The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangladesh and the British Council signed a deal on Monday at the UNDP Dhaka office to address the growing importance of English language proficiency in today's interconnected world. Recognising the significance of English skills in enabling youth to compete in the local and global job market, this collaboration aims to offer online self-study courses through Futurenation, focusing on workforce development and youth upskilling. Futurenation is a unique alliance formed by UNDP Bangladesh, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) & Grameenphone, working towards accelerating the Nation's future economic growth. UNDP to work with content creators to promote SDGs English has emerged as the global language of communication, even for non-native speakers, making proficiency in the language essential for accessing employment opportunities and entrepreneurial scopes with confidence. Leveraging the British Council's unparalleled expertise in delivering English language education for over 80 years, this partnership aims to equip the youth of Bangladesh with the necessary language skills to navigate the dynamic employment landscape. Through this joint initiative, UNDP Bangladesh and the British Council will establish a framework to facilitate global citizenship education, co-design initiatives, and provide skills and training programs for the youth. By combining their strengths, expertise, and resources, the two organisations seek to magnify their impact and accelerate progress toward shared objectives.Stefan Liller, the Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership. UNDP to raise awareness on plastic pollution by introducing jute-polymer bags "This collaboration between the British Council and UNDP marks a significant milestone in our shared mission to promote education, culture, and sustainable development. By joining forces, we synergise our strengths, expertise, and resources, magnifying our impact and accelerating progress toward our shared objectives,” he said. One of the primary focuses of this partnership is to jointly develop training courses on business English, enhancing the employability of the youth and creating economic opportunities for all. Additionally, the initiative will prioritise climate action and youth, business and human rights from the youth perspective, and joint campaigns for creating social impact. Tom Miscioscia, the Director of the British Council in Bangladesh, said they are excited to collaborate with UNDP on the Futurenation programme. “Together, we will harness the transformative power of education and boost young people’s English language skills across Bangladesh to enhance their entrepreneurship and employment prospects. The British Council is committed to supporting Bangladesh’s next generation by building their skills, confidence, and connections through life-changing opportunities in English, education, and the arts.” The collaboration between UNDP and the British Council will open numerous opportunities for information sharing and consultation on matters of common interest. Together, they aim to ensure inclusive and quality education, leaving no one behind in the pursuit of sustainable economic well-being.
Short films on Water - a film screening depicting adverse consequences of climate change will be showcased at the British Council premises on Saturday. The short films were produced under the project ‘Bangladesh Cymru Climate Stories’ by Dhaka DocLab and Wales One World Film Festival from the United Kingdom with support from the British Council. The films explore the experience of coastal communities and river dwellers against the backdrop of climate breakdown. The four films are- Doprujhiri by Asma Bethee and Latika by Samsul Islam Shopoon from Bangladesh; Our Home, the Sea by Mared Rees and She Sells Shellfish by Lily Tiger Tonkin from Wales, UK. Planning Minister M. A. Mannan will be joining the event as the chief guest that will begin at 5pm. Dr.Farhina Ahmed, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Tom Miscioscia, Country Director, British Council Bangladesh will be present as special guests. The screening is open for all and be followed by a conversation with the directors, producers , and characters of the four documentaries along with a question-and-answer session, said a media release on Wednesday. The film screening event is a part of the British Council's observation of the World Environment Day on 5 June, which encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment. The Bangladesh-Cymru Climate Stories film project was created in collaboration between Dhaka DocLab and Wales One World Film Festival. Four filmmakers received financial and technical support from Dhaka DocLab and Wales One World Film Festival to complete their short films, which focus on climate change stories connected to women to create awareness among people. The project is funded by the British Council’s International Collaboration Programme, which was introduced to support cultural partnerships in the UK and overseas and inspire independent artists to continue creative pursuits. So far, 94 projects from 41 countries have been completed with grant support from the British Council.
In partnership with the British Council, award-winning arts company Komola Collective has recently staged “Indigo Giant”, a gripping drama written by Ben Musgrave, at Bangladesh Mohila Samity Complex. From September 8-10, audiences had the opportunity to enjoy the performance by Komola Collective’s ensemble of theatre-artists from diverse backgrounds and creative disciplines. Indigo Giant projects a story inspired by eminent writer and dramatist Dinabandhu Mitra’s epic play “Nil Darpan”. Also read: 23rd Young Artists' Fine Arts Exhibition ends Translated and produced by Leesa Gazi, Indigo Giant revisits forgotten moments from the history of the British period, while touching down on the irrefutable emotional whirlwind of the then Bengalis, said a media release on Sunday. Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed, Md Sohel Rana, Sharif Siraj, Dr Sydur Rahman Lipon, Mamdudur Rahman Mukto, Mitali Das, Sadman Syed, Shipra Das Roma and Shishir Rahman portrayed different roles in the drama directed by Naila Azad. Also read: ‘The Fabelmans': Steven Spielberg debuts autobiographical film at Toronto Film Festival “It has born out of a dialogue between Bengali and British theatre artistes”, said Leesa Gazi about the drama. “Indigo Giant aims to form a living bridge between the trailblazing 19th-century Bengali play Nil Darpan and contemporary attitudes to indigo and multi-national commerce.” The event was supported by the GCRF QR Rapid Response Scheme, University of East Anglia, The Charles Wallace Bangladesh Trust and Living Blue.
