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Callosum BD celebrates ‘World No Tobacco Day’ through “Exradico”

Tobacco is one of the greatest health threats the world has been facing. It kills more than 8 million people around the globe per year. Every year on 31st May, ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is observed around the world. The theme for this year was “protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”.

To celebrate this day, CallosumBD organised a 6-day long online competition, ‘Exradico’, starting on 31st May 2020, which included article writing, drawing and digital art/illustration, for both medical and dental students. Exradico is a Latin verb which is synonymous to ‘obliterate’, ‘exterminate’, ‘root out’. This event aimed to eradicate the use of tobacco by making people aware of the harm they are inflicting upon themselves and upon their loved ones, keeping in mind the slogan for this year #TobaccoExposed.

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Over 100 participants, from 30 medical colleges around Bangladesh took part in this online competition, held in Callosum bd’s official website, engaging over 2,500 people. 50% of the points were assigned based on claps, and the rest were given by the judge’s panel, out of 50. The clap system is a special feature on this website, which allowed people to vote for their favourite content. And it is through this, such a huge mass of people could be involved in order to raise awareness among the community.

Perhaps, the most attractive part of this competition was the judge’s panel, which included the most accomplished and prestigious personnel of the medical sector. The first member was

Prof Dr. Muna Shalima Jahan, one of the most elegant and resourceful professors of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sir Salimullah Medical college (SSMC). The second member, Prof Dr. Shikha Paul, is one of the most knowledgeable professors of Microbiology, currently teaching in Sir Salimullah Medical college (SSMC). The third, fourth and fifth members include, Dr. Durba Halder (Associate professor, Department of Medicine SSMC), Dr. Ireen Parveen Alam (Associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology SSMC), and the most friendly assistant professor of Anatomy (Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute), Dr. Mazharul Islam Milu, respectively. And last but not the least, Dr. Rafiul Alam (Assistant professor, Department of ENT, SSMC)

The results will be announced on June 10, 2020, on Callosum bd’s Facebook page. Exciting prizes and certificates await the winners of this competition. All participants will be receiving participation certificates as well.

And not to mention, Callosum BD is a voluntary non-political team run by students of different batches of Sir Salimullah medical college. Callosum BD intends to help students, both medical and dental, by making the tough BMDC curriculum as palatable as possible, by providing videos on difficult topics of Medical Science, is the most simple but informative way. Being named as one of World’s top 20 anatomy channels by feedspot.com, it has already gained acceptance among the students as a reliable and authentic educational channel on YouTube, with around 27k subscribers. It is also one of very first medical education-based YouTube channels of Bangladesh and has over 200 videos on various topics.

Bangladesh education curriculum to undergo significant changes

Big changes are coming to pre-primary school to high school levels’ education system. Whether students will study in the science section or any other section will be determined in class eleven. From class six to ten, everyone will have to learn the same ten subjects.

National curriculum and textbook board (NCTB) is working to refine the curriculum from pre-primary school to high school with such a proposal and plan. According to the refined curriculum, class one, class two and class six students will receive new textbooks next year. Gradually other classes will get new books.

The curriculum will be finalized within the next march and it will be fully implemented by the year 2025.

The number of books will also decrease. Subject matters will change. And SSC examination will be held based on only class ten’s curriculum. Two public examinations will be held in class eleven and class twelve, based on which HSC results will be published.

Two members of NCTB said to sources that some matters are almost finalized, and some are in the planning process. The committee comprising education experts and NCTB officers along with personnel from other levels are working to refine the Curriculums.

Primary school to high school level’s curriculums were last changed in 2012.

Primary level

According to NCTB, there will be no normal examination up to class three.

“The Curriculum is being designed in such a way to promote active learning in the students for acquiring requisite skills.”

According to Professor AKM Riazul Hasan, member (primary Curriculums) of NCTB

Schools up to class three will carry out a continuous evaluation. The books will be designed in such a way so that they can be taught practically. The names of the books may also be changed. For example, the mathematics book may be named ‘Fun in Maths’.

Former chairman of Jessore Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Amirul Alam Khan told that those who understand the whole education system should be the ones to design the curriculum appropriate for the day and age that we are in.

