Rural education for development


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Someone has said it right – ‘Education is the backbone of a country’. It is such an aspect which can take even the poorest of societies to the height of privilege and welfare. The examples are not few. Taking a look at the world’s most developed nations, we can see similarities in how they emphasize on education as a core factor which stirs their nation toward success. Owing to heavy investment behind educational sector, not only have they transformed into knowledge societies but also managed to attract thousands of students and workers from underprivileged corners of the world – all migrating with the vision of a better future for themselves and their loved ones. But why is it an issue? Where have we, as a nation, gone wrong?

Today, our beloved Bangladesh is strolling towards success. However, we are still placed in the ranks of least – to – medium developing countries with our per capita swinging in the range of $800 – $1000. Being poor and dependant on foreign aid has been an obstacle to many of our potentials as a nation. Authorities have, therefore, advocated that we should take a serious look into the education system which can be a viable solution to our existing problems. Education, in general, has a broad definition and hence, we need to pin-point on exactly what we are talking about. In my case, it would be rural education – the very basic schooling given to deprived communities in many villages and remote regions in our country.

According to statistics, a high proportion of the world population lives under poverty or have limited access to basic necessities of life. This reflects on our country as well. Lack of education has therefore, created a big literacy divide among our society which has led to many negative factors like poor living standard, discrimination and so on. It is of paramount importance that we shrink this divide as much as possible, for the sake of a developed and healthy generation. We as a nation should meld our efforts and work towards attaining it – societies, industries and government alike.

Even though our government and concerned authorities have planned ideas to spread and enhance the quality of rural education, lack of incentives, relevant contents and policies have barred its progress. Many teachers, schools are reluctant to move into these regions and do their job. Lack of infrastructure, unavailability of necessary living standard could be few of the reasons. Moreover, our state policies have comparatively favored education in city centers and major towns around the country, owing to which only privileged citizens get access to such service. In addition, many young people start work at a very early age in these rural regions due to shortage of family income and hence, do not get to attain the light of education. A prime reason for all these could be the lack of affordability to undertake such a large project for a population of 160 million, out of which at least 40% live in remote areas.

The causes, as we can see, have been adverse. Many of our countrymen travel to other countries and does intensive labor work. Moreover, they do not get paid that well to afford even a mediocre lifestyle which leads to health, physical and mental issues to which many of them don’t have a solution. An epitome could be UAE itself. It would be tough not to find a Bangladeshi worker in any construction site in this country. With millions of workers flooding in Middle East simply shows what lack of education can bring days to. Whereas, had they been schooled back in Bangladesh and given access to necessities, these people could have worked for the country and together we could have gone much further as a nation.

Nevertheless, all is not lost. We can still conjoin different aspects of our economy to boost rural education and related services. With a vision to transform Bangladesh into a knowledge-society someday, I can advocate our industries and academic institutions to come forward and implement technology as a very feasible method of achieving it. With the aid of experts, such move will not only stimulate learning but also dawn an interactive environment where users can learn, have fun and also penetrate into their technology skills. Related IT Systems can be developed to foster teaching in collaboration with local and international partners, which can also overcome issues of corruption, terrain, climate and bureaucratic barriers – factors that are predominantly existent in our part of the world. In addition to making an educated country, we can also make strides in the field of technology and develop professionals who may later catalyze their expertise to provide a concrete foundation on which we can make an ‘Innovation Economy’.

By: M. Redwan Hasan

Printed Books will Always Exist


eBooks-vs-booksSaima was rigorously searching for Stephen Hawking’s ‘A brief history of time’. She almost searched every possible place where she could find it and finally she found the book. She clicked a button, the PDF file opened and she started reading the classic. That’s how Saima and many others search for books on their computers and over the net instead of going through stuffed bookshelves of the library or buying printed books. They just sit with their machine in the corner; find their ideal web page where the desired book is just one click away. With this emerging widespread of gadget usage, the question that comes along is, ‘are gadgets replacing physical books?’ Maybe they are, as technologies have reached to a higher level. So anything is possible. But still there are many things in this world which will never fade away. Same goes with printed books. They have been around the world for ages and there are more printed book lovers than any other e-book lovers. People still love having their libraries filled with printed books. Readers can truly feel the printed books because they are physical books and no matter what happens it’s easy to visualize an image more vividly while reading a printed book rather than e-books or other electronic device used for reading books.

