Category Archives: Education

Record 97pc pass

Primary Terminal Examinations
Record 97pc pass
Over 1 lakh kids get GPA-5

Elated students of Motijheel Ideal School and College that has won third place in this year's primary terminal exams.Photo: STAR

Wasim Bin Habib

Primary education appears to have got a significant boost. This year, 97.26 percent examinees passed the primary education terminal tests, hitting a record high since the introduction of the examination in 2009.

The pass rate rose by 4.92 percentage points from last year’s 92.34 percent. It was 88.84 percent in 2009.

The results published yesterday show a total of 21,25,869 students — 9,75,529 boys and 11,50,340 girls — passing the examination. The number of students who failed the tests came down to 59,879 from 1,48,680 of last year.

The pass rate of ebtedayee (primary level of madrasa education) examinations is 91.28 percent.

Competitiveness of students, their awareness of issues related to exams and studies, better care by guardians and teachers, free textbook distribution, and training programmes for teachers are behind the success, say officials, teachers and educationists.

Awarding certificates to successful students, stipends and increased monitoring and evaluation also contributed to better results, they added.

“Learning from the past, we gave our best to make teachers more active by training them and giving them other facilities,” Shyamol Kanti Ghosh, director general, Directorate of Primary Education, told The Daily Star.

This year, he said, the teacher-student ratio was brought down to 1:46 from 1:56 to provide more attention for each child throughout the learning process.

“The rise in the pass rate indicates teachers are more available in classrooms and they are giving more time to students. The government initiative to reduce the teacher-student ratio has worked,” said Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education.

The pass rate shooting up every year proves that students can do well if they get proper facilities and care, she told The Daily Star.

Rasheda K Choudhury, however, emphasised the need for quality primary education.

This year, a total of 23,16,521 students from 87,832 schools registered for the exams, of whom 21,85,747 showed up in the exam halls.

The examinations began on November 23 and ended on November 30. Students of class-V must qualify at the terminal exams to enrol in class-VI.

Across the country yesterday, jubilant students and parents, who had been suffering from nerves for the last couple of days, brought a festive mood into the atmosphere as soon the results were out.

Replacing the division system, this year’s results were in grades in conformity with other public exams. So the government did not publish any merit list.

A total of 1,05,673 students or 4.97 percent of the total number passed, getting GPA-5, the highest grade point average.

Boys are ahead of girls in terms of success although the number of girls who sat for the exams was higher than boys. The pass percentage of boys and girls this year stands at 97.48 and 97.08, in that order.

Girls, however, outshone the boys in achieving the highest score with some 56,539 girls scoring GPA-5. A total of 49,134 boys got the distinction.

The top 20 schools include 17 from the capital, based on the number of registered students and GPA-5 holders, pass and absent rates. The remaining three — from Comilla, Chittagong and Khulna — secured seventh, 14th and 18th positions.

Monipur High School at Mirpur has emerged as the best in the country while Viqarunnisa Noon School and College and Motijheel Ideal School and College secured second and third positions.

This is for the third time that primary terminal examinations have been held and students were more confident and serious, Farhad Hossain, principal of Monipur High School, told The Daily Star.

Active participation of teachers is also a factor behind such an accomplishment, he observed.

Manju Ara Begum, acting principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, gave credit to the government for distributing new textbooks among students on the very first day of the academic year.

“Students get excited after getting new books on the very first day, and of course, they become enthusiastic and attentive to studies.”

Both students and guardians become encouraged when the children get certificates at the very first stage of their education, she also said.

Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Ameen briefed newsmen yesterday at 3:05pm at his secretariat office about the results, which had been formally handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at 10:00am.

The minister said there were no grace marks for students this year.

Asked about schools with zero pass rates, Ameen said although the number of government schools with no success has dropped, the authorities would look into the matter.

DG Shyamol Kanti of DPE said the majority of the failed students had flunked mathematics but students’ performance in the subject was developing every year. Around 98 percent passed in maths this year, 95 percent last year and 90 percent in 2009.

He also said the students would be provided with their certificates in January and scholarships would be announced by February 15.

Scholarships falling into talent pool and general categories will be equally distributed to male and female students.

