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Hill students demand textbooks in all indigenous languages

  • Published at 07:28 pm February 17th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:28 pm February 17th, 2017
Hill students demand textbooks in all indigenous languages
The rally was held at the Shaheed Minar premises in the city following an “Alphabet Parade of All Ethnic Groups,” organised by Greater Chittagong Hill Tracts Hill Student’s Council. The Alphabet Parade started at 10:30am from Cherag Ali intersection and reached the Shaheed Minar premises via Press Club-DC Hill areas. The organisers put forth their five-point demand including introduction of school textbooks in the languages of all ethnic groups in Bangladesh. The National Curriculum and Textbook Board this year distributed 52,000 free textbooks in Chakma, Marma, Garo, Sadri and Tripura languages among around 25,000 students. As per the 1997 CHT Accord, the government was supposed to provide primary education to the indigenous children in their mother languages. Educationists, rights activists, and indigenous rights campaigners opined the textbook in a community’s own language is crucial for the indigenous kids so that they can start their education in their mother language and argued it would help reduce the dropout rate among the indigenous communities. Addressing the rally, Chittagong University (CU) Associate Professor Md Amir Uddin said while textbooks were printed in five indigenous languages, adequate teaching staff was not ensured at the institutions to support that move. President of Chittagong Metropolitan unit Chhatra Federation Shawkat Ali said Bangla language had been imposed on the children of indigenous communities through their education at schools, though neighbouring Sri Lanka had set an example by making it a rule to sing their national anthem at schools in Singhalese and Tamil languages.
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