The lyrics of the famous song by Abdul Latif, Ora Amar Mukher Bhasha Kaira Nitey Chay, speak much more about the significance of one's mother tongue than many articles put together can.
By the time Muhammad Shahidullah was old enough to begin his secondary education, he already knew five languages. Besides his mother tongue of Bangla, he not only learnt Urdu, Persian and Arabic—perceived to be the languages of Muslims—but he also became proficient in Sanskrit, the primary liturgical language of Hinduism.
Whenever we talk about the state of education in Bangladesh, the age-old debate about English versus Bangla medium re-emerges with regard to quality of teaching, affordability, imparting knowledge about Bengali culture, etc. But while many of the broader concerns have merit, the less obvious aspects of the current education system that deserve some serious thinking are often overlooked. The importance of the mother tongue in education is one of them.
RACIAL, religious, national, tribal, and ethnic lines dissolve on February 21. Unlike independence days, religious holidays, cultural festivals, or birthdays of national figures, International Mother Language Day celebrates something the whole world can appreciate: our right to use our native tongue. Whether we speak a national language sanctioned by the government or a local language spoken by only an
According to received wisdom, Bangla language was just fine until the fateful emergence of Fort William College. The pundits and the Sahibs of this college on the eastern bank of Hooghly River fiercely mauled, mutilated, and marred our mother tongue beyond recognition. Word had been married to thought and the literate had been immersed in the popular until this event drew an iron curtain of alienation.
Given your long-term teaching experience, how would you evaluate the education system of Bangladesh? When we were children, our Balyashikkha book would start with Bangla alphabets (au, aa, ka, kha). But nowadays the very first book for children starts with sentences and the alphabets come at the end of the book. This is a major fault in our primary education system.