The number of schools with cent percent pass rate this year is 68,629 while the number of institutions with zero success came down to 371.

Schools affiliated with Primary Training Institute (PTI) and those run by Brac, a non-government organisation, did well with over 99 percent pass rate while Ananda schools, which are under a government project, ranked the lowest.

As in the previous year, Barisal came out on top among all seven divisions with 99.05 percent success rate while Sylhet was at the bottom taking 90.59 percent. Dhaka bagged third position with over 98 percent pass rate.

Munshiganj got 99.89 percent, leaving 63 other districts behind.

At the upazila level, 32 upazilas saw cent percent pass. Baniachang upazila of Habiganj, however, had the lowest — 71.68 percent.

Checking dropouts in a unique way

Checking dropouts in a unique way
Children’s parks set up in primary schools in Patuakhali
Sohrab Hossain, Patuakhali

Baufal upazila parishad has taken an innovative approach to help bring down dropouts in government primary schools. It is setting up children’s parks in schools and constructing roads to give students easy access to schools.

Encouraged by cent percent pass rate in last year’s class-V terminal examinations in the upazila in Patuakhali, the parishad set up children’s parks in 60 of 122 primary schools there to draw students. Construction of 50 more is underway.

It also paved 25 roads for easy access to schools for students from nearby areas. About 65 more are under construction.

Urmee, a student of class-IV at Madanpura Government Primary School, said she could not attend school in the rainy season last year for bad condition of the road to her school.

But she has not missed any classes this year after the road got repaired.

Atiqur Rahman, headmaster of the school, said most students now come to school in the rainy season but the attendance hovered around 70-75 percent during the same period before the road was repaired.

The children’s park in the school is an additional attraction for students, he added.

Several students were found waiting for their turn to get on a swing at Hosnabad Government Primary School. Many of them come to school early to play on the swings.

Rafiqul Islam, a student of class-IV of Najirpur Government Primary School, said their playground used to go under water in the rainy season. It was developed last year, and now they can use it all year round.

Rezaul Karim, headmaster of Madanpura Government Primary School, said the parishad’s initiative helped increase attendance rate in his school. Now about 93 to 97 percent students attend classes, while it was 80 to 85 percent a year ago.

Sher-E-Gulkhan, headmaster of Nurainpur Government Primary School, said the children’s park of the school has brought a big change. The attendance rate went up to more than 90 percent from below 80 percent.

Upazila Chairman Engineer Mojibur Rahman said they are setting up children’s park on school playgrounds to provide students with leisure facilities on instructions from Patuakhali-2 lawmaker ASM Feroz, also whip of the Jatiya Sangsad.

The parishad is spending about Tk 50,000 on each children park from its own fund. The project started in January 2010 and will end by December next year.

“We have already re-excavated 36 school ponds. Of them, 10 have been brought under fish cultivation with fisheries department’s help. Another 63 will be re-excavated by next year,” said Mojibur, who last year received an award from the prime minister for his role in promoting primary education in his area.

“We will take another programme to grow seasonal vegetables on unutilised school land. The profits from the sale would go to poor and helpless students for buying books and stationery,” he said.

The parishad published a 472-page book Tathya Kanika. It contains names of all educational institutions in the upazila and information on students and teachers.

“We have already distributed the book to all educational institutions in the area. It will help students get in touch with each other. Upazila officials will also be able to communicate with any teachers or institutions by using the information provided in the book,” said Mojibur.

Md Ibrahim, upazila primary education officer, said “We are getting good results from these steps.”

Now most students go to school that has become a more interesting place for them, he added.

Huawei sets IP training centre at BUET

Huawei sets IP training centre at BUET

World’s leading telecom solution provider, Huawei Technologies, has set up an Internet Protocol (IP) training centre at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) yesterday.

The centre was set with a view to create skill and efficient manpower in IP sector by providing high-quality training to the students and IP professionals.

Architect Yeafesh Osman, state minister for Science and Technology, inaugurated the training centre as chief guest. Rashed Khan Menon, MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education Ministry, Professor Dr. SM Nazrul Islam, Vice-Chancellor of BUET, Yang Zhaohui, political counselor, Embassy of China and Wonder Wangdexian, CEO, Huawei Bangladesh, were present.

