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4 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Winter Activities

Sheikh Iraj
Winter Activities

Generally, in our country we usually experience winter from November to mid-February. During the cooler weather, people, particularly students, take part in many diverse activities. Schools, colleges and universities organise study tours, annual picnics and other exciting activities. Different student groups prepare for cultural shows, sports competitions, and winter pie festivals. This week, Y&I spoke with some students, parents and teachers about their plans for picnics and activities this winter.

Bangladesh Scouts arrange many activities throughout the year, but during winter, the number of events increases. M Golam Mostafa, Director, Social Welfare and Health, Bangladesh Scouts, said: “From December 26 to 31, we coordinated ‘Rover Moot’ for college and university Rover Scouts. It was held at Bahadurpur in Gazipur. It was a weeklong camp and the Rovers took part in various activities, such as cooking their own meals, setting up their own tents, exercising and participating in social welfare activities. Rovers are college and university students, school students above class 7 are Scouts and students from class 3 to 6 are Camporees. Right now, division based seminars and camps are being arranged, and that will continue until March. We do not organise any picnics, but the camps we run _ I can say those give the youths a thrilling experience.”

Animesh Samundh, vice-principal of Bangladesh International School & College, said: “Recently, we put together our annual inter-school game festival, every year during winter we make arrangements for that. Eleven schools participated in the competition. We generally do not arrange any picnics for the students, but we do organise a number of study tours throughout the year. For teachers, we recently arranged a picnic and 135 teachers participated.”  

Srawshy Debnath, a grade-11 student at Monipur High School and College, said: “Every year, our college organises annual sports and cultural competitions. Boys take part in athletics and gymnastics, like 100-metre race, high jump and rope skipping, etc. Girls take part in indoor games and cultural programmes. One outdoor game, however, is quite popular among the female students, it is called ‘running with the needle and thread’. Our teachers are planning to organise the next annual sports and cultural function in the middle of January.”

AKM Jahangir Hossain, an assistant teacher at Motijheel Ideal School and College, said: “We arrange an annual picnic every year. Last year, we went to Nahar Garden Picnic Spot (in Manikganj), with about 600 students and 100 teachers. We took some cooks and food items with us. We had our breakfast there. Then we let the students have fun. They played cricket and volleyball. The idea behind arranging such a picnic is to allow our students to get close to nature. For example, the picnic spot had a pond and boats, some of our students got the chance to ride on the boats, something they cannot usually do in the city. Teachers and students assisted the cooks and served lunch to all. Each student paid Taka 800 for the trip. Of course, it’s not possible to arrange such a trip with only that amount, so the school authorities contributed the rest of the money. We are looking forward to the upcoming intra-school sports tournament, which normally takes place in the last week of January. Other than that, our students regularly go on study tours to places like the National Museum, National Zoo, etc. Sometimes, different institution like the Liberation War Museum, invite us. This year, we are yet to receive any such invitation; if we do, we will gladly accept.”

Dolphin Kindergarten School in Mirpur has 720 pupils. Shakil Faifhal, a teacher of the school, said: “We used to organise annual picnics, but we don’t do that anymore. Right now, our annual sports day is one of our popular events and we normally organise it in February. It can easily be compared to our annual picnic. It’s a daylong event and students, parents and teachers get to participate in different kinds of fun activities. It is the most exciting event we have for our students during winter. Besides our school, teachers and students from other schools, like Mirpur Laboratory High School, Doel Kindergarten School and Methodist English Medium School, come to our event.”

Anwar Habib, communication officer of Daffodil International University, a private university with a campus in Savar, said: “Most departments of our university go on separate picnics throughout the year. During winter, we celebrate our foundation day on January 27. Prior to that, we organise weeklong activities, for example, we arrange cricket, football, volleyball and chess tournaments.”

Abdullah Al Mamun, a student of business administration at the university, added: “Winter is the perfect time for a number of extracurricular activities. Our cultural club organises different programmes, like traditional dance, singing and poetry recitation competitions. On our foundation day, the winners of those cultural competitions perform for everyone. We also organise a pitha (rice pies) festival and set up around 20 stalls. Since we do not have any formal picnics or outings from our department in winter, we try to make the best of our foundation day. Of course, we organise all this at our permanent campus in Savar.”

