Education awakens the internal potentials of human beings. But in our country, education has failed to bear the fruits up to our level of expectation. There are many discussions about the condition of our education in the country. Yet, there are not many good books that can improve our knowledge about the current system of education. Amader Shiksha: Bichitro Bhabna (Various thoughts on our education), edited by Muhammad Yahiya and Alamgir Khan and jointly published by Prokriti and CDIP in the Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka, fills up this gap to some extent.
This book is a compilation of some articles on education written by persons who are knowledgeable in this field. These articles say what education means, forms of education in developed countries, what we expect in our country, and roles of guardians in development of children and their education and such other issues. Arshad Siddiqui, a researcher, has discussed the initiation of the so-called modern education by the British imperialist ruler in India. Under the leadership of Lord Macaulay, the new education system attempted to destroy the moral base of the peoples of India and to make them subservient to the needs and wishes of their British masters. The deplorable condition of education in Bengal and India when the British left and today’s consequences in large part prove the success of the Macaulay design.
Dr Manjure Khoda has discussed the education system in Japan, which has been at the forefront of educational development and sets an example for developing countries to follow. The article by A. K. Fazlul Bari has dealt with the role of education in rural development, especially informal education and the thoughts and actions of Akhtar Hameed Khan. It is undeniable that it is impossible to achieve development without imparting education to the marginalised people of the country. Muhammad Yahiya’s discussion has revolved around the education activities of NGOs and how these activities can be strengthened and developed to a new stage for launching broader initiatives in the field of education.
Ibrahim Sobhan, who died in 2014, wrote about the necessity of pre-primary education for children; and this has been included in this book. Significant position of children in human society and civilisation is discussed by Dr Sazedur Rahman. Scientist and writer Ashraf Ahmed has written on Hermann Gmeiner’s contribution to education and his child care centre in Dhaka. Mohammad Zahidul Islam has discussed a Sergey Mikhalkov story, Obaddhotar Ananda, on children and their school education. These articles have put emphasis on various aspects of child education and development.
Shishir Mallick and Manzur Shams have put emphasis on the need of cultural education, in absence of which education itself would be meaningless. There has been an elaborate discussion by Saleha Begum on women’s education. Rumana Sultana has discussed how gender discrimination becomes permanently marked in children’s mind and energised in society through a constant process, the vileness of which cannot be removed without dealing with its source in the cultures of families.
Ayub Hossain has written on the education thoughts and initiatives of Ibrahim Sobhan, who campaigned for a school-based education system abolishing the practice of assigning home-works. Tarikuzzaman and Mohammad Ali have paid tributes to teachers and educationists of the old days. Fatihul Kadir Samrat and Alaul Hossain have stressed the ethical and moral aspects of education in their essays. Alok Acharja has discussed the need of freedom for children to choose the subjects and careers they want to study and pursue. Lasty, Alamgir Khan has discussed how education has turned commercial and the pursuit of certificates has become the main objectives to a large number of students ignoring education in real sense.
Amader Shiksha: Bichitro Bhabna clearly deals with various sides of education and the barriers to its progress encountered in the country. All the issues discussed in this book, therefore, are very important and deserve to be delved into further and in more details. This book is a right step in that direction.