Digital library at universities soon

Digital library at universities soon

DHAKA, Dec 18 (BSS) – The universities will soon enjoy digital library facilities, University Grants Commission (UGC) sources said today.

The decision was disclosed at a coordination meeting of Digital Library Consortium held at the UGC today with UGC Member Professor Dr M Muhibur Rahman in the chair.

The formation of the consortium is expected to bring qualitative changes with efficient access to wide ranging digital resources and services in the areas of quality enhancement of higher education in Bangladesh.

A digital library is system where collections are stored in digital formats (as opposed to print, microform, or other media) and is accessible through computers. The digital content may be stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks.

A number of international publishers are now offering trial access to their resources for the public and private universities in Bangladesh. During the trial period, the UGC will monitor and evaluate the usage of such resources by the universities.

UGC commissioned an investment study on digital library under Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP). The study has assessed the extent and need for electronic journals, books, peer-reviewed literature and other publications by the teachers and students.

It also reviewed the existing IT infrastructure and connectivity in the universities.

Chinese Yunnan province offers 20 scholarships

Chinese Yunnan province offers 20 scholarships

DHAKA, Dec 5 (BSS) – The Chinese Yunnan provincial government today offered scholarships for 20 Bangladeshi students from next year.

“We will offer 20 scholarships to qualified students at different colleges and universities in Yunnan Province from the next academic session,” Deputy Director General of Education Department of the provenience Yang Gonghe told Education Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser here.

Yang is now leading a 12-member delegation to Bangladesh and called on Education Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury at his office, said an official handout.

The Yunnan government will provide tuition fees, accommodation, food, treatment facilities and transportation to the students, who would be selected for the scholarships, the visiting team leader said.

Yang expressed his keen interest to provide assistance to Bangladesh youths to learn Chinese language.

Appreciating the proposal, the education secretary requested the Chinese delegation to send a concrete proposal regarding on it.

Govt. ensures 99.47 percent school enrolment of children: PM

Govt. ensures 99.47 percent school enrolment of children: PM

SANGSAD BHABAN, Nov 30 (BSS)-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told the House that 99.47 percent children are now going to schools as her government has taken various steps to ensure enrolment in educational institutions.

The Leader of the House made the remark replying to a question from treasury bench member Nasimul Alam Chowdhury during her question-answer session.

The Prime Minister said the present government has set up ‘Ananda Schools’ in 90 underdeveloped and small ethnic minority dominated upazilas at a cost of Tk 684.32 crore that has created scope for education of 0.75 million children of 7-18 age group.

“The government has also taken steps to set up 1,500 primary schools in villages where there are no schools,” she said adding that steps have already been taken to supply computers with Internet connection to 1,109 field-level offices of primary education to achieve the Vision-2021.

She said the government has reconstructed 3,143 primary school buildings and expanded 1,292 more at a cost of Tk 1000 crore. Besides, the government has constructed14,836 additional class rooms, 10 primary schools with student-hostel facilities in remote hill tracts, 375 primary schools cum cyclone shelters and 45 new resource centers, she said.

The government has renovated 93 resource centers, six upazila education offices and six primary training institutes (PTI) at a cost of Tk 1, 293 crore, she added.

The Prime Minister told the Jatiya Sangsad that the government has also set up ICT labs at 49 PTIs and provided four laptops and four multimedia to each of 55 PTIs. Laptops, multimedia and modems were also provided to 503 model government primary schools, she added.

The government has been providing 50,000 non-reflective boards and 5000 digital pianos with the assistance of Boo young, a Korean company, for encouraging cultural activities at primary school level, said the Prime Minister.

Besides, the government has been distributing biscuit among 20 lakh children in 96 upazilas, she said, adding that the number of students enjoying government stipend facilities increased to 78 lakh from 48 lakh.

The government has also distributed 1046,527 school bags and other education accessories, including pencil and books, among 1,66,150 working children of 6,646 schools in urban areas.

