"Let’s go back to go forward" : history and practice of schooling in the indigenous communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
AuthorKabir, Mohammed Mahbubul
This research deals with the history of education for the indigenous peoples in Chittagong Hills Tracts (CHT) Bangladesh who, like many places under postcolonial nation states, have no constitutional recognition, nor do their languages have a place in the state education system. Comprising data from literature and empirical study in CHT and underpinned on a conceptual framework on indigenous peoples’ education stages within state system in the global perspective, it analyzes in-depth on how the formal education for the indigenous peoples in CHT was introduced, evolved and came up to the current practices. From a wider angle, it focuses on how education originally intended to ‘civilize’ indigenous peoples subsequently, in post colonial era, with some change, still bears that colonial legacy which is heavily influenced by hegemony of ‘progress’ and ‘modernism’ (anti-traditionalism) and serves to the non-indigenous dominant group interests. Thus the government suggested Bengali-based monolingual education practice which has been ongoing since the beginning of the nation-state for citizens irrespective of ethnic and lingual background, as this research argued, is a silent policy of assimilation for the indigenous peoples. However, after decades of its existence in the region the monolingual paradigm appears to be shaken by the ethno-political struggle locally and endangered language survival movements nationally and internationally. This process is beginning evidenced by the presence of NGO-based schools, which are in a process to off-shooting mother-tongue based schooling for the indigenous children in the territory. By analyzing this historical development related to the forces at global, national and local level, the study is an attempt to define the changes within the conceptual framework and explain how changes have happened and the prospect for future change.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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