Children of indigenous communities should be taught in their respective mother tongues at primary level to reduce their drop-out rates, said a study of Research and Development Collective yesterday.
"Drop-out rates of indigenous and other minority communities are much higher than those of their Bangalee counterparts. Only multi-lingual education system can help reduce the rates," said Prof Mesbah Kalam of Dhaka University, leader of the team that carried out the study, at a publication ceremony of the study at Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
The study titled "Mapping of Multi-Lingual Education Programs in Bangladesh" recommended recruiting qualified teachers from minority communities to teach students of the respective communities and developing more textbooks.
Research and Development Collective conducted the study with assistance from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and Save the Children.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said their books should also be written in their own languages.
Rasheda K Choudhury, executive eirector of Campaign for Popular Education, who presided over the programme, said, "Guardians of children belonging to minority communities want their kids to be educated in their own mother tongues but fear that this will lead to the kids being cut off from the mainstream.”