Perspective Education – Dinajpur
Atrai, Punorvaba’s this flood plain has a rich educated historyof around 300 years. In 1752, the architecture of ‘kantaji’ temple or digging of Ram Shagor are glaring examples. The patio, balcony, dance hall and bathing place were built by the ancestor’s of this population, for the maharajas. There isn’t much has been written on the past but saontal who lived on the shaal jungles in the east and south of this city received focus. Their arrow and bow created history not for hunting wild rabbit or big lizard but to defend their rights. This education of self respect and defense while created a legend yet the descendant’s history has not been glowing much. They are far behind the national average. Human development, per head income all remains at a disgraceful status. It is difficult to say, what is the literacy rate, growth rate of this district today.
The oldest private library that pride having 30 thousand titles have no readers, dust and worms settled instead. Under the bleak light only a few comes to read newspapers or to collect old tender advertisements.
The city has one university, one medical college, 4 undergraduate or graduate colleges, one technical school, few research institutes, combined together few thousand students and few hundred teachers and professionals live in this city, yet the free city library has no knowledge seekers, no active members.
What is the total employments in industries and institutions in greater Dinajpur? What are the potential employment sectors that might be created on various opportunities and how the existing institution can provide skills for the sectors?
It’s geography, current capacity level and cultural back ground provides opportunities mainly on agriculture or in few fabricating businesses and emerging poultry, fisheries sectors. HajiDaneshAgricultureUniversity (HDAU), Dinajpur Polytechnic Institute and government and private colleges should provide the skill require for the manpower in these sectors. The industries that promise great opportunities, potentially the single largest foreign investment, one third of energy provider, that currently run with sheer negligence, higher costs and far behind the schedule, because of fraudulent cronies, for local school and college graduates. Engineers or technicians in mining, power processing, tea plantation and processing can greatly be supplied by these institutions. If one thinks prudently, basic training on mining and environmental science should be adopted in the curriculum soon in Dinajpur Polytechnic and tea industry specific curriculum in Haji Danesh.
This statement is on prospective terms, if one looks at practical aspects, the quality of learners is as dilapidated as the rest of the country or worse being in the hinterland. One ought not to loose sight that quality of education and training should be strengthen to suit the present and future demands at earliest.
The library situation tells the attitude of the students. Dearth of motivated and dedicated teachers also a big concern. Like other professions in this country, the knowledge preachers also adopted well with the unscrupulous practices. If one remembers the sober, humble and resourceful chemistry teacher during 70s in the city’s government college, who mostly engaged in his own research, will find the dedication’s definitions. Can’t we have few of them today.
If few effective research taken up by HDAU many localities will rise – small farming or new crops with better yield and crop management, marketing would evolve. Few enthusiast horticulturists can change the scenario of the villages and its markets as initiators, leaders, patriot and son of the soil, to change lives. New type of lemon, orange, pineapple or even sweet grapes can be produced in the western and northern part of greater Dinajpur. Vegetable like spinach, broccoli, lettuce, capsicum, tomatoes, mint, mushrooms as cash crop can be produced for high or export markets. Processing or packaging line of all vegetable or famous fruits of the city also can be set up in small scale. Drying organic fruits like pineapple, papaya, banana, mango, tomato can bring life to small households. A strong marketing chain or network can emerge as green field company.
We do need investment or funding but before that we need motivation and that can come from effective education. A fertile barren small plot just in-front of the premise of HDAU or at a jogging distance at Doshmile, Vushirbandar should attract real learners. In league with the landowner a small plot can sustain a reasonable profit plus the research outcome. For true enthusiast small funding like 20 to 50 thousand taka can change life. With this scale of fund any of the above can find foot hold. Here most demanding factor is market knowledge and marketing of it. Education can motivate a small family to dry tomato, pineapple, mango or papya on solar dryer, to grade vegetable, process mango, lichies or pineapple for value addition. After long 25 years of mechanized rice processing in automatic plants, Dinajpur yet to find a niche for its rice, this also can be attributed to lack of business knowledge. Food basket of the country must get a boost, education should help lead the way.
Unfertile land requires more costly imported fertilizer, crops needs to travel 300 kilometer of dart or carat size pot holed highway to the port, where ships turn around time is 30 to 45 days and the country has 38 thousand gun related killings in 2005, twice the size of US.(Forbes July 05) yet Brazil attracted the world’s 2nd largest soy products producer whose 50% asset based in Brazil.
A graduate from polytechnic can help churn small equipment for cultivation and processing.
Graduates from the colleges can articulate a business performance status or its strategy for growth.
These institutions can be strengthen further in its capacity to deliver in right perspective. Though it requires further funding or few policy changes, but should we await until someone brings them for us?
We may come up with hundreds of reason for nonperformance but there is not a society where everything is provided by the system. One with faithful initiative to help himself and fellow mankind is indomitable at all odds. The ‘votvoti’ inventor, ‘micro-credit’ inventor, one had no formal education and other had no fund, but what is common in them is enthusiasm and vision.
Education, sense of self respect, passion for good life and to fight for their rights, our forefathers had nourished as evidenced in the building of world famous terracotta monument, te-bhaga andolon or saontal bidroho, how do we prove our pride, we should not let go in vein! Today we should stand on that legacy what had different concept and notion of our people. We got to stand as a testimony to those belief and look forward to a future for our children, creating a protective cover, shielding our rights and nourishing our goal for a better life, better place for us to live. Failure of our system, divisions in our society, failure of our politicians, who are attacking each other instead of attacking problems, shouldn’t escalates to bombing, stabbing or agitation out of frustration, that destroys our moral and future of our children. There was and still remain core of decency in our people, there was a set of shared values that extends beyond any race and religion. Every child born here should have a decent shot at life. We should believe in the possibilities of our people; despite misinformation, bitterness, partisan politics the innate instinct of our people would surface if we could talk to them, connect to them, speak objectively and virtuously. This will enable us to close the gap and bring synergy. Economist adorned with the highest laurel on earth(J Stigliz’s Nobel prize) when they emphasis on information and its dissemination for an effective economy. Our college graduates can perform a great deal on this aspect under a given environment.
Things may not improve drastically in isolation, however, city planners or mothers and fathers live in this city can strive to change per their desires and dream. Secondary and Higher Secondary education quality can be monitored by an ‘standard watch’ of parents and business men in this city or district. This can help improve the quality of basic education and help improve on drop out students by providing monetary or counseling services. For higher secondary students, which is crucial for career building, counseling can provide better focus.
Nation has no future with half educated workforce. Dinajpur hold all the prospects for a bustling education and economic hub of the region.
The education institutions in this city or around can be put in the required discipline, people who are struggling to survive can be helped, provided we stand together and motivate ourselves to make a change. We must let our children to dream for best and with our core values.
Mostagousul Haque Mukul