11 January 2012, Dhaka. at Channel i office, Dr. Mahbub Hossain, Executive Director- BRAC, Safiqul Islam, Director- Education Programme , Faridur Reza Sagar, Managing Director, Impress Telefilm Ltd and Channel-i have attended the press conference event of Deepshikha, a cultural competition programme by BRAC Primary and Pre-primary school students. On press conference officially BRAC and Channel i declared details about ‘Deepshikha’ and the reason behind starting the competition.
At the beginning of February 2011 the competition was started at root level and it continued . Finally 150 participated were selected from divisional level. Well known celebrity like Shubir Nandi, Ferdous Ara, Laila Hasan, Minu Haque, Shomorjit Roy Chowdhury, Konokchapa Chakma, Jhorna Sarkar and Rabi Sankar Moitri were in the judge panel. Quarter final and grand finale will be broadcasted in Channel i.
Besides regular classroom study BRAC school students are involved in extra-curricular activities like singing, dancing, acting, drawing and reciting. BRAC School teachers help them to learn these with fun. Deepshikha is an initiative by BRAC Education Programme to bring out their hidden talents.
11 January 2012, Dhaka. At the evening from 06.00pm to 09.00pm on January 07, 2012 the amazing and colorful function had get started through tuning the flute with drumbeats as keep hold the heritage of Bengal. Accordingly inaugural session of a few minutes went with different fine tuning activities of Art culture, specified by the starting song “Sob Cota Janala Khule Dao Na .....” and 10 candles lightening with recalling memory / reflections sharing from participants having past or present relation with the works of this section.
Former ED of BRAC and Adviser to the Caretaker Government Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury; Former Adviser to the Caretaker Government and ED of CAMPE Rasheda K. Chowdhury; ED of BRAC, Dr. Mahabub Hossain; Member of Planning Commission, Dr. Samsul Alam; Chairman – PSC, Ex Cabinet Secretary and former Advisor of this section Dr. Saadat Husain; Director, Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) Dr. Nurul Islam; Bureau Chief – Associated Press (AP), Farid Hossain; CEO - Boishakhi TV, Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul; Professor SIT Vermont, USA, Jeff Unsicker; renowned folk singer Mr. Fakir Alamgir; Ex. ProVC BRAC University and Ex. member of BRAC Governing Body Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed; Pro VC – BRAC University Professor Md. Golam Samdani Fakir; Director of the Institute of Governance Studies, Barrister Monjur Hussain and many other renowned persons of society and senior most persons of BRAC line management were present in the function.
Director, Gender Justice & Diversity and Advocacy Sheepa Hafiza delivered her welcome speech mentioning Goal & Objectives of this section, achievements and future plan. In her speech, she commemorates and highly emphasized on the Advocacy program launching speeches by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chair Person, BRAC on December 24, 2002. The function was conjugated with inauguration of Policy Advocacy Course facilitated jointly by – Advocacy for Social Change, BRAC; Institute of Governance Studies, BRAC University and School of International Training (SIT), Vermont USA for both of local and foreign candidates.
With well wish and congratulation from other participant’s of the function, ED of BRAC Dr. Mahabub Hossain said “Continuous research works to find out laps and gaps, necessity estimation are in need to ensure better performance by advocacy activities.”
Finally the occasion went to the more colorful cultural show performed by the performers of BRAC Adolescent Development Program (ADP), Mr. Fakir Alamgir and a local group of artists.
28 December 2011, Dhaka. On 26 December 2011 Primary Terminal Examination results came out. BRAC Primary School students have excelled in achieving a pass rate of 99.83%, with 70% of them receiving, A , A or A- grade. This is marginally higher compared to country's aggregate pass rate of 97.26%. However, BRAC students complete the 5 years primary cycle in 4 years while formal/mainstream primary schools in 5 years.
From BRAC Primary Schools 1,65,234 students attended the exam, 1,65,006 students passed the exam and 4,313 students got GPA-5. This year, a total of 23,16,521 students from all over the country from 87,832 schools registered for the exams, of whom 21,85,747 showed up in the exam halls.
We have special focus on Ethnic children and Children with special needs who can not fit themselves in mainstream primary schools. >From our schools 4,923 children with special needs appeared in the exam and 4,913 students passed the exam (99.80% pass rate). In BRAC Primary schools Children with Special Needs receive corrective surgeries along with devices like wheelchairs, hearing aids, glasses and ramps.
