Textbook Blanks


by Sabrina Mostafa

I personally happened to go through the textbooks of class 3, 4 and 5 (English medium) of a well-known school of Dhaka. I am disappointed to have read the history book in particular. There are 12 to 15 chapters in the history books. The chapters deal with historical personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Florence Nightingale, George Washington, Napoleon, Emperor Akbar, Laxmibai and many more nicely. With all due respect to them I want to mention that I was shocked to find that the tender students do not read as much about Bangladeshi history as they do about world history.

Of course it is good to know about the world, but how does it sound that they have only a page long note on topics like “The language movement of 1952” or “A. K. Fazlul Haque” mostly right before the examination as ‘suggestion’? How much is it necessary to read Gandhi as ‘the father of the nation’? In the geography textbook of class 5, the only chapter on our homeland is about how much she is prone to flood, what measures have been and need to be taken to prevent it etc. Well nothing wrong with the books providing the truth that these books are from Indian publications and Indian editors, for Indian schools.

All of the English books decorate the English life pretty well with the Easter Sunday and Christmas. There is the Guy Fawkes’ Day mentioned in the British books but nowhere is the Intellectual Martyrs Day.

Along with all the other subjects the students also have the subject Bangla which uses the education board selected Bangla textbook. This alone does not seem to be capable enough to provide all the things they need to be acquainted with by this age.

In fine the stages to introduce the students with our own history and culture is undoubtedly inadequate there. The other schools of the same category are not very different. The question is why should we use foreign books when we have learned educationists who are able to compile the necessary information regarding our country in English? It is hopeful that the government is going to take steps to have supervision on the syllabus and textbooks of K. G. schools and Madrasas. The initiative should prove itself a proper one. Better late than never. The expectation is that tender children of all walks of life will be enlightened with the glorious history and enriched culture of Bangladesh.

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