Events 2016

BIED Hosts Second Edition of the ‘Student-Led Seminar’

On 30th November, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) conducted the second edition of its ‘Student-Led Seminar’. The seminar aims to be a platform for experts, professionals and researchers, working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. Among the audience members were representatives and officials from UNICEF, Population Council, BRAC International, BRAC Skills Development, as well as faculty members, researchers and officials of BIED.

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The theme of the seminar was Socio-Emotional Learning and its importance. Ms. Rafiath Rashid, Program Manager, Education, BRAC International and a graduate of BIED’s Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD) program, presented her Masters Thesis, titled, ‘Exploring Play-Based Pedagogy In Children’s Social and Emotional Development in NGO-Run Pre-Primary Schools in Dhaka’. Ms. Rashid discussed the lack of free play for children, and the limited role of teachers in play-related activities in educational institutions. She also showcased the absence of activities that foster the emotional development and self-worth of students and highlighted the negative perception among mothers regarding play and outdoor play activities.    

Ms. Rashid’s study recommended capacity building of teachers working on play-based learning; longer periods of free play; designing a curriculum that incorporates socio-emotional learning of students as well as parental education.

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An engaging discussion regarding the perception of play and learning followed, intending to take forward the practice and promotion of socio-emotional learning in early years.

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

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The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients.

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BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

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The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

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The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

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Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

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Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

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OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040


OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

 

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040


OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

 

 

476a1547

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040

OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040


OBSERVING WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY-SEMINAR ON ‘DIGNITY IN MENTAL HEALTH’

On 20th October, 2016, in observance of World Mental Health Day, BIED's Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing, in collaboration with BRAC University's Counseling unit, organized a seminar, titled, ‘Dignity in Mental Health’.

The keynote speakers of the seminar were Professor Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Professor & Chairperson Dr. Mehtab Khanam, Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Among the topics discussed were the importance of mental health throughout a person’s life; familial support to help channel a person’s mental wellbeing; importance of research in the field of Mental Health; how Psychological First-Aid to victims of trauma can bring back a degree of normalcy in their lives; the introduction of BIED’s ‘Masters in Mental Health’ academic program, to be offered to students of BRAC U from the year 2017. A video by BRAC U was shown, showcasing a typical individual counseling session provided by the Counseling Unit of BRAC U to its clients. BIED also provided a video representation of all the current capacity building activities of its Center for Psychosocial Wellbeing department as well as ongoing research programs of the Early Childhood Development Program (ECD), two of them being research on Maternal Mental Health and Adolescents’ Wellbeing.

The event was attended by faculty members and psychosocial counselors from BIED, BRAC U, as well as representatives of BRAC. Counselors and mental health activists from partner organizations were also present, including members of the Onward Counseling Service, Institute of Pediatric Neuro-Disorder and Autism (IPNA), BSMMU, Activity for Reformation of Basic Needs (ARBAN), Apon Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Population Services & Training Center (PSTC), Action for Social Development, National Institute of Mental Health and Caritas Bangladesh. Representatives and counselors from various schools, universities, colleges and hospitals also graced the event.

 

BIED HOSTS FIRST EDITION OF ‘DIALOGUES’

On 6th September, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized ‘Dialogues’, first in the series. 'Dialogues' is an effort that aims to be an essential platform for experts, professionals and researchers who are actively involved in the area of education, wellbeing and cross-cutting issues.

A working paper by one of BIED's evaluation team was presented titled: ‘Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education (SSCOPE): An Evaluation’. The seminar highlighted the findings and implications for BIED's experimental schooling ('education-plus') project SSCOPE (funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands). A healthy interaction and exchange of ideas followed, that provided a highly enriching space for discussion, idea-sharing and knowledge-generation. The authors of the study who presented their findings were Mr. Altaf Hossain, Senior Research Fellow, MD. Abul Kalam, Research Fellow and Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu, Research Associate.

476a8509Alongside faculty members, project personnel and researchers of BIED, researchers, activists and project personnel also attended the event from partner organizations, including representatives from the James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, BRAC Adolescent Development Programme (ADP), BRAC Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), BBC Media Action, Maya.com.bd, Naripokkho, Shushilan, Bangladesh Association for Prevention of Septic Abortion (BAPSA) and Marie Stopes Bangladesh.

Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED, started off the event with a welcoming note. In her speech she explained how ‘Dialogues’ being an exciting new space, has the potential to create a bridge between researchers and project personnel.

Mr. Md. Abul Kalam next took the stage and introduced the project SSCOPE to the audience. Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender & Counseling for Adolescents of Post-Primary Education), was a low-cost secondary education school model developed by BIED which explored how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents, with components of SRHR education and psychosocial support. As he stated, the overall objective of the evaluation was to create a baseline and endline of information of adolescents based on the key indicators, as well as to document changes in those indicators due to the intervention. The surveys followed an experimental design where three groups of adolescents: Intervention group participating in SSCOPE, Control Group participating in other secondary schools, and a third group not participating in any school/intervention (out-of-school). All these adolescents shared a similar social and educational background (having graduated from BRAC Non-Formal Primary Schools).

