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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 99 | December 28 2008|


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In Defense of
“The Deserving and The Deprived”

Deeni Fatiha

FIRSTLY, thank you to Ms. Fahmina, Ms. Ishrat Nawreen Shamma and Mr. Abu Syeed for your valuable opinions; it really feels great to know that some people have heard my voice.

Well, honestly speaking, I was a little perturbed when I read the responses. For one, all three writers seemed to have a slight notion that I've disregarded or undermined the National Curriculum and its students. Neither do I recall having made any disrespectful comments, nor did I intend to do so. I don't think that students of the National Curriculum are in any respect less qualified than us. And that is exactly where my question arose If we are just as qualified, then why are our achievements being so keenly overlooked?

Ms. Fahmina brought a smile to my lips. Apparently, she misinterpreted my writing. Ms. Fahmina, when I mentioned the instance of the “party”, I was simply pointing out common instances when students are enquired about their studies and exams. The point I made was about students of our curriculum having to face embarrassment when being asked about their recognition, not whether my family overlooks my achievement. The instance was simply an illustration.

Ms. Fahmina stated the reason that students of the British curriculum are not celebrated is because we're students of private organizations. Be it. But honestly, does that make us any less of a Bangladeshi? Yes, there are countless personal achievements of various people all over Bangladesh. But how can you consider our achievements to be “personal achievements”? I mean, it's not only 5-10 people who deserve to be awarded: This year, The Daily Star awarded over 800 students for outstanding academic results in the GCE O/A levels! Certainly, English-medium students are no longer a minority, and I think I had proven that in my article.

Yes, perhaps some students having graduated from the National curriculum get admission in foreign reputed universities. But HOW MANY? With all due respect, the number is negligible compared to the number of English-medium students that get admission in such universities. Ms. Fahmina, just because someone does not regard exceptions as examples, you cannot accuse him/her of “neglecting” the exceptions, can you?

Unfortunately, I was unable to comprehend the point made by Ms. Fahmina in the fifth paragraph of her writing. “In India, they read books written by Indian authors, and so do we.” And your point is? In my article, I had simply written that we're accused of giving English too much importance in our curriculum, whereas schools teaching the National Curriculum in English are flourishing, and the government, too, are helping them by providing the board's books in English. Basically, my point was that when we give importance to English, it's viewed negatively; however, when the use of English is emphasized in National curriculum, it suddenly becomes a positive initiative! I did not find Ms. Fahmina's arguments relevant to mine in any way.

Yes, winning a beauty pageant does get huge media coverage, and so do the students who achieve academic excellence in the SSC or HSC exams. For weeks, the papers remain flooded with news about the achievers. But why don't we get even half the coverage they get? My point was if beauty queens deserve so many appraisals, don't “academic winners” also deserved to be applauded by the media? Lastly, I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to read my writing and have given their feedback. I trust that more people will speak up on the issue and help to bring it into focus.

(The author is an A'level student at Sunshine Grammar School and College, Chittagong.)

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