2003, there have been a total of eight education commissions coming in an average of every four to five years. Unfortunately, none of these could bring into effect an effective education policy.

Since the first one was formed in 1972 and headed by scientist Dr Qudrat-e-Khuda, all commissions shared a common, lofty aim to bring about qualitative improvement in the education system. Every time there was a new government in power, it entrusted itself with forming a new committee to review education system anew. The irony is that none of the governments could give a successful output. What, however, came clean out of all the hustle and bustle are the political and ideological differences among the policymakers.

The present government had formed a committee headed by Professor Kabir Chowdhury and it submitted the draft report on September 2 of last year. The draft was uploaded on the website of education ministry and it was open for public opinion.

The government earlier promised that they would start its implementation process from January 2010. But the reality is, though the draft has been okayed within six months, no visible attempts have yet been taken in that direction. I don’t understand why it’s taking so long and what’s holding back the authorities from moving the process. The education minister said that the policy was going to be passed in the sixth session of parliament. The session has ended on the first week of October and the policy was not given the final ‘go’.

We understand the whole process of framing a national education policy may take some time. But when it gets delayed or hung up without a particular reason, it is a matter of concern. The policy is only for the educational system of the nation, not for defining our nationhood or something big like that where a lengthy period of preparation could be understandable.

Besides, some issues of major importance were removed from the finalized draft. What prompted the policymakers to do that remains a question.

We know that education policy is a serious matter, and we expect the government to take it seriously. Unreasonable delay is not acceptable. Strong will of the government is needed to get the things out of the current impasse.

( writing published DAILY SUN 29-11-10)

Thinking Education (Primary Education- 3,4)

Admission system in Primary

If we tell the admission system of primary level is a tools of oppression, none will defy it. Why we are telling admission in primary or why we have to face a test to admit in primary level? The answer is very easy, here some institutions got fame and the guardians are interested to admit there. Before coming to the point I want to refer an ADDA talking, talked by three of my friends From Buet, fine Arts of DU and me. Buetians told we have an uncle, who has two daughter, he admitted his daughters to Viqarunnisa Noon in class one, Who were studying in class five in another school. We astonished to hear him. The another told we have a cousin of our uncle, she reads in class ten, the in such type of mentality, if it possible he is agree to admit his daughter at Viqarunnisa School in class eight.

From there speech we got an overview of our society. The guardians how much interested to admit in a school, which has got famed to its name, Viqarunnisa is the burning example this school. Not only This school, there are some schools which are very few in number, it may two to three hundreds at highest in the whole country, Where the number of competent is very high to its seat. Suppose in a school has 250 seats here minimum 5000 student apply, means 20 students compete for one seat. To choose the eligible student school arranges admission system. To appear in the exam guardians admit their children in coaching center, student doing their class in coaching instead of regular lass. They loss valuable time of student life. Student also reading in class two or three in another school compete with them.

Here we think children not student; Children appear in tough exam, yet his student life start. Besides coaching or losing the valuable time, many guardians take in corruption, It also published at the daily, last year, that The school committee has taken tk four lakh for admission in class one as bribe. Rather this, political and administrative (Government) press over the admission committee also. Its means at present the admission in a good school is a matter of oppression and also money, simultaneously. The poor are deprived, very much deprived from here, which have no ability to admit their children in a coaching or giving bribe to the school committee.

This year Viqarunnnisa Noon School has decided to admit the children by lottery instead of test. Many have welcomed these steps. They think by the lottery they will select their children. We think Its not bad. By this system the poor also can admit their children. If they choose only age 5 and six for class one, it will decrease the discrimination of age. But the prime challenge of this system is corruption. By this system we think corruption is very easy. By ensuring free, fear and credible lottery it can implement at present in Bangladesh.

We tell lottery system is not best solution, The solution is `School zoning’, which are available in the developed country. Means the school will be only for certain area, the children of this area be able to admit here. Thus way its possible to standardize the whole school of the country, At present is all the school start lottery system it will better, but lottery systems can run without corruption.


Problems of Primary Education:

Primary Education now a days passing with problems, Problem in Everywhere , its infrastructures problem is most, Another problems are in a short Teacher problem, curriculum problem, teaching aids problem, building problem etc.

When primary education is the base of education and as a state Bangladesh, Government took the responsibility of this education, and this stage has been compulsory and free from 1990, but this stage was neglected from first. It can easily show, in the past two part we saw the primary education did not get proper nursing from the administrative body. we see the present condition of its infrastructure, According to a recent report published at the Daily samakal, 29, its told that the total nine percent of the school building totally destroyed, here students perform their class in the open spare or in the floor. These building which some have been rejected to its proof, some already gone to the river . However recently the government took steps to build some buildings, according the report of the news paper recently about 1500 school building will built.

We saw nine percent schools destroyed but the other is well? Not actually that, the other schools has also problem.

It is easier to think most of the primary school takes their class in two shifts, class one and two from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, and class three to five 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. From this problem can we think what will happen if pre primary class add with it. According to the new education policy if class six, seven and eight add, what will happen we do not want to tell now?