476a8524

Ms. Sheikh Shahana Shimu next took the podium and discussed the findings. In her presentation she provided background information regarding the questions asked during the survey. She also highlighted how the end-line research survey shows better improvement among the participants of the intervention regarding most of the issues such as SRHR, psychosocial wellbeing, gender awareness, and social capital, compared to the other two groups of adolescents who were not part of the intervention.

Mr. Altaf Hossain concluded by stating that, SSCOPE participants did better in educational aspects in terms of retention, learning, SRHR, gender awareness, psychosocial and emotional well-being. Continuation of this program can be beneficial for adolescents from disadvantaged families in improving their educational, social and psychosocial well-being. However, a limitation of the survey was that the baseline information of SSCOPE students remained comparatively higher, possibly minimizing the level of improvement found among students during the end-line survey. This occurred due to SSCOPE students being exposed to the intervention as the baseline survey was conducted within a few months after the inception of the intervention.

476a8566

A rich discourse followed on topics regarding formal education and curriculum of adolescents, gender and cultural sensitivity on issues such as early marriage and adolescent sexuality as well as to how psychosocial support is still a new element in our society and that the significance of mental health and wellbeing is yet to attain a momentum and structure in the mainstream. Education-plus models such as SSCOPE provides an opportunity to highlight upon the necessity for going the traditional ‘academics-only’ service to be provided in schools; in an age as vulnerable as theirs, from both research and project activities, the adolescent needs demand for a holistic system that caters also to their socio-emotional wellbeing along with academics.

Orientation Ceremony of M.Ed. 6th Govt. Day Batch

On 21st August 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED), BRAC University (BRACU) organized the Orientation Program for the 6th day batch of government officials enrolled in the Master of Education (MEd)/Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Educational Leadership & School Improvement program. Around 20 students attended the event, the first step to a new beginning in their professional careers.

476a7791

The Chief Guest of the program was Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, attended the event as Special Guests. Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus & Senior Advisor and Dr. Erum Mariam, Director of BIED were also present. Among the audience was present BIED’s Program Head, faculty members and researchers of the MEd and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs.

476a7819-no

Dr. Erum Mariam and Dr. Manzoor Ahmed started off the event with a welcome note to all guests and students. Dr. Mahfujul Islam, Deputy Director of Training, DPE, took the stage and stated how collaboration between DPE and BIED encourages public-private partnerships in the education sector while Md. Abdur Rouf, Director of Training, DPE, mentioned that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BIED and DPE gives both the organizations the opportunity to share each other’s extensive experiences, capacities and networks. The Chief Guest of the program, Dr. Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, ndc, Additional Director General, Directorate of Primary Education, then expressed his pleasure in welcoming the government officials into the MEd program and requested the new students to take this privileged opportunity with utmost sincerity. He further mentioned that DPE is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for its employees to avail the MEd program in the future, in order for the education sector to generate a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce ready to address the challenges and foster innovation for the next generation of young learners.

476a7828
The Orientation program followed with a brief introduction of each of the highly trained faculty members of the MEd program, and concluded with an introduction session of the new students, largely consisting of Education Officers, Assistant District Primary Education Officers, Assistant Upazila Education Officers, Head Teachers and Teachers. The students expressed their enthusiasm and keenness to start the MEd program. One of the new students expressed how being enrolled in the MEd program can, “…benefit him in the future by helping him foster more holistic teaching methods which he can use to help teachers and students alike.”
476a7841
The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks and a way forward to a successful partnership; both organizations sharing a common enthusiasm on enriching capacity of the public sector.

BIED hosts first ‘Student-Led Seminar’ 

On 31st July, 2016, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BIED) organized a ‘Student-Led Seminar’, first in the series. The Student-Led Seminar aims to generate knowledge & evidence-based solutions that can create an essential platform for experts, professionals and young researchers working in the area of education and cross-cutting issues. The four MEd and MSc graduates led the seminar with their respective thesis findings.

The Master of Education/Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (MEd/PGD) is a one-year program that aims to enhance the capacity of mid-career, working professionals of different educational organizations by strengthening their knowledge base and developing their competencies in a variety of areas, including leadership and management, academic research, advanced skills in communication, etc. The Master of Science in Early Childhood Development (MSc in ECD), developed in conjunction with Columbia University, USA, looks to raise awareness on the importance of the early childhood period.

Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of BRAC University attended the event and opened the seminar with a welcome speech. Amongst the audience were many distinguished guests, including educational specialists and researchers from development sectors such as, the Volunteer Service Organization (VSO), Plan Bangladesh, Phulki and BRAC, as well as lecturers, students and faculty members of BIED and other BRAC University departments/institutes.

