Space For Rent
Thursday, March 17, 2016, Chaitra 3, 1422 BS, Jamadius Sani 7, 1437 Hijri

The universe in children's minds
Published :Thursday, 17 March, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 21

It is appropriate that the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation has in these past many years been observed as national children's day. As we once more recall Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on this day, we need to focus on the many needs of our children across the country. In the recent past, certain commendable policies and actions have been taken by the government towards ensuring the rights and security of children. No government has in the past formulated programmes aimed at promoting children's welfare. We are therefore happy that the present government, in keeping with its liberal outlook, has made it clear that children matter.
And because children matter, it is important for the government to keep a constant tab on the ways in which our children are being taken care of. Of late, reports of children being subjected to such brutalities as kidnapping and murder have dampened our enthusiasm about our collective ability to pursue life in the way modernity expects us to. These incidents must not recur, for the simple truth is that when a society or a state is unable to guarantee security to its children and thereby ensure their future, it is a matter of shame for all of us. So let the state devise the ways and means by which our children will stay safe, everywhere and in every way.
There are quite a few other steps that can be taken to ensure the growth of physically and intellectually healthy children in the country. With a vast majority of the population inhabiting our rural regions, it should be for the government and other relevant agencies to come up with schemes that will have children go through a full and productive education in schools. Since children in the villages usually have school hours ending in the afternoon, it is time for thoughts to be given to a provision of free meals in the form of lunch to them. Obviously, such a step cannot be taken all at once throughout the country, but a beginning can be made through the introduction of pilot schemes on a selective basis and then carrying the programme forward. Our children generally come from poor families, which is why their nourishment by the state assumes great significance.
Bangladesh's children are in need of library services. This is one area where everyone but especially the government, in the form of the education and social welfare ministries, can come in. Programmes, through utilizing the services of the union and upazila parishads, can be taken up to have libraries set up in villages or have local schools, both at the primary and higher levels, set up their own libraries from which children can borrow books and be guided into reading them by their teachers as well as their families. In the urban regions too similar programmes can be initiated in schools. Indeed, a good step forward in this regard will be for schools to set aside library periods for all classes once a week, the goal being for students to spend time reading in the library and thus adding to their knowledge.
The minds of children are like the beginning of the universe. They need energy and light to expand, both of which can be provided by the state and by society. On Bangabandhu's birthday, let that be our focus.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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