Shikkhalok: shedding light on education

Alamgir Khan
Thursday, July 6th, 2017


 

Shikkhalok, an education bulletin edited by Muhammad Yahiya and published by CDIP (Centre for Development Innovation and Practices, a development organization), has earned some reputation as a source of valuable ideas about education. It has always been attractive with a beautiful cover design and rich in diversity of contents. Being a bulletin published by a non-government organization, it has enormous limitations in covering and dealing with education issues. Despite living within these limits, Shikkhalok has brought forward some issues that are important for discussion. The current issue (April-June 2017) is no exception to this general trend.

 

In one way, climate change has been focused in the current issue. The first article is by prominent educationist Shahidul Islam on the danger of climate change that the world and especially Bangladesh faces. Md. Zahidul Islam’s review of a book Mohakashe Mohajoy (Victory in the Universe) by Yahiya Muhammad also sheds light on how climate disaster occurs through destruction of natural resources of a habitable planet by an intelligent species. The editorial points to the Trumpian denial of a scientific truth and the tragic consequences it can cause in the lives of our people and how severely it can disrupt the education cycle in our country and elsewhere.

 

A. K. Fazlul Bari’s write-up on Sukumar Das, a bamboo craftsman, raises the question of the non-farm sector in the overall development perspective, which makes it an important piece of writing. There are some valuable thoughts in the education write-ups. Shishir Mallick has pointed to the need of creative space for development of children, Alok Acharya has given emphasis on the meaning of true education instead of education for certificates and Rumana Sultana has shown how gender differences along with discriminations grow in child life. An article on the rising danger of ineffectiveness of antibiotic and another article on chikungunya virus that has infected now many people in Bangladesh have added richness to the contents of this issue of Shikkhalok. A write-up by Ashraf Ahmed, a biomedical scientist living in the USA, on the affairs of hearts and minds will makes anyone’s heart healthy with the medicine of laughter. There are other interesting items including a short story and a poem in this issue. The beautiful cover photo is a painting titled ‘Couple’ by Mahjabin Rahim Moitry.

 

From the beginning Shikkhalok has carried some classic writings from our past including the writings of Rabindranath Tagore, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Dr. Qazi Motahar Hossain, Poet Priyamvada Devi, Poet Abdul Kadir, Actress Binodini Dasi and others. This bulletin gave tribute to the nature loving Poet Omar Ali before and after his death. Jagadish Chandra Bose’s great speech in Bikrampur, now Munshiganj, published in the Shikkhalok (reprinted from Abyakta, a 1921 Bengali book by J. C. Bose) was reprinted in the editorial page of the Dainik Sangbad of 21 May 2016 with reference to this bulletin. Some widely acclaimed articles reprinted in this bulletin so far are: Bhai Girish Chandra Sen’s thought on women’s education, Sukumar Ray’s science writing, Ahmed Sofa’s writing on Paulo Freire’s education theory, Ali Ashraf’s article on the equal status of all languages (Shokol Bhashar Shoman Morjada, first published in the historic 1953 periodical on Ekushey February edited by Poet Hasan Hafizur Rahman), etc.

 

The bulletin has paid tribute to teachers living in remote parts of the country, brought out history of old schools and colleges, introduced successful micro-entrepreneurs living in remote villages and told many success stories in the struggle of the poor, the handicapped and the disadvantaged in society. Mostly young people working in the field of social work write here. Writings by young and new writers are given priority in this publication.

 

Shikkhalok started its journey three years ago with a modest aim of sharing education ideas and experiences from their application in social life. Social workers in the organization as well as some educationists and activists outside can enrich their thoughts on education and know about others’ ideas in this field through this. From the start, it received a warm welcome from all sides with 20 issues published so far. The cover of almost each isuue is especially attractive.

 

Though Shikkhalok is a bulletin published by an NGO, it has been able to attract attention of people belonging to various sections of society. CDIP runs 2,400 education centres for children of the poor background in villages across the country so that drop-out due to failure to complete homeworks can be prevented. This bulletin reflects this programme and goes to the field level activists of the organization. Courtesy copies also go to teachers, writers, journalists and those who work in the field of education. Shikkhalok is moving forward steadily with a vision to making some impact in our education sector.

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