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Volume 3 Issue 2 | February 2010


Original Forum Editorial

The Next Step--Rehman Sobhan
Rising Tides-Sadiq Ahmed
A Precipitate Outcome-- Reaz Rahman

The Key Issue --Nazrul Islam


Photo Feature: Celestial Devotion--Jashim Salam
A Bold New Beginning-- Farooq Sobhan
Running the Numbers--K.A.S. Murshid
A Fistful of Takas-Jyoti Rahman
One Year On--Khalid Hasan
Nationalist, Anti-Nationalist or Beyond Nationalist?-- Shamima Nasreen
Ideas That Change the World-- Pial Islam


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Photo Feature


A photo feature by Jashim Salam

Established in 1970 and situated at the heart of city with the famous Hazrat Shah Amanat Shrine in Chittagong “Tannjimul Muslemin Yatim and Hafez Khana” is an orphanage cum Islamic school which has thousands of hafez to its credit. Nearly 200 students are now studying to become a hafez under the tutelage of 15 mentors at the orphanage. According to a senior teacher it takes 15 months to 4 years, depending on the student, to become a hafez. The novices begin their lessons after Fazr prayers and with two short breaks in the middle continue till 10 p.m. They share the same wooden bench for studying, eating and even sleeping and everyone including the teachers share one bathroom. After finishing their studies successfully they are admitted into madrassas and other higher educational institutions.

Bangladesh has the second largest religious school system in the world and the madrassas provide opportunities for many poor people to receive an education. A World Bank study says the madrassas have helped Bangladesh reach some of the UN's development goals, especially equality between boys and girls in schools. It's estimated that six million students are currently enrolled in the madrassa system in Bangladesh, and with the schools now accepting female students the numbers are growing. The acceptance of girls also has a positive effect on the understanding of how important education for females is. Figures from the UN say that 48 percent of the population in Bangladesh is illiterate and the madrassas play an important role in fighting illiteracy.


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