Nearly 4000 books to be made e-books every year

Nearly 4000 books to be made e-books every year

DHAKA, Nov 17 (BSS) – Nearly 4000 books of district and divisional level libraries in the country will be made e-books, the electronic version of the books, every year for digitizing the existing cumbersome library management system.

“The e-books to be linked to a central web portal would help creating a knowledge based society ensuring easy access to the readers on it,” National Project Director of UNDP-funded Support to Digital Bangladesh (A2I) Md Nazrul Islam Khan told a daylong workshop held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) today.

Over 150 librarians of different government and non- government run libraries of the country participated in the workshop jointly organised by Support to Digital Bangladesh (A2I) of PMO and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Nazrul Islam Khan, also the Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, said there are around 400 government and non-government libraries at district and divisional levels across the country.

“I am impressed to see that the librarians who are participating in the workshop have extended their full support to make at least 10 electronic versions (e-book) books of their libraries every year,” he added.

Nazrul Islam said the digitization of libraries and e-books will make available all books, journals and other study resources to the doorstep of common people, which will help enhance practice of knowledge.

“The prime objective of Digital Bangladesh is to ensure people’s access to all public services,” he said adding the initiative to launch online library management system would be another step towards the implementation of Digital Bangladesh.

Nazrul Islam said all the universities of the country would be advised to turn the books having no copyrights into electronic form to connect to the digital system.

“The books with copyrights can also be made e-books with permission from proper authorities,” he said.

Cultural Affairs Secretary Suraiya Begum, Director of Directorate of Public Library Md. Nur Hossain Talukder and Prof Dr M Nasiruddin Munshi of Information Science and Library Management Department of Dhaka University, among others, addressed the workshop.

City Editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Ajit Kumar Sarkar and Director General of Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) Dulal Chandra Biswas were present on the occasion.

Nur Hossain said online library management system will create an excellent opportunity for book lovers of any corner in the country to make enlighten people as well as human resources.

All major libraries in the developed world already have gone online, which have played extraordinary role in disseminating knowledge among the people particularly researchers, teachers and students, Prof Nasiruddin said adding, “Now time has come to make our libraries into digitization. Otherwise we will lag behind in building an educated nation,” he added.

An official of Support to Digital Bangladesh said all the books in the public libraries, schools and universities would be made electronic in phases so people can read those from anywhere.

ICT to be compulsory subject in class-VI

ICT to be compulsory subject in class-VI
Major modification in textbook curriculum underway
Wasim Bin Habib

The government is going to introduce a compulsory 50-mark subject on information and communication technology (ICT) for the sixth-graders from the next academic session.

It will be launched as part of a major modification of the national curriculum after long 17 years in line with the National Education Policy, 2010 to accommodate the latest proven concepts, methods and practices.

Changes are being brought about in all 75 textbooks of the secondary level and four of the higher secondary level by 2013, sources at education ministry said.

The ICT subject will gradually be included in the seventh and eighth grades from 2013 to enlighten the students about computer and information technology.

In addition, the students of classes VI, VII and VIII will also get modified Bangla textbook from the next year. Their existing Samajik Biggyan (social science) subject will be renamed Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy with a new textbook.

Education ministry officials believe the modified curriculum will boost creativity among the learners and will help reduce their tendency of memorising lessons as it will have provisions for participatory approach to achieve specific competencies.

They said human qualities, ethical and democratic values, discipline, patriotism, creativity, critical thinking, history and culture will be given priority in the modified course of study.

Educationists, however, suggested carrying out the modification by the experts and taking the children’s capacity into consideration. They also stressed the importance of training the teachers on the new curriculum.

“The job has to be done very carefully, giving the highest priority to children’s capacity,” eminent educationist Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury told The Daily Star.

He, however, warned the authorities concerned not to take a hasty approach to the task.

The education ministry in March formed three expert committees to prepare and modify the curricula of Bangla, ICT and Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy.

On submission of their reports, the national curriculum committee reviewed those and finalised the course of study in consultation with officials concerned.

The ICT subject will give the students a primary idea about computer and its related devices, internet, mobile and their usages, said Dr Suraiya Parvin, convenor of the sub-committee on ICT.

