Friday, June 01, 2007

A Significant Event in Bangladesh

In three weeks I will leave Bangladesh possibly never to return. My family and I have been here for nearly four years. Next year my husband and I take up new teaching positions at Qatar Academy in Doha, Qatar. The next three weeks will be a roller coaster of emotions, hard work, final sorting out and packing, and farewells.

Last night was a special night for us all as it was the inaugural Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony for International School Dhaka (ISD) As one of the longest surviving expatriate teachers in the school and one of the few who has seen the development and growth of these students through Grade 9, 10 and then the IB years of Grade 11 and 12 I felt a particular sadness that the first fledglings were being sent on their way in the world.

We acknowledged the event with a grand ceremony at the newly opened Radisson Hotel in Dhaka. Both administrators and students spoke eloquently about the educational opportunities at ISD and how the current 36 graduates have an opportunity now to make a difference to the future of Bangladesh. I was delighted to hear our guest speaker, Dr Michael Maybury, former Executive Director of CIS, talk about how our graduates have the potential and the power to really move Bangladesh into the 21st century. Amongst other things he mentioned the fact that with so many millions of people in the country the challenges are great but that it is surely not right that a person can work hard all week (6-7 days and still not be able to feed a family).

As a world International Baccalaureate school running all three programmes (PYP, MYP and DP) the philosophy of education at ISD includes learning how to learn and embraces a holistic approach to education, with multiculturalism and communication underpinning the curriculum. I hope to see some of my ex-students take their place on the world stage as leaders in their country. It is interesting as from what they have told me they all have the desire to return to their country after pursuing tertiary education outside Bangladesh. They all have a great love for their country and their patriotism coupled with the educational advantages they have had as a privileged group in a very poor nation are significant factors to help make a difference. We, as educators from the outside world, are hoping that the philosophy and approach lived everyday while at secondary school will show them that corruption and taking advantage of privilege and status are not attributes that can help Bangladesh develop and grow internationally.

As part of the ceremony one of my ITGS students, Shaveena, had put together a 'memories of Grade 12' video and with her permission I uploaded it to YouTube. This is fairly personal to a small group of people but you may be interested to view it as Shaveena did a great job!

Memories of Grade 12, 2007
Produced by Shaveena, Grade 12 student at ISD

Also, here are a couple of photos but more can be found on my flickr slideshow.

Waiting to enter the Banquet Hall

Wasi and Munaiba, student speakers

My family and I at the ceremony

I am gratified that this event could be recorded using technology tools (flickr and YouTube) and that the students have already planned and setup Facebook as a way to keep in touch and foster an international alumni. That's one way to get teachers to use social networking, and it's working!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a new teacher to ISD starting in September, 2008 and reading this article makes me feel lucky that I will be coming to such an inspiring school.