Education

Education (35)

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Computer-aided learning (CAL)

The computer-aided learning programme is an endeavour to make the content of textbooks easier, interactive and more stimulating. Research shows that some of the contents, irrespective of the subject, are difficult to comprehend. To assist teachers interact better with students BRAC started the CAL programme in 2004, where computers are used as a medium of teaching. The main task of the programme is to develop interactive education software, based on the national curriculum.
 
The programme began with math and later general science was also included. CAL materials can be used as supplementary tools in teachers’ training –a self-learning tool for teachers and learning facilitation tool for classroom teaching. The material is seen to improve teacher’s teaching skills while simultaneously allowing students to better grasp difficult concepts.
 
The basic objectives of CAL material are:
•    to facilitate transition from the teacher-centred classroom to a more interactive one
•    to make the class more interactive and engaging
•    to ensure conceptual clarity and better application
•    to increase teachers’ understanding of the lessons
•    to create a self-learning provision for both teachers and students
•    to familiarise the students and teachers from rural communities with modern computer technology

Content of mathematics and science and English CDs:
a) Mathematics for classes 6-10
The math CD contains 31 lessons on 22 concepts of math from national textbooks of classes 6-10. These concepts have been introduced through various activities, games, cartoons and animation to make classes joyful and participatory. Students can use the CD at home computer to practice each lesson.
b) Science for class 6
In this CD, concepts of general science have been introduced through various activities, games, cartoons and animation to make learning enjoyable and engaging. Students can use this CD in their home computer to practice each lesson.
 
c) English for class 6-10

The CDs contain additional practice material based on the English for Today books, paper 1

(classes 6-10) developed by NCTB. Besides lively pictures, games and puzzles, the material creates opportunity for listening practice and to enhance correct pronunciation of English words. A separate CD was developed including grammar material for classes 6-8.

 

How BRAC is using it in the high schools in rural areas?

BRAC piloted this programme in seven schools of Mirzapur in Tangail, equipping the schools with computers and multimedia or monitors complete with splitter. Recently, the programme has been expanded to 15 schools in five districts (Comilla, Gazipur, Bogra, Habiganj and Gopalganj) with assistance from ADB’s Teaching Quality Improvement in Secondary Education Project (TQI-SEP).
 
The teachers of CAL schools are given training on computer operation and CAL materials. The teachers then teach their students incorporating CAL and using those materials in the classes. In addition to core training, teachers attend both school-based and BRAC Learning Centre (BLC)-based refresher training/workshop for short duration. The mentors of CAL pilot schools in Mirzapur were also trained on CAL mathematics materials. The objective was to increase students’ participation in the usage of CAL materials. Meetings are also held with the head teachers and school management committee members from time to time to inform and update them about CAL activities.
 
Research shows that the CAL programme is bringing positive changes in schools. Students are more motivated and can learn effectively through CAL materials and the teachers feel more comfortable in managing a class.

Visit computer-aided learning interactive e-education Web portal: e-education.brac.net (in Bengali)

Quick facts:

50 schools supported with computer-aided learning

864 teachers trained in science, math and English

Contact:
Computer-aided learning programme
Post-primary basic and continuing education unit (10th floor)
BRAC Head Office
BRAC Centre
75 Mohakhali
Dhaka 1212

Contact Person: BA Wahid Newton Tel: 88 02 9881265; Ext 3431

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Training and workshops programme

The objective of the training and workshops programme is to improve the quality of education of mainstream secondary schools. Under the programme, head teachers and assistant head teachers of the schools are provided with management training and the subject-based teachers (English, mathematics, science and Bangla) are provided with training to improve teaching-learning processes.

Geography is taught as a part of the subject ‘Bangladesh and global studies’ in class 7 and 8. In this regard, training for geography teachers commenced in January 2013. The objective of this training is to enhance teachers’ capacity to deliver geography lesson effectively.

With an aim to grow interest in agricultural studies, increase applicability of agriculture science, create scope and promote to be entrepreneur, BEP took the initiative to work on agricultural studies in 2014.The main focus is to develop capacity and ensure use of teaching learning aids in classrooms for classes 6 to 8 .A training module is developed after a series of pre-work for need assessment of teachers and students. A total of 28 teachers have received training. The specialty of training is field-based practical demonstration and use of real teaching materials in classrooms. Relevant topics are conducted through practical work. Field trips to botanical garden and Bangladesh Agricultural University are organised for teachers. .