There will be ten books from class six to class ten

According to the proposed curriculum, all students from class six to class ten will be taught using the same ten subject. Then in class eleven, an opportunity for choosing sections will be given. Currently, students have to study the same books up to class eight and in class nine, students have to transfer into science, arts or business sections. The proposed curriculum set out the following ten books to be taught from class six to class ten: Bengali, English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology, Social Science, Life & Work, Religion, Health Education, and Arts & Culture. Currently, in these classes, twelve to fourteen subjects are taught.

Shahan Ara Begam, principal of Motijheel Ideal School & College has said that the decision of decreasing the number of books is a positive one. But she also said that the subjects should be implemented in such a way that students can learn the Bengali language and other subjects well.

SSC examination to be held based on the curriculum of class ten

At the time, the SSC examination is held based on the curriculums of both classes nine and ten. In the refined curriculum, it has been planned that SSC examination will be taken based only on the curriculum of class ten. A member of NCTB told that skills that are to be learned in class nine are tested in the educational institute itself already. Students get to class ten after passing class nine. Therefore, only class ten’s curriculum will be considered for SSC examination and thus, pressure on students will also decrease. If this is approved, it will be realized in 2024.

Education Course expert Professor Siddiqur Rahman considered the initiative to choose sections in class eleven a positive one. He said that as the country improved itself, the pillar of education must be strengthened in tandem. So, every student should be brought up to be as capable as possible by class ten. To this end, how much science, arts, or business studies should be taught needs to be determined carefully.

Two public examinations in higher secondary school level

If the plan is passed, by the year 2025, students will choose their sections in class eleven. There will twelve papers in higher secondary schools. Among these, Bengali, English, and Information and Communication Technology will be mandatory for everyone. Along with these, students will take three subjects of the section that they choose, each of which will consist of three papers. The class eleven examination will be held on the mandatory three subjects and the first part of each section wise subjects. This examination will be held under the supervision of the Education Board. The results will be preserved by the board. Then in class twelve, the students will sit for the examination on the rest of the subjects. Class twelve’s result and class eleven’s result will be combined to determine a student’s HSC result.

There are also talks of giving some flexibility regarding section choice.

If this is allowed, then students can take a subject from another section along with two subjects of his chosen section if he wants to.

A higher officer of NCTB further told that even though there will be two examinations, students will ultimately experience decreased pressure. The subjects on which examination is being taken at once currently will be divided between class eleven and class twelve.

Professor Md. Mashiuzzaman, member (curriculum) of NCTB told that many matters are under discussion. The curriculum will be finalized in February and March.

Why does ragging exist in our universities? Answers and confessions

Cover art: Nasif Chowdhury

Over the years, ragging has become a tradition in Bangladeshi universities. Behind the facade of welcoming the new students, ragging is a notorious practice where the seniors get an excuse to harass their junior counterparts and often target them to satiate their own sadistic pleasures. For decades, ragging has been discussed and debated, but while we all have been looking for solutions, there is little effort to figure out why it is even being practised in universities to this day.

It is yet to be understood that ragging is not merely a socio-legal problem, it has a certain psychological basis too.

Just like how every crime has some sort of motive, a bully, too, has something to accomplish through the act of ragging.

Let’s take a look at some of the psychological reasons behind ragging and bullying in universities.

A sense of authority

Most bullies seem to constantly fail to establish control over their own lives. So, when they get a freshman or a junior at their command, they nurture a sense of authority that boosts their morale and put them on a high. This is more like an alternative way for them to somehow fill that huge void in their lives.

“I loved being on the campus all day because they would do anything to be on good terms with me. I’d rather stay there all day than go home, things weren’t that easy back home.”

– Anonymous

A ticket into the influential crowd

Often bullies live under the misconception that ragging is a fashion statement these days and that it can help them get into the ‘influential crowd’ in their universities.

Peer pressure

It is also true that not all the seniors involved with ragging do it because they enjoy doing it, or even do it at their own will. What they really want is to not feel left out as they see their friends and batchmates indulge in ragging their juniors. So, due to the fear of isolation, they end up joining the herd in the act.

Means of retaliation

Seniors who have a previous history of getting ragged often rag their juniors as a means of revenge for what they had to go through.

