:: Peoples Time Online ::
This year the 54th international literacy day is celebrated all over the world. The theme of the day was ‘Literacy and multilingualism’. 8th September is declared international literacy day by UNESCO on 26 October 1966 at the 14th session of UNESCO’s general conference. It was first celebrated in 1967.
The theme of multilingualism along with literacy has a great implication for the literacy coaches of the country. For the emergence of globalization and digitalization, cultural diversity is getting its beauty and it’s a need to be addressed now to attain literacy for the multilingual people of the world especially for the rural people of Bangladesh. For migration and many other economic and socio-cultural reasons, the number of multilingual people is increasing. To include these people into policymaking and to achieve sustainable development goals we need to focus more on the multilingual issue of the globe. Bangladesh, being a developing country, needs to voice the issues of multilingualism in a wider vision.
The rate of literacy is 73.9% at present indicating that the country still needs to change many interventions to raise the rate of literacy for its increasing number of diverse people. Though literacy suggests the idea of being able to read and write, this year’s campaign is recommending something more significant. It also focuses on the idea of dealing the critical issues related to multilingualism. In a multilingual country like ours, we are ignoring our tribal languages and their needs.
In a recent survey of UNICEF it is found that the people of the hill tracts are still struggling with multilingual dilemmas as they have to learn their mother tongue as well as the instructional languages i.e. Bengali and English and thus they face challenges to learn a second language to communicate with the other part of the world. It implied deep thought that these people need more trained teachers or teaching modules to solve this problem of multilingual phenomenon that might have a positive effect on the rise of literacy rate in Bangladesh. This also emphasized on the inclusion of education where we are talking about ‘No one who leaves Behind’ following the goal of Sustainable Development targeted by the Bangladesh Government by 2030.
Apart from these in a multilingual setting requires more planning and its application to work for attaining this sustainable development by ensuring more engagement of children in education, more focus on adult literacy specially in achieving English language proficiency, early literacy, reading difficulties and deep reading or critical reading ability. In a survey carried by the International Literacy Association in USA (ILA) the multilingual issue should get the most priority to uncover other resolutions in attaining expected literacy rate for a country. The stakeholders such as the teachers, the policymakers, the educational institutions, the NGOs and after all the Govt. should take more responsibilities to face these challenges. Also, it’s high time to find out a solution to the needs of specific literacy area for our poor children such as the slum dwellers, urban poor and children living in remote places.
The Govt. is more careful about the dropout children who are not getting proper education and so the mid-meal act bill for the children in the primary sector is going to be passed. Ensuring meal could reduce the dropout rate and we believe the rate of literacy would be increasing soon. The literacy coaches should also take some steps to improve this situation. We all know stories and our prime duty is to share our stories to our students to go closer to their lives and thus we will be able to reveal the problems that hinder literacy advancement. We have to keep in mind that diversity is beautiful but this diversity would be a great problem if we fail to literate our diverse group of people who are the contributors to the future needs of Bangladesh.