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Dhaka Tribune

PM Hasina emphasizes mother tongue as key medium for education

  • 'For education, mother language is the most important thing'
  • 'There should be scope to learn other languages too'
Update : 21 Feb 2024, 07:25 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that the medium for education in educational institutions should be everyone’s mother tongue.

“I think that our medium for education should be in our mother tongue. Besides, there should be scope to learn other languages too,” she said.

The prime minister said this while inaugurating a four-day program of the International Mother Language Institute at Segunbagicha to mark the Martyrs’ Day and the International Mother Language Day-2024.

She said that for education, the mother language is the most important thing.

“That’s what I trust. If anyone gets education through their mother tongue then receiving that education, knowing that education, understanding that education would become much easier,” she said.

But she said that at work the whole world is now so close to each other that learning other languages are also needed.

Sheikh Hasina said that as the children of the country are very much meritorious, it would not be a hard task for them to learn two or three languages.

She mentioned that in many countries of the world this kind of system is present.

“As we have fought for our mother tongue, I think our medium of education should be the mother tongue…and this should start from the primary level,” the PM said.

“If this learning process does not start from the primary level the children would not be capable of receiving it properly.”  “This way the path to acquire knowledge will be easier and widened.”

She criticized the mentality of a section of parents to put their children in English-medium schools sans mother tongue.

She also expressed dissatisfaction that a section of people in the country now pronounce Bangla in an English accent, which sounds very ridiculous.

Sheikh Hasina, also chief patron of the institute, recalled the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Language Movement in 1952.

Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhoury, Prime Minister’s Education and Cultural Affairs Advisor Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, state minister for Primary and Mass Education and Member of Parliament Rumana Ali and Head of the Office and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh Susan Maree Vize spoke on the occasion.

Secretary of the Secondary and Higher Education Division Suleman Khan gave the welcome address.

Professor Dr Shisir Bhattacharja of Institute of Modern Languages of Dhaka University presented the keynote paper.

Director General of the International Mother Language Institute Professor Dr Hakim Arif delivered the vote of thanks.

The prime minister also distributed prizes and certificates among the winners of the Linguistics Olympiad organized by the International Mother Language Institute.

At the outset, the premier laid a foundation stone of “Mujib 100 Years Museum and Archive” on the premises of the International Mother Language Institute.

Sheikh Hasina also unveiled covers of “Oshomapto Attojiboni” (The Unfinished Memoirs) translated in ethnic minority languages, Matrybhasha Pedia and Marty Lingual Pocket Dictionary at the ceremony. 

At the outset of the program, a one-minute silence was observed to show respect to the language movement heroes for their sacrifice.

Children from different languages greeted the prime minister in their own mother languages on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day.

At the ceremony, Head of Office and Unesco Representative to Bangladesh Susan Vize presented a Unesco Category-II contract renewal document to the prime minister.

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