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     Volume 7 Issue 16 | April 18, 2008 |

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Dhaka Diary

Learning at Schools

The other day I was visiting one of my relatives. His younger brother, a student of class two came to me and asked him to check on his homework. He was studying for a General Knowledge test that he had the next day at school. I was very amazed to see that he was reading up on issues that were quite beyond his age, for instance, what is the residence of the French President called, what the name of the highest waterfall, the largest continent and so on. I was more amazed to see that as I was asking the questions, the child answered all of them correctly. However, when I asked him what a waterfall was, what is the meaning of a residence or what exactly is a continent, he was mum. He did not know what I was talking about. The child actually learned all that was given to him at school by heart, but did not know what exactly he was parroting. Both at school and at home, these kids should be given the scope to read on these related topics and think about them rather than learning them by heart for the sake of a class test. This way, children will be able to develop the power of their creativity.
Siddiqur Rahman Apu
Khulna University

The Battles We Fight

The other day, I was returning home from work and as always got stuck in a traffic jam on Panthapath. The heat along with the cacophony of all the honking vehicles made me all cranky when I witnessed a very touching scene. A small child of about two or three was sitting on the pavement, with a basket of candyfloss beside him. His elder brother, who was no more than six himself was trying to sell candies. What struck me was the fact the older child was moving with the help of crutches. From time to time, the elder brother would return to his sibling to see if he was okay. The smaller child was kept busy playing with empty plastic bottles. I felt sorry for the two children. I bought two candies, and as the boy was looking for change in his pockets, the vehicles started to move, causing him to return to the footpath. As I looked back at the boy, clutching the candies and the change, the only thought that came to my mind was that life is really not fair. But we can make a difference, only if we want to.
Redwan Islam Orittro
Maple Leaf International School

It Happens in a Flash

A couple of days ago my dad and I were coming back home from my school at Dhanmondi. I saw a motorcyclist, possibly with his son and daughter, moving alongside our car. I was telling my dad that they should be wearing helmets for safety as accidents may occur at any moment. I further located some more motorcyclists who had their helmets by their sides but were not wearing them. I wondered why these motorcyclists were not concerned about their own safety? Why were the traffic policemen not saying anything to such motorcyclists? There are safety rules that a motorcyclist has to follow but many ignore then, thus putting their lives at risk. In the meantime we were near our house and found another motorcyclist without a helmet, with a mobile phone in one hand. A rickshaw tried to overtake the motorcycle and the one-handed motorcyclist lost control and in a flash the motorcyclist met with an accident. Although, it was not very serious, he ended up with a head injury. Had he been wearing a helmet it could have saved him from the injury. Thus I urge all motorists to take safety precautions while on the road.
Abrar Faiyaz Rashid
Class VII, Sunnydale School

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