The activities carried out under ‘Our Shared Cultural Heritage’ (OSCH), a youth-led programme by the British Council, has been showcased in Rajshahi. The activities were showcased on July 28 and 29. This project has been designed to connect young people and inspire them to work with cultural heritages through organising a series of trainings and activities. 31 young people from different institutions have been working with cultural heritages since 2021 under this project. Read: International art exhibition held in Kathmandu paying tribute to Sultan It is to connect the heritages to the youth as well as to the wider audience so that people can understand and work on our heritages. On 28 July, a programme was held at Varendra Research Museum, the research partner of this project. Robert Chatterton Dickson, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, was present at the programme with Tom Miscioscia, Director Bangladesh, the British Council and other guests in attendance.
A total of four young filmmakers, two from Bangladesh and two from Wales, have recently been selected during an online workshop, organized by Dhaka DocLab in collaboration with Wales One World Film Festival and funded by the British Council’s International Collaboration Grants, on climate change stories. After completion of these projects, these four films will be premiered at the Wales One World Film Festival in Wales, UK in March 2023 , said a media release on Sunday.
The British Council, in collaboration with Dhaka Theatre, has recently staged the technical show of its physical storytelling theatre piece titled “Noishobde ’71” (’71 in Silence) at Bangladesh Mohila Samity in the capital’s New Baily Road. It has been produced as a part of celebrating The British Council’s 70th anniversary in Bangladesh and also Bangladesh’s 50th year of independence, said a media release. The theatre piece is directed by Ramesh Meyyappan, a Glasgow-based Singaporean theatre-maker who developed performances using an eclectic mix of visual and physical theatre styles. The 30-minute performance includes 15 artists with disabilities from eight divisional cities of Bangladesh and focuses on the country’s Liberation War through different acting methods. This activity was a part of the DARE (Disability Arts Redefining Empowerment) project led by the British Council in partnership with Dhaka Theatre. Also Read: British Council brings exhibition BANGLA for local art connoisseurs DARE is a project aimed at building an understanding and confidence amongst the disability and the arts sector in Bangladesh. It is meant to dispel the social stigmas associated with disability, and build an accessible bridge between arts, disability, and society. DARE was launched in 2019. Since then, it has been working in eight divisional cities in Bangladesh where both artists with disabilities and artists from local theatre organisations are participating together in order to get a better idea about how to work on disability theatre to create a sustainable platform for disability arts.
The British Council has organised an exhibition styled as ‘BANGLA’ to commemorate 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence with Tower Hamlets. Dhaka-based architecture studio Paraa, in collaboration with Tower Hamlets Libraries and Archives, National Portrait Gallery, London, citizen researchers (local community members) and The Rainbow Collective, has recently come up with a collaborative piece of artwork reflecting on the work of citizen researchers from the British Bangladeshi community, who have been exploring the role people in Tower Hamlets played in the independence of Bangladesh and the legacy of the 1971 on the local community. The British Council is supporting a viewing of the artwork through this exhibition in Dhaka, said a media release on Wednesday. The exhibition kicked off at the British Council in the city on June 16 and will continue till July 16. The exhibition is open for all from 9am 5pm. On the opening day, an Artist Talk with Ruhul Abdin was held where a conversation with the National Portrait Gallery discussing this collaborative piece of artwork as part of the CITIZEN UK initiative was initiated. Ruhul Abdin and Sadiqul Islam Shehab of Paraa worked with material collected by these citizen researchers to create this collaborative piece of artwork as part of the National Portrait Gallery (London) CITIZEN UK initiative. Read: British Council’s 'UK 1971: People's Solidarity with Bangladesh's Liberation’ exhibition begins To commemorate 50 years of Bangladeshi independence, the new public artwork has been installed at the Tower Hamlets Idea Store in Whitechapel, London. It signifies the diverse people that make up Tower Hamlets’ Bangladeshi community. Covering the letters in saree fabric refers to the fabric industry which employed many Bengali workers in Tower Hamlets (and is still a prominent industry in Bangladesh supplying many UK clothing retailers). Each letter is wrapped in a different colour inspired by Biman Mullick’s design for the first set of stamps representing Bangladesh as a new nation in 1971. The artwork will remain permanently in the borough of Tower Hamlets at the Idea Store, as a reminder of the stories connected to 1971 and the Bangladeshi community of East London.
