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8 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 March, 2018 11:18:06 PM
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Education for a changing world: Bangladesh and the UK perspective

Education is no longer just about learning the facts in this fast-paced and ever-changing world
Sarah Habib
Education for a changing world: Bangladesh and the UK perspective

Education is a powerful tool. However, education is no longer just about learning the facts in this fast-paced and ever-changing world. There is growing consensus that school systems need to develop in young people skills of the 21st century or, in other words, Deep Learning skills to help them reach their full potential.

British Council recognises the needs of instilling this skill set among the youth and has been running the Connecting Classrooms Programme in Bangladesh since 2009. Co-funded by the Department for International Development, Connecting Classrooms Programme has been building capacity of teachers from secondary level across Bangladesh to support them in integrating a range of core skills into the curriculum.

Connecting Classroom programme developed a professional partnership with international teachers from overseas schools to exchange learning. Together they did joint projects on interesting topics like engineering activities, environment, physical education etc. They used online platforms to engage the students of Bangladesh and the UK in collaborative projects. It created a space for learning and sharing for Bangladeshi and the UK teachers.

Recently, the British Council also invited the UK teachers to an interactive round-table discussion event on Education for a Changing World. This event brought together more than 100 teachers, policy makers and education experts. The discussion focused on adequately preparing all students with the essential 21st century knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in life, career and citizenship. Md. Sohorab Hossain, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present as chief guest.

Among the panel of visiting teachers, Paul Smith is a secondary-school geography teacher in Bromley, London. Paul is also a director of teaching and learning within the school and is passionate about creating environments where teachers share and talk about learning.

At the discussion he mentions some of the challenges he identified in his visit: “90% of the students in our partner schools were orphans. Technology had recently arrived in our partner school via a charity, 10 laptop computers and networking equipment, we were reminded that what we take for granted in the UK is not typical all over the world.”

Another panelist among the Bangladeshi partner schools was Lutfunnisa Khanom, English teacher at Jamal Khan Kusum Kumari Girls’ High School, Chittagong is also a District Ambassador of ICT for Education. At the discussion, she described her online projects of collaboration, using Skype, with other Connecting Classroom teachers across the world to match, compare and upgrade the curriculum. She ensures that, given the proper IT support, the ambitious venture of education reform can be undertaken if the partnership activities continues and there is an active exchange of teaching and learning between the international and Bangladeshi schools.

Other speakers at the discussion included prominent members of the Ministry of Education, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh: Chowdhury Mufad Ahmed, Additional Secretary; Professor Dr Abdul Maleque, Director (Training), Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education; Rayhana Taslim Deputy Project Director, TQI II, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education and Asad-Uz-Zaman, Policy Specialist, a2i, Prime Minister's Office. They were also joined in conversation by esteemed education specialists Dr Sharmin Huq, Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka, Professor Arifa Rahman, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, Rezauzzaman Bhuiya, Principal, Agrani School and College and Sayed Ishtiaque Reza, Director, News Ekattor Media Limited.

The active participation of audience was helpful to the discussion in rethinking the fundamental principles of our approaches to education and learning: the context of changes and transformations caused by new technologies, globalisation, labour market shifts, and workplace composition. The discussions also encouraged the contribution to providing a more coherent framework for understanding education in the current context of complexity, change, and uncertainty.

The British Council, with the support of Ministry of Education, is determined to contribute in improving the standard of education in Bangladesh. This round table discussion created a platform which will bring together policy makers, experts on system-wide education quality reforms, schools leaders and teachers to generate ideas on how the education system of Bangladesh can be made responsive to the changing demands, and the best ways to equip children and youth for the future.

The writer is Communications officer

of British Council

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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