Thursday, May 30, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

70% of Satkhira schools lack permanent Shaheed Minars

  • Makeshift Shaheed Minars are sometimes erected
  • A directive mandates a permanent Shaheed Minar in every educational institution
  • Many institutions unable to comply
Update : 20 Feb 2024, 11:16 AM

More than 70 years after the Language Movement in 1952, more than 73% of educational institutions in Satkhira have yet to construct a permanent Shaheed Minar. 

To commemorate International Mother Language and Martyrs' Day, makeshift Shaheed Minars are sometimes erected, or neighboring schools pay homage when an institution lacks one.

Officially, there is a directive mandating a permanent Shaheed Minar in every educational institution of the country to honor the language soldiers. 

However, due to various factors, including insufficient funds, many institutions have been unable to comply, teachers have said.

According to sources at the Satkhira District and Primary Education Officer, there are 1,732 primary and secondary level educational institutions in the district. 

Of these, only 458 have a Shaheed Minar. Notably, 293 out of 639 secondary and higher secondary level institutions lack a Shaheed Minar.

The situation is even more dire in primary schools, with only 112 out of 1,093 having a Shaheed Minar. The remaining 981 institutions lack one, representing over 73% of primary and secondary level educational institutions in the district.

Abu Saeed from Parandaha village of Satkhira Sadar Upazila lamented the absence of a Shaheed Minar in his school. Locals, including students, constructed a temporary one to observe Language Day.

Feroz Hossain, a teacher at Baropota Government Primary School, similarly spoke of the absence of a Shaheed Minar, prompting students and teachers to pay respects at a neighboring higher secondary school's Shaheed Minar.

In response, Satkhira District Primary Education Officer Hosne Yasmin Karimi said that out of 1,093 primary schools, only 172 have a Shaheed Minar. The remainder are instructed to construct temporary altars for Language Day celebrations due to financial constraints.

In response to another question, the education officer said that there are official instructions to build Shaheed Minars with local assistance. However, due to various reasons, including financial crises, it was not possible to build Shaheed Minars in all institutions.

Each February, teachers and students resort to makeshift Shaheed Minars made of wood, bamboo, banana trees, and white paper to commemorate International Mother Language Day and Martyrs’ Day. 

This practice hampers students' understanding of the significance of language and prevents them from properly honoring the language martyrs.

Satkhira District Education Officer Shahjahan Kabir said that 293 out of 639 secondary and higher secondary educational institutions lack a Shaheed Minar. Instructions have been issued from the District Education Office for their construction.

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