Parbati Singh from Netrakona::
Education is the backbone
Education is the backbone of nation. No nation can prosper without education. Bangladesh has taken different initiatives such as distributing free books, scholarships, stipends, food for education and many other projects keeping this fact in mind. Bangladesh is committed to ensure 100% primary school enrollment by this year (2015) as part to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG). Due to the initiative taken by government, there is a rise in the education in villages but still there are miles to go, still so many children are deprived from the light of education. The reasons behind that include: weak infrastructure, lack of education materials and secure environments, poor socio-economic condition in the villages, vague ideas about the aim and goal of education etc. Many children from Teligati union of Atpara upazila of Netrakona are deprived from primary education.
Bangladesh will surely fail to achieve the targeted MDG goals if those children are deprived from education. A nation will lag behind in the competition with the developed societies of the world unless it is well educated. However, the government alone could hardly achieve the target it set in term of education. Therefore, everyone irrespective of political parties, ideologies, institutions, groups and classes should come forward and work hard to achieve the goal. This united work will free Bangladesh from illiteracy as well.
Youth organizations for social development
Diara, Shrirampur, Amati are some of the small villages. Teligati union is quite far away from those villages. Naturally the services in those villages are very poor. Where agriculture, the main occupation of the people is neglected here how come we can see better picture for education, public health and entertainment? The picture of education scenario is grim here. When the situation is like that the youth forces of those villages came forward taking the responsibilities in hand. They founded three different youth organizations with the objective to help the village people with education, health and social development. The members of the youth organizations being facilitated by BARCIK discuss with the people of different groups and professions and try to come up with the identification of the problems and their possible solutions. They have taken different good initiatives to develop the grim picture in education sector. It is better to mention here that due to the weak communication system, poor socio-economic condition and over-dependence upon agriculture, the ratio of education is poorer than any other parts of the country. Though there are primary schools in the villages but the attendance is very poor. Being hit by poverty most of the families cannot afford to send their children for higher education after the completion of primary education. In addition, poor communication system has also somehow contributed to curtail the number of students being enrolled in high school after primary education.
Raising awareness for education
Some youths from Shreepur and Diara villages took some innovative steps to solve the problems in education sector. They identified the drop out students of the villages who left schools early but had thirst for education. The members of the youth forum talked with the parents of those drop out students. They tried to raise awareness on the value of education so that the children can continue education and find interest in education. The youth leaders took different effective steps as talking with the parents, influencing them and their children. They took special care for the weak students after consulting with the teachers and guardians. They also distributed papers, khata and pen for the poor students. They tried to create a favorable environment for the children so that the girls can study in a friendly environment without facing any harassment. In that way the youth leaders had earned the trust and dependence of the society. By welcoming their contribution, some other organizations like Tilkobori Farmers Forum, Utsouk Teenage girls Organization and Nibedita Youth Forum are also coming forward to create a better environment in the society.
Letters, history and love for language
As a part of their awareness raising programs in the society and influencing children to education Tilkobori Farmers Forum, Utsouk Teenage girls Organization and Nibedita Youth Forum arranged programs like introducing letters to the children on special event like ‘International Mothers Language Day’ on 21st February. The objective of the event was to create love and affection in children for their language and the glorious history of language movement. However, the conscious and educated people discuss about the history of Bengali language, importance of 21st February to the children in the event so that the children could sow the seeds of love for their native language and tradition. In addition, they also arranged activity like creating letters, compound letters, patriotic songs, recitation of poetry and probhat ferry. Around 500 children, guardians, teachers, youths and farmers of the four villages participated in the Martyrs day which is now celebrated across the globe as ‘International Mother Language Day’. They show their utmost respect to the language martyrs by offering flowers on the pedestal of the Shahid Minar. The youth volunteers helped the children to create letters with crops like rice, wheat etc. The children liked this innovative process very much and happily joined the creative process of learning. The teachers and enlightened sections of the society appreciated highly of the activities undertaken by youths of the society.
Translated by: Sabidin Ibrahim