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     Volume 5 Issue 90 | April 14, 2006 |

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National Awards
'Ekushey-Padak' and 'Swadhinata-Padak' are considered prestigious awards in Bangladesh. Both the announced awards for this year have raised some questions among the socially conscious. It has been alleged that partisan persons are preferred in the selection as well as in awarding the nominees.
What amazes me the most is awarding the 'Swadhinata-Padak' (Independence Award) to RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) for its said 'achievement' in improving the law and order situation in the country. But the reality is that the term 'crossfire' has become an integral part of RAB for its controversial role in extra judicial killing.
Members of other forces like Police, BDR and Bangladesh Army have sacrificed a lot for the accomplishment of our independence whereas RAB is a newly born force having no contributions in the war of liberation. Moreover, in a country where crimes can be handled with a unsystematic judicial process, can anyone attribute the process of 'crossfire' as an achievement of any force? Policy makers of the government should realise that National Awards should not be politicised further and it should remain in its aspired position.
H.S.C. Candidate
Dhaka City College

No good quality TV programmes
It's a pity that other than 'Ityadi' we have no quality entertainment programme to talk about. We have quite a lot of TV channels these days but the crisis of quality entertainment programmes is very acute.
Most of the entertainment programmes telecast by the satellite channels are very superficial. The host/hostess always speaks in a bizarre accent in a desperate effort to copy presenters from foreign countries. Moreover, there is no creativity and the programmes have no message for the viewers.
Unless the TV channel authorities can come up with some quality entertainment programmes 'Ityadi' will remain the only programme worth watching for years to come.

Student politics
The student politicians had made big contributions to the country in 1952 and 1971 but recently they are only creating a menace. Nowadays they even have to get admitted into colleges and universities by colluding with the big brothers. They also take bribes to admit students. There are also some local students who abuse their power to force the innocent students to take part in political activities. They also spend time in chatting in the common rooms instead of attending classes.
All political parties should limit student politics. Otherwise our nation will fall into a black hole.
Shohon Shis

'Private universities: is it paying off?'
Thanks a lot to Elita Karim for the cover story of last week regarding private education. It was really a sign of creativity where the development of private education in the job market along with the changing view of the last two decades was reflected truly.
But the whole story was limited to Business Studies and some Engineering sides while research jobs based on pure science were not mentioned. In spite of being popular in the job market, private universities have yet to go far with a view to reaching the standard of some reputed public universities. In the case of their big amount of tuition fees, the writer said about the parents' wish of making huge investment for their children's study. But the reality is that to make such an investment is hardly possible for most of the parents of our country.
Golam Rosul Maruf
Physics Department
University of Dhaka


I do not believe that the recent Star Weekend Magazine (March 31, 2006) article titled "Doorway to a Brighter Future" portrayed the unqualified truth when it quoted a certain NSU graduate saying "Back then, those who were unable to get a seat in the public institutes, made their way to NSU… the curriculum was still developing and most of the kids just wanted to transfer their credits abroad to complete a foreign degree…"
Many of the students who enrolled in the three semesters of 1993 had already secured admission in prestigious public universities. In the very first semester at NSU, there were at least three students who placed within the top ten in the HSC exam. We wanted to spend the most significantly defining years of our lives in a well-designed, adequately resourced, aptly modernised, strongly directional and true equal opportunity education system free of petty politics, corruption and counterproductive bureaucracies.
It is our collective responsibility to take a conscious stand against any misleading and derogatory comments made against us in public media.
Masrur Rishad Khan
NSU-93, an alumni association of North South University graduates who enrolled in 1993.


The last SWM published a good cover story describing the possibility of being established after graduating from a private university. But private universities, being the only alternative to public universities, are the privilege for those who can afford it.
Our government spends a huge chunk of their annual budget on education. But can they mention any advancement? The number of seats in public universities is too few to meet the demand of the growing number of students. Solvent parents admit their children into private universities to provide decent education for them. It seems that a decent education is becoming a privilege for the rich. We request our government to take up the issue of our education putting a side their petty politics.
Muhitur Rahman


Private education has become big business these days. The limited seats in the public universities lead the students to go to the private universities. It is quite appreciable that the fresh graduates from the private universities are getting lucrative jobs.
But when most of the people of our country live below the poverty line what will happen to the common students? It costs about 3 to 4 lakh taka to study in a private university. I think the huge tuition fees create tremendous pressure on the guardians.
The Daily Prothom Alo also revealed that 29 out of 54 private universities have no VC. When the leading position is vacant what will happen to the standard of education?
I think private universities are producing successful graduates who come from well-off families but it is still a dream of the common student to study in a public university.
Shirin Sharmin Bubly
Dept of Civil Engineering

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka 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 SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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