Tahmina Shafique The Complete Portfolio

9Jan/040

Global skills for local institutions

For several years British Council has been working in collaboration with a number of local and UK based institutions to offer educational opportunities to students of Bangladesh.

Recent reports in the press regarding the ban of several local institutions created concern and confusion among the institutions offering foreign qualifications in Bangladesh. Many parents and students were also affected by this sudden decision. The British Council (BC) took the first step to unfold the mystery by calling an open house discussion in which the education minister Dr. M. Osman Farruk was among the participants. The Qualification@UK fair was BC's next step and this event went on from December 8 to December 12 in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. The goal was to search for consensus among institutions offering foreign qualifications and the State Education Authorities. The fair also became a strong medium to make the people aware of these quality institutions of the country, which provide globally recognised courses and degrees.

Parents and students exchanged ideas with providers of education services, school principals and eminent educationists. The fair also introduced different institutes providing UK based qualifications like LLB, NCC, CIMA, ACCA, BBA, MBA, BTEC and other diplomas. BC conducts all the required examinations that confer such qualifications.

The fair included programming contests, debates and an exclusive ending with a colourful cultural event. Fifteen institutions were short-listed as It and non-IT institutions. The following is a brief detail of some of the participant institutions.

Edexcel International and BTEC: BTEC, launched recently in the country with Edexcel provides vocational qualifications, including the higher National Diploma (HND) which can best be defined as 'real life qualifications' providing students those special requirements which are needed in this particular field. These unique courses enable employers to keep abreast of the latest industry practices and achieve greater goals. BTEC provides various other courses through distinguished institutes.

Shanto-Marium University of Creative technology’s basic objective is to promote techno-based and cultural education to the general public at affordable prices. It provides degree courses in Fashion Design, Product Design, Fine Arts, Management, English, Computing and General Studies and many more. All these courses are provided through Edexcel International UK.

Daffodil Institute of IT is one of the largest It education and training providers in Bangladesh with six campuses in different cities. Daffodil Institute provides a wide range of efficient degree courses related to IT.

It has been providing training courses and corporate training. Furthermore it has also been developing IT literates to make the country's economical base stronger.

British School of Law provides law degrees from the UK. The principal of this institute Tufailur Rahman, Barrister at law, has, along side his profession, maintained an extensive teaching career. The rest of the teachers’ panel consists of a group of young and experienced and tested Barristers. To the students, the institute provides regular debating session, court visits, lectures from successful lawyers and judges and much more. It is also negotiating with the University of London to offer the Diploma in law course, which will allow successful students to get direct admission in the second year of law under the University of London. The British School of Law prepares Law students for the University of London and University of Wolverhampton.

Asian Centre of Management and Information Technology (ACMIT)provides education in management and information technology locally, enabling the students to be qualified globally. Students enrolled in the ACMIT degree programmes have the option to transfer, at any point of time, to another campus with full credit transfer. These credits are potentially transferable to any accredited College/University in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, ACMIT offers various courses which include Professional Graduate Diploma in computer information system, Advanced Diploma in Business Administration, BA (HONS) in Electronic Business, BABS and much more.

Neural Institute of Management and Information Technology provides high quality computer Education B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science (CIS) under the joint programme of NCC Education, UK and London Metropolitan University. It has also launched MSc in Strategic Business IT (Masters Degree) under the joint programme of NCC and University of Portsmouth, UK. Furthermore, this institution provides Cambridge skills awards in It and Cambridge Career award in ICT, It training courses such as MCP, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, Java, SQL Server, web development and much more. Thus Neural provides, to the local students, quality education that is equivalent to the education provided by renowned overseas universities while at the same time, greatly reducing the expenses of staying and studying abroad.

School of Accounting and Finance Studies (SAFS) offers ACCA courses, diplomas and other quality services. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountancy (ACCA) is the largest, fast growing accountancy body in the world.

Dhaka Centre of Law and Economics (DCLE) is a part of the University of London’s external programme. It offers courses like LL.B (Honors), BSC. Business (Hons), Bsc Economics, Law management.

The most attractive course offered by the DCLE is by far the foundation course (one year) that enables 'qualified' students to directly enroll themselves in undergraduate courses after completing SSC or O' levels. Like the British School of Law, the teachers' panel of DCLE also includes some renowned lawyers of the country and intellectual group of faculty.

Bhuiyan Institute of IT, (BIIT) provides NCC courses, Edexcel Examinations courses (A’ and O’ levels), BTEC, ND and HND programmes. This institute again includes efficient and experienced group of faculties and provides a wide range of courses.

Many other efficient IT and non-It stalls such as IBCS-Primax LTD, Soft-ED LTD, SRGB-AEC centre for Business Studies, Newcastle Law Academy etc. who provide quality education also participated in the fair.

The event included an extensive British Parliamentary style debate competition in which the students from some of the institutes took part. The winners received tickets for a trip to Bangkok. The prize for a programming contest for the students of IT institutions was as trip to Malaysia.

This exclusive event ended on December 9 at the British Council Auditorium with an elegant cultural show organised by the local institutions from the fair. This colourful event included Bangla Chorus songs, Rabindra Sangeet, a fashion show, solo English songs and much more. The whole event was held in Chittagong on December 10 and in Sylhet on December 12.

Tahmina Shafique is an editorial assistant and writer at the Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD).

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