In the classical era, liberal arts would refer to the skills essential for life of a free person. In a more modern context, liberal arts have evolved into a curriculum that focuses on general knowledge and art forms in order to develop a person intellectually, as opposed to gaining specific professional skills.
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) has its roots deep into liberal arts for undergrad studies, but has also keenly created an opportunity to impart liberal arts knowledge to high-school graduates through the campaign 'Skills For Life'. It was introduced in 2012, and this is the third consecutive year that this campaign is being run. Starting from August 21, the Skills For Life campaign is a free-of-charge summer course designed for students who have recently undertaken their HSC's or A-Levels.
Nasima Khandoker, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, ULAB, has been one of the initiators of this campaign and an integral part of it from the very beginning. She said, “A university should make universal people. Here at ULAB, we do that, so that a person develops all the skills needed to live a proper life.”
When asked why ULAB took the initiative of this special course, Nasima informed that they wanted to provide the opportunity for the young minds to get acquainted with liberal arts, as well as learn some essential skills that they may need in life. She went on to say that this campaign would help the students become better thinkers. “It is nothing like the students have learned previously in school,” she added. In fact, the aim is to make all these young minds unique and well rounded through three categories: Learn & Grow, Create & Express, and Protect & Serve.
Warehouse Inspector Muhammed Mamun, from Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence, has also been with the Skills For Life campaign since the beginning. His Disaster Safety classes have been quite popular among past students of the campaign. He told us that Fire Service and Civil Defence Director General, Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan, and Major Jihadul Islam, Director of the Training and Planning Division of Fire Service and Civil Defence, have both been very supportive of this awareness activity.
“Life is important,” said Mamun. With that notion in mind, the Disaster Management course was planned. “The students of our nation are the future leaders. We want to develop them in such a way that they are capable of making an impact. Pertaining knowledge regarding disaster management to them will mean a larger number of people will get this knowledge through these future leaders, and more lives can thus be saved in times of distress.”
He told us that the course shed light on reasons and prevention of fire, and taught how to use fire extinguisher as well as managing mass movement during a disaster. Moreover, since earthquake cannot be prevented, the course would teach the students on how to take preventive measures for earthquakes and how to efficiently manage it.
“I tried to cover as much as possible while designing this course. What to do during accidents, including first aid, has also been covered,” Mamun added. “We also inform the students under which circumstances the Fire Service and Civil Defence can be contacted for help, and unlike popular belief, it is not only exclusive to fire hazard events.”
Similarly, G Sumdany Don's Presentation & Public Speaking, and Choose Your Career classes are both very popular among students. Moreover Professor Shamsad Mortuza, Advisor, DEH will be conducting classes on Language Skills, Flash Fiction and Graphic Novels, while Pathshala will impart knowledge regarding Photography for the Youth, and Movie-making with Cell Phone.
For more information, contact:
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, House 56, Road 4/A, Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1209, Bangladesh, Mobile: +880 1730087041, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org