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Nahid: Indigenous students to get pre-primary education in mother tongue

  • Published at 04:16 pm September 19th, 2016
  • Last updated at 05:01 pm September 19th, 2016
Nahid: Indigenous students to get pre-primary education in mother tongue
Indigenous students from five communities will be able to complete their pre-primary education in their mother tongue from next year, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid says. “We are making arrangements to bring this to effect,” he told the Dhaka Tribune on Monday. Free books will be distributed among indigenous students in Chakma, Marma, Garo, Kokborok and Sadri languages, the minister added. “These books will be distributed next year during the Textbook Festival,” Nahid said, without specifying the number of books that will be given out in the first year. There is confusion about the number of indigenous communities living in Bangladesh and the languages they speak. According to the Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, there are 45 ethnic groups that make up about 1% of the population. Other estimates put the number at around 35. These groups are believed to use 26 distinct languages. Indigenous communities have long been calling for providing primary education to their children in their mother tongue.
Read More *Indigenous students call for primary education in native language *A monk of Rakhine alphabet
Minister Nahid said: “We are planning to provide such books for students belonging to other indigenous communities.” Narayan Chandra Saha, chairman of National Curriculum and Textbook Board, Bangladesh, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were preparing to print 26,125 books in indigenous languages. Asked about their content, he said these books had been translated from the existing Bangla texts.

The UNDP had earlier provided pre-primary level text books in seven indigenous languages, including Chakma, Marma, and Tripura, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

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