Teacher problem also a major problem, most of the school have no available teacher, even the school is running without head teacher, and some school run with two or three teachers. Though the government is recruiting teachers every year.

The curriculum of primary school is not appropriate for this stage, As a children they did not get proper book with proper content, and many other problems also existed.

Continue

National education policy

National Education policy 2010 was approved by the Cabinet on 31 May this year. Though five months have already passed since its approval we are yet to see any moves to implement it. According to a news report published on 24 September (Preface delays education policy) only the writing of a preface is delaying its gazette notification. The question is, does it take this long to write a preface? The report also said that the formulation committee formed on 28 June has not had any meeting to discuss the implementation process. Some other newspapers also published similar reports. We have bitter experiences with education policies. Before this report, eight education commissions/committees had been formed. From Qudrat-e-Khuda education report of 1974 to the Moniruzzaman Mia commission of 2004, recommendations were never implemented as an education policy. On an average every four to five years we got an education policy. When a new government ascends to power it forms a committee for a national education policy. It seems that our national education policy is a matter of politics, and only for political reasons not a single report has been of any use. All the reports are suffering from what maybe termed as `draft` disease.
From the very beginning this government started working on an education policy as it was an important issue in the Awami League’s election manifesto. They formed a committee headed by professor Kabir Chowdhury and it submitted the draft report within three months on 2 September of last year. The draft report was published on the website of the education ministry to get opinions from the people.
The government said that it would start its implementation process from January 2010. But the regrettable reality is, the implementation process is far behind the schedule.
A national education policy and its implementation is a lengthy process, and it needs time. But while it is delaying without any reasonable cause it worries us because it is a serious issue. If we look to the policy, approved by the cabinet meeting, we understand that some important things are missing from it. See the name “national education policy”, as the policy for our nation, simply it should define from the very first of the report, what kind of nation this policy want to build, after a long future where will the position of this nation be, with the competition of other nations how will we survive; how to prove us as a fit nation to this world? We don’t find the answer from the policy. There is no chapter written on ‘aim and objectives of the national education policy’ instead of this, the first chapter of the policy is‘aim and objectives of the education’.
However, as a nation we are not child, we are 39 years old as a nation from 1971. But a pathetic reality is that we have not a tangible education policy. So, we are lagging behind to compete with other countries. This is a hindrance to our development also. If we see to the world many nations have developed them within this time, and they proved in the world. It also true, we formed about nine policies but none was implemented. If this education policy can fulfill the demands of our society, we will be able to say that, we have also an education policy.
We understand, the government is very much in favour of this education policy, but because of the dilly dallying in implementation of the policy, question simply arises” What fate awaits the national education policy”. We know education policy is a serious matter, and that is why the government should take it seriously. Unreasonable delay is not desirable at all.

Daily Independent 12 November10

Thinking education (Primary education-1,2)


Education is a chance or right? Obviously, it is a right. Human being got this right by birth, certified universally. State is compelled to provide this right. Education serves as the means to bring about the desired change in society, to develop a generation of virtuous individuals and thus contribute to the development of good human beings. Any change can possible with education. As a student of education as a discipline of study itself, I have to think about education. Thinking education is must for all, especially youth, as youth is growing stage. I think to work with a long run. Every stage of education, its problem, education policy and every detail are continuing.

Primary education: Primary education is the most important stage of education. It’s called universal education, also free and compulsory education. State takes the responsibility of this stage. The constitution of Bangladesh ensured primary education, article seventeen-(1) `The State shall adopt effective measures for the purpose of – establishing a uniform, mass-oriented and universal system of education and extending free and compulsory education to all children to such stage as may be determined by law.’ To know this stage we see its history in Bangladesh-

Attempts for Primary Education: Of course, primary education has a long history; it may more than thousand years. Here we show the first organize attempt for primary education. `Bengal primary education act of 1919` can say the first state attempt for the spreading of primary education in our sub-continent, but this was only belonging to the cities. It also true before this time primary education existed. However, this act only for cities, but of the are of cities were limited, so the whole country deprived and for this reason this could not permanent. To cover the whole country another act named `Bengal (rural) primary education act` formed on 1930. This to spread education among all 6-11 age groups, Zilla board got the responsibility of primary education under this act. This act also goes in vein for financial crisis.

Pakistan got independent on 1947, after its independence the member of provincial assembly passed another act for education named `Bengal (rural) primary education (east Bengal amendment) act`. This was as a project for ten years, but it ended within two years because of many problems. Problem of teacher, school building, teaching aids etc. Though this act had an impact and for this act many school was established newly, the number of teacher an student increased.

Another act formed in 1957 “East Bengal Primary Education act” under this act government took the responsibility of primary education instead of Zilla Board. Primary education was compulsory for some area at that time. The school of compulsory area called “Model School” the other school were non model school. This is according to the Education commission of 1959.