There are many people who love to collect books. Whether they have a library or not, they just want to increase their collection of books. With e-books or tablets, you cannot simply do those things. With printed books you can read whenever you want to read; but in case of E-book, you are unable to read or use it once the battery is down, you will need to wait until its charged up. There are many book lovers who want to own the original edition of books to their collection. Though it’s true, that the books which used to decorate the huge shelves of one’s library are now easily found in the pockets of the people copied in their pen drives, but still printed books have its own advantages. According to publishersweekly.com, researchers found that it’s better for children to read printed books rather than advanced e-books. “The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading, because it prompted more non-content-related interactions. The print books were more advantageous for literacy-building co-reading, whereas the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, more effectively engaged children and prompted physical interaction.”

Readers love printed books because they can feel the books. They can smell the crisp pages of the printed books. Nowadays one can easily download books for free but still there are readers alive who would give all their money away to buy a book which they can feel and touch. Printed books can be signed by its authors or any other person. Also there are readers who love buying old books and love the old smell of the pages. If for instance a book falls down from hand there won’t be any chance for it to break down but will cause a lot of damage if an e-book or kindle falls from one’s hand. One can also read printed book if it falls down into the water. But if it happens with e-book it will stop working. According to Fenlon, some studies show that our brains react differently when reading printed words rather than digital words. It can retain better information. Some scientists believe that “The physical presence of the printed pages, and the ability to flip back and forth through them, turns out to be important to the mind’s ability to navigate written works, particularly lengthy and complicated ones.” (Fenlon, 2013).

Printed books can be heavy and sometimes it’s difficult to carry, but still readers of printed books don’t mind carrying some extra weight. Maybe it has become an old school in this new generation full of gadgets. Readers can actually imagine the vision of the tale while reading printed books. Reading physical books truly seems like one is actually reading a book. One needs to be very cautious when handling an e-book or a kindle but it doesn’t happen when it comes to physical books. According to Royal, “Physical books do not have any legal restrictions when it comes to using them. According to Amazon’s website, there are certain rules regarding lending out e-books. The publisher chooses which titles to make eligible for lending and the books may only be loaned once for a period of 14 days.” (Royal, 2013). But with printed books one doesn’t have to face so much hassle. They can write, underline or circle in the book if they want to.

If we go on and on we can find many more pros and cons about printed book and e-books. But there are still certain readers in this world who are not use to the digital devices. They still believe that no matter how much science has advanced; traditional books will still be there. Maybe the craze will be less but it will be there. Just like as human beings will die one day but still they will remain the best creation of GOD. So, I truly agree with Douglas Adams. As he once compared physical books with sharks. And sharks were there before dinosaurs and they still exist because sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is.

By: Sumaiya Akhter Nitu

Sumaiya is currently perusing B.A. in English from North South University, Bangladesh. Apart from writing, she also loves Painting, writing, watching movies, listening to music & travelling.

