Dhaka (February 26, 2019): A group of experts, educators, and communicators are urging institutions in the region to develop local Ocean literacy campaign as they seek more opinion on a newly published guide on Bay of Bengal Literacy. They spoke at a consultation meeting jointly hosted by VOICE and EJN in Dhaka on Sunday.
‘This guidebook presents the very first instructions to build local frameworks for Ocean Literacy in the littoral countries; Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand,’ said Md Kutub Uddin, the facilitator of the project at VOICE that lead the newly unveiled ‘Bay of Bengal Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts’. Experts affiliated with Bay of Bengal Stewardship and academicians from Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University have contributed to the drafting of the guide.
‘We can use the guidebook as a practical resource to create contents on Bay of Bengal literacy by educators, journalists, and policymakers throughout formal and informal learning environments including schools, colleges, madrasahs, libraries, museums, aquariums, parks, and science and knowledge centers,’ said Mr. Kutub to Samakal. ‘As one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the Bay of Bengal’s large marine ecosystem region, Bangladesh needs to build an Ocean literate citizenry.’
Moderated by the Secretary-General of Riverine People, Sheikh Rokon, the consultation meeting was attended by academia, NGO practitioners, government officials, citizen journalists, and public educators.
Speaking at the consultation meeting as the chief guest, Dr. Atiur Rahman, Chairperson, Unnayan Shamannay said, we need to build the capacity of formal and non-formal educational institutions, mass media, and civil society to promote Ocean literacy. This former governor of Bangladesh’s central bank thinks state institutions should assist non-state actors to conduct a national Ocean literacy campaign.
Director General of the Department of Environment, Dr. Sultan Ahmed was the special guest at the meeting. Dr. Sultan said as an active delta, the wellbeing of people of Bangladesh is dependent on the Bay of Bengal, so understanding about this relationship should be promoted in every opportunity we have.
The meeting was addressed by the Chairman and Professor of Fisheries Biology and Genetics Department at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Dr. Kazi Ahsan Habib, Policy director of OXFAM Bangladesh SM Monjur Rashid, Bangladesh Manager of Trans-boundary Rivers of South Asia Enamul Mazid Khan Siddique, Director of Riverine People Ireen Sultana, Coordinator of Haor Anchalbashi Zakia Shishir, Chairman of Nongor Suman Shams among others.
The first version of the Bay of Bengal literacy document was available on this website, and now open for general comment and expert inputs. National workshops will be organized in the coming months to publish a new and improved version of this guide.
Are you an educator, communicator, or an expert? Please tell us how we can improve the principles and concepts (available on this website in English and Bangla), and how you can participate.