BCL now moves to have school units
12:00 AM, November 23, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:08 AM, November 23, 2017

BCL now moves to have school units

Asks its organisational chapters to form committees at secondary schools

Apparently not content with being confined to public universities and colleges, Bangladesh Chhatra League now moves to form committees at schools.

The pro-Awami League student body has asked all its organisational units to set up committees at secondary schools in their respective areas.

The main objective behind the move is to spread the ideologies of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman among the students and strengthen the organisation further, a number of BCL leaders told this newspaper yesterday.

The decision, made at an emergency meeting of the BCL central executive body on Tuesday, comes amid incidents of violence and intra-organisation conflicts among student groups at different universities and colleges.

Such incidents have resulted in at least 125 deaths in the last eight years, according to media reports.

The victims include 71 BCL leaders and activists, of whom 60 were killed in internal feuds and 11 in clashes with rival organisations. The rest were general people, including children.

According to rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), two persons were killed and 156 others injured in 20 incidents of BCL infighting from January to September this year.

Contacted, BCL President Saifur Rahman Sohag claimed the decision had been made quite a long ago, and that many schools and madrasas already have BCL committees.

"But we gave this instruction anew," he told The Daily Star yesterday.

Asked whether such move could cause violence at schools, Sohag said, "It is because of Chhatra League that universities have healthy student politics, and classes and exams are held properly."

The formation of the BCL committees would help establish a healthy environment at schools, he added.

However, educationists are sceptical about the BCL move.

"We need to think whether it is logical to impose student politics on secondary-level students who are burdened with studies and examinations," said child education expert Rasheda K Choudhury.

There are school parliaments to help flourish leadership qualities in school students, she said.

"I don't understand why the issue of student politics is being dragged here. I don't think there is any necessity for this," noted Rasheda, former primary education adviser to a caretaker government.

Rasheda, also executive director of Campaign for Popular Education, said student politics has now lost its glory. In the past, students used to lead all democratic movements.

"Student politics no longer creates hope. What ideologies they [BCL men] would preach among school students," she said.

Some guardians too expressed displeasure at the move.

"On television, we often see bloodshed and violence involving student groups at universities. We don't want it to happen at schools," said the father of two school students in Mohammadpur.

"Academic activities will be hampered due to student politics," he added, seeking anonymity.

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