“The subject will introduce the learners to the very foundation of ICT,” she added.

The 50 marks of the ICT subject will be adjusted by reducing marks from the existing 200 marks of two-part Bangla subject.

According to a ministry official, the current Bangla curriculum emphasises only on writing competency. But the modified one has a provision of participatory exercises to help students achieve five competencies — writing, seeing, listening, reading and speaking.

The Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy subject discusses country’s history, heritage, culture, geological and political condition, rights of children, women and old persons, economy, regional and international organisations, and building Digital Bangladesh, he mentioned.

“We have tried to modernise our curriculum to keep pace with the 21st century so that our children can compete in the modern world,” said curriculum adviser Dr Siddiqur Rahman.

If any weakness is detected in the revised curriculum, it will be modified further, maintained Siddiqur, also a professor at Dhaka University.

Prof Mostofa Kamal Uddin, chairman of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), said manuscripts of the three books on ICT, Bangla and Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy have already been completed and the tasks of spell-check and proofreading have been going on.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said the existing curriculum has lost its relevance as no major modification was made after 1995.

“A massive advancement in the fields of education, science and technology has taken place and our students are still studying the old curriculum,” he pointed out, adding his ministry will continue to make modifications.

e-book gets huge response

e-book gets huge response

E-Book, the online version of the school textbooks, launched for the primary and secondary students to give them free access to ICT based education, got a huge response as over one million visitors visited the site in just three months, reports BSS.

Internationally reputed Alexa Internet which provides information about websites including top sites, internet traffic in its latest monitoring report said in last three months – from August to October this year – around 11 lakh one thousand and 946 visitors from different parts of the world visited the E-book website.

“On an average about 50 thousand visitors of Bangladesh go through online versions of text books per month when the ratio of visiting the site is one reader per five minutes,” it added.

In line with the government’s plan to build Digital Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the online versions of the school textbooks on July 24 last aimed at reaching ICT benefits to people’s doorsteps.

The E-Book, which is readable by digital devices like computer, e-book reader, mobile phone, PDA, CD and iPad is being conducted by the ‘Access to Information (A2I) Programme of Prime Minister’s Office.

IT consultant of A2I Programme Manik Mahmud told BSS today that since launching some 106 E-book or digitized compilation of primary and secondary textbooks are available in the site free of cost.

“At the end of this November, a total of 300 books including those of madrasa education (Ebtedaye and Dakhil) will be added to the service,” he added.

Manik said the launching of e-book is a giant leap towards implementation of Digital Bangladesh and the readers will be able to know history of Liberation War, literature, social norms, values and culture in Bangladesh for free.

Chairman of National Curriculum of Text Book (NCTB) Prof Mostafa Kamaluddin told BSS that the present government ensured the supply of all textbooks to school students timely alongside the government introduced website to provide easy access to read textbooks through internet.

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Bangladesh activist gets first Wise award

Bangladesh activist gets first Wise award

The first Wise Prize for Educational Excellence was given yesterday to the founder and chairperson of Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (Brac), Fazle Hasan Abad.

HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani handed over the prize, carrying a cash award of $500,000 and a citation, to Abad at the end of the opening plenary session of Wise 2011.

The full house at the Theatre, the main conference venue of the Qatar National Convention Centre, gave a standing ovation to the prize recipient, who, according to the organisers, has been rendering unparalleled educational and empowerment services in Bangladesh and nine other countries as part of the Brac initiatives in the last four decades.

At the award ceremony, chairman of the Wise Dr Abdullah Ali al-Thani said Brac’s initiatives had helped more than 140mn people across nine countries gain educational access at different levels.

Dr Ali al-Thani said while there had been other awards, including the Nobel Prize for those working in different areas like physics, chemistry, medicine  and literature, there was no such big award for those  rendering services to make education accessible to large number of people, mainly in poor countries. The Wise award, he felt, would fill the gap and could be considered as the finest award given in the educational sector.

The Brac, it was announced at the meeting, is one of the largest educational and social networks in the world, having close to 120,000 volunteers at different levels. Of them there are nearly 55,000 teachers and 47,000 other staffers.

