The Design Lab’s robust expertise and resources gives it a strategic advantage to provide support, specifically to the public sector that has the maximum beneficiary outreach. The core focus is to strive for equity and equality for all through having a very strong partnership with the government to whom the Lab provides technical support related to textbook refinement and capacity development, including:Teacher’s supplementary materials; refinement of the following national textbooks: Bengali, English, Social Studies, Religious Studies; early grade reading training modules for teachers; workbooks, classroom materials, etc.; Primary and secondary learning packages.
In 2013, BIED’s Design Lab began working with the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) of Bangladesh on refining textbooks for Grades 1-5. The purpose of the editing is to ensure that the textbooks are reaching the standards set by the 2010 Education Policy – including making sure that materials help in the development of set competencies, foster creativity, imagination, thoughtfulness and curiosity and are in an accessible language. Keeping in mind the standards and ensuring this quality, BIED has been providing the necessary editorial, refinement and publishing services with regards to the production of new textbooks.
In 2013, a critical review was conducted by means of a large scale research and data was collected from 30 schools nationwide. The aim was to explore and find out areas of gap and improvement. The current initiatives include completion of the review report by the first quarter of 2016. Initial drafts of the review indicate a need for refinement of textbooks for Grades 3, 4 and 5 of all four religions taught as well as content for Teacher’s Edition, which BIED has undertaken.
This opened collaboration with CfBT (Centre for British Teachers), Education Trust, in a project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. The success of this project led to an extension from textbooks of 3 subjects of Grades 1-5 to:
- Religious Education textbooks for Grades 3-5;
- A project to work on refining Maths and English textbooks in Punjab, Pakistan.
Additionally, for NCTB,
- In 2013-2014, we worked on refining Grade I, II & III Bangla, English & Social Studies (Bangladesh & Global Studies) books and Teachers’ edition
- In 2015, we worked on refining Grade IV & V Bangla, English & Social Studies (Bangladesh & Global Studies) books and Teachers’ edition
BIED has previously been involved with the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), particularly through technical assistance related to design and layout of all the textbooks for the primary Grades 1 to 5. With regards to this, BIED was a member of the national review committee of curriculum framework for primary education in 2010, and in 2011 BIED was engaged to design, illustrate and make all Grades 1 and 2 textbooks for the national primary education system into four colours. Thereafter, BIED also designed, illustrated and made all Grade 3, 4 and 5 textbooks (27 textbooks for the Bangla version and 21 textbooks for the English version) into four colours for the academic year 2012. Additionally, BIED also designed the cover pages of all Grade 6 and 7 textbooks (30 textbooks). These textbooks were used by children at all schools that follow the national curriculum (both Bengali and English medium).
Building on this relationship in 2012, BIED was involved with NCTB in an institutional capacity in the development of the curriculum and materials for Pre-Primary. Moreover, for Primary Education materials, expertise was sought from BIED professionals for the development and illustration of textbooks.