£50 Million of Your Money to Help 25 Million Bangladeshis Speak English
The new ConDem government has once again shown its loyalty to the British public by giving away a further £50 million to teach 25 million Bangladeshis English — while the axe falls on spending at home.
The incredible announcement of the English language programme was announced on an internal circular sent out by the Open University a few days ago and picked up by an alert BNP News correspondent.
According to the Open University circular, a “£50 million programme over nine years will help 25 million people in Bangladesh develop their English language skills via new mobile technologies.
“English in Action, currently in pilot phase, was initiated at the request of the Government of Bangladesh, is funded by the UK Department for International Development, and is using expertise from the Open University in researching the project operations and developing, supporting and evaluating innovative teacher education programmes,” said the circular.
“English in Action provides English teachers in Bangladesh with professional development training and resources and classroom materials so that they can enhance their own teaching skills and bring new ideas into the classroom.
“The Open University’s experts in distance education have helped to produce development materials for teachers that fit with the Bangladeshi curriculum, and advice on how teachers and their use of technology can be supported in the programme.
“Teachers are given handheld mobile devices such as iPods to use in the classroom with speakers, so that pupils can listen to podcasts and other audio or video materials, and use these in conjunction with their school textbooks.
“200 secondary school teachers are also studying a customised Level 1 OU course — Make Your Teaching Experience Count — which is being delivered through BRAC University in Bangladesh and quality assured by the OU.”
Meanwhile, the ConDem regime is pushing ahead with previously announced British education budget cuts of £398 million for 2010–11.
In addition, British universities have been told to make “efficiency savings” of more than £83 million.
Yet, it seems, there is money for ipods, speakers and textbooks for Bangladeshis to learn English.
* According to the International Monetary Fund, Bangladesh is ranked as the 48th largest economy with a gross domestic product of US$224.889 billion. The economy has grown at the rate of 6–7 percent per year over the past few years and has an unemployment rate of 2.4 percent — compared to the UK’s unemployment rate of 8 percent (according to the 12 May 2010 figures released by the labour force survey).