“I was not someone who liked ragging juniors. It’s just that, having gotten ragged as a junior myself. It sometimes felt like a need to give my juniors a subtle taste of what I had to go through. I regret it though”

-Anonymous

The satisfaction of sadistic pleasures

Many bullies in universities see ragging as an opportunity to satiate their sadistic pleasures. People with twisted minds who find pleasure in seeing others suffer, they exist. The reasons can include issues like bad childhood memories, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bad parenting etc.

No matter what psychology works behind this behaviour, ragging is not okay and there is nothing that can justify this awful act. However, it’s important to identify the reasons for an issue in order to fix it from the core.

Sex education to be introduced in school and madrasa curriculum of Bangladesh

Within the span of ten years, the education board has added and changed quite a few things in the curriculum here and there. However, recently the government has decided to take the initiative to launch “Sex-Reproductive Health Education” program which is quite a breakthrough for our schools and madrasas.

The brain behind the initiative

“Generation Break Through” will run the program accordingly in schools and other educational institutions around the country. The Secondary and Higher Education Department has been working on this project for about 20 to 25 years.

In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, Project Director and Director (Planning and Development) Dr Mohammad Jahangir Hossain mentioned in that the program took place in some schools and madrasas as “Phase One”. Since the program was running successfully, the government has decided to put it in under all schools and madrasas accordingly. With the end of a successful phase, the second phase of this program will start from this year. However, the official launch of this subject will occur around 2021-2022.

Better late than never

In the beginning, there were some concerns as most teachers and education institutions were doubtful of the program. However, with proper training funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the project broke through the stereotypes by taking small and steady steps. According to the sources, despite the “social constricting” ideologies, parents in most education institutions took an interest in the program.

Elementary and middle school students are studying under this program through sports at ‘Gender Equality for All Corner’ or ‘Teenage Corner’ established in the institutions. From the second phase onward, the program will have strict rules to accommodate trained teachers, fixed content and the consistent habit of creating a healthy environment for the students.

Small steps to a safer space

In a society where sexual abuse of both genders has increased at an alarming rate, sex education is a very crucial step for us. The idea of consent is much more diverse than we think of it to be.

“Be it a village or an urban society youths are sexually active, so they must know the dos and don’ts about safe sex and hygiene, in order to make the right decisions with situations like these”

Says Nusrat Zahid, a student of Bangladesh University of Professionals, when asked about her take on this new program.

The fundamental knowledge about sexual reproductive health and safe sex will bring awareness among youths and their surroundings.

Sex education to be introduced in school and madrasa curriculum of Bangladesh

Within the span of ten years, the education board has added and changed quite a few things in the curriculum here and there. However, recently the government has decided to take the initiative to launch “Sex-Reproductive Health Education” program which is quite a breakthrough for our schools and madrasas.

The brain behind the initiative

“Generation Break Through” will run the program accordingly in schools and other educational institutions around the country. The Secondary and Higher Education Department has been working on this project for about 20 to 25 years.

In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, Project Director and Director (Planning and Development) Dr Mohammad Jahangir Hossain mentioned in that the program took place in some schools and madrasas as “Phase One”. Since the program was running successfully, the government has decided to put it in under all schools and madrasas accordingly. With the end of a successful phase, the second phase of this program will start from this year. However, the official launch of this subject will occur around 2021-2022.

Better late than never

In the beginning, there were some concerns as most teachers and education institutions were doubtful of the program. However, with proper training funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the project broke through the stereotypes by taking small and steady steps. According to the sources, despite the “social constricting” ideologies, parents in most education institutions took an interest in the program.

Elementary and middle school students are studying under this program through sports at ‘Gender Equality for All Corner’ or ‘Teenage Corner’ established in the institutions. From the second phase onward, the program will have strict rules to accommodate trained teachers, fixed content and the consistent habit of creating a healthy environment for the students.

Small steps to a safer space

In a society where sexual abuse of both genders has increased at an alarming rate, sex education is a very crucial step for us. The idea of consent is much more diverse than we think of it to be.

“Be it a village or an urban society youths are sexually active, so they must know the dos and don’ts about safe sex and hygiene, in order to make the right decisions with situations like these”

Says Nusrat Zahid, a student of Bangladesh University of Professionals, when asked about her take on this new program.

The fundamental knowledge about sexual reproductive health and safe sex will bring awareness among youths and their surroundings.