Monthly Archives: February 2013

Shaheed Minar : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Shaheed Minar has become alive
Thousands proceed to place flowers
Love and respect thrive
For the valiant language martyrs
Leaders and ordinary people
Have joined the stream together
Sad song spreads as ripple
Solemn processions move with prayer

The killers shot bullets to stop voice
They could not think its reaction
The young activists had no choice
They fought bravely to honor passion

Speaking in mother language is a human right
The brave Bengali boys began the fight

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) 2013 Celebration by UNESCO on 21 February 2013

UNESCO is launching the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) celebration 2013 on 21 February 2013 with an event at its Paris Headquarters on the theme of the Day: “Mother tongues and books – including digital books and textbooks”. Experts in languages will highlight the contribution of mother tongues to the promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity, and the development of intercultural education through , for example, digital archives of the world languages.

UNESCO will participate in a round table at the University of Evry (France), where the findings of a study, “What languages do students from the University of Evry speak?”, will be presented. University professors, students and linguists will address issues concerning languages and education. UNESCO will present its position on mother tongue instruction in a bilingual or multilingual education approach.

IMLD 2013 is linked to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). UNESCO is organizing a session on cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content at WSIS on 26 February. The objective is to increase access to local educational content and related knowledge and information through the use of local languages in digital textbooks.

I am presenting the main features of the celebration of the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) from the website of UNESCO(

which may be accessed at the following link:

Books for mother tongue education

In 1999, UNESCO decided to launch an International Mother Language Day (IMLD) to be observed throughout the world each year on 21 February.

This celebration is designed to promote linguistic diversity and multilingual education, to highlight greater awareness of the importance of mother tongue education.

Multilingualism is a source of strength and opportunity for humanity. It embodies our cultural diversity and encourages the exchange of views, the renewal of ideas and the broadening of our capacity to imagine.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General

Linguistic and cultural diversity represent universal values that strengthen the unity and cohesion of societies. That is why UNESCO’s Director-General, in launching IMLD 2013, will reinforce the importance of this core message and specifically highlight this year’s theme of access to books and digital media in local languages.

UNESCO’s Member States worldwide are key actors in the promotion of mother tongues through their national institutions and associations. The media, schools, universities and cultural associations play an active part in promoting the IMLD goals.

Using the slogan “Books for Mother tongue education”, IMLD 2013 aims to remind key stakeholders in education that in order to to support mother tongue education, it is essential to support the production of books in local languages.

The importance of written materials in mother tongues

Mother tongue education in its broader sense refers to the use of mother tongues in the home environment and in schools. Language acquisition and mother tongue literacy should ideally be supported by written resources such as – but not limited to – books, primers and textbooks, to support oral activities. Written materials in mother tongues reinforce learners’ literacy acquisition and build strong foundations for learning.

Today, a great number of languages lack a written form, yet progress has been made in developing orthography. Local and international linguists, educationalists, teachers work together with for example Indigenous peoples in Latin America, or tribes in Asia to develop orthography. The use of computers to produce books and the relatively low cost of digital printing are promising ways to produce cheaper written materials to enable wider access

Mother tongue education

UNESCO advocates for mother tongue instruction in a bilingual or multilingual education approach in the early years because of its importance in creating a strong foundation for learning: the use mother tongue with young children at home or in pre-school prepares them for the smooth acquisition of literacy in their mother tongue and eventually, the acquisition of the second (perhaps national) language at a later stage in their schooling.

UNESCO defines bilingual and multilingual education as “ the use of two or more languages as mediums of instruction. The Organization adopted the term ‘multilingual education’ in 1999 to refer to the use of at least three languages in education: the mother tongue; a regional or national language and an international language.

The importance of mother tongue instruction in the early years of schooling is emphasized in the findings of studies, research and reports such as the annual UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report.


Programme on  the International Mother Language Day (IMLD)

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris France

Opening (10 a.m.) – Room IV

Question and answer session (11.30 a.m. )
Musical performance by Baul Singers from Bangladesh
Refreshments (1 p.m.)

Poster 2013


    Download the Posters (PDF)

    EN | FR





Slogan : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin


Repetitive memorable

Expression of purpose

Inspires people in  rhythm


Ambassador : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Valentine’s   day  comes

Ambassador charms florists

Flowers emit love

[The poem was written to mark the visit of US Ambassador,Dan W.Mozena to Godkhali,the  flower growing village of Bangladesh to inspire flower farmers on 11 February,2013.]

Change Agents: A Story by Dr.Syed Md.Zainul Abedin

The world is set to change.There are many change agents around us.They have various names.Think tanks,reformers,philanthropists,intellectuals,philosophers,writers,politicians and  numerous other names are there to introduce the change agents.

The change agents have special ways to approach their clients or target audience.They are good psychologists.They screw into the hearts of their audience like magic.Nothing stops them to reach their goal.

I went to a place last evening to see a gathering of thousands of people.They gathered there to get justice.Unfortunately they were deceived year after year.Their minimum right was not granted.They were seriously frustrated and the outburst of their agony compelled them to gather on the square of the road.They felt that,justice delayed meant justice denied.They chanted slogans ,displayed banners,posters,festoons and lit candles in favor of their demands.They also performed dramas,sang songs and presented dances reflecting their demands and aspirations.


The gathering stopped the traffic and it grew like flood drawing people from all parts of the city.It was really a passionate gathering.The faces of the people showed unlimited agony and anger.They were very aggrieved for being  denied justice.

My eyes were focused on the lofty stage built for addressing the audience and performing various events.I saw a number of individuals there.One anchor was introducing the speakers and the persons known as change agents took the microphone and spoke to the public in the audience.He made exceptional gestures.The audience hummed and raised their eyes.It appeared that the audience was charmed by his wonderful words.Their eyes beamed with hopes.Their dreams would be fulfilled soon.They were really hypnotized.I was also hypnotized by the magical words.I also hoped that his speech would engender something precious.

The climax appeared.The man made a unique gesture and declared that his latest ghost story book would give instant solutions to their demands.The myth of the justice was impregnated in the masterpiece.Everybody must dig into the content to get their dreams fulfilled.

Most of the audience remained hypnotized.Only few raised their brows.The orator stopped his historical speech.The anchor announced that a beautiful  female dancer would perform next.The audience welcomed her with warm applause.

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[The story has also been posted here:]