This year 6,488 BRAC Primary schools participated in Primary Terminal Examination, among them 546 BRAC Primary schools were especially for disadvantage background like ethnic minority group. This year 9,777 ethnic children appeared in the exam and 9,735 students passed the exam (99.57% pass rate). In BRAC schools ethnic children receive class lecture and course materials in their own languages up to grade two so that they can overcome language barriers and cultural gaps.
The examinations began on November 23 and ended on November 30. Students of class-V must qualify at the terminal exams to enrol in class-VI. Replacing the division system, this year's results were in grades in conformity with other public exams.
27 December 2011, Dhaka. BRAC Education Programme has been distributing a warm clothes worth around two crore taka. Warm clothes are distributed in 14 districts amongst 1,08,750 students of underprivileged backgrounds.
In the middle of this month multiple individuals in Bangladesh’s northern regions lost their lives due to lack of adequate warm clothing. The temperature recently significantly dropped, leaving many villagers unprepared for the elements, often leading to tragedy. BRAC Education Programme has taken prompt initiative to distribute warms clothes and it has projected cost 18,158,250 taka to give warmth in poorest and coldest areas. Distribution has been started on 17 December 2011 and it will be ended hopefully by first week of January 2012. It has been circulated with the support of local government officials.
The districts include Panchagor, Thakurgoan, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Netrokona, Serpur, Jamalpur, Mymensing, Chuadanga, Meherpur,Sunamgonj, Moulovibazar and Hobigonj.
BRAC is also hosting a “warm clothes drive” in Dhaka, in which individuals can donate old/used clothes. The donation bin is located on the first floor of BRAC Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
15 December 2011, Dhaka. Tune in to ABC this Friday, Dec. 16, at 10 pm (EST) for a "20/20" special with Diane Sawyer featuring BRAC – and Rina, a new mother who lives in a slum in Bangladesh.
Bearing a child should be the happiest day of a woman life – but too often, for reasons that are entirely preventable, it ends in the death of the mother, the child, or both. BRAC has figured out a low-cost yet ingenious solution for reducing pregnancy risk, reaching 24.5 million people in the process. That's the population of the state of Texas.
In “Making Life: A Risky Proposition,” an hour-long report on challenges faced by mothers in developing countries, ABC News travels to the slums of Dhaka, seeing our work in action – including a visit to a BRAC birthing hut to welcome the new arrival of Rina's healthy baby boy. The report is part of ABC News's Million Moms Challenge.
We’re making a real difference, and we believe we can multiply our efforts by spreading the BRAC approach worldwide. So tune into ABC on Friday and help us spread the good news! You can save a woman's life today by giving directly to BRAC's maternal and child health program on Global Giving.
10 December 2011, Dhaka. The 5th annual e-Asia event, Asia’s largest ICT for Development Conference and Exhibition convened in Dhaka from 1st – 3rd December 2011 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The conference focused on e-technology and the progress, prospect and problems faced in Bangladesh with regards to innovative technology in an Asian context. With the slogan ‘Realising Digital Nation’, the event commemorated the launch of Digital Bangladesh 2021, an initiative to increase ICT literacy in the country, provide government services through e-platforms and generate more employment in the service industry for the increasing number of young professionals entering the job market.
As one of the Knowledge Partners for the event, BRAC, in conjunction with BRAC University and BRAC, showcased their innovative developmental products and shared their expansion activities in agriculture, education, human rights, healthcare and disaster management using information and communication technology. Some of these include iCARESS (Integrated Collaboration and Rapid Emergency Support Services), which is designed to address comprehensive collaboration effort across various BRAC programmes, educational materials in conjunction with Computer Aided Learning, the launching of BRAC’s e-Education website and the various products under their Solar project (e.g. flashlights). Also showcased at the BRAC stall was ChondroBot, a mining device constructed by students from BRAC University which facilitated their progress to the second round in NASA’s 2nd Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition earlier this year.
Representing BRAC at the various seminars were Dr. Safiqul Islam, Director, BRAC Education Programme, who chaired the session on Future Classroom: Increasing Learning Achievements; Asif Saleh, Director, Communications who presented on Electronic and mobile payments - Financial Inclusion for the unbanked, with relation to bKash; and Masum Billah, Program Manager PACE, BRAC Education Programme and Mahmuda Yasmin Shaila, a Lecturer at BRAC University, both of whom addressed Localised Content for Digital Learning.
09 December 2010, Dhaka. From One to Many: Scaling Up Health Programs in Low Income Countries, published by The University Press Limited was recently launched. The book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about both the problems and the opportunities involved in effectively scaling up health programs.
