We have been observing greater changes in education system, technology, media, fashion, social respect and of course the climate. It is the very modern time where people from all over the world are fighting to reach the top and some of them have actually achieved that, particularly the western world. We, as a developing nation, have so many opportunities and resources to reach that top-line but “how we utilise them” has been becoming the main apprehension of the time-being.
Education system is one of those things that differs us from the West. Practical based learning with very recent update is their main culture whereas for us its “memorisation”. Well, you have to be intelligent enough in order to memorise lines and sentences, which we definitely are, but are they really helping us in the long term when we are in the job field, where broad and integrated knowledge are the basement of all? Our higher education system may be standard enough to meet that requirement but the schooling system where you memorise stories and coaching notes to get higher mark in the exams are really unhealthy and I will blame both teachers and parents for that. Some pupils are passing SSC and HSC exams without actually learning by understanding the contents, which of course are not being updated with the recent information. Also the pattern of difficulty of the contents are not being maintained i.e. the difference of the level of complexity of the subject matter between say class 8 and 9 or even SSC and HSC are massive, and that obviously does not do a little good to the students who may not be as talented. And those coaching notes or note guides are just not letting the students become creative by which they will be able to use their own thoughts and ability and learn things their own way which will help them do well in their higher education (e.g. university) as well as working life.
In the West, they change the education system with time, i.e. as competition arises they change syllabus to balance work pressure, but we have not seen it in our country till today. There are some changes now but I think we are not going to see the effects in next 5 or 10 years.
Technological revolution raised the West to a higher position than before. I must say we also improved in this sector but not as much. Not many cities have that facility yet. Most of it can be seen in the capital which does make sense since majority of the banks, private universities and other government offices are standing upright. But are we utilising it properly, or how can we, if we get load shedding twice an hour? Are we providing internet connection to every household so that our teen generation does not fall behind; or even if we are being provided with this service, how many of us are making a proper use of it? I believe facebook and chat rooms or messengers are more important places, nowadays, for the teens rather than wikipedia which can be used for learning and knowing about not just the educational relevance but also the whole world. I think our mighty government must not only enhance the supply of electricity and internet connection to households, they should put some sort of national security on facebook and chat rooms so that they can track peoples browsing and use of any violent contents immediately as well, just like they do in the West, particularly the United Kingdom.
Social respect has become a serious concern nowadays. We are seeing a degradation of it in the corner of our eyes. Young girls and women are facing eve teasing on the streets by the young lads. They are being followed by bunch of young adults to where they go. Sometimes it gets to an extreme point which can actually turn her life into wastage. Those boys do not even spare them online. Making several facebook profiles using one girl’s photo and putting inappropriate information about her has become a daily issue now. Leakage of mobile numbers and disturbing young girls over phone is a very common gossip amongst the youths. These problems really sadden me and divert my thoughts into a path where I probably would discourage myself or my sister to live in my lovely country. Some of us may think that, social degradation has been becoming an argument due to the West’s perspective (i.e. their movies and internal cultures that do not suit our film industry and us), and I do agree with that to an extent. However, women are treated with high respect and of-course higher than men in the West. Eve teasing is very rare; I would say one out of a hundred faces it. So why is it like this in the West where drugs and alcohol (even though it’s a minority) is a daily cause of concern? Is it not because of the respect they have for each other and also the security (police) that is aware enough to catch the spoiled ones anytime? Well, our police force is also working to prevent the issue but, to be honest, they are not putting enough effort to bring this change, in other words, force is not being utilized in an appropriate way to bear positive outcome.
Well, another reason behind the degradation, in my view, is that these days more young girls and boys smoke tobacco and even weeds, not just behind that curtain (which they used to) but in public, of all ages, as well. I think we are losing out some culture of decency out of the society. And I am calling out to the parents to deal with those.
Fashion is one of those appearances that grab most of the attention of the young people globally. The fashion is a part of that perception you live in and you follow its trends. Each country has its individual culture which may correlate with another culture but the basic remains the same. If we take look at the West, we can see the hip-hops, the rock ‘n rolls, the punk and “emos”, the urban and certainly the elegant fashion. Specific groups exist which stick to specific fashion propensity all the time. We feel proud knowing that we have our own culture and tradition which are really sophisticated and very much relevant with our thoughts and ways of lives. But I do feel sometimes that in a minor group in certain areas, particularly the wealthy parts of Dhaka city, our culture and tradition are getting slightly washed away by a mix of both West and Indian fashions, being drifted by the TV channels, which I regard as an “irrational ideology”, and smartness does not just refer to “how good you look with your fancy clothes on”. I think we have enough within us and along with that we can actually use their ideas and prospectuses to be able to improve ourselves as a nation in terms of education, politics, technologies and other sectors and not just the “fashion” on its own which is sort of fading our own culture away and I do not just mean our clothing but the music we listen to, the words we speak with as well. So basically we should stick to our basics or our next generation may not even know how colourfully and wonderfully cultural we Bangladeshis are. And our media can play a much greater role to it.
I must really appreciate our family bonding, which is barely seen in the West. Well, hardly anyone stays in a family when they turn 18, and since then they do not even bother about seeing their parents ever again who brought them up to give them the best opportunities in life. In my view, being a family member we do not just receive the needs, rather we support our family members financially, mentally and sometimes by sacrificing our own wills. And this is how we Bangladeshi people learn to respect the older people in our society, we learn about the moral issues we must have in ourselves in order to be civilised. Some people do lack from that and an example would be showing minimal respect to the girls and women. But overall, we are better than the West in terms of the family unity and being respectful to the seniors.
However, we do have lack of awareness while walking down the streets. We do not mind dropping those banana skins, cigarettes or even water bottles on the pavements and side roads. It seems as if we do not even care about our lives while crossing those busy roads. Well then how do we love our country, if we do not obey the rules and regulations? They are there for reasons and I believe “patriotism” does not just mean loving your country with few songs or few dramas or fighting for your country, but also it’s the act that you perform in every little part of your country by showing respect to the rules.
Well, how can I not praise my people for what they do during a natural calamity? We do not have much technical facilities (i.e. shortage of equipment) like the West to tackle the situations. So how do we fight those things?
Honestly speaking, our citizens are very much humanitarian and they love helping each other. And that is what leads us to live with patience and happiness even during the time of disasters. I am proud of that.
I would always like to view things from a different angle, things that are “otherwise-ignored” or things we realise that need to be changed but we cannot speak out to take actions. I think it is because we got so much involved with our present system that even if we have faults, we cannot fix it. I believe we should step aside our system for a moment and try realising that we can do much better through a better utilisation process with whatever we have in us. And I may sound antagonistic but I really want to see a change in our country, a change gained from both West, that suits us, and our hidden treasures that would lead us to a greater nation with our next generation being the model citizens of Bangladesh.