 

৩-০ গোলে প্রসাস জিতলো আজকের খেলা


দুবাই প্রতিনিধিঃ আজ সেই ১০ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০১২। বিগত ২ মাসেরও অধিক সময় ধরে আমিরাতের প্রবাসী প্রতিটি বাংলাদেশী অধীর আগ্রহে অপেক্ষায় ছিলেন যে স্বাধীনতা কাপ ফুটবল টুর্ণামেন্ট এর। ক্ষণ গুনতে গুনতে অবশেষে দোর গোড়ে এসে ধরা দিল সেই দিনটি। শুক্রবার হিসেবে সবাই জুমার নামাজের জন্য প্রস্তুত ছিল। যদিও খেলা শুরু হবার কথা ছিল বেলা সাড়ে তিনটা থেকে; কিন্তু আয়োজক সহ স্পন্সরদের প্রতিনিধিবৃন্দ খাটছিলেন সকাল থেকেই। মূল আয়োজন চলছিল গত ১ সপ্তাহ নাগাত। মরুভূমির এই কুচি পাথর আর ধুলোবালুতে ভরা এবড়ো থেবড়ো মাঠটি কে খেলার উপযোগী করে তুলতে আয়োজকদের মাথার ঘাম পায়ে গেছে।

সকালের দিকে আবওহাওয়া ধুলোময়ী থাকলেও দুপুরের পরে তা স্বাভাবিক হয়ে যায়। নতুবা  হয়তো আজকের ম্যাচটি দর্শকদের দেখার সুযোগ হতো না। কারণ, এ দেশে একবার ধুলিঝড় শুরুও পাশের মানুষকেও দেখতে বড় কষ্ট হয়। তা ছাড়া খেলার মাটটি শহরের বাইরে হবার কারণে অপরিচিত স্থান হিসেবে খুঁজে পেতে দেরী হয় অনেকেরই। প্রচারের জন্য যে ৩৫,০০০ লিফলেট বিতরণ করা হয়েছে তাতে লোকেশান ম্যাপটি প্রিন্ট থাকলে দর্শকদের উপস্থিতি হয়তো আরো  বাড়তো। উদ্ভোধনী ম্যাচ হিসেবে দর্শকের সমাবেশ তেমন একটা আশা করা যাচ্ছিল না। কিন্তু খেলা শুরু হবার কিছু আগেই মাঠের দুই প্রান্ত ভরে যায় দর্শকে।

মাননীয় কন্স্যাল জেনারেল এসে পৌছান বেলা সাড়ে তিনটায়। এর পরপরই সংক্ষিপ্ত আলোচনা পর্বের শুরু হয়। নাজমুল হল (জীবন) এর চঞ্চল ও প্রমোদবাহী উপস্থাপনার মাঝে ঢাকা ষ্টেডিয়াম এর সেই পুরনো ধারা বিবরণকারী নাজমুলকে খুঁজে পায় দর্শকরা।  সকল টিমের খেলোয়াড়দেরকে মাঠের উত্তরে সম্মানিত মেহমানদের জন্য তৈরীকৃত মঞ্চের সামনে সারিবদ্ধভাবে সমবেত হতে দেখা যায়। প্রতিটি টিমের ২০ জন করে দাঁড়িয়ে আটটি টিমের জন্য তৈরী আটটি রঙের জার্সিতে এক মনমুগ্ধকর পরিবেশের সৃষ্টি করে।

বাংলা এক্সপ্রেস সম্পাদক মোঃ হারুনুর রশীদ এর পবিত্র কোরান তেলাওয়াতের মাধ্যমে অনুষ্ঠানের সূচনা হয়। এরপর সংক্ষিপ্ত বক্তব্য রাখেন ওয়াল্টন এর সোল এজেন্ট মকবুল ট্রেডিং এর স্বত্তাধিকারী জনাব মাহমুদ,  সবাইকে অভ্যর্থনা জানান ওয়ার্ড ওয়াইড ট্যুর এর জনাব আহমদ, এবং প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্য রাখেন দুবাইস্থ বাংলাদেশ কন্সুলেট এর মাননীয় কন্স্যাল জেনারেল জনাব মোঃ আবু জাফর। এরপর নির্ধারিত দুইটি খেলোয়াড় দল ছাড়া বাকী সবাই মাঠ ত্যাগ করেন। মান্যবর কন্স্যাল জেনারেল এর ‘ফার্স্ট কিক’ এর সাথে মাঠের চারিদিক থেকে আসে তুমুল করতালির ধ্বনি… শুরু হয় প্রথম খেলাটি।

