Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bodo education at the crossroads -- BTC BELT

Nov. 1: Shortage of teachers, creaking infrastructure and delayed publication and distribution of textbooks — Bodo-medium schools may have long become used to these problems, but the apex literary organisation of the community is not ready to take it lying down.

The president of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Brajendra Kumar Brahma, said earlier this week that a government in which the Bodoland People’s Progressive Front was a partner ought not to have ignored the needs of Bodo-medium schools and students.

“Students of vernacular schools are losing out not only on amenities but also qualitative education. In some schools, the posts left vacant by teachers who retired several years ago have yet to be filled,” Brahma said.

The sahitya sabha — acknowledged as the bulwark of Bodo literature — was founded on November 16, 1952, at Basugaon in Kokrajhar. The Bodo language was introduced as a medium of instruction at the primary level in 1963 and then at the secondary level five years later. A post-graduate course in Bodo language and literature was introduced at Gauhati University in 1996.

The sahitya sabha and the All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) have long been urging the government to lift the ban on the appointment of new teachers and provincialisation of Bodo-medium venture schools .

“The ban on appointments has stunted the growth of the language as well as Bodo-medium schools,” a member of the sahitya sabha said.

He said there was still no provincialised middle and high school in Golaghat with Bodo as the medium of instruction. “Even in Guwahati, there is no provincialised Bodo-medium school and the venture schools are either in a bad shape or dying a slow death.”

Brahma said the sahitya sabha and Absu had been working together for the development of Bodo-medium schools. The sahitya sabha has also been backing Absu’s Quality Mission, an education campaign.


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