- Caritas Bangladesh plans to protect Bangladesh's many tribal languages
through a programme called Aloghar
(lighthouse) that entails the publication of Multilingual Education (MLE)
primers for pre-school and schoolchildren from tribal communities.
The project was
presented at a ceremony last Tuesday in Dhaka, in the presence of Education Minister
language is important," the minister said. "No one should feel left out or
ignored because he is part of a minority ethnic group."
The Aloghar programme includes eight primers
in as many tribal languages for both kindergarten and elementary school levels.
"Education is a
right," said Caritas Bangladesh executive director Benedict Alo D' Rozario. "Studying
in one's mother tongue is also a right."
is a country where, apart from the Bengali, other languages are spoken by small
groups," said Welfare
Minister Promod Mankin, a Catholic. "But they too are part of our
nation, and this [programme] will enhance their attractiveness."
is the country's official language and the language of most Bangladeshi (97.7 per
Rasheda Choudhury, executive director of the Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE),
"the programme will help [us] gain the trust of the people, reduce the
number of students who drop out of school and enrich the national culture."
Aloghar in 2011 with the financial
support of the European Union and Caritas France.
involves 1,005 schools in 104 upazila (counties) in Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna,
Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet.
programme, about 70,000 children get a basic education each year, with about 25,000
or 40 per cent from minority ethnic groups.
In addition to designing
and distributing MLE materials, Aloghar
helps the development of tribal groups through teacher training and local