আজকের খেলাটি ছিল প্রবাসী সাংবাদিক সমিতি প্রসাস (সুরমা দল) ও বাংলাদেশ সামাজিক ও সাংস্কৃতিক সংস্থা আজমান (পদ্মা দল )এর মধ্যে। মাঠের বালু আর কুচি পাথরের মধ্যে খেলোয়াড়দের প্রচন্ড কষ্ট হওয়া স্বত্তেও পরপর চারটি গোল টারগেটে ব্যর্থ হয় পদ্মা দল। সবাই সুরমা দলের ভাগ্য গুনছিল। প্রথম ৩০ মিনিটের মধ্য কোন গোল না হওয়ায় মাঠের চতুরপার্শে দাঁড়ানো হাজার দুই দর্শকদের মধ্যে খেলা গোলশুন্য হয়ে যাবে বলে হতাশার ভাব বিরাজ করে। মাত্র দশ মিনিটের বিরতীর পর আবার শুরু হয় খেলা।

এবার খেলার গতি ফিরে যায়। মাঠটি  লেবার ক্যাম্প এলাকা হওয়ায় দলে দলে দর্শকদের ভীড় বাড়তে থাকে। খেলোয়াড়দের মাঝে দেখা যায় চরম আগ্রাসী ভাব। দর্শকদের মূহুর্মুহু করতালির মধ্য দিয়ে খেলার ঠিক ৪১ মিনিটে সুরমা দল পদ্মা দলের গোল পোষ্ট দিয়ে এ টুর্ণামেন্টের সর্ব প্রথম বলটি পার করার সফলতা পায়। সুরমা দলের সোহেল রানা এ গোলটি দিয়ে ঘোষিত হয় ওয়াল্টন এর পক্ষ থেকে একটি মোবাইল বিজয়ী বলে। গোলটির বদলা দিতে মরিয়া হয়ে ওঠে পদ্মা দল। কিন্তু ভাগ্যের নির্মম পরিহাস মাত্র আট মিনিটের মাথায় আরেকটি গোল করে সুরমা দলের নুরুল আলম টুটুল।

এবার দর্শকদের মধ্যে দেখা যায় একদিকে ক্ষোভ আর অপরদিকে উৎসাহ। দলের সাপোর্টারবৃন্দ ধীরে ধীরে হাত গোটাতে শুরু করে দেয় পদ্মা দলের পক্ষ থেকে। চারিদিকে টান টান উত্তেজনা। সবাই নড়ে চড়ে বসে। হয়তো এবার কিছু একটা ঘটাবে পদ্মা। কিন্তু সবাইকে তাক লাগিয়ে আর মাত্র ১৩ মিনিটের মাথায় আরেকটি গোল ছুড়ে দেয় সুরমা দলের নুরুদ্দীন আহমদ  টিপু।

আর মাত্র সাত মিনিট বাকী। সুরমা চেষ্টা করে আরেকটি গোল করে হালি পুরো করে দিতে; কিন্তু ইতিমধ্যেই বেঁজে ওঠে রেফারীর বাঁশীর লম্বা টান। ৩-০ গোলে বিজয়ী বলে ঘোষিত হয় প্রবাসী সাংবাদিক সমিতি প্রসাস এর দল ‘সুরমা’। শেষ হয়ে যায় আজকের খেলা। ম্যান অব দ্য ম্যাচ ঘোষিত হয় সোহেল রানা। মিউনিখ মেডিকেল সেন্টার পক্ষ থেকে তাকে এক বৎসরের জন্য ফ্রী চিকিৎসা কার্ড দেয়া হয়।

ঘরে ফেরার আগেই আবার নাজমুল এর কণ্ঠে ঘোষিত হয় আগামী শুক্রবার ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারী এই মাঠেই ২য় ম্যাচ।   ২ টি টিমের খেলা হবে সকাল সাড়ে দশটায় ধলেশ্বরী ও কর্ণফুলী এবং বেলা সাড়ে তিনটায় মেঘনা ও পদ্মা দলগুলির মাঝে।

Sheikh Khalifa pardons 80 prisoners


Eighty Pakistani prisoners have received a pardon from Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

The prisoners can now be repatriated to their homeland.