Who can attend these training and workshop programmes?
1.    Secondary school management committee members
2.    Headmasters
3.    Assistant headmasters
4.    Subject teachers (English, mathematics, scienc, Bangla, geography and environment, agriculture, computer, values/mentoring)

 

Quick facts

Type of training

Attendees

Number of people receiving the training

  1. Management training

Headmasters and assistant headmasters

7,805

  1. Subject-based training (English, mathematics, science, Bangla, geography and environment, agriculture, computer, values/mentoring)

Subject teachers

40, 176

  1. School management and administration, and head teacher orientation

Secondary school management committee members

19,737

 

New initiaitves

Math brigade

Math brigade is a new pilot initiative of BRAC Education Programme (BEP) .Many students are seen to develop a phobia towards math. Often this phobia results from inadequate and poor instructions. To address this issue, BEP-PACE’s math team comes up with the idea of developing 9-10 math brigades in grade 6-7 at BRAC secondary and PACE supported schools. The math brigades are chosen from the best math performers in the class by the trained teachers. The respective math teachers share them ideas about different low-cost materials, fun game and puzzle. The math brigades assist teacher in developing these materials and lead them mathematical problem solving, group discussion in the class. Beyond class, the students will receive mini lesson or problem solving support in person and/or in group from their respective math brigades. The math brigades will present different various problems such as algebra, arithmetic, statistics, counting problems, geometry through fun and easy manner. They will use low-cost learning materials, puzzle, game, multiple ways of problem solving and investigative practical works.

Students will be encouraged to interact and articulate what they are thinking and how they are processing as they deal with problems. The initiative is expected to help overcome math phobia among students, stir up interest and improve teaching instructions among teachers. The main objectives of the math brigades are:

 

Objectives

  1. To make mathematics interesting and enjoyable for students
  2. To present mathematical concepts, problems and formula in a simple manner
  3. To increase student interaction in class
  4. To relate mathematics in real life
  5. To encourage students and teachers to understand the mathematical concepts and logic instead of memorising
  6. To make teachers interested towards using mathematic teaching aid
  7. To let students know the techniques and make the learning materials
  8. To acquire mathematical knowledge through fun games, quiz and other activities

 

The activities are:

  • Math corner
  • Activity-based lesson
  • Math week
  • Wall math
  • Drawing competition using mathematical instruments
  • Math drill
  • Math fair

 

Objective of math week

In order to revise the course through various activities math week will be held before half yearly and annual exam.

Drawing competition

  • Students will be skilled at drawing geometrical shapes  
  • Students will find geometry fun

 

Math corner

  • To showcase low-cost/no cost learning material at math corner

 

Wall math

  • To improve creativity of students through math activities
  • Students level of thinking will be exhibited through math
  • Will be able to display formulae, puzzles, games and quiz

 

Dhakil madrasa programme

Madrasa education is a system whereby Islamic branches of knowledge are taught besides the teaching of general branches. These are usually privately-operated schools, which rely on the support of the local community or foreign donors and government, particularly from Islamic or Muslim countries. There are two types of madrasa in Bangladesh - Alia madrasa and Quomi madrasa. In the Alia madrasa setting, subjects like Bengali, mathematics, English, social science and general science are also made compulsory. In 1978, the Madrasa Education Board was formed and the curriculum was revised in 2003. This curriculum is now followed in 20,446 Alia madrasas.

At secondary level, madrasas have Junior Dakhil Certificate and Dakhil Certificate exam which is equivalent to the JSC and SSC exams. In Dakhil exam, the pass rate is better than general high school. In spite of an impressive pass rate, the quality of education at madrasa is still a question. The quality of education currently provided under the madrasa education system does not provide much scope for students to develop as modern human beings. A combination of factors including the conservative attitude of the authorities, low-quality teaching aids, unskilled teachers, fundamentalists and outdated policies, hinder a good teaching and learning environment. The overall employability of madrasa graduates is lower compared to general education graduates.

Realising the existing obstacles, to develop an enabling teaching-learning environment in madrasas, BEP is working in 20 madrasas in Tangail district and plans to extend its support to 750 other madrasas in future. Initially the support includes teacher training and management training. For each subject, two teachers are receiving training on the math, English and science for classes 6-10. Two teachers for each subject are trained. They are responsible for the overall development of the madrasa and provide assistance to peer teachers and teach in the madrasa as needed. Management training is also provided to madrasa supers.

 

Key activity:

Orientation workshop: A three-day workshop was arranged for the chairpersons and vice-chairpersons, super and assistant super of the selected madrasa, to orient them on their roles and responsibilities prior to the initiation of quality improvement activities in newly selected madrasas.

