In 2018 the Bangladeshi Government approved a multibillion-dollar five-year reform programme for primary education – Primary Education Development Programme 4 (PEDP4) - the largest ever project in the country’s primary education sector. The British Council was awarded a large training programme – English for Primary Teachers (EPT) – worth 230 Crore BDT (approx. £21 million) as part of this reform. The Honourable Prime Minister of Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina personally approved the project, stressing the need for giving the utmost priority to children to learn English proficiently at the primary level. The British Council has been recognised as the best partner to engage in helping Bangladesh achieve this goal. The project aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically around Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Quality education.
In 2019 the government-approved TMTE as the first British Council intervention – a 47 Crore BDT (£4.5 million) country-wide primary school teacher development project – as the first phase of this ambitious national education reform initiative. This intervention is a 13-month long English training project with the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) working initially in 15 Primary Training Institutes (PTI’s) across Bangladesh. The objective of TMTE, working in partnership with the Directorate of Primary Education, is to enhance primary-level in-service English teacher education through the development of over 2,000 primary teachers into Master Trainers in English and English-language teaching practices. Our focus will be on developing Master Trainers who will be proficient and skilled in English, have a clear understanding of effective teaching practice at the primary level, and the skills necessary to support the development of almost 130,000 English teachers in primary schools.
Ultimately, this cohort of Master Trainers will contribute to improving the English language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and presentation) and understanding of effective language teaching practices among primary teachers, and therefore indirectly support the learning of their students.
The project has provided us with the opportunity to create a positive national impact by changing the systems that govern teacher education for English in Bangladesh.
The next step – English for Teachers
Now that we have completed our delivery of online courses, we turn our attention to preparing for the delivery of the face-to-face training. Given the extraordinary events of this year and the importance of preparing for the new academic year in a Covid-19 world, we will not be starting the face-to-face training until the end of January 2021 (subject to confirmation).
In the meantime, we will be trialing the learning materials, working closely with DPE on the selection of candidates for the first cohort of training, and preparing a workshop on child safeguarding. Watch this space for updates over the coming months!
Aptis (English Language Assessment)
We have also completed the initial batch of baseline language testing of prospective candidates for face-to-face training. However, there were many candidates that, for a variety of reasons, did not get the opportunity to sit the test or were not able to complete it.
Do not fear – we will be conducting more testing in March/April 2021 and eligible candidates will be contacted closer to that time. Places are strictly limited so please be warned that not everyone will be invited to sit the test.