An interview with ROSS HALL,
Director of International, Edexcel
Feeda & Sarah
* Please say a few words regarding the 35-year celebration in Bangladesh?
Ross Hall (RH): Yes certainly. EDEXCEL is the world's largest qualification bodies, the board that controls the O and A levels all over the world, we are particularly celebrating 35 years of our qualification that is taken here in Bangladesh. And it will be a great celebration as you may assume. 35 years is a pretty long time, and we can say that we are proud that our qualifications are being taken here for 35 years in this country.
* Is there any other board that deals with the same thing as you do in Edexcel?
RH: Nobody does it to the extent we do and there are a number of boards that operate. Moreover we have a significant market share in Bangladesh.
* How will you differentiate Edexcel with other Boards?
RH: Probably for two reasons we are different from other Boards. Firstly, there is a unique mixture of academic qualification and vocational qualification that gear towards farther educational study as well as employment. Nobody has that mix of qualifications. The second unique thing is that the British Government and Qualification Curriculum Authority that is called QCA exclusively approve us.
* What are the plans for 35 years celebration here?
RH: Well, we have a big event coming up and it is very special for me being new in the post. It would be a review of chapters in the presence of all, particularly the academic presence, and I must say this is growing steadily here as the people are realizing the necessity of the qualifications, which is very beneficial and educational. But for me it's a big new thing in the presence of vocational qualifications which is increasingly recognized around the world being very valuable for employment. What I particularly do now is use this event mark as the beginning of a new era when we start working with industry and government here in Bangladesh.
* How will you evaluate your success and contribution so far in the field of education?
RH: We have different measures of success, the success in terms of pure achievements or grades pupil are getting here, and how many pupil are taking this sort of qualifications and really more than that I think, we need to start looking at the measurements how successfully pupil are achieving their own personal goals. That is almost a kind of qualitative measure that we need to take to ensure that the pupil can fit themselves to the work they want and the flip side of that is our employers are getting the people they want. We are making a bridge among the students, learners and the employers.
* How do you view today's global youth?
RH: It's an interesting query. I can say that today's young people are in a bit of pressure in educational perspective, social perspective and in employment perspective. In the society the young people are taking more responsibility and they are accepting that, which is always encouraging.
* There is a complaint that A & O Level curriculums lack national culture and heritage and the students become alien to our local culture, as they study European History instead of their own. What is your comment about it?
RH: I think there are two perspectives. According to the qualifications-perspective, I think I can be quite hopeful that we can reinstate Bangladeshi studies in O level so that can actually ensure study of local culture. But personally I think this is the role of the educational intuitions and parents and families and other bodies. Lot of these cultural aspects I think perhaps shouldn't be examined and shouldn't result in qualifications but students should learn to highlight their culture on their own.
* Some of our students are studying in Bangla medium and they hardly learn English before the intermediate level similarly, students in the English medium hardly study Bangla as a subject - do you have any comment on that?
RH: First of all I am very careful about not-wanting to cure local languages working throughout the world. And it's important to preserve local languages. But the reality is in international business English is important. And I am very happy to support programs with the Bangladeshi National Curriculum to complement the existence and I am very supportive to that.