Mr. Hrishkhesh Shil, currently working in the public sector as Assistant District Officer of Primary Education in Chittagong, highlighted the importance of structured collegial interaction among teachers in Upazilla level public schools in order to facilitate greater learning, Ms. Sheikh Nishat Nazmi, an ECD specialist in Plan Bangladesh, stressed on the need to control bullying amongst primary school-going boys and promote self-confidence; Mr. Ashraful Huda, Director of HR at Vertical Horizon, identified how both Civil Service Organizations (CSO) and schools can promote volunteerism among students. Finally, Ms. Tanzina Quddus Dina, ECD Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation of Bangladesh, highlighted the physical and mental detriments of the increasingly inactive lifestyle of the urban Bangladeshi children.2016-1

An interactive Q&A session followed, covering a range of topics. Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb recommended the research on collegial interaction among teachers to be more inductive and advised to turn the teacher collegial interaction and relationships into models that can be taken to policy levels. More discussions followed the presentations: such as the role of parents and teachers in dealing with bullying incidents in schools and how the more subtle but equally negative impact of bullying among girls, especially cyber bullying, should also be considered; strategies to implement systematic volunteer projects for both male and female students and ways to encourage students, especially in rural areas, to participate more in volunteer projects; and inducing children into partaking in more outdoor activities by addressing the problems of physical inactivity with the parents of children.

2016-2

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anisa Haq, the Program Head of BIED.

 

SSCOPE: Project Closing Event

On April 21, 2016, BIED organized the closing ceremony of the pilot school model project, SSCOPE (Schooling, SRHR, Gender and Counseling for the Adolescents of Post-Primary Education). Guests from various development partners like BRAC, BRAC University, University of Dhaka, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), icddr,b, James P. Grant School of Public Health, Population Council, Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP), BLAST, PHULKI, Unite for Body Rights (UBR), Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Daily Star and Dhaka Tribune, attended the program.

476A3973

Initiated in 2012, SSCOPE was a low-cost junior secondary education school model that was set up in 9 urban areas through 33 schools, developed by BIED and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It provided lessons to adolescent students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, on psycho-social well-being and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) alongside academics. Lessons included topics on body image, gender roles, bullying and abuse, anger & stress management, relationship with family & friends, etc. A creative art and learning component, consisting of visual arts, drama and movement, with elements of SRHR and psychosocial content, was added for a holistic approach of learning through art. With 92% pass rate, about 1100 adolescents completed Grades 6 till 8 and have been transitioned to local secondary schools.

476A4029

The event commenced with a welcome speech by Professor Emeritus Manzoor Ahmed, BIED along with Ms. Anisa Haq, Program Head of BIED providing a vote of thanks to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands for their support and enthusiasm throughout the project period.  Ms. Mitul Dutta, the Project Coordinator of SSCOPE, gave an overview of the project activities as well as the success stories and findings from the researches centred on it. Ms. Ella De-Voogd, First Secretary, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, shared that the evidences from SSCOPE provides a strong grounding to focus and implement relevant knowledge-based counselling services to this huge young population who are going to be the change makers for future Bangladesh. Further, BIED’s role in influencing the policy changes through the evidences and experience from SSCOPE is timely and relevant to be able to address the needs of both school-going and out-of-school adolescents and youth.

sxzxcfzxcfszxc

Students and teachers of SSCOPE, as well as the Shomaj Shongees (para-counselors), came forth with their views on unique approach of adolescent education that SSCOPE upheld. Many of the students stated that SSCOPE provided them another chance to pursue studies after primary education and that the Shomaj Shongee (SS) provided them with knowledge and understanding regarding SRHR, adding to their psycho-social well-being. A photo exhibition displaying the activities of the project as well as artworks of the students created during the creative art sessions of SSCOPE was showcased. Short documentary styled videos from the project, where students, teachers and para-counselors expressed their ideas, opinions and experiences were revealed too.

SSCOPE opens many opportunities in educational development, including revision of national level adolescent educational policies through evidence-based advocacy. This includes- creating an educational curriculum inclusive of SRHR and psycho-social well-being, training teachers, principals and barefoot counsellors to provide greater support to adolescents, finding ways to ensure that SRHR is addressed, within culturally appropriate settings, in all Bangladeshi schools, creating learning environments for adolescents to freely discuss the emotional and physical changes of adolescence, and where taboos and misunderstandings around sexual and reproductive health are addressed through more informed teaching methods. The model also encourages a student-centred, problem-solving learning as opposed to traditional rote-learning.

The closing event also highlighted how, following SSCOPE, various collaborative activities on capacity building through partnerships between BIED and other partners such as BRAC Adolescent Program, BRAC STAR Program and Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance has emerged on SRHR and psychosocial wellbeing. It brought about diverse activities such as ‘Psychosocial Wellbeing and Skill Development of Transgender Youths’ in 2015 which is an on-going training program in collaboration with Somporker Noya Setu (SNS), providing short certificate courses on ‘Psychosocial Support in SRHR’ and training on frontline counselling course for teachers and frontline counselors in UBR-run schools since 2015. ‘Cha and Adda’ (Tea and Conversations), a spin-off web series on the narratives of young people regarding their physical and mental well-being, was also launched in March 2016 via virtual media to advocate to a wider audience with high youth concentration.

The event was closed with words of inspiration and encouragement by the speakers to move forward with relevant and context-specific initiatives for the next generation’s wellbeing.

476A4040