The graduation ceremony of the first cohort of primary teachers under the Training of Master Trainers in English (TMTE) project, a collaboration between the British Council and Directorate of Primary Education, was held at Dhaka PTI and Gazipur PTI on 17 June 2021.
The event was attended by chief guest Mr Md Zakir Hossen, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Mr GM Hashibul Alam, Secretary, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education was also present as a special guest, along with Mr Alamgir Mohammed Monsurul Alam, Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, who chaired the virtual graduation ceremony.
These teachers are the first group of Bangladeshi primary teachers, who started their 14-week professional development journey on 31 January 2021 in Dhaka and Gazipur PTI. However, due to the introduction of lockdown restrictions and a pause of face-to-face activity for over a month, this has extended out to a whopping 20-weeks. Notwithstanding these challenges and the need to continue their learning remotely during the pause, each teacher has maintained focus and enthusiasm remaining on track to complete the course. At the ceremony, they were presented with their certificates rewarding them for all their hard work and dedication over the last several months.
As part of the TMTE project’s English language assessment, the British Council administered over 3,000 Aptis tests as part of its pre-training language evaluation of the primary school teachers. It was initially planned to deliver the tests face-to-face; however, due to the Covid-19 outbreak the British Council had to reassess this plan and look at a digital solution to the problem presented. With the immense support from MoPME, DPE, and British Council’s Global Assessment Operations team, the project resolved to administer these tests entirely online. Over 94% of the trainees achieved A2 or above and the close support provided to candidates helped them to overcome any IT issues faced. The British Council resumed face-to-face Aptis testing on 16 June 2021, where the first cohort of primary teachers have successfully taken post-training language assessment at Dhaka and Gazipur PTI.
Both the British Council and the Directorate of Primary Education look forward to developing the next cohort of primary teachers in more PTIs across the country later this year.
“I would like to congratulate all the trainees who made the program a success fighting against the threat of COVID 19. I also appreciate the commitments shown by international trainers and the British Council for overcoming all the huddles on way to reaching graduation ceremony. Quality teaching skill is one of the most important factors to ensure quality education. Government has been pursuing various efforts to improve the quality of teaching for years. The PEDP4 introduced a systemic approach to create a pool of teachers having better skill in English teaching in view to transfer the skills to other teachers through them. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set the goal of becoming a developed country by 2041. To reach the target, we need to prepare our children with all the capacities and skills to compete in a global context. I hope that the training of master trainers in English program will contribute significantly towards building a generation for future.” – Chief guest Md Zakir Hossen, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education.
Congratulations to the primary teachers who are graduating today through the TMTE cohort 1 training programme. Today we see the first group of primary teachers that will have improved proficiency and skills in English and teaching practice. Over the next year or so, we will see many more primary teachers graduate this wonderful training programme and have an improved positive impact upon their students – and in turn improve their English language proficiency as they transition from primary to secondary. Undoubtedly better-quality English teaching will help Bangladesh’s next generation to achieve their ambitions and support country’s continuing growth in the global scene. It is a real honour to be partnering with the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and the Department of Primary Education for this programme. – Tom Miscioscia, Director Bangladesh, British Council.
“This training makes the lessons easy and interesting. It helps establish good working relations between the teachers and the students. We feel proud to be a part of the training. TMTE project is the result of great teamwork between the British Council and the Directorate of Primary Education.” – cohort participant Md. Aslam Hossain, Assistant Teacher, Tongibari Model Government Primary School, Munshiganj.