Four representatives from HEI VERDEN, Norway have completed their documentary on education project in Sylhet. It should be mentioned that Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) is implementing education project with support from HEI VERDEN since January, 2015. Under this project ECDO is operating Education Support Centre (ESC) and Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) activities respectively in Sylhet and Moulvibazar district. HEI VERDEN has developed a documentary on the activities of this project to share about the education process and environment of Bangladesh to Norwegian children. In this documentary they covered three types of education system in Bangladesh. One is the middle class education system (non government Kindergarten school), the second is semi government school and the last one is fully nongovernmental school of a tea garden run by NGO.
To accomplish this documentary they have visited Sylhet Khaanchi Bari International School and College, Raja Girish Chandra (GC) High school, Sylhet and Education Support Centre (ESC) run by ECDO with support from HEI VERDEN at Lakkatoorah tea estate in Sylhet. In the visit team there were Ms. Ingrid Vikse, Executive Director of HEI VERDEN, Mr. Ivar Munthe, project advisor, Ms. Hanne Siri, Director Film development and Mr. Magnus Strand, camera person. During this visit they took interview with concern teachers, guardians, member of school and college management committee, local tea garden authority and others. HEI VERDEN team members thanked to the following authorities The Sylhet Khahanchibari International School and College, Raja G C High School and Lakkatoorah tea estate for giving their valuable time and efforts to accomplish the documentary. The visit was finished on second March 2018 following by signing a project renewal agreement between ECDO and HEI VERDEN in ECDO office, sylhet. It should be mentioned that the documentary was done under the project of ‘Promoting Education and Mother Tongue of Indigenous Children (PEMTIC) supported by HEI VERDEN, Norway. The main purpose of the project is to ensuring primary education for the poor and marginalized (The Patro, Khasi, Tea labor community) indigenous children and promoting Manipuri language & scripts in Bangladesh.
Ethnic Community Development Organization (ECDO) organized the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples-2017 in Sylhet jointly with the Social Work department of Shajalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and The Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on 9th August 2017. ’10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ was the theme of the event.
On the occasion of the day celebration a colorful rally was arranged with the participation of local indigenous peoples, university teachers, students, human rights activists in the university campus. Then a discussion session was held at Seminar hall of Social work department. And the discussion session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Faisal Ahmmed, Head of Social work department. Professor and Dean of Social Science faculty Dr. Abdul Ghani was present as chief guest. Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director of ECDO, Advocate Irfanuzzaman Chowdhury, President, Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC) TIB, Sylhet were present as special guests.
1 June 2017 is the last day for Non-Governmental Organizations to apply for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in order to have an opportunity to take part in UN deliberations. ECOSOC consultative status is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status, procedures for the withdrawal or suspension of consultative status, the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, and the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat in supporting the consultative relationship. Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is composed by Member States.
Applications for consultative status for 2018:
NGOs interested in applying for ECOSOC consultative status should submit their application and required documents before 1 June 2017. The following link provides background information, some of the benefits and the instructions how to apply: http://csonet.org/index.php?page=view&nr=377&type=230&menu=14
ECDO organized the International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples-2016 in Sylhet jointly with the Committee of Concern Citizen (CCC), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Bangladesh on 9 August 2016. At the beginning of the event a rally was arranged in the city and after that rally a discussion session was held in front of the Central Shaheed Minar, Sylhet. The discussion session was chaired by Mr. Aziz Ahmed Selim, vice president, CCC, Sylhet. Mr. Lakshmikanta Singh, Executive Director, ECDO delivered welcome speech at the beginning of the discussion session and Ms. Nongpoklai Sinha, Project Coordinator of ECDO made concept note paper presentation on the theme of the event. Advocate Irfanuzzaman Chowdhury, President of CCC, Sylhet, Advocate Emad Ullah Shahidul Islam, ex-president, Sylhet disctrict bar association and CCC member, Sylhet, Advocate Mohit Lal Dhar, President, Human Rights Defenders Forum, Mr. Anil Kishan Singha, cultural activist, S. Rina Devi, Indigenous women leader, Mr. Samendra Singha, member, HRD, Mr. Enayet Hasan Manik, CCC member, Mr. Komal Khisha Saha, Area Manager TIB, Sylhet, Mr. Milon Oraon, member of Human Rights Defender forum delivered their speeches. In the discussion session indigenous peoples and civil society members claimed to the government to establish right to education in mother tongue for indigenous children as per national education policy. They also demand to full fill all other rights of indigenous peoples on the aspect of national and international law. They urged to the government to establish a separate plain land indigenous peoples land commission and a separate ministry of plain land indigenous peoples to address the existing problems of plain land indigenous peoples as well as CHT indigenous peoples. At the end of the session the chair Mr. Aziz Ahmed Selim thanks to all participants including civil society members and media personnel for making the event successful with their valuable presence. All local and national print and electronic media was coverage the event very well.
Mr. Ivar Munthe, project advisor and Ms. Eva Nasheim board member of HEI VERDEN, Norway visited ECDO project area from 12-14 February 2016. They visited Alaibahar, Doldoli Education Support Centre (ESC) in Sylhet and Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) at Kamalgonj, Moulvibazar. It should be mentioned that ECDO is implementing ‘Promoting Education and Mother Tongue of Indigenous Children’ project with support from HEI VERDEN, Norway. Under this project ECDO is providing education support to the Khasi, Patro, Manipuri and tea labor indigenous primary students.
To ensure primary education for indigenous children ECDO is taking various measures under this project. Education Support Centre (ESC) and Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) activities become very popular among the local indigenous community within very short time. At ESC Patro, Khasi and tea-labor indigenous children are getting the opportunity to learn their school lesson from their own mother tongue speaking teacher; early in the morning before starting their mainstream school. The specialty of this ESC is that indigenous children learn their lessons through bi-lingual process in this centre. At first every lesson is uttered in Bengali and later the indigenous teacher make it understand to the ESC students through their own indigenous language. In this process indigenous children learn their lesson very easily which is written in Bengali.
On the other hand at Manipuri Language Centre (MLC) Manipuri children are learning to read and write the Manipuri language through their own script. In these centres Manipuri children are learning English and Mathematics also along with Manipuri language. As a result now both ESC and MLC students are doing very good performance at their mainstream school. ECDO provides all necessary education materials like; school bags, school uniforms, umbrella, note books, pen etc. Overall the main aims and objectives of the project are as follows;
- Ensuring quality primary education for indigenous children.
- Develop language skills for young Manipuri generation, whilst preserving and promoting Manipuri culture.
- Integrating bilingual teaching-learning processes into mainstream primary education,
- Reducing the drop-out rate and increasing overall performance of indigenous children at primary school, and
- Develop year wise three different Manipuri Text Book for using in the Manipuri Language Centre as Text Book.
During the visit of HEI VERDEN representatives they have visited the above project area. They were also present school uniform distribution program at Alaibahar and Doldoli Education Support Centre (ESC) during their visit and interact with the local community and local government representatives. They were very much delighted to see the success of the education activities under this project.