Bangladesh Chapter: Bangladesh to its independence of 1971, got the primary education with full of problems. According to the act of 1974 government take the full responsibility of the primary education. Qudrat e khuda commission, the first education commission of Bangladesh recommended that the primary education will be up to class eight, this be universal education. From class one to five, this will be compulsory and it must be ensure within 1980, also recommendation of The commission. Commission suggested to provide enough text book, ensure qualified teacher, increase female teacher, start class on second shift in fifteen thousand primary school, provide attractive teaching aids and establish ten thousand new school. These recommendation undoubtedly important to develop the condition of primary education. Regrettably true that these recommendation were not implement.

The Education policy of 1979 also recommended that. The same recommendation came in Mofiz Uddin Education Commission of 1988. Then an order for primary education published, The government published this gazette on 13 february of 1990 named ‘Compulsory primary education act 1990’. This act implementation started from 1st January of 1992 through the whole country.

Shamsul Haque Education Committee formed in 1997. This committee also recommended same as Qudrat e khuda commission. Primary Education will extend to class eight from class five. Later this another education commission formed in 2003 named ‘Mohammad Moniruzzaman Mia Commission-2003’. This commission suggested not to extend class. Its means the primary education will be same as present, class one to five.

Education policy 2010: The education policy 2010 recently (3 October) come to light, though yet it to implementation. The main feature of this policy is primary education. The policy followed the Qudrat e khuda commission of 1974 and Shamsul haque commission of 2003 to recommend to extend the primary education to class eight. It also told to pre-primary education, before primary education. The policy saw pre-primary education as the preparation to enter in education. Here they emphasis on religion telling to mosque, temple, pagoda etc.

The education policy 2010 told to one way primary education, and for this they selected some common subject, like Bengali, English, Moral education, Bangladesh studies and mathematics. This education will free, compulsory and universal. Also the same as standard to all institutions.

The policy highly recommended not to put it to the NGO. Here for class one and two will not have formal examination instead of no formal. In this education there will be two central examination, after class five and eight. For class three the eight out of central exam three exam will held same as present.

The education policy also suggest many things to decrease the number of drop outs, like feeding in the school, increase the facilities of school, special care for special needs child and also for indigenous child.

Continue on YOUTH THINKERS

Taliban’s warn: Bangladesh should not send troops

Bangladesh now is on a dilemma about sending troops to Afghanistan, The plea of US, on the other hand the warning of Taliban. Taliban warned Bangladesh just after the request of US about sending troops. Though yet US not request in a formal way. Richard Holbrooke, US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, made this request to our foreign minister Dipu Moni, in a short meeting in NewYork at her Hotel suite. For the justification of this request Holbrooke presented some populist speech “Bangladesh troops could help ensure security and stability in the war tron Afghanistan.

We astonished , while the US decided to withdraw all the troops from Afghanistan within 2011, and already witdrawn a part of the military, at that time why they needs Bangladesh’s troops. Taliban Show some reasons about warning, in the SITE website published its on 27 september-

“(We) believe that the leader of Bangladesh has enough Islamic knowledge and political wit not to involve his [Sic] people in the fight against Islam and against the Afghan people by sending a few hundred soldiers to Afghanistan,” they also included in the message- ”Assuming that the leader would commit such a historic mistake, the religious Muslim people of Bangladesh will not allow their leaders to assist the eternal enemy of Islam against an Islamic neighbouring country.”

The argue of Taliban is not totally unreasonable, But about sending any force to any country, Bangladesh have to think the country’s welfare. This news (Taliban’s warn) has come to the media of Bangaldesh on 29 september, seeing the news the eminent politicians, intellectuals and specialists advised not to send the troops. They shown many reasons behind it, the security first of course. Afghanistan is a SAARC country, as its our regional country we should not taking descion sending our military.

From the media we informed that, our foreign minister just assured the US envoy of further talks on the issue. Bangladseh, as a country and it’s leaders, have not strength stand strictly against the stronger, now it is super power, US. But it’s true that while the issue is our existence of living and dying, they can refuse strictly, in the short time we got this example of the last BNP government about sending troops to Iraq.

Taliban’s threaten is not all, Bangladesh have to think it’s reality and sensivity. After the terrorist attack on twin tower of 11 september 2001, US start military attack against Afghanistan in the name of “war against terrorism”. They destroyed Afghanistan and ascend them’s favour president in power. Still one and half lakhs of military staying there.

Bangladesh send to it’s troops to UN peace keeping mission, the contribution of Bangladesh in this mission is remarkable, but yet Bangladesh not send in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a muslim country, as a muslim how our people can fight against muslim, this may a matter of argue (Taliban shown). without this there are stronger argument , As a country character, Afghanistan is our friend, Bangabandhu started this friendship, if we send the troops, it would be opposite of our foreign policy.

By the name of peace and ensuring security, US themselves break the peace and everywhere the establish their powers. In all consideration Bangladesh should not send troops.

On the Category of বাছাই ব্লগ it has published at YouThinkers English Blog