Mother-tongue education empowers Bangladeshi children

Caritas and other charities are running projects to ensure ethnic children are educated in their own language
Mother-tongue education empowers Bangladeshi children

Indigenous children study at an education center run by Caritas in Dinajpur district in 2018. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)

Seven years ago, Monica Chiran became extremely frustrated when her eight-year-old daughter decided to stop going to a local government primary school in Dhobaura in Mymensingh district in the northeast of Bangladesh.

“Often she returned home crying because her classmates humiliated her and teachers punished her for poor Bangla language skills. She was reluctant and stopped going to the school after grade two,” Monica, 32, an ethnic Garo Catholic and day laborer, told UCA News.

Lovely Chiran dropped out of school despite the eagerness of her and her mother to get an education, which is free up to grade five in government schools.

The sole reason was that the school textbooks were in Bangla, the national language, which was difficult to grasp for ethnic Garo children like Lovely.

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