A government survey conducted in June last year, as part of an ongoing project, found that nearly half the population did not know what happened on March 25, which is being observed as Genocide Day today.
Experts have claimed on many occasions that inadequacy of the education system was to be blamed for such ignorance.
Sarwar Ali, trustee of Liberation War Museum told the Dhaka Tribune textbooks mostly cover hostory from 1975. “The textbooks tell the success stories, but not the ones of struggles like the genocide, at least not in detail,” Sarwar said.
Exposure to history is even lesser for illiterate people. “There are no initiatives to impart knowledge about the history of Liberation War at a door-to-door level,” said Sarwar, who fought in the war as well.
The survey conducted by Implementation Monitoring Evaluation Division (IMED) of Planning Commission found that 40.40% people did not know what happened on March 25.
Some respondents were as wrong as marking March 25 as the Independence Day.
The survey was part of an ongoing governmental project that aims to identify different killing grounds in the country to commemorate the martyrs.
The survey was conducted on 576 people in the age range of 16-60 years who reside within a 2-km radius of 12 killing grounds from 12 districts.
Among the respondents, 13% were illiterate, 13% passed secondary examinations, 18.1% passed higher secondary examinations, 11.8% completed undergraduate degrees and 12% were Master’s degree holders.
More than half the respondents did not know the day of independence of the country.
More than 30% of respondents did not know when the Victory Day was.
The survey suggested that around 52% of the population did not know about the highest award for gallantry, Bir Shreshtho. Fifty four percent of respondents could not name any of the seven heroes with the title, only four respondents could name all seven of them.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid alleged that previous government and anti-liberation forces distorted the history of liberation war in textbooks, but the incumbent government has corrected the history.
A book on History of Bangladesh and World Civilization was introduced for all classes, Nahid said.
“We have also made it mandatory for all educational institutions to observe different historic days related to the Liberation War,” he said.