• Monday, March 02, 2015


Labiba Mustabina

A series of 'Student Leadership Development' workshops organised by Bangladesh Center for Communications Program (BCCP) concluded at East West University on June 19 and at North South University on June 21. Like each of the workshops in the series had a designated topic for the sessions, the 6th and final workshop had a theme of 'Contemporary Social issues'. The topics for the previous workshops were: 'Youth Role in Civic and Community Development', 'Interfaith Dialogue', 'Public Speaking and Debate', 'International Relation' and 'Social Media and Career Building'.
The final workshop on 'Contemporary Social Issues' comprised of two sessions. The first session was conducted by Poroma Kanya, Program Officer of women's rights and gender equity at ActionAid. The session emphasised on decision-making through consensus. The facilitator invited the participants to consider a scenario where they had to make a decision by consensus. A highly engaging session followed which successfully highlighted the barriers of reaching a consensus. The speaker also applied a 'Balcony vs. Dance Floor' method by incorporating observers among participants, suggesting that a leader is only successful when s/he can make the transition between an observer and a decision-maker.
The second session was facilitated by renowned psychologist Dr. Mehtab Khanam. Dr. Mehtab discussed with the participants about the contemporary issues they have to face and the resulting emotions and behaviour associated with them. She also encouraged the participants to channel their anger or frustrations positively and to deal optimistically with situations, if not fix them. At the end of the sessions for the final workshop, a certificate distribution and ending ceremony commenced.
The ending ceremony for East West University took place at the career counseling center of the campus which was attended by the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Ahmed Shafi; Advisor of Student Affairs, East West University, Naheed Hasan Khan; and Director and CEO of BCCP, Mohammad Shahjahan. Following a feedback session, the participants individually received certificates from the Vice Chancellor. Impressed by the enthusiasm of the students, the Vice Chancellor said, “Workshops like these are highly encouraged and required for our youth to bring out the leaders in them. However, it is very important to remain humble and respect others' opinions all the while being a strong leader.” When asked which workshop was the most interesting, Ishrat Jahan of ECE department explained, “Each of these workshops has gifted us with a separate set of knowledge. While the public speaking session taught us how to be presentable, interfaith dialogue taught us that we should be respectful when it comes to religion, be it ours or others'.”
North South University's ending ceremony took place at the recreation centre of the campus. The program was attended by the Vice Chancellor of North South University, Professor Amin U. Sarkar, and Chairman and Professor of Department of Public Health, Dr. G.U. Ahsan. After presenting each of the participants individually with certificates, VC of NSU remarked, “I congratulate the participants for they've learned the importance of tolerance and diversity, confidence and organisation -- all of which are leadership qualities.”
On approaching the BCCP team responsible for the successful workshop series, Asisstant Director (Program) Meher Afroze said, “It was a real challenge keeping the sessions educative yet interesting for the students; we are glad we were successful in doing so.” BCCP Program Officer Tanvir Ahmed explained, “Our goal was to bring about a perfect blend of experienced and relatable facilitators so that the students could use the workshops as stepping stones to bring about self-improvement.” Ishita Sharmin Rayhan, also a BCCP Program Officer, said, “Our success lies in the fact that we've seen visible positive change in the participants, who now are determined to become future leaders.”


Published: 12:00 am Thursday, July 03, 2014

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