Its operations are spread over Asia, Africa and Central America. Besides Bangladesh, the Brac volunteers also work in Afghanistan, Pakistan,  Sri Lanka, Liberia, Sierre Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Haiti.

Later at a briefing, the Brac official said theirs could be one of the largest (if not the largest) voluntary educational non-government organisations, working on an annual  budget of $700mn. “However there are other forums such as World Vision and Oxfam which have bigger annual budgets,” Abad pointed out

While thanking the Qatar Foundation and its chairperson HH Sheikha Moza and Dr Abdulla Ali al-Thani, the award recipient said the honour would boost his organisation’s activities further. “We are not only delighted at the conferring of the award upon us but the honour would also encourage us to take up greater educational and other empowerment challenges in  coming days.”

Speaking at the award ceremony, Dr Abdulla Ali al-Thani said Abad started his initiatives at a turbulent time when Bangladesh was fighting its war of independence and had succeeded in giving a right direction to several thousands of people, mainly in rural Bangladesh and nine other countries.

GP, Jaago to launch pilot ‘online classroom’

GP, Jaago to launch pilot ‘online classroom’
Author / Source : Staff Reporter

DHAKA, OCT 13: Grameenphone (GP) in partnership with Jaago Foundation is going to initiate a venture named “Online Classroom” with the aim to ensure high quality education in both sub-urban and rural areas of Bangladesh.

A signing ceremony between Grameenphone and Jaago Foundation took place in this regard recently. Tore Johnsen, chief executive officer, GP and Korvi Rakshand, founder, Jaago Foundation, inked the agreement.

Among others, Debashis Roy, head of corporate responsibility, GP, was also present.

The concept of “Online Classroom” is extremely simple. The basic idea is that a sub-urbanm or rural classroom of Bangladesh will be connected to a classroom in Dhaka via video conference technology and internet. Both the classes will be conducted by a single instructor while the necessary books, stationeries and other equipments will be provided.

Tore Johnsen said, “The concept of online classroom is extremely ground breaking. If it can be successfully put into operation in Bangladesh, not only will the quality of education will increase but also we will be another step forward towards our goal of a Digital Bangladesh.”

Initially, this project will set off as a pilot to make certain that online classroom is a feasible concept to achieve this particular goal. Thus, Grameenphone will utilise their four Alokdeeps (Cyclone Center and school), located in the southern coastal belts of Bangladesh to facilitate the project and acquire practical knowledge.

Bangladesh-German Technical University in the offing

Bangladesh-German Technical University in the offing

DHAKA, Oct 4 (BSS) – Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan today favoured setting up ‘Bangladesh-German Technical University’ to help improve the quality of country’s technical education.

Talking to reporters at his Secretariat office here over the outcome of his recent visit to the central European country, he said the idea was shared with the German State Minister for Foreign Affairs.

“Technical know-how is the biggest strength of Germany. I think Bangladesh-German Technical University should be set up to improve the quality of technical education in Bangladesh,” he added.

The commerce minister had a visit to Germany to attend the show ‘Branding Bangladesh,’ organized by Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI).

Khan said Germany wants to take a strong position on cultural side and that is why Bangladesh needs German cooperation in the field of technical education.

He said Bangladesh sought German support to help improve the capacity of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) and technical centres in leather industry.

German leading businesspeople have expressed their keen interest to invest more in Bangladesh’s shipbuilding, IT, pharma, garments, jute and leather goods and frozen foods, he added.

Referring to the discussion with chiefs of different businesses including HUGO BOSS and MULTILINE in Germany, Khan said these businesses are importing garments worth 30 billion US dollar.

So, he said, there is a huge scope for increasing Bangladesh’s garments export to Germany.

“I have urged the German businesspeople to invest in Bangladesh especially in sectors of high-end products where Bangladesh is not investing,” he said.

During the visit, the commerce minister met leaders of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce to scoop out their business opportunities in Bangladesh.

Khan said Bangladesh got order of exporting 30 ships to Germany and of them six high quality and most modern ships have already been exported to the country and more four vessels to be exported by this yearend.

Terming the visit as successful, he said different issues related to Dhaka-Berlin trade and commerce came up during the meetings.