HSBC in partnership with the British Council on Tuesday launched of a new programme to provide life skills for 2400 young girls in Bangladesh. The programme, ‘English and Digital for Girls’ Education’ (EDGE), aims to improve life skills for out-of-school and marginalised adolescent girls and build their self-confidence to enable them to have a greater say in their futures. British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson; Chief Executive Officer, HSBC, Bangladesh Md Mahbub ur Rahman; Director Bangladesh, British Council Tom Miscioscia; and EDGE Peer group leaders Jenny Akter and Sadia joined the virtual launching ceremony of the EDGE 2021 programme. British High Commissioner Dickson said English language and digital skills are important tools for success in the 21st century economy, in Bangladesh as elsewhere. With EDGE Bangladesh, he said, the British Council and HSBC aim to build these capabilities among marginalised adolescent girls, helping to give them economic opportunities and strengthen their voices. Read: Bangladesh holds hidden gems for investors: HSBC “It supports our work with the government in Bangladesh and elsewhere to make education more equitable and boost girls’ life chances. The disruption caused by the Covid pandemic has made this work all the more important and urgent and I’m very pleased to be launching this programme,” said the British High Commissioner. In this regard, Mahbub ur Rahman said at HSBC, their social sustainability strategy is focused on providing future skills for our customers, employees and for the community. “With project ‘EDGE’ reaching 2400 young girls located in urban and rural areas of Bangladesh, we trust that it will provide useful skills to help them thrive now and in the future. I want to thank the British Council for partnering with us on this great initiative,” he said. Tom Miscioscia said they are particularly proud to launch EDGE 2021 to coincide with their 70th anniversary of operations in Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of Independence. “The British Council is keen to work with strong partners like HSBC to increase English proficiency, build digital 21st century skills and awareness of social issues, among marginalised women and girls, so that they can make more informed and independent life choices in order to contribute more fully to the family, the economy and society”. Read: HSBC named Bangladesh's best international retail bank HSBC and the British Council are also partnering with local providers Dnet and Spreeha Foundation in the implementation across Bangladesh. ‘EDGE’ will use a combination of face-to-face and remote delivery models, aiming to reach the marginalised adolescent girls across Bangladesh and offer them the 21st century skills. This joint effort will benefit these marginalised students significantly by providing them 21st century skills of English and IT and opening new perspectives for them. This is especially relevant given the reduction of educational opportunities for children during the time of pandemic. The programme builds on the successes of previous EDGE programmes the British Council has run since 2012 and includes new training components. EDGE is designed around a ‘Peer-led’ model where more senior girls are trained as ‘Peer group leaders’ who then deliver training to their counterparts. This model builds capacity amongst young women and fosters sustainability.
The United Kingdom (UK) has recognized Bangladesh’s role as a "critical stability provider" in the region, and its particular relevance in the context of the UK’s integrated foreign, trade, development and security policy review with focus on the Indo-Pacific. Bangladesh and the UK agreed to remain engaged on a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis, together with relevant regional and international actors. The two countries discussed the bilateral, regional and global issues at the 4th Strategic Dialogue held in London on Thursday. Both delegations exchanged views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan. Read: FM reiterates call for removing Bangladesh from UK's Covid red list Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen led the Bangladesh delegation at the talks while his British counterpart Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) led the UK side. The Bangladesh Foreign Secretary urged the UK to review the current travel restrictions on Bangladesh as a matter of priority, considering the steady improvement in the Covid-19 infection and vaccination rates. The two sides agreed to further scale up cooperation in genome sequencing of the testing samples through relevant Bangladesh agencies. Bangladesh and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their historic and multidimensional ties at the 4th Strategic Dialogue. “Bangladesh at 50 and the UK post-Brexit have the opportunity to further energize our bilateral relations in line with our efforts at resetting our foreign policy pursuit towards deeper strategic engagement with key international partners”, said Masud Momen. Barton underlined the importance of the two democracies engaging with each other on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues. The two sides recalled the founding of the bilateral relations during Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s visit to London on January 8, 1972 on his way to the newly independent Bangladesh, when he was received by the British Prime Minister Edward Heath.
The British Council will host the third regional "Study UK Virtual Fair" on September 11 from 2-6pm. The fair will showcase wide-ranging study and career opportunities in the UK to participants from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Also, it will provide an opportunity for students to interact with faculty leaders and providers from across the UK. While international travel may be on pause or limited, the fair offers the student an opportunity to start planning and seek advice from the experts, the British Council said Monday. READ: How to study abroad? Visit virtual fair to know Students will also get the opportunity to post questions in the virtual fair, visit chat rooms, download catalogues, and exchange business cards. Representatives from 28 UK higher education institutions, including nine Russell Group universities; British Council IELTS and UK Visas and Immigration will participate in this virtual fair and interact with the attendees to guide them on courses, admission process, scholarships and more. READ: Studying Abroad in Canada: Prospects and Challenges