The book is a collection of articles submitted to the International Conference on Scaling Up Health Programs, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 2008. This edited volume is comprised of 17 chapters, two of which focus specifically on BRAC's efforts and successes in scaling up maternal health programs as well as the rural tuberculosis program.
In the foreword, Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, Sir Fazle Abed, writes, "the problems of poverty and disease are immense, therefore so should be the scale of the solutions." This edited-volume takes a deep look at many of the health care problems faced by the world's poorest, and provides a framework for understanding the challenges and opportunities within the field.
From One to Many: Scaling Up Health Programs in Low Income Countries has been released in Bangladesh, Germany and Switzerland and was edited by:
07 December 2011, London. Leading Asian restaurants in Surrey proudly handed over multiple cheques last night to Vision Bangladesh - an ambitious charity project eradicating cataract blindness in Bangladesh.
Loyal customers have been donating generously during October and November to help pay for operations in Bangladesh where there are high levels of blindness because of poverty and lack of facilities.
It costs just £20 to pay for one sight saving operation.
Jubair Zaman, owner of the award winning Curry Inn restaurant in Cranleigh (www.curryinn84.co.uk), explained how he raised more than £400 in just over two weeks:
"We signed up for Vision Bangladesh's £1 on the Bill campaign. We found that people were really happy to give £1 or more on to their normal bill. It was a simple way of raising funds for a really important cause. We would like to thank our customers for their generous support."
Other restaurants - such as the Indus Restaurant in Banstead and Star of India in Cheam - also raised significant amounts from collecting small voluntary donations during October and November.
Mr. Malik, Proprietor of “The Star of India” Indian cuisine, hosted the cheque handing ceremony of the £1 on the bill campaign in the Surrey region in collaboration with Mr. Shah Abdul Malik Azad, Regional Representative of Surrey and General Secretary of the Bangladesh Caterers Association (Surrey Region). The group of more than 20 restaurants in Surrey are planning other fundraising events in the Spring to help reach the target of raising £1.5 million for Vision Bangladesh by 2013.
Members of the public can continue to donate online at www.brac.net/visionbangladesh or by a simple text message. Text BRAC20 and the amount you wish to donate (up to £10) to 70070 (e.g. your text could read BRAC20 £10).
To date, BRAC and Sightsavers have completed more than 29,000 successful cataract operations since January 2011 and are ahead of target to eradicate avoidable blindness in Sylhet Division by 2013.
95% of funds raised will go directly to deliver the Vision Bangladesh programme in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh.
05 December 2011, Dhaka. “What we could not explain easily through regular teaching method, e-content helps to do it easily. Students usually memorize formula, now we can explain all formula easily through this interactive content”. These were the words of a Mohiuddin Deyan, Mathematics teacher from Dewyahata A J High School, Mirjapur, Tangail, on the positive impact of the use of interactive videos in his school.
On November 30, 2011, BRAC Education launched e-education.brac.net to make secondary education one step ahead. From this site high school teacher, students in fact anyone can view online or download interactive educational materials which are based on based on the national curriculum. It is an endeavor to make the textbook contents easier, interactive and stimulating. It also ensures conceptual clarity and better application of learning materials and aims to increase the teachers’ understanding of the lessons. On April 3, 2011, BRAC launched two interactive educational CDs for General Science and General Math for high school education in Bangladesh. These were the very first CDs that have been launched by BRAC Education Programme. Initially in e-education.brac.net site General Science (grade 6) and General Mathematic (grade 6) and English (grade 9 & 10) will be available. It will be always upgraded with more interactive contents as per National Curriculum & Textbook Board Bangladesh. These contents have been introduced through various activities, games, cartoons and animation to make the learning joyful and participatory.
It is found that the drop out rate is very high among high school students. On the inauguration event Dr. Shafiqul Islam, Director BRAC Education Programme mentioned that technology has its own attraction which holds students in study. He shared the story that how it was started when BRAC found that the main problem of our education system is decreasing teaching quality.
Dr. M. Kaykobad, Professor Department of Computer Science and Engineering - BUET suggested that BRAC should share this content in education oriented programmes on TV channels.
M Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director of the A2I appreciated the effort of BRAC and mentioned ‘Access to Information’ has interest with work with BRAC to expand technology based education in rural areas. He also mentions government’s initiative to use technology in high schools around the country. Government has a plan to use solar panel where electricity is unavailable.
The online contents were launched at the end of the event by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC. He mentioned that we can bring the change if we are determined to do it.
Dr. Mahbub Hossain- Executive Director of BRAC, Asif Saleh - Director BRAC Communications, a team from A2I , government officials and BRAC staffs were present there.