Of the 2,106 primary schools, only 717 have a permanent Shaheed Minar. The rest of the schools usually erect a makeshift one or go to a nearby Shaheed Minar
Around 65% of the government primary schools in Comilla do not have Shaheed Minar, a monument where students can pay homage to the martyrs of the Language Movement.
Of the 2,106 primary schools, only 717 have a permanent Shaheed Minar. The rest of the schools usually erect a makeshift one or go to a nearby Shaheed Minar.
According to the 17 upazila primary education officers, there are 109 primary schools in Comilla Sadar with 32,700 students and 30 Shaheed Minar.
In Sadar (south) there are 90 schools, 27,000 students and 24 Shaheed Minar. Laksam upazila has 76 schools with 35,000 students and seven Shaheed Minar.
Debidwar upazila has a total of 185 schools, 55,500 students and 56 Shaheed Minar. Daudkandi has 148 schools, 35,000 students and five Shaheed Minar. Chouddogram has 175 schools, 38,000 students, and 10 Shaheed Minar.
In Brahmanpara, there are 108 schools, 32,400 students and 17 Shaheed Minar. Borura has 151 schools, 45,000 students and 13 Shaheed Minar. Burichang upazila has 45 schools, 55,000 students and 12 Shaheed Minar.
Chandina upazila has 136 schools, 40,000 thousand students and 95 Shaheed Minar. There are 87 schools, 30 thousand students and 12 Shaheed Minar. The number of schools in Nangolkot is 150, students 45 thousand, and that of Shaheed Minar is 15.
Meghna upazila has 85 schools, 19,000 students and no Shaheed Minar. In Manoharganj, there are 102 schools, 22 thousand students and 15 Shaheed Minar. Titas upazila has 90 schools, 22 thousand students and 20 Shaheed Minar.
However, students of the schools without Shaheed Minar only perform cultural activities and sometimes build makeshift monuments to pay homage to the martyrs of the Language Movement, informed students, teachers, and education officers.
Expressing his frustration, Amir Ali Chowdhury, former principal of Comilla Victoria Govt College, said: “Comilla has heroes such as Dhirendranath Dutt and Rafiqul Islam who have a glorious history of contributing to the Language Movement. It is unfortunate that such a high number of schools in this district has no Shaheed Minar.”
Amir Ali emphasized the need for Shaheed Minar in schools for encouraging students to learn about the history of the movement and obtain a clear understanding about its significance.
Upazila nirbahi officer of Manoharganj said: “Of 104 schools, at least 86 schools have no Shaheed Minar here. We have been encouraging local affluent people to build Shaheed Minar in those schools.”
When contacted, District Primary Education Officer Abdul Mannan said: “Many schools do not have a Shaheed Minar. Usually, we build them from the budget kept for school buildings. The school managing committee also takes initiatives at times.”
The Language Movement began in 1948 and reached its climax on February 21, 1952, when police firing killed several protesters, who were demanding that Bangla be one of the state languages of Pakistan. Bangla was later adopted as a state language of Pakistan.
In 2000, Unesco declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day to celebrate the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world and pay tribute to the martyrs of the Language Movement.