Society | The Daily Star
  • Every Child Alive: A pledge to all newborns

    As a foreigner, I was inspired to read the works of a few great poets of Bengal by the festivities of Bangladesh. For a while, these lines were playing in my mind. Once again, I realised every child's birth is special, be it for the parents or anyone in the family.

  • Some thoughts on university grading systems

    Grading is an integral part of a student's life. Grades or marks are the primary means of evaluating a student's academic performance.

  • For crying out loud

    We all know that noise pollution is part of living in a metropolitan city.

  • Easing the plight of women commuters

    The draft of the Road Transport Act 2017 received Cabinet approval last week. Due to a High Court order, it has been drafted in the light of the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983, but with major changes.

  • Why liberal arts education matters

    In the Vatican, there is a fresco by Raphael called “The School of Athens.” It depicts an imaginary congregation of many of the great Greek polymaths, philosophers, painters, sculptors, poets, and scientists—the very shapers of modern western civilisation.

  • Banning child marriage in light of religion

    The Child Marriage Restraint Act 2017 which allowed girls under 18 and boys under 21 to be married off under “special circumstances” was undoubtedly the country's most controversial law of 2017.

  • Questions not asked

    The two-day Bangladesh Development Forum hosted by the Economic Relations Division on January 17-18 was an occasion to

  • When does creative content break the law?

    A short film released this month caused quite a stir on social media. The short titled “Boishommo” (Discrimination) shows a young man, the protagonist, hanging out in the park with his friends, when he spots a woman smoking in public.

  • For a level playing field

    It would not be an exaggeration to say that the cost of attending a public university in Bangladesh is quite low compared to that of a private university.

  • #MeToo exists because of unequal power between men and women

    Question: How do you know that a social campaign is working?

  • Symptoms of a troubled future

    The pass rate of Junior Secondary Certificate and Junior Dakhil Certificate examinations hit an all-time low in 2017 at 83.65 percent, a 9.41 percent dip from 2016.

  • When saying “No” to a man is a death sentence

    Stalking wasn't considered a crime until fairly recently. The High Court declared stalking of girls and women illegal, and directed the government to consider the offence as sexual harassment in 2011.

  • A damaged child becomes a broken adult

    Seemingly, it's hard for some school “teachers” to imagine or appreciate that children have rights. Too often when the topic of human rights is raised, it's interpreted to refer exclusively to adults; and children only become entitled to these rights when they become adults.

  • The spectre of online sexual harassment

    Yeanur Rahman came to Dhaka with big dreams. She studied hard, aced her final exams maintaining a good GPA and got admitted into a public university in the capital. Things were going exactly as she had envisioned. Better yet, the freshman thought she had fallen in love with someone in her very first year.

  • A message of peace and harmony

    This year, while Christmas celebrations take place as usual, there is an opportunity for the people of Bangladesh, especially the Christian community here, to look at Christmas from a different perspective following the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Bangladesh.

  • Woes of the working woman

    A few days ago, I was required to do some secondary research on the conditions of female workers in the readymade garments (RMG) sector in Bangladesh. While most of the study findings were nothing out of the ordinary, there was one outcome that struck me and has since been lingering on my mind.

  • Reclaiming public spaces for women

    The front page of The Daily Star published a photo that could be a poster for any women's empowerment campaign. In the picture, 15-year-old Ontora, calls passengers to board a Mirpur-bound BRTC bus, her face a perfect picture of strength and resilience.

  • Question paper leaks: A symptom of a worse disease

    It's that time of the year again, the season traditionally known for weddings and pitthas. But seasons undergo changes, and the winter can barely live up to its name anymore.

  • Exploring the potential of children with disabilities

    The predecessor of the SDGs was the MDGs, one of which was increasing equitable access to education. Bangladesh claimed to have achieved 100 percent primary education by the end of 2015 whereas it completely left out disabled children.

  • Middle-income Bangladesh has to be a healthy Bangladesh

    Economic progress is meaningless if the people are not healthy enough to enjoy the progress. As Bangladesh pursues its dream of becoming a middle-income country, this dream must also be one of a Healthy Bangladesh.

  • Why not one ministry for school education?

    There is sometimes a jostling about which of the two ministers of education should represent Bangladesh in any international forum for education, such as a Unesco meeting or a UN System consultation in relation to the SDGs.

  • An insidious silence

    When I was an undergraduate student, I remember reading about a campaign in Libya by a grassroots organisation, Voice of Libyan Women. They were, at the time, running a campaign against domestic violence.

  • BCL School Committee: Leave the kids alone

    Just when we thought we've seen enough of Bangladesh Chhatra League, an organisation that has been the subject of one shocking headline after another over the last eight years, the student wing of the ruling Awami League has found a way to send us into collective shock again.

  • Of funny bones and wrongly wired heads

    It was my cousin's wedding. The perfect setting for disastrous meetings between the Aunty gang and poor, hapless unmarried lasses. Cue Grandmother Z, who I've hardly met four times in my lifetime, with her “Bushra, how are you?

  • Making our roads safer

    The World Health Organization's (WHO) data shows that 1.25 million people are killed and as many as 50 million people are injured in road crashes every year.

  • From right to information to right to data

    In late 1840s, London was hit by a vicious cholera epidemic. Health officials struggled to curb the spread until Dr John Snow painstakingly collected data on the location and history of each case and traced the source to specific water supplies in the city.

  • Is innovation in education oversold?

    Innovation and technology are seen as the solutions to the educational deprivation of millions of children in the developing world.

  • Teacher politics: Plaguing our public universities

    One of my teachers at college would often say, “Even if you take a walk through a (public) university campus, you will learn many things about life.”

  • Is our education sector ready for the future challenges?

    Despite the fact that Bangladesh made considerable progress in gross-enrolment in primary education for both genders, the country is seriously lagging behind in ensuring quality education for all. Because data for many of the targets related to Goal 4 are not available, we have studied a few available indicators which are consistent with the goal 4.

  • Shrinking Spaces

    November has arrived. I have been looking forward to November since I came back mid this year. It is the month when rays of light fall differently on your face, sound travels differently, sunshine thins, and the mist thickens.