 

Management training: To enhance academic leadership, madrasa super from each madrasa is provided with a five-day management training. The content of the training included issues that are related to the qualitative improvement of education, problems and possibilities of madrasa management, professional development, girls’ participation, classroom teaching, team building , and the development and implementation of Madrasa Action plan.

 

Teacher training: At every madrasa, six teachers (two from each subject) are receiving subject –based training for math, science and English. Training is provided in two forms: classes 6-8 (module 1, module 2 and refresher) and classes 9-10(module 1, module 2 and refresher).

 

Types of training

Attendees

No of people receiving the training

  1. Management training

Supers and assistant supers

40

  1. Subject-based training (English and math)

Subject teachers

60

  1. Madrasa management and administration, and madrasa super orientation

Dhakil madrasa management committee members

40

     
Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Working with mainstream secondary schools

BEP’s work at the secondary level started in 2001 to improve the school management system and quality of teaching-learning process in the non-government secondary schools and to facilitate students in developing their leadership skills so that they can take charge for their own development. For this purpose, underperforming schools, especially from rural areas are selected.

Through this initiative, BEP is supplementing the government‘s effort in improving the quality of education in secondary schools. BRAC initiated secondary teaching training services in 2001, in collaboration with the government to enhance the capacity of the schools and the teachers. BRAC provides training to school management committees, head teachers/assistant head teachers and teaching staff.

BRAC implements the following four activities to support teachers and students in the formal schooling system:
a) Training and workshops programme
b) Computer-aided learning (CAL) programme
c) Mentoring
d) Chhatrabandhu
e) Medhabikash

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

Education for ethnic children (EEC)


BRAC established the EEC unit in 2001, to adapt its non-formal teaching model to meet the needs of indigenous children, who do not speak Bengali - the standard medium of education in Bangladesh. In EEC schools, teachers explain lessons orally in ethnic language, alongside Bangla, using educational materials based on local culture and heritage. This method helps indigenous children do better in class and increase their participation, while improving their enrolment and retention rates. BEP has introduced a full-fledged multi-lingual education (MLE) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to suit the learning needs of the indigenous communities using their own script as the medium of teaching. The aim is to help these children to bridge the linguistic gap and become proficient in Bangla .Texts and supplementary reading materials have been developed up to class 5 in Chakma language for MLE chakma project. The programme also plans to develop similar materials for other communities. EEC programme is also focusing on children’s co-curricular activities and organising programme on different television channels with the aim to conserve their languages and culture and celebrates special days for indigenous to promote their rights along with culture and heritage.

Quick facts:
1,635 ethnic minority schools
40,175 ethnic minority students

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

Children with special needs (CSN)

The CSN unit was set up in 2003, to integrate children with special needs into BRAC schools, and ensure their participation in mainstream education and society. By 2009, BRAC had provided access to schools (pre-primary and primary) and services to nearly 1,78921 children with mild to moderate degree of disabilities. BRAC is now concentrating on increasing the enrolment of children with disabilities

Classroom policies for special needs children include sitting in front, studying in pairs, inclusion of CSN issues in textbooks and awareness-building among classmates and teachers. BRAC also provides corrective surgeries, along with devices like wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids and glasses; and even builds ramps to make classrooms more accessible to disabled.

In 2007, the unit set up an education stipend to promote their educational rights and make them independent.

In 2008, the unit developed four story books for the adolescent centres to address the issues of adolescents with disabilities.

In 2009, the unit took initiatives to make special needs children independent through participation in national sports, and cultural as well as income-generating activities such as running small grocery stores or raising goats.

To promote responsibility for such children, community leaders’ workshops have been held all over the country. As a result, community people are now more aware of the issues and their role. BRAC has printed textbooks in Braille to support the children who are visually impaired, and has also trained the staff on it. To enhance special needs students’ cultural ability, training of 18 days is organised for them. This training enables these children to perform in cultural programme on national television and other satellite channels of Bangladesh.

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

Inclusive education

Inclusive education brings all students together in one classroom and community, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, and seeks to maximize the potential of all students. BRAC Education Programme (BEP) has been implementing a programme to provide educational opportunities to ethnic minority children who had a long history of exclusion from conventional education system through its education for ethnic children (EEC) unit. children with special needs (CSN) unit enhances access to inclusive pre-primary and primary education for children with special needs who do not get an opportunity to enrol in any other schools, particularly those from very poor families and those living in remote areasa.

a) Children with Special Needs
b) Education for Ethnic Children (EEC)

 

Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

Shishu niketon: Home for children

BRAC recently launched the shishu niketon programme, a new initiative piloting as a cost-sharing model of primary education. This programme seeks to target families whose level of income makes them ineligible for BRAC’s existing non-formal primary schools, yet who are unable to afford private schooling.

