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Sadia Jafrin Khan to receive Top 100 Leaders in Education Award

Photo: Md Nazmul Rahaman/ Courtesy of Sadia Jafrin Khan

Sadia Jafrin Khan, founder, Grow your Reader, has been selected for the Top 100 Leaders in Education Award. This prestigious award recognises people all around the world for their significant contributions to the field of education based on their overall reach, industry impact and spirit of innovation, along with future readiness and market demand.

The award is presented by the Education 2.0 Conference, formerly known as the Global Forum for Education and Leadership Conference. By creating a vibrant platform, the organisers provide changemakers from the education industry an opportunity to meet with peers and discuss ways and means to revolutionise how we learn and teach.

Initially, they shortlisted 350 candidates and asked them to submit their nominations, answering a set of questions. After submitting the nominations, they evaluated and selected 100 leaders to receive the award, based on five categories. They also conducted an interview round before announcing the awardee list.

Sadia was a fellow in Teach for Bangladesh, where she used to teach underprivileged children. She founded Grow your Reader with her colleague, Amina Azad and during their first project, they collected old books and started a library at Gawair Nabin Govt School. "I am really passionate about working towards reforming the education sector of Bangladesh. Throughout my life, I have been driven by my firm belief that every child should have access to high-quality education," she shared.

Grow your Reader designed 'Reading Secrets', a curriculum that ensures sustainable development of the society by developing cognitive, social, and emotional skills through proper education. "All the instructions are sequentially placed as this helps develop a child's cognitive side and this model is appropriate for any age level," she explained. The team also conducts several workshops with the teachers and collects data to assess the students' growth.

The platform started online operations during the pandemic. They have more than 100 educational videos on their YouTube channel and initiated an e-library. "We conducted three Facebook live classes, 'School Bondho Bole Shekha Bondho Hobe Keno', on social and emotional learning. We also have a live storytelling class, 'Kolpoglpo', where a puppet character, Vulu, teaches cognitive, social and emotional skills to the children," she explained.

Grow your Reader also provided online training sessions to 250 teachers through a series of 10 workshops. They trained 150 students on digital literacy and recruited around 70 volunteers and social media ambassadors to raise funds, create content, and engage more people on social media. Currently, they have 28 library stations all across Bangladesh with 12000 books and 8500 readers. The organisation recently secured third place in the BYLC Volunteer Awards , under the Organisation category.

Their project, 'Pori, Shuni O Dekhi Icche Moto Shikhi', aims to publish a storybook with audio and video versions, thereby promoting an inclusive approach to learning. Currently, they are posting awareness videos on 'Nirapod Schoole Firi'. 'WoW - Wheels of Wisdom', which features a mobile cart with a compact library in the back. It travels through three underprivileged areas so the children can collect and read these books at home. Furthermore, they have installed 13 street libraries, 'Book Garage', at various locations across Dhaka, Tangail, and Chattogram. 

In the future, Sadia wishes to develop an app on 'Reading Secrets' that would facilitate learning while the data bank can be used by policymakers for designing curriculums. Team Grow your Reader also plans to build an online platform and enhance their online library capacity.

The author is a medical student and a freelance journalist who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging. Email: [email protected]


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