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     Volume 5 Issue 78 | January 6, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   Food For Thought
   Special Feature
   Slice of Life
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
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On "Taking the First Step"
I read with great interest last week's cover story on the Kajoli Model. It is a great undertaking from the part of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and we hope to see similar such projects later on. But often such projects are pretty popular for sometime but the spark soon dies downs. What promises to be different about this project is that the local people will be sustaining these pre-school centres and so, in a way, will ensure that their children will have a decent start to their education life. It is quite encouraging to see that parents are willing and eager to send their children to schools. This in itself is a great change from a society where the poor children are forced to live in the streets. Best wishes to such an endeavour and thank you Shamim Ahsan and Imran H. Khan for such a positive story.
Hosa Akhtar (Dolly)

For the students
Many thanks to the British Council for holding education fairs and seminars. Special thanks for the special feature on Education, published on December 2 of the magazine. Students living in remote places of the country are enthusiastic to try their luck and study abroad, especially in the UK. However, they have no idea whatsoever how to actually prepare for the admissions and applications. These fairs and seminars make these students aware of what they should do and the exams they have to take to apply to these universities.
Chuadanga Government College

Separation of judiciary
It is the prerequisite of democracy to set up a command of law and an independent judiciary. Without these conditions democracy is worthless. Though Bangladesh is a democratic country, the judicial department has not been separated from the executive. On top of that, the government can desperately influence the administration of justice in the party's interest. As a result, justice claimants are suffering and justice is constantly denied. It doesn't matter who is in power, BNP or AL, the political leaders are utterly indifferent to settle this issue.
The second part of the constitution of Bangladesh (Fundamental Principles of State Policy) says "the state shall ensure the separation of the judiciary from the executive organs of the state." To ensure this execution, the Supreme Court passed a historical verdict (Mazdar Hossen vs State Case) in 1999. The alliance government has already taken more than four years but are still reluctant to do it. On October 20, 2005, the Supreme Court rejected the government's execution plea for the 21st time, which creates a serious constitutional as well as social crisis. All we can do is, hope that the coalition government realises the demands of the people in the near future.
Department of English
Dhaka College

On perceptions
Once again, Rubaiyat's article was worth a read. Her thoughts on sex workers and their ordeals was probably an eye opener for many. However, one still wonders as to how and why these women have to get into this profession in the first place.
It is sad how poverty has crept into every nook and corner of the country, compelling individuals either to commit crimes or get into activities at the cost of their lives and self respect.
These women face the most difficult situations in life merely trying to survive and keeping their loved ones alive as well. Most women, especially who come to town from the village looking for a decent way to earn a living, are forced into this 'work'. They are usually made to stay on with false promises or their lives are threatened along with their families' back in the villages.
The worse thing that could happen to these women, as Rubatiyat mentions in her article, is that they and their children's rights are denied by the society, namely in schools and when they need health services.
Either men should quit thinking of women as mere objects they can kick around or the society should stop denying them their rightful identity.
Khondakar Salma Harun

Soccer Fever
The Bangladesh Football team suffered a humiliating loss to India in the finals of SAFF tournament. However, the coach and captain could barely show any causes of the defeat. There were reasons to suffer from complacency but I still believe that the players themselves did not try their level best to win. If this goes on, the Bangladesh team will always languish at the bottom and the dream of playing in the World Cup will always remain unrealised.
Nayeem Islam
The Aga Khan School

Due to the Eid holidays there will be no Star Weekend Magazine on January 13. We regret the inconvenience to our readers.
Eid Mubarak to all our valued readers!

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