 

Objectives of shishu niketon

The overarching goal of shishu niketon is to contribute to broader national goal of education, ie, developing human capital and create opportunities for good quality education to the parents who are willing to pay for their children’s education.

The specific objectives are;

  1. Ensuring holistic development of children and preparing them duly for secondary level studies

  2. Maintaining a high completion rate in due time

  3. Enhancing the participation of the parents in school

  4. Making the programme self-sustainable in every aspects

 

Current status
7,390 Shishu Niketon

209,951 students, among whom 50.24% are girls

7,390 teachers, all of who are women

 

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

Tracking of BRAC graduates (TBG) programme

BRAC started its education programme in 1985, targeting children from poor households. So far, 9.51 million children including Person with Disability (PWD) and ethnic children have finished their primary level education from BRAC schools and have been have been conceded in secondary schools.

Studies directed by BRAC presume that BRAC graduates who are conceded in secondary schools frequently are unable to finish their secondary level because of numerous discriminating circumstances. In Bangladesh secondary education acts as an entrance to higher education and the work force and thus it is vital to complete secondary level of education. From this acknowledgment, BEP began tracking of BRAC Graduates Programme (TBG) at secondary schools in 2011 to guarantee their enrolment at the secondary level, advance consistent participation, decrease dropout rate and so forth with the goal that they support at the secondary level and effectively finish the course. Currently the TBG programme is tracking 500,000 BRAC graduates in secondary schools.

 

Objectives of TBG: The specific objectives of the programme are to:

  • Enrol BRAC graduates in secondary schools and ensure completion Make parents aware about importance of secondary education

  • Increase community involvement in secondary education through ensuring active participation of community (para committee)

  • Reduce child/early marriage

Operational approach of TBG

BRAC supervisory staff ensures children enrolment at the secondary school, promote regular attendance, reduce dropout rate so that they successfully complete the five years secondary schooling. Staff from the branch office visits their respective high schools where graduates are enrolled. They have to carry out a visit once every month. During the high schools visit, the staffs focus on the student’s attendance, if the students bring their learning materials regularly, cleanliness and hygiene in and around the school and so on. Further information regarding all the students is gathered from those students who are present in school on the day of visit. Students who are irregular in school, staffs get in touch with those students and encourage them to attend school on a regular basis. All the schools in a particular area are divided among the staffs in those branch offices.  Alongside school inspection, staffs are anticipated to sit with the head master and the respective class teachers to check on the student’s condition through discussion.

To maintain regular correspondence with the BRAC graduates, the TBG programme has formed para committees and organises regular meetings with the graduates, their parents or guardians. Special meetings are conducted with Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Secondary School Certificate (SSC) candidates to increase their confidence so that they can participate in the examinations.

Furthermore, underprivileged and meritorious BRAC graduates are also provided with financial support. BRAC also maintains contact with secondary school authority and other organisations to manage scholarship and full/partial waiver for BRAC graduates.

Case Story

Zahirul Islam - studying MBBS in Sir Salimullah Medical College

Rozina - studying BBA at a top ranked University in Rajasthan

 

Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

Education support programme (ESP)

In 1991, BRAC launched ESP to enhance the access to quality primary education opportunities for underprivileged children (of 9-12 years) in the most remote areas including char (riverine islands), haor (wetlands), tea garden areas and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. ESP builds partnerships with local NGOs and provides them with technical and financial support to replicate BRAC’s primary school (BPS) model. Thus, ESP supplements the government in achieving the goals of Education for All (EFA) in line with millennium development goals (MDGs) of education in Bangladesh.

ESP considers the formal structure, location, reputation, potential, honesty and commitment of the potential NGOs before engaging with them to operate the programme. ESP also provides consultancy, supervision, monitoring and audit services to its partner NGOs.

The programme covers five-year primary curriculum in four years like BPS. It has introduced multi-strategy language teaching (MsLT) in all its schools which is a method providing student the opportunity to exercise free-hand writing and boost-up their creativity. ESP has also introduced education programmes for ethnic children in CHT and tea gardens by replicating the education for ethnic children model.

Wherever feasible, ESP enrols the children with special needs (CSN) and modifies the infrastructure of the schools accordingly and provides assistive devices and treatments by the CSN unit.

