Matiur Rahman

British Council

Matiur teaches in a rural area of Bangladesh where few people have access to technology. This made school closures during the pandemic particularly challenging. He joined our online Training of Master Trainers in English (TMTE) programme, and soon developed strategies to reach students from his school and beyond.

Matiur had never studied virtually. He was amazed when he joined our online course and met his international trainers in person' on Zoom. He tuned in to every webcast the TMTE team offered and was an active contributor to the programme's Facebook page, which connected participating teachers from across the country.

Taking part in the training improved Matiur's subject knowledge and English pronunciation and listening skills, much to the envy of his colleagues. It also inspired changes to his teaching.

‘Before, I thought lectures were the best method, he explains. Now, I give students group work and something to think about. They can discuss it; I can assess them and give them a lot of practice. I got this idea from the breakout room on Zoom’.

Matiur says his biggest achievement was becoming more confident using technology. He was nervous at first, but the training introduced him to the possibilities of remote teaching. He was soon inspired to set up his own online lessons, supporting his students to continue their learning.

Matiur researched the digital platforms he'd used, trained the seven teachers at his school, and even visited students' homes to help their guardians become familiar with the technology. He also arranged online continuing professional development sessions within his network, outside of his school and the TMTE programme.

But all this wasn't enough to reach all of Matiur's learners. Of the 466 guardians with children at his school, only 22 owned smartphones and there were no other internet facilities in his village. Determined as ever, Matiur contacted the local television station CCTN and broadcast recordings of lessons, reaching 20,000 households.