It has been 35 years since Bangladesh International Tutorial (BIT) began its journey as one of the pioneering English medium schools in Dhaka and it continues to grow strong, educating 1800 young minds not only academically but also in music, dance and theatre. On March 30 and 31, the celebration at BIT was marked by a staging of William Shakespeare's “The Tempest”, performed by the students. Celebrations will continue on April 6 and 7, with students performing the Rabindranath Tagore play, “Chitrangada”.
SHOUT visited the programme on March 30. The BIT auditorium in Uttara, Dhaka was packed with parents, students and teachers, all excited for the show.
The event kicked off with an opening prayer. Then a group of students sang the national anthem which was followed by a welcome speech by the school's Principal, Lubna Choudhury. She spoke about how far they've come as an institution and how grateful they are to Edexcel, The Daily Star, and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Foundation Bangladesh for providing the students with various opportunities and validation of their hard work. The chief guest of the event, Sebastian Pearce, Director of Examinations, British Council, spoke about the potential of Bangladeshi students, given how exemplary their achievements are in O and A Level exams. Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher of The Daily Star, then took the stage to speak of the talents demonstrated by the youth of this country. After his speech, students in colourful and coordinated costumes walked onto the stage to present a dance performance.
Finally, the room went quiet and the curtains were pulled to reveal young students in vibrant costumes performing the first act of “The Tempest”. The audience was fully immersed in the wonderful production, with children performing like trained actors while more students worked in the backstage to move around props and help performers. The lighting and the sound created an atmosphere that helped bring the play to life. At the end of the show, the crowd gave a standing ovation to the cast of around 30 students for their fantastic performance and proud parents took pictures while the students stood together in solidarity, having executed the show as a team of talented young individuals.
We had a chance to speak with the Principal and founder of the school, Lubna Choudhury, who expressed her joy at how much the school has been able to accomplish in 35 years and how this event was a perfect way to celebrate the achievements. “We had students make their own costumes, the props for the play, and we even had three actors playing the same character, so we really did have an elaborate production,” she said.
We also spoke to Sebastian Pearce who told us how Bangladesh is full of bright youngsters who can flourish with the right kind of guidance and it's reflected in O and A Level exams where Bangladeshi students get world's highest scores almost every year.