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    Volume 8 Issue 57 | February 13, 2009 |

  Cover Story
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  Food for Thought
  Ekushey Grantha   Mela
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  Star Diary
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Star Diary

A Responsible Child

A few days ago I was returning home after having some tea with a friend in the evening. My friend and I were walking on Road 1 of Nirala R/A. In the opposite direction, a woman and her 9-10 year old daughter were walking along. Suddenly, the little girl ran near a drain and then ran back to her mother. We did not understand why she did that, but while crossing them, we heard the mother ask her daughter why she ran to the drain all of a sudden. The child replied that she needed to spit out something from her mouth and that's why she ran to the drain. She did not want to do it on the streets and also added that if everyone did the same thing, maybe our streets would stay clean and beautiful at the same time. We were amazed at the child's simple solution to a problem which is seen all over the country. I'd like to thank her for his thought. When a little girl is showing her responsibility towards our country and trying to keep the environment clean then why should not we, the grown-ups and elders think about doing the same as well? As a student of urban planning I urge everybody to try to keep your surroundings neat and clean so that we can all live in a healthy environment.

Kamonashish Haldar (Bappi)
Urban and Rural Planning Discipline
Khulna University, Khulna

Deaf Humanity

I have grown up in old Dhaka watching kite flying festivals or locally known as 'Poush Shongkranti', which is celebrated on the last day of 'Poush' month of the Bangla calendar. As a child, I remember that during this festival, the sky would practically be covered with flying kites of all colours. These days, however, only a few kites are seen in the sky during the festival. It seems that the main feature of this festival has changed from flying kites to playing music in an insanely loud volume. Groups of young boys hire sound systems and play music all day long and even after the evenings. The insane noise that is created by the high volume of music played from most of the rooftops is absolutely unbearable. We probably live in one of the most sound-polluted residential areas in the world! This year, on 'Poush Shongkranti' a boy of class four fell from the rooftop, while flying his kite. He died on the way to the hospital. Even after this shocking accident and the boys kept on playing music in a high volume. They acted as if nothing had happened and saw no reason to stop the music. The insane noise has turned humanity deaf!

Shutrapur, Dhaka

Homework Problem

The other night, I was at home when I found my daughter struggling with her grammar homework. I figured that helping her with her homework would be the best way to spend some quality time with my child as well. Grade 3 grammar would obviously be a piece of cake for me, I said to myself. However, once I began to help her, I was blown away. Both of us together had a very hard time finishing the grammar homework. It was simply too much. Upon digging further, I found out that her English grammar teacher usually asked the children to finish exercises from at least 6-7 chapters everyday for homework. Even though each chapter contained a new theme and topic which required explanation for the child, these topics were expected to be done and solved by the child all by him/herself! That was not all. Similar expectations were being made, in the name of homework, in all the other subjects as well. How do the other children cope with this? I asked my daughter. Do all their parents have a lot of time every day to help with homework? Because this was definitely time consuming, besides being hectic for a child this young. “No,” my daughter replied. “All my friends have private teachers. They always finish their homework on time, except me and Shama my friend since we don't have anyone to help us.” I was shocked. In fact, it seems her teachers give the children this much homework because it is presumed that children have teachers at home who will be able to finish up each day. That way, the teachers will be able to finish with the curriculum on time as well, without putting in too much effort.

Sabina Alam
Gulshan, Dhaka

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