Shikkhalok, an education bulletin published by CDIP, a non-government development organization, deals with important social, developmental and educational issues besides CDIP's activities in the field of financial inclusion, education, health, etc. It publishes articles mainly on education and other development issues besides organizational reflections and thus plays a role in promoting positive ideas in the development field as well as in society.

Shikkhalok organized a get-together of writers and artists who are well-wishers and connected with it in many ways on 18 March in CDIP conference room in Dhaka. Professor Abul Kashem Fazlul Haq, a prominent writer, was present as Chief Guest and Professor Shahidul Islam, a renowned educationist, was present as honorable guest in the program. Dr. Qudrate Khoda, Associate Professor at Independent University, Elias Uddin Palash, Editor of Shampratik Deshkal, Communication expert Khan Md. Rabiul Alam, writer Arshad Siddiqui, poet Saikat Habib, Janabiggan editor Ayub Hossain and others from the development and education fields were also present and talked in the program. Writer Saleha Begum presided over it.

This year's get-together put three broad issues under discussion: Language, open library and morality. Shikkhalok questions the legitimacy of dominance of a foreign language in our national life. It regards all languages in the world as equal in honor and thinks mother tongue is the best means of acquiring knowledge for everyone. The spirit of our language movement in 1952, which led to the rise of Bengali nationalism and ultimately gave birth to an independent Bangladesh in 1971, has been left aside and we are practicing a development which has a little connection with the hearts of our people. Dr. Quadrate Khoda put enormous emphasis on the need to practice Bangla in every activity of our national life.

Professor Abul Kashem Fazlul Haq in his long speech dealt with the question of ethics and morality in our education and society. He touched on various social and developmental issues surrounding language movement, its historical course and then moving away from the original spirit. He gave emphasis on building a sense of ethics and morality as an independent subject from school life of our children, not in the way it is being done nowadays.

Professor Shahidul Islam questioned the current direction of society and hoped for a better future under leadership of the present young generation. Shajahan Bhuiya, writer-researcher and Vice-Chairman of CDIP, put forward the ideals and objectives of CDIP and the dream of its founder executive director late Muhammad Yahiya in spreading the light of education across the country.

Elias Uddin Palash put a lot of emphasis on the need of increasing sense of ethics and morality in our society. In his opinion Shikkhalok is doing things quite different from publication initiatives of other NGOs in the country. CDIP along with Shikkhalok stands apart in their approach to the question of development and such programs with the issues under discussion are quite important.

Khan Md. Rabiul Alam discussed the need for establishing libraries and spreading its use and appreciated the initiative of setting up open libraries known as muktopathagar in school/colleges in CDIP's working areas. It is to be mentioned here that CDIP has set up such libraries so far in 18 schools in various districts. The idea is that education supervisors, female social workers each of whom supervise 20 courtyard schools for children of poor background, collect books from local book-loving people and approach a local school authority for donating those books in their education institution. To the school, CDIP donates a shelf, which is set up on a wall from where students can easily take books and return them after finishing reading at home.

Arshad Siddiqui lamented the whimsically made changes in Bangla letters and language, especially the continuing trend of dropping out letters thought as redundant in some people's view. Ayub Hossain put stress on spreading science education. Poet Saikat Habib appreciated CDIP's initiative of setting up open libraries in schools and shared his valuable ideas in this regard. Social worker Mohammad Hanif and Nazneen Shathi, executive editor of Biggan O Sangskriti, a Bengali little mag on science and culture, also talked in the program.

The day of the get-together was full of great discussion, many questions and attempts of search for new ways in our moving forward as a nation. Shikkhalok wants to be in the journey of progress with the light of education in its hand.

The writer is Editor, Biggan O Sangskriti.

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