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21 February and linguistic dilemma February 23, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION.
Tags: , , ,

On 21st February, we expressed our gratitude to the martyrs who dedicated their souls for the honour of the language, nobody would ask question in this regard. But it is important practically how far we are committed to promote Bangla in all aspect of our life. It is also equally important to understand the limitation of Bangla as a medium for higher and technical education.

It is nice that Bangla is used as the language of communication in our offices and businesses. But when it comes to the communication of foreign or international organizations or institutions, English will come up.

As a medium of education, Bangla is the most used language in our schools and colleges. But there are parallel schools and institutions where English is the mode of education. Also there is a section of people who are educating their children in foreign countries in English. Paradoxically, our political leaders and beaucrates who advocate for Bangla in their speeches but educate their children in the foreign countries. This is one of the reasons for our education system not attaining excellence.

It is said that English medium schools not only ignoring Bangla as language, but they are ignoring the culture of Bangladesh. This tendency must be prohibited. A good step is the introduction of national curriculum in the English medium schools. It would be good if the government make it compulsory for the citizens of Bangladesh for recruitment in Government job to have Bangla in their school level as a language. At one time, in madrasha education, Bangla was not a part of the curriculum. The scenario has been changed but I am not sure about the non-governmental madrashas who do not follow the government set curriculum.

Regarding mode of education at university level and in the technical education like medicine and engineering, the English should be language. I hear some people to argue for Bangla in higher education. They tell of translating books of higher education to Bangla and fulfill the need of text books. By mere translating books from other languages, one cannot cover the need of text books in the higher education. Few argue about Japan and China, who follow their own mother tongue for their education and office works. But these states are independent enough to run their universities on their own language. On the other hand, look at India where the English is more preferred as state language than Hindi though both are official languages and India is getting benefit from their linguistic advantage comparing to other neighboring countries.

Now, let us consider some of our inner problem of language learning. Why in Bangladesh the students can’t attaint mastery on the subject even after 12 years of continuous study? Why English is still the most feared subject in secondary and higher secondary education level? The language learning has been changed. Where in other countries any language can be learned within weeks or months, in our country we are losing years without much success. Our teaching methodology should be reviewed and be changed.

The other thing is the difference of learning of English among the rural and urban students in our country. Lack of competent English teachers in the rural set up may be a reason, but we must overcome this shortage of teachers by modern IT support. We are not utilizing the computer technology to overcome the educational divide among the rural and urban population.

The importance of grammar in learning a language also be properly addressed. Sometimes the learning of grammar is ignored but that shouldn’t be repeated.

Regarding learning Bangla we also do not give any importance of its understanding in pure sense. Students do not like to communicate with each other in the purest form.

We should try to learn Bangla in its pure form and try to transmit it to the next generation also in its pure form.


An ordinary citizen


1. tarique hasan - January 21, 2009

very fine

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