'EIS to help enhance English skills to face global challenges'
Speakers at a programme here yesterday underscored the need for learning good English at the secondary level to face global challenges.
The programme titled 'English in Schools (EIS)', a joint initiative of The Daily Star and AKTEL for enhancing English language skills of the students in secondary schools, was held at a city restaurant.
Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran attended the programme as chief guest while Chairman of Sylhet Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Prof SMA Khaleque was the special guest.
Syed Fahim Munaim, managing editor of The Daily Star, and Jafri Ahmad Tambi, chief executive officer and managing director of AKTEL, and Md Shafiqul Haque, deputy director of secondary education for Sylhet region, were present on the occasion.
Moderated by EIS Consultant Prof Shahin M Kabir of Jahangirnagar University, the programme was participated by about 150 teachers of 77 schools from Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Habiganj and Sunamganj districts.
The speakers said the successful implementation of the unique programme would help much in achieving the nation's goal for 'Digital Bangladesh'.
There is a great need for preparing the teachers and students in a right way to face the challenges of the new age, they said, adding, “Since we lag far behind compared to other neighbouring countries, immediate intervention is a must.”
In his speech the mayor stressed the need for learning good English alongside the mother tongue Bangla.
“We shall have to learn English for strengthening our relations with the advanced world as well as to face the challenges of the changing world successfully,” he added.
“Learning English will help our students and others exploit the benefits of ICT", said the mayor, adding, “To achieve the national goal of Digital Bangladesh we need adequate knowledge of English.”
Lauding the EIS programme he said, “Our students need more guidance and to provide those guidance the SCC will take up a programme in the current fiscal to engage some teachers for enhancing the standard of English of the city students.”
Prof SMA Khaleque said, “Our teachers also need to be trained with modern and effective techniques for teaching English.”
He hoped that the EIS programme would help students overcome their barrier in learning good English.
In his welcome address Syed Fahim Munaim said English language is an important tool to advance the society and the country.
He said the EIS programme is covering over seven lakh students and 30 thousand teachers of 1000 schools across the country.
To encourage their habit of reading English, each of these schools will be provided with three copies of The Daily Star five days a week free of cost under the programme, he said.
Besides, a weekly full-page English learning materials, which both the teachers and the students can use inside and outside the classroom, will be brought out.
He urged the teachers to raise the students' interest in learning English properly.
“We are just providing facilities for the students and teachers to achieve the goal,” he added.
Jafri Ahmad Tambi said there will be enormous challenges in the near future.
“We shall have to prepare ourselves in a proper way and be equipped with sufficient knowledge of English as well as knowledge of ICT for facing the challenges of the new world,” he said.
“Until and unless we achieve much in English and ICT, it would be hard to implement the Vision of 'Digital Bangladesh by 2021', he added.
At the orientation of teachers, Prof Shahin M Kabir highlighted different aspects of the programme and said, “Our teachers need to be better equipped so that they can prepare the students for learning good English.”
“We shall have to go a long way and the teaching materials need to be made easier and communicative, she added.
Prof Shahin said the programme also includes, among other things, organising contests on spelling, vocabulary and book reading
to help develop English language skills of the students.
It was the last zonal event of the countrywide EIS programme that started on June 8 in Dhaka.