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Role of TV in restructuring language & culture February 22, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media.
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I was listening intently to a TV talk show on the night of 21 February of two leading personalities of our literature and cultural arena – Mostafa Monwar and Abdullah Abu Sayeed. Faridur Reza Sagar was conducting the program in ‘Tritiya Matra’
The theme of the discussion was also interesting- the role of TV in the restructuring the language and culture of our society.

They opined that it is not possible for TVs to play effective role in the restructuring the language and culture. TV as a medium is always a restless one and try to dramatize events for its own purpose.

For its dramatic inclination, more classical programs are gradually loosing its space in the TV schedules. We see very few classical soiree now a days. Even in drama, the dramas of more depth and meaning are not produced and telecasted today, channels are more opted for short entertaining episodes.

TV is also for commerce and commercialization. TV is full of ads and programs become secondary to the ads.

There is far and few educational programs. Most of the time they are not entertaining. To make the educational program entertaining you need vast budget as that of “Sesame Street’ in BTV which is sponsored by the international organizations.

It is not true that TV can’t play any role in contributing to the culture and language of a society, it can if the organizers and the producers of house think over the matter seriously and set their programs accordingly and sometimes produce program for the minority viewers.

An ordinary citizen

21 February: emotions vs reality February 21, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture, EDUCATION.
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ekushey-february
21st February is observed with all its grandeur. President and Prime Minister of the country placed the floral wreath on the first minute of the day in the middle of the night. Then the ministers, opposition leaders, MPs of parliaments, teachers of universities, journalists and people from all walks of life endlessly streamed through the Shahid Minar throughout the day. BTV telecast the event live till 12 noon,though people continued to come to the Minar even after that. The same scenario one would get in every towns and villages of the country.

In Bangladesh, no other event is observed with so much grief and festivity. It is at the same time an event of loss and achievement. We have lost some of our greatest sons of the soil. But in exchange, we have achieved the dignity of our mother tongue. The world has given the recognition of the sacrifice by recognizing 21st February as the International Mother Language Day. There is no way to deny that language movement reap the seed of liberation in our heart.

But there is many things left yet to achieve. Though Bangla is our state language, it is still not practiced in all works of state craft.

Though Bangla is the medium of education in our mainstream schools and colleges, but higher and technical education are still beyond it’s reach.

More disturbing is the growing spread of the English medium schools in our cities which rather nourish alien cultures. It is no harm to know a foreign language rather the Bangla medium schools should be more equipped with the teaching of English as a language but when an institution affects your culture one should be cautious about that.

State supported little the basic research on language. Bangla Academy become more a social organization than a research one. It become more involved in organizing events than carrying out research. Most of the books that Bangla Academy so far published are less significant in its substance. Government should then have a separate research organization on language or should have continued the Bangla Unnayan Academy with the same purpose.

Bangla cultural activities also didn’t get good state support. Bangladesh Council which was destined to develop Bangla culture didn’t continue for long after liberation.

We should concentrate our efforts to preserve our language and literature, to support more research works, to nourish more intellectual works, to translate more world literature and to produce more academic works.

We also couldn’t show adequate respect to our language martyrs. Enough time has passed and we shouldn’t neglect our own spirit.

An ordinary citizen

21 February and linguistic dilemma February 23, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION.
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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