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Creating a room for quality education

  • Published at 12:33 pm October 27th, 2019
D2_October 26, 2019_Room to Read_Pg 1
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Room-to-Read provides recommendations for developing reading skills  and its practice at the elementary level to achieve quality education

Room to Read Bangladesh has recently exchanged national consultation with Dhaka University's Education and Research Institute (IER) on ‘Strengthening reading skills and habit in early grade for quality education’. The event took place at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka on August 22. At this meeting, valuable guests expressed their views on the existing initiatives and recommended some guidance for the future development of the Bangla reading skills and the curriculum.

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education, Md Zakir Hossain was present at the event as the chief guest. Md Akram-al-Hussein, Honourable Secretary, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Dr AFM Manzoor Qadir, Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, and Md Shah Alam, Director General, National Primary Education Academy were present as the special guests.

Zakir Hossain said: “The current government, Awami league, is committed to the development of education. The government s giving equal importance to both mental and physical health of a child. In order to develop a student’s scientific mindset, the government has taken various initiatives, including mathematical olympiads. We all know that if one does not know how to read properly then that decreases the habit of studying. In this regard, I fully agree with the program which is implementing the development of Bangla reading skills and practice at the primary level. I wish them success.”

Vice-President of the program, Country Director of Room to Read Bangladesh, Rakhi Sarkar, addressed the needs of children's storytelling and child-friendly library for the education, as well as for the development of quality education. She said: “Room-to-Read is keen to work jointly with Dhaka University's Education and Research Institute to accelerate the ongoing programs for the development of government’s primary education and to make the children efficient and independent readers.”

Shyamoli Akbar, Professor of Education and Research Institute of Dhaka University, addressed the strategies to improve the habit of reading at the elementary level of Bangladesh, while  Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, Director of Room-to-Read-Bangladesh Literacy Program, highlighted the role of Room to Read Bangladesh.

Shyamoli Akbar shared some key factors from the report: “Students studying in the second grade in our country cannot read more than 33 words per minute. According to the international scale, second grade students can take 45-60 words per minute to comprehend and read the words. From ‘National Student Assessment 2015’ it is noticeable that about 35% of third grade students were not able to fully attain the standard of reading in Bengali.” She also shared the recommended outlines for improving the child's reading skills, including the necessity of content of the lesson to be enjoyable and interesting, learning the words and topics related to the environment they are familiar with, the need to exclude a wide range of information, and proper pronunciation and practice of the consonant conjunct of words.

Dr AKM Riazul Hasan, Member (Primary Education), NCTB; Mr Professor Ariful Haque Kabir, Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka; Mazhar Karim, Manager - Literacy (South Asia), Room to Read and various other academics, educators, public and private officials also attended the event.

Syeda Tahmina Akhter, Director of the Institute of Education and Research said: “The Institute of Education and Research is involved in various activities such as, textbook preparation, research etc in order to improve the quality of education. Today, I hope that all public and private institutions will play a positive role in enhancing the reading skills of Bangladesh's children through such exchange meetings. ”

Room to Read is an international development organization that is currently working on creating children's reading skills and reading habits through the publishing and supplying of classroom library in six primary schools in Dhaka, Natore and Cox's Bazar districts of Bangladesh. They have worked directly with more than 100,000 children in more than 3,000 government primary schools.