English medium student have a lack of knowledge about their language and history. – How far do you agree?
Roughly translated the legendary song of 21st February “আমার ভাইয়ের রক্তে রাঙ্গানো ২১শে ফেব্রুয়ারি” reads ‘’21st February is colored with my brother’s blood’’. 64 years ago, students from Dhaka University spilled their blood, sacrificed their lives to establish our mother tongue, Bangla, as the state language of then East Pakistan. Young students; Salam,Rafiq, Barkat and many others died in that day. 21st February marks the day of mourning for our martyr who died 64 years ago. However, we English medium students are ill- knowledged about our history and our language as I am one of them myself.
English medium curriculum, especially in O levels and A levels, has no history books about Bangladesh. Students aren’t exposed to the history of Bangladesh, about the struggles Bengalis have faced in the movement to make Bangla the state language. From experience, I have witnessed my friends who showed disastrous lack of knowledge about our history. Some of them could not properly distinguish between Victory day, Independence Day and International Mother Language day.
Lack of studies and exposure to Bangla causes English medium students in being inefficient in writing and reading Bangla and to some extent, even understanding Bangla words. Most English medium students talk in a mixture of English and Bangla words in a sentence. Young generation are worse off, as they are unaware of our history and language and how Bangladeshis have died and fought for our mother tongue. There is also lack of media content, lack of articles being available online for new generations, who are in the realm of technology, to be able to read them. But times are changing, improvements are taking places.
Most youths have taken it into their own hands about learning and spreading the knowledge of our history. I’ve seen my peers taking initiatives for our generation and the ones to come to be able to access and be exposed to Bangla, its history and have the answer to questions regarding it that comes to our mind. Young journalists/researcher are making videos, available online, about our history. Projects and seminars are being held by youths and fairs are being held to promote the heritage of Bangla. Social media groups, such as Nerd Community which are concerned in helping English medium students regarding their studies have created side projects which aim to spread facts and knowledge about our language and history by frequently sharing posts and writing articles. Government has also taken initiatives to introduce detailed Bengali history books to English medium junior students to build their knowledge about their country and about their mother language at an early stage.
Just as how times have improved from 1952, the dire situation about the knowledge English medium students have about Bangla have improved drastically. Youths are encouraged to learn about Bangladeshi history, encouraged to learn about the roots of their being. They are encouraged to learn about the bloodshed, the struggles that people had to go through to identify themselves as well as us as “Bengalis” and to speak the language that our mothers’ have spoken to us since our birth.
— Shahriar Islam.
A level, Private Candidate.
“আন্তর্জাতিক মাতৃভাষা দিবস উপলক্ষে আয়োজিত রচনা লেখা প্রতিযোগিতায় উপরের লেখাটি বিজয়ী রচনা হিসেবে নির্ধারণ করা হয় ।”