Zarin Tasnim, 25, who is studying BBA at BRAC University, said: “Every year, our university has an annual picnic. This year we are going to do it in January, but we are yet to decide on the date. Nearly 5,000 to 6,000 students and faculty members take part in the day-long picnic. A picnic doesn’t necessarily mean just cooking and eating food, there are a lot of other activities that we can do. For example, we organise cricket and football matches and cultural functions. Our Arts Society Club arranges a winter pie festival and a tribal dance show. Other than that, we go on an annual study tour.”

United International University informed Y&I: “Throughout the year we participate in a number of extracurricular activities. As to picnics, different clubs and departments go on their own. Recently, we arranged an intra-university sports competition. Our students took part in both indoor and outdoor games. We are looking forward to the upcoming up Inter-University Sports Competition, we are not sure about the date, but our students are already preparing themselves. At that event, cricket and badminton are the most popular sports.”

Notre Dame College is well known for its extracurricular activities. “Notre Dame Nature Study Club is planning to organise a photo work. The club has been highlighting nature with photography for years. This winter, we are going to capture the beauty of migratory birds and nature through photographs,” Saffat Ahmed Bhuiyan, president (administration) of the club, said. “Math Mania 2018, which will be organised by Notre Dame Math Club in the middle of January, will have Olympiads and discussions on mathematics. Students from different institutions will be able to exhibit their mathematical talents at the event. In the first week of February, Notre Dame English Club will arrange National English Carnival 2018, which is a great platform for students to showcase their English language skills. Competitions like spelling, recitation, English Olympiad and literature quiz will be held. Students from all over the country will be joining the festival.”

“Notre Dame College organises a picnic for the teachers every year. This year, it will be held in the third week of January. Like every year, the College will organise its annual sports day with various competitions for the students. It is a day of celebration for the students, teachers and other staff members. The students will also get the chance to participate in their favourite games. Badminton, basketball and cricket tournaments will also be organised this winter. The students are excited about these winter activities. They have less pressure to study during this time of the year. So, they can participate in extracurricular activities with ease of mind and have fun. Besides getting a break from their busy schedule, the students are able to improve their skills through these activities,” Bhuiyan added.

Mojar School, a non-profit organisation run by youths, has been working with street children since January 10, 2013. At present, it has over 400 students in five schools at Agargaon, Maniknagar, Shahbagh, Sadarghat and Kamalapur. It is extending its work outside Dhaka, with a children’s village at Bhaluka, Mymensingh that will have a primary school for 350 students and accommodation for 71 students who are have no parents. Last winter, the organisation distributed water-proof jackets to one thousand street children.

Every year, Mojar School arranges various events, like pitha (pie) and fruit festivals and sports day, for the children. The most exciting event for them is ‘Anondo Utshob’, an annual picnic for the students of its schools that takes place at the end of the year with the participation of more than 400 students and around 100 volunteers.  

Taspiya Jannat, a student of class-2 at a Mojar School, said:”We went on a red double-decker bus to a big hall room (at Ladies Club) where we got to meet a lot of new friends. We had lots of fun there. With my friends, Lili, Sharmin, Hossen, Zisan, Rayhan and Rani, we danced to the song, ‘Bangladesh’er Ektarar Shur……’. Many other students from other schools performed on the stage as well. I liked the song, Modhu hoi hoi, sung by a boy from another school. However, Sisimpur (Bangladeshi version of Sesame Street) was the best part of the event. Seeing Halum, Tuktuki, Ikri and Shiku in front of my eyes, I jumped up in joy! I like Halum the most. The food was very tasty, too. I tried everything.”

This year, Mojar School plans to take the children to a large open park where they can play freely. Along with delicious food, performances by children and Sisimpur, a nagordola (wooden ferris wheel), a ‘bioscope’ and fun local games will be arranged to entertain the children.

M Nazrul Islam, a parent, said: “I have two daughters and both of them go to Dhaka Adventist Pre-Seminary School. My eldest is in class 8 and the younger reads in class 3. I drop and pick them up from school. I always want to be there for my children, so I take part in every activity, like the school’s annual picnic and sports day. This year, the picnic is going to take place in February. I like the annual sports competition and the study tours as parents get the chance to participate as well. They arrange fun sports like 100-metre run and musical chair and quiz contests.”

Photos: Courtesy.

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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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