Improving English skills to help keep pace with globalisation | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, August 04, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, August 04, 2009

Daily Star-Aktel EIS Project Kicks off in Ctg

Improving English skills to help keep pace with globalisation

Speakers tell orientation meeting


(From left) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and State Minister for Forest and Environment Hasan Mahmud speak at an orientation meeting of 'English in Schools' project, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and AKTEL, at the Chittagong centre of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh yesterday. Sitting from right are Chittagong University Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Alauddin, AKTEL CEO Jefry Ahmad Tambi and Editor and Publisher of The Daily Star Mahfuz Anam. Photo: STAR

To materialise the dream of a digital Bangladesh, it is essential to develop English language skills which can help keep pace with globalisation and information technology, speakers at an orientation meeting of 'English in Schools (EIS)' project said yesterday.
The orientation meeting for schoolteachers also marked the inauguration of the project, a joint initiative of The Daily Star and AKTEL, in Chittagong zone.
Learning English, which is not only a language but also a technology, can open up a new horizon for the students. But it is a big problem for them to learn the language properly due to complicated teaching method, said the speakers.
Against this backdrop, the EIS project aims to make learning English meaningful, enjoyable and accessible to all, they observed.
As many as 266 teachers from 133 schools in Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Khagrachhari, Bandarban, Rangamati, Noakhali and Feni districts took part in the orientation session at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB), Chittagong centre.
State Minister for Forest and Environment Dr Hasan Mahmud attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest while Chittagong City Corporation Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and Chittagong University Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Alauddin as specials guests.
Editor and Publisher of The Daily Star Mahfuz Anam and AKTEL Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Jefry Ahmad Tambi also spoke.
The EIS project that aims at enhancing English language skills of the secondary school students across the country has already started in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Comilla, Rajshahi, Barisal, Jessore and Rangpur.
With the commencement of activities in Chittagong, a total of 923 schools came under the project.
Addressing the ceremony, State Minister Hasan Mahmud said it is imperative to develop English language skills to keep pace with globalisation and information technology.
"We should give priority to activities helping the younger generation learn English, who will be the future leaders of the country," he said.
He thanked The Daily Star for taking such a unique initiative to prepare students as worthy citizens.
Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury called on the students not to hesitate to speak English even though they might make mistakes initially.
"Start reading and speaking English to overcome the fear of English," he said.
He also called on the teachers to extend cooperation to EIS project and help students learn English in a constructive way so that they do not get discouraged.
Prof Mohammad Alauddin said, "We must learn English to know about globalisation and the global village."
Schoolteachers can play an important role in helping students build a strong foundation of English and contribute a lot to building a knowledge-based society, he added.
Jafri Ahmed Tambi said English literacy rate in Bangladesh is only one percent as against the literacy rate of 48 percent.
"We want to create a platform to help students develop English skills and prepare our future generations for technology-based globalisation," he added.
Mahfuz Anam said, "We have to enhance our English language skills to help the country become a partner in globalisation and help build a digital Bangladesh."
"English would be a great tool for us to explore the international arena," he said, adding that the EIS project aims to make learning English meaningful, enjoyable and accessible to all.
"Through improving English skills, we can emerge as skilled workforce and attract foreign investment, since English language is the medium of globalisation," he said.
Monowara Begum, deputy director of the Department of Secondary and Higher Education in Chittagong Zone, called on the teachers to follow the method of teaching English in a easier and simplified way under the EIS project and make the initiative a success.
The organisers said that EIS will cover 1000 schools across the country initially. To develop the habit of reading and comprehension skills, each school under EIS programme will be provided with three copies of The Daily Star five days a week free of cost.
There will be a weekly full-page containing English learning materials, which the students and teachers can use in and outside the classrooms.
Besides, students would find newer education materials in attractive articles, cartoons and captions of interesting pictures. News reports on historic events would create interest among the students and encourage them to develop the habit of reading.
The organisers also urged the teachers to arrange inter-school competition every three months, inter-district competition every six months and national level competition annually.

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