Most primary schools in Jessore have no Shaheed Minar
Most primary schools in Jessore district have no Shaheed Minar, a monument to commemorate the martyrs of the Language Movement in 1952.
Eight hundred eighty-five primary schools, out of 1130, do not have their own Shaheed Minar although it is an instruction of the government to observe the International Mother Language Day on February 21 in all educational institutions across the country.
Students of the institutions are being deprived of showing their respect to the martyrs on 21st February as Shaheed Minar has not been built in their institutions even after 65 years of the Language Movement.
But the students of some schools go to faraway Shaheed Minars in other educational institutions to pay respect to the Language Movement heroes.
Sources at the District Primary Education Office there is no Shaheed Minar at 50 out of the 116 primary schools in Abhaynagar upazila, while the number is 140 out of 151 in Keshabpur upazila, 250 out of 266 in Monirampur upazila, 100 out of 139 in Chougachha upazila, 20 out of 131 in Jhikargachha upazila, nine out of 102 in Bagharpara upazila, 243 out of 250 in Sadar upazila, and 30 out of 126 in Sharsha upazila.
Talking to UNB, headmaster of Shaheed Swarani Government Primary School in Sadar upazila Shahzad Hossen said as there is no Shaheed Minar in his school and his students have go to a secondary school, about half kilometres away, to pay respect to the language martyrs.
Shirina Pervin, assistant teacher at Durgapur Government Primary School in Bagharapara upazila, said they only organise discussions marking Ekushey February as there is no Shaheed Minar in the school.
District Primary Education Officer Tapash Kumar Adhikary said as there is no allocation from the government for building Shaheed Minar in primary schools.
On February 21, 1952, students and the common people in Dhaka took to the streets in protest against the then Pakistani government’s denial of Bangla as the national language and imposition of Urdu as the sole official language of Pakistan.
Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and a few other brave sons of the soil were killed in police firings on this day in 1952 when students came out in a procession from the Dhaka University campus breaching section 144 to press home their demand for the recognition of Bangla as a state language of then Pakistan.
The Pakistan government was ultimately compelled to incorporate an article in the constitution on February 29, 1956 declaring that ‘the state languages of Pakistan shall be Urdu and Bengali’.