The Design Lab has the flexibility to test out pilot school models to explore various unmet elements in the schooling system. These include: psychosocial support and student development; classroom management styles; influence of different socio-economic backgrounds; making pedagogy and the curriculum more learner-centered and interactive; making the teaching system more dynamic, and so on.
The pilots are conducted in a rigorous manner through different stages: consultation and needs assessment, testing and try-out, collecting lessons learned and achievements and finally disseminate the end results to national and international stakeholders in order for them to be adapted and contextualized accordingly for scalability and sustainability purposes.
BRAC Nobodhara School
With the passion for BRAC to inaugurate its first private education, a group of dedicated researchers from BIED with different educational backgrounds, set out to learn, discover and create the finest school in Dhaka. After months of research, collecting different methods of pedagogy from various countries and incorporating them with the existing National Curriculum of Bangladesh, the unique BRAC Nobodhara School was born.
The BRAC Nobodhara School provided an unique approach to education in Bangladesh because it does not only just provide rigorous academic programmes, but skilful activities that balance an individual’s growth in order to achieve a healthy, holistic educational experience. With the aim to inspire positive change in the development of people, several facilities, cultural and activities were made available to the community. In 2014, two schools were opened in Bonosree and Uttara of the capital Dhaka.
The model aims towards the holistic development of learners through focussing on a number of unique elements, including the following aspects:
- Development of Students:
- Bilingualism: Bengali medium with strong focus on English
- Co-Curricular Activities and the Arts
- Ethics and values: respect for people and the environment
- Health promoting school
- Facilities for Students:
- Science Space with equipment for investigative learning
- ICT lab and computer access
- Rooftop and ground-floor playground for Physical Education and play
- After-school classes and courses for students and the community
- Support for Students:
- Extended learning materials, e.g. student books, posters, flash cards
- Trained and qualified teachers, with on-going teacher-training
- On-going research and material development
SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling or Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), initiated in 2012, is a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents. The program initially began with the goal of addressing several student dropout cases at secondary level by providing a medium for them to have a second chance at education. SSCOPE operated in 33 schools in 9 different urban areas, where all learners have successfully completed grade VI, VII, and VIII in 2015 with 92% pass rate. With funding from Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) and the recommendations from the need assessment study, an integrated model of SRHR-G (Sexual Reproductive Health, Rights, and Gender) as well as psychosocial counseling through frontline counsellors known as ‘Shomaj Shongees’ (SS) was introduced to address the holistic wellbeing of adolescents.
Lessons on SRHR-G and psychosocial well-being provided an avenue for accurate and healthy information about one’s body and bodily rights and integrity and better understanding about one’s emotions. Some of the topics that were covered through these lessons included: body and body image, self-expression, gender performance and roles, nutrition during growing up, relationship with family and friends, abuse, bullying, power inside the classroom, anger and stress management, animal abuse, etc. Other than this, a creative art component was implemented with a holistic approach to the arts which consisted of elements from visual arts, drama and movement. SRHR-G and psychosocial content was also delivered successfully through the medium of arts in these sessions.