Apr 24, 2014, 3:20 am (BST)
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Light of education yet to reach greater Mymensingh ethnic women
DHAKA, Feb 24 (BSS)-Female members of ethnic minority communities in greater Mymensingh region are lagging far behind in education when the country is achieving a higher a rate of literacy.

The situation on the ground reflects that the universal maxim-'Education is the backbone of a nation'- has no bearing on the backward communities.

The light of education is yet to reach the communities- Koach, Garo, Hajong, Barmon and Banai. Most of the women of these communities have no access to formal education.

Of them, members of the Koach community are living in Jhenaigati, Nalitabari and Sribordi upazilas of Sherpur district, Sakhipur upazila of Tangail district and Sadar upazila of Gazipur district.

Along with the Koach, the Garo community is living in Mymensingh, Sherpur, Tangail, Netrokona and Sunamganj districts.

According to findings of a research by a non-government organization, the Garo community has the highest literacy rate of 90 percent, but higher education among them is very low. Dropouts from schools or colleges are common among the Garo children as their parents are indifferent to education.

For example, around 1,500 children were enrolled in 20
schools run by Catholic Mission at Pirgaccha in Madhupur upazila
at the beginning of the last year. But only half of them took
part in the final examination.

People of the Dalu community live in Haluaghat of Mymensingh
and Nalitabari of Sherpur district. It has a paltry population of
about 1500. Of them, only three have passed the HSC examination,
five SSC examination and 35 are studying in class eight. There is
no female learner among them. Economic inability coupled with
family pressures prevent the female members of the community
going to schools.

Like the Dalu community, the Banai also consists of small
members. There are about 70 Banai families in greater Mymensingh.
The female members of this community are also far away from the
light of education.

The people of the Barmon community are living in Shakhipur,
Gazipur Sadar, Sripur, Kaliakoir Gazipur district and Bhaluka
upazila of Mymensingh district. Condition of the women of this
community also the same.

According to a research, in the Barmon community has a
literacy rate of 26 per cent. Of literate Barmon, 12.1 per cent
can only write their names, 23 per cent passed class five, 1.1
per cent passed bachelor degree and 4 per cent passed masters
degree. Of them, the number of women is very low.

In Kaliakoir upazila, only three ethnic women have achieved
the maters degree among 11 while four graduation degree out of
the total 22 graduates.

There are many reasons behind illiteracy among the women of
the ethnic communities in the greater Mymensingh.

The research reveals that a girl has to do family chores
with her mother from her childhood. She has to look after her
younger brothers and sisters. They have to do all domestic works.
The teenaged ethnic girls have to earn livelihoods for their
families. They have to help their fathers in cultivation. Early
marriage is another major reason for the lower rate of education
among the ethnic women.

The present government is working sincerely for the
expansion of education among the ethnic communities. But the
problem of illiteracy among the women still exists.
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