Capacity development of partner NGOs

The heads of partner NGOs are an integral part of the programme; there is no doubt that their active participation and involvement in activities results in successes of the programme. In the light of this comprehension, ESP builds their capacity development focusing on knowledge and skills on monitoring, auditing, non-formal primary education management, pedagogy of primary education, ownership so that they can implement the BPS model effectively. In addition, ESP provides diverse training to programme organisers/officers and the teachers to build their capacity for a successful and smooth operation of the schools.

Achievements

Initially BRAC started ESP with 26 development organisations and 129 schools. To date, ESP has worked with 1,282 partner NGOs. A total of 0.75 million children have graduated from these schools, of which 98.75 per cent children transferred to mainstream schools.

In 2009, ESP first introduced five-year curriculum in four years instead of three years course (class 1-3). The students of the 2009 batch participated in the Primary Education Completion Examination (PECE) of class 5 in 2012 witha pass rate of 99.94 per cent.

 

Current status of ESP

Particulars

Statistics

Partner NGOs

393

ESP schools

1,803

Total students

51,284

Total women-headed NGOs

79

Ethnic minority schools

426

CSN students

5333

Coverage

305 sub-districts in 59 districts all over the country

 

 

 

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

New initiatives

Mobile library for BRAC primary schools

A student needs the right tools in order to bosst critical thinking and become competent BEP recognises that developing the habit of reading from a young age enhances creativity and analytical thinking. It tookthe initiative to promote reading habit among its primary school students through mobile library. Currently, BEP is operating 2,715 mobile libraries. Students and teachers get the chance to go to the library twice a month.

Introduction of interactive digital content in primary education

BRAC signed a MoU with the ICT division of Ministry of Posts, Telecommunication and IT on 28 April 2014. The purpose of this partnership is to develop interactive multimedia content for primary education on mathematics, science and social science based on NCTB primary (class I-V) curriculum.

This will ensure conceptual clarity and better application of lessons for both students and teachers; improve the quality of education by shifting the style from teacher-centred to an interactive and engaging learner-centred classroom environment.

Mini library

In each of BRAC’s primary schools, there are mini libraries which help students to strengthen reading and comprehension skills.

Kumon mathematics at BRAC schools

Kumon is a Japanese math and reading method which is practiced in the Kumon centres. The first Kumon Centre was opened in Osaka, Japan in 1985. As of November 2014, over 4.3 million students have been enrolled under Kumon method in more than 30,000 Kumon Centres in 48 countries around the world. In Bangladesh, Kumon was firstly introduced in BRAC Education Programme by the fund of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The pre-piloting started in three of BRAC Primary Schools (BPS) in November 2014 for math.

Overview

The Kumon method stands on two main pillars: ‘individualised instruction’ and ‘self-learning.’

The key element of the former is ‘study at the just right level’. To develop children’s scholastic ability, the most important thing is to help them derive joy from their studies. The 'just right level of study' is not just the level where a student can easily complete work; it is the level where, at any time with maximum effort, a student can progress on their own without being specifically taught.

Kumon defines the latter as the ability to set goals and solve unfamiliar and challenging tasks independently.

This ability is nurtured through encouraging students to solve materials on their own. As they go about their work independently the desire to learn and the ambition to advance forward are aroused.

Instruction is carried out so that children can experience over and over the sense of accomplishment and boosting of confidence that comes with solving problems by oneself. The accumulation of such experience nurtures in children the ability to independently take on new challenges. Kumon is mainly taught in mathematics.

Skills and knowledge acquisition (style of learning)

Kumon is a self-learning method based on individualised instructions and worksheets. Students start from a point where they can easily obtain, with maximum effort, a perfect score of 100. Studying at their own pace, at a level that is appropriate for their ability enables them to strengthen their foundations for learning as well as develop confidence, as they catch up to their grade level, and eventually even advancing far beyond it.  

Learning materials

The math component consists of a total of 5,520 worksheets divided into 28 levels (pre-school to high school level, and elective courses).

Worksheets have been specifically designed to advance in small steps. This allows students to progress smoothly at their own pace while learning at level most appropriate for them.

Worksheets focus on the development of strong calculation skills, by avoiding all unrelated concepts. This allows students to advance as quickly as possible on their own to high school level mathematics.

Role of teacher

Teachers are referred to as Kumon instructors. Rather than teaching the same content to all students collectively, as practiced in a regular school class setting, a Kumon instructor focuses on each individual. Her role is to ensure that every student is studying at the just right level, taking a number of factors into account. These include closely observing a student's progress. Another significant aspect of their role is to acknowledge a student’s effort and praising and encouraging them to set goals and take on further challenges.

 

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