The commerce minister visited German cities — Berlin, Frankfort, Homburg and Dosseldorf and met State Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Economy and Technology there.

Bangladesh exports knit and woven garments, home textile, jute and jute goods, leather goods and frozen foods and medicines to Germany.

Bangladesh exported goods worth US$3438.70 million to Germany during 2011-12 fiscal against its import of US$691.30m during the period.

Czech keen to provide more scholarships to Bangladeshi students

Czech keen to provide more scholarships to Bangladeshi students
United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

The Czech Republic has expressed keen interest to provide more scholarships for Bangladeshi students to pursue their higher education in that country.

The Czech interest was conveyed when its newly appointed ambassador to Bangladesh, Miloslav Stasek presented his credentials to the president, Zillur Rahman, at Bangabhaban Monday.

During the meeting, the Czech ambassador also said that his country was ready to provide all-out cooperation to Bangladesh especially in the trade and commercial sectors to help the country’s socio-economic development.

South Asia’s second Maritime University to be set up in Chittagong

South Asia’s second Maritime University to be set up in Chittagong
Sonia H Moni

South Asia’s second Maritime University, Sheikh Mujib Maritime University, will be set up at Chittagong with a view to meeting the rising demand of mariners and development of maritime sector of the country.

Shipping minister Shajahan Khan told the FE on Friday, “There is a huge demand of mariners across the globe and 200 cadets are graduating every year from Bangladesh Marine Academy.”

“We have a plan to set up six marine academies in Narayangong, Barisal, Khulna, Pabna, Rangpur and Sylhet and more than 500 cadets will be able to graduate from these academies.”

The minister said that now Bangladesh is making ships and selling those to the foreign countries. So the nation should be prepared for the future demand of mariners and development of maritime sector of the country.

Bangladesh Marine Academy Commandant Sajid Hussain told the FE, “The Bangladesh Marine Academy is situated on 100 acres of land in Chittagong and 50 per cent of space is unused. The Sheikh Mujib Maritime University will be set up on 35 acres of land.”

“Initially around 100 students will get admitted in five department in university. We have a plan to build eight-storied 8 to 10 buildings for academic building, accommodation of students and others.”

He expressed the hope that foreign students from fur east countries, Middle East, Malaysia and African countries will come to study in the university.

The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lay foundation stone today (Saturday) of the Sheikh Mujib Maritime University on seven acres of land in Chittagong. She will also attend the graduation parade of 45th batch cadets of Bangladesh Marine Academy.

32 universities to get UGC’s academic innovation fund

32 universities to get UGC’s academic innovation fund

DHAKA, Nov 28 (BSS) – A total of 32 universities will get grants from Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) of University Grants Commission (UGC) by the next month.

Among the universities, 29 are public universities and three others are in private sector, said an official source.

The AIF was established involving 50 million US dollars under a World Bank-aided project in a bid to enhance the quality of teaching, learning and research in the country

“The project titled Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP), is being implemented with the financial support of the World Bank at a cost of US dollar 81 million,” said a WB official here today.

The official said the HEQEP project would help bring both innovation and accountability in universities and enhance the technical and institutional capacity of the higher education sector.

The main objective of the project is to establish conditions that will stimulate teaching, improve learning, and boost research in universities and introduce an efficient instrument for the allocation of public funds to universities.

Started last year, the three-year HEQEP has made steady progress in formation of the AIF, which will improve the standard of education in the world.

Earlier, 32 public and three private universities submitted 725 preliminary proposals and out of them 552 proposals were shortlisted and submitted to UGC’s Academic Innovation Secretariat after review.

After further scrutiny, 456 qualified proposals have been evaluated by the Area Review Panel members from which the winning proposals will be awarded.

The winning proposals from public and eligible private universities will receive first round of grant awards from the UGC by December. The second round of call for the Academic Innovation Fund proposals will be announced in March 2011.

The project also aims to integrate Bangladesh’s universities in the globalized world of knowledge and establish a Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN) to have a high speed connectivity among the universities and research institutions in the world.

Under the project, the sources said, a digital library would also be established to provide university faculty and students access to the global repository of knowledge.