EIA plays an important role in attracting students towards school

Two years ago, Rezina Sultana was a traditional Head Teacher in Kuchiamora Govt. Primary School in Char fasson, Bhola. Bhola is one of the islands at the southern belt of Bangladesh. Char fasson is one of the most remote upazilas in Bhola. There are around 210 Govt. Primary schools in Char fasson. The majority of people here live hand-to-mouth through fishing and farming. School-going children are a helping hand to their parents to earn a livelihood in a place where climate change has its most adverse impact.

Rezina was struggling to control the dropout tendency of the children. "One day before the PSC exam, I was looking for one of the best students in class 5 to inquire about her preparation in the exam. But unfortunately I didn’t find her in school, I immediately contacted her parents and I learnt that they have sent her to Dhaka to work as a house help." said Rezina.

Not only Rezina, but other teachers were struggling to keep students in schools especially in English classes. They felt demotivated in learning this foreign language as they do not understand it. Rezina was quite disappointed in running the school in such a situation. Even her own motivation to take classes was becoming low. In October 2013, with all the backdrop of her school’s reality, she had the opportunity to take part in English in Action. She marks this as a change-maker in her career. In the EIA teacher meetings, she learned about EIA methods and techniques which were very much needed to engage students in the classroom, understanding how students learn and how to keep the classroom and the school as a center for learning.

Rezina experienced that the profession "teaching" is not a boring task, and a new set of ideas can make changes in both students' learning opportunities and creating interest of kids to come to school. She says, "EIA equips us, how to take a class in an effective way, how to make a lesson interesting, how to make students learn easily and how to enhance learning outcomes." She also added, "After the training from EIA, I felt that only now I have become a true teacher."

Pronob Chandra Majumder, father of Ananna Majumder (Class 2, Khuciamora School), said- "My daughter is now very eager to go to school. She enjoys the songs she learns from school. Very often she dances with the songs at home."

Sayedur Rahman, AUEO (Asst. Upazila Education Officer) of Char Fasson upazila said- "EIA has trained teachers from 15 schools here in 2013. In those schools I have seen changes in the teaching quality of teachers. Teachers reported to me, that they are noticing changes in students’ interest to learn, and they like English classes. Now they feel more motivated to come to school as well."

When Rezina got back to school from EIA’s first teacher meeting, she started applying the EIA approaches in her classroom and also started enjoying the positive responses from the students. As a Head Teacher she not only encourages English teachers, but also other subject teachers, to follow EIA methods and techniques. She believes that, along with some other government initiatives, EIA methods and materials are playing an important role to attract students in coming to school.

June, 2015

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English in Action programme is a UK Government
funded programme implemented by the
Government of Bangladesh and managed by
Cambridge Education, a member of Mott MacDonald.