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No Shaheed Minar in almost 1,800 schools in Comilla
23 February 2015, Nirapad news: Majority of the primary schools in the district of Comilla have no Shaheed Minar on their premises for the students to pay tribute at for the 1952 Language Movement martyrs.
Of the 1,967 primary schools, only 218 have a permanent Shaheed Minar. The rest of the schools usually erect a makeshift one or go to a nearby Shaheed Minar.
According to the 16 upazila primary education officers, there are 108 primary schools in Comilla Sadar with 32,000 students and 30 Shaheed Minars.
In Sadar (south) there are 152 schools, 40 thousand students and 10 Shaheed Minars. Laksam upazila has 78 schools with 35 thousand students and seven Shaheed Minars.
Debidwar upazila has a total of 183 schools, 50 thousand students and 20 Shaheed Minars. Daudkandi has 148 schools, 35 thousand students and five Shaheed Minars. Chouddogram has 175 schools, 38 thousand students, and 10 Shaheed Minars.
In Brahmanpara, there are 106 schools, 30 thousand students and 10 Shaheed Minars. Borura has 151 schools, 45 thousand students and 13 Shaheed Minar. Burichang upazila has 45 schools, 55 thousand students and 12 Shaheed Minars.
Chandina upazila has 132 schools, 36 thousand students and 25 Shaheed Minars. There are 87 schools, 30 thousand students and 12 Shaheed Minars. The number of schools in Nangolkot is 150, students 45 thousand and Shaheed Minar 15.
Meghna upazila has 59 schools, 14 thousand students and no Shaheed Minar. In Manoharganj, there are 102 schools, 22 thousand students and 15 Shaheed Minars. Titas upazila has 90 schools, 22 thousand students and 20 Shaheed Minars.
Expressing his frustration, Language Movement veteran Advocate Ahmed said: “Comilla has heroes such as Dhirendranath Dutt and Rafiqul Islam who have a glorious history of contributing to the Language Movement. It is unfortunate that such a high number of schools in this district has no Shaheed Minar.”
Abdullah-al-Mamun, primary education officer of Chandina upazila, said they had been constructing Shaheed Minars in schools by engaging local people and politicians.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Manoharganj said: “Of 147 schools, at least 135 schools have no Shaheed Minar here. We have been encouraging local affluent people to build Shaheed Minar in those schools.”
When contacted, District Primary Education Officer Bilkis Ara Begum said there was no separate fund allocation for building Shaheed Minar. “Hence many schools do not have a Shaheed Minar. Usually, we build them from the budget kept for school buildings. The school managing committee also takes initiatives at times.”