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       Volume 10 |Issue 28 | July 22, 2011 |


 Cover Story
 Special Feature
 Writing the Wrong
 Book Review
 Star Diary
 Write to Mita

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Absence of Freedom of Choice

I would like to thank The Star Magazine to throw light on the rudimentary problems prevailing around the tertiary-level education. The crucial point I find amiss in the cover-story is the absence of freedom of choice in terms of language. It is not only a colonial mindset but also a counterproductive practice to nourish the notion that receiving education in English can only ensure the quality of the individuals. Former UGC chairman Prof. Nazrul Islam told in a television channel unequivocally that, as per their rule, provision to use mother language should be maintained by all departments in a university so that students can have freedom of choice regarding the language used for instruction in receiving education. English has become proverbial, he argues, not because the particular department wants to maintain the quality of education; rather they want to fulfill the commercial demands of education. I had the privilege to get the opinion of students of different faculties who frequently complain that absence of mother language has compelled them to memorise and regurgitate their lessons in the exam without having a critical overview of the issues. In case of private universities, the provision is always out of consideration. It has contributed to a process of intellectual degeneration in our country. However, only freedom of choice can bring a substantive change in this respect.    

Md Jamil Akhter
Dept. of English, University of Dhaka

Stop driving while distracted

Photo: Star File

Most of time we the readers find a familiar headline in the newspaper, which is about road accidents in some part of our country and deaths  of a number of people as a result of it. The reason behind these accidents is either reckless driving, violation of traffic rules and signals or overloaded vehicles, worn out and unmetalled roads. Now with modernisation, the reasons behind accidents have also become modern like listening to one’s ipod while driving, talking on the phone and driving, playing music too loudly and driving. Recently, as a result of   being distracted, an accident took place which drew my attention; so many little children lost their lives in the accident. The driver had been chatting on the phone when the accident happened.

Thanks to the media we all know about this incident and I am sure there isn't anyone who was not horrified to hear about it. Yesterday I was waiting at Farmgate for a bus and I saw a number of bike riders without helmets on and  some of them were talking on their mobile phones. I was flabbergasted, in a busy area like Farmgate how they can  execute such a type of act!

Though there are many rules for driving cars and riding bikes,  lack of proper enforcement makes them useless. On behalf of Bangladeshi people I would like to request the government to step forward and make sure that rules and regulations are implemented and also as a fellow human being I would like to ask all drivers  to be careful and to value human lives.

Md Alamin
Department of English, Bangladesh University

Nip it in the bud

Needless to mention, many street children are commonly seen moving around particularly in urban areas. Most of them have been abandoned by parents who could not afford to keep them. They are often seen scavenging food in the stack of garbage kept beside roads. They are very often treated cruelly by almost every class of people living in our civilised society. They are the ultimate victims of systematic deprivation of human rights owing to their misfortune. They are born injured and we, the civilised people are adding salt to their injuries through sheer apathy and inhuman treatment. We never talk to them nicely, since their class belongs to the part of our minds, where only abhorrence and ignorance co-exist. This world must seem very cruel to them and they grow up experiencing neglect and cruelty that merely help them to become involved in all sorts of crime. They need help from every citizen of the nation to be able to live a decent life. If they are ignored like this, then they will also ignore the social norms and values and the difference between right and wrong. However, mere government or other NGOs can't ensure the full provision for these less fortunate children. We as citizens ought to come forward by extending our helping hands in this regard. Let's nip the problem in the bud.

AIUB, Banani, Dhaka

Social Disaster Management 101

Heartiest congratulations to you for finally pointing out some important facts that have been ignored for a long time. I found the article excellent, noteworthy and the instructions should be zealously adhered to in one's day to day life.

Nevertheless, there are three very important words that an average Bengali fails to use, these are popularly known as the magic words in the East Coast of America. These magic words are, "Please and Thank you" and that is something you forgot to mention in your piece.

Sheila Khan

Submission Guideline:

Letters to the Editor, Star Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While The Star welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. The Star does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups ranges from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
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