The British Council has set up an English Language Self Access centre in Rajshahi public library on 6 March 2017 and in Sylhet on 13 March 2017 to create public-facing platforms for English resources. Through the new centre, the community will get the benefit in practising English language skills.
Among the total eligible population in Bangladesh, only 18% people can communicate in English due to the learner’s scarcity of appropriate reading and IT resources. In Bangladesh, English is mainly considered as a subject to pass rather than a language to communicate. There might be English language learning centres but learners have limited access to the relevant resources to practice and to develop English language proficiency skills. Therefore, with the aim of capacity building, the British Council has launched English language Self Access centre in Rajshahi and Sylhet and is planning to launch in Khulna.
Books from the general library collection along with the IELTS practice Books, CDs and other resources were handed over to the public library authorities to set up the English language Self Access centre in Rajshahi and Sylhet. Devices and headphones were also made available at the library for the members to practice and to enhance the listening skills. To avail these services, public library members will be converted to the British Council library members for free.
Ashish Kumar Sarker, Director General, Department of Public Libraries, Bangladesh was the chief guest and inaugurated the Rajshahi centre. Barbara Wickham, Director, British Council and Sarwat Masuda Reza, Library Manager, British Council along with the library authorities, existing and potential members were also present at the ceremony. Moreover, an open discussion on ‘Community Engagement through Events and Activities’ was organised at the event. There were around 100 members and users and representatives from the local community who were present and talked about their expectations from the local library.