In a short statement, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE, offered his “profound thanks” to Sheikh Khalifa.

“The cases of several prisoners were submitted to the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE for grant of pardon,” Mr Khan said in the statement. “The prisoners belong to various categories and were undergoing different periods of sentence in Al Wathba and Al Ain prisons.”

Mr Khan said he believed remission for other prisoners serving jail terms in other prisons around the country would also be granted by the President.

“Pakistan Embassy would continue making its efforts to pursue the just causes and assist the UAE authorities in augmenting the welfare aspects of Pakistani prisoners undergoing their sentences in the UAE,” he said.

The statement added that Mr Khan had contacted the Ministry of Interior to step up efforts for the finalisation of an Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

“Once the Agreement is signed, it would offer opportunities to all the prisoners in the UAE to undergo the remaining part of their sentences in Pakistan close to their hometown and their families,” the statement said.

Source: The National

Girl killed For Breakfast


A 16 year old British teen Joshua Davies killed Rebecca Aylward, 15 with a large rock. Some of his friends had promised him a free breakfast if he carried out some of the things he had been saying.

Rebecca was his Ex and met up with him hoping to get back with him when Joshua set upon her with a “Football” sized rock.
After completing the murder he went home and watched TV.

Joshua Davies was convicted on Wednesday and he is facing a life sentence today.

Poll of the Week


Protect your Wi-Fi from neighbors and hackers


Tokyo paint : Protect your Wi-Fi from neighbors and hackers !

Are you anxious of your neighbors rudely snooping on the wireless signal? It’s not just about slowing down your internet speed; while they are downloading huge files, games, for movies. You could be on the hook for their unlawful actions.

Wireless security and encryption systems are loaded with problems and insecurity, and other methods to restrict your signal to a small area are cumbersome at best.

Researchers say they have created a special kind of paint which can block out wireless signals. It means security-conscious wireless users could block their neighbors from being able to access their home network – without having to set up encryption.

The paint contains an aluminum-iron oxide which vibrates at the same frequency as wi-fi – or other radio waves – meaning the airborne data is absorbed and blocked. By coating an entire room, signals can’t get in and, crucially, can’t get out. This paint is developed at the University of Tokyo. And this special paint could cost as little as £10 per kilogram only.

Therefore you can use this special paint on your walls where you don’t want wireless to pass through (lets say the exterior of your house). The secret is mixing aluminum-iron oxide particles in with the paint. The metal particles resonate at the same frequency as Wi-Fi and other radio waves, so signals can’t pass through the thin layer of pigment.

Outsiders would simply be unable to access your wireless network, just as you, inside the house, won’t be able to interlope on anything beamed on the outside. This paint is said to be the first that can block radio frequency in higher spectra where Wi-Fi and other higher-bandwidth communications occur rather than just low-frequency wireless like FM radio.

Most Wi-Fi technologies operate at 2.4GHz; the Tokyo paint can reportedly block frequencies all the way up to 100GHz, with a 200GHz-blocking paint now in the works. The paint isn’t just of interest to those concerned about wireless leaking out of the building. Movie theaters have long been interested in finding a legal way to keep cell phones silent during screenings.

Electronic jammers that actively block wireless signals are illegal, but passive materials that prevent wireless signals from getting through are not. Since the wireless-blocking paint can also block the lower-frequency signals that cell phones use, addled mobile junkies would have no outlet for reaching the outside world.

You could block phone signals from outside and stop people’s phones ringing during the movie. ”

Shin-ichi Ohkoshi, University of Tokyo.