On March 20, 2021, VAB held Final of its English Proficiency Competition among 15 participants from eleven schools in five different districts of Bangladesh. The contestants were finalists from the English Conversation Program among 25 schools from the same districts. Both these Competitions are parts of the VAB English Skill Enhancement Program intended to improve English language skills of rural boys and girls of Bangladesh who have been alarmingly deficient in these skills. This deficiency not only harms career potentials of rural youths, it also gives rise to an urban-rural divide in opportunities for better life.
The Competition held on Zoom covered three topics: Recitation, Public Speech and Advanced Vocabulary. The poem chosen for recitation was Tyger by William Blake. The students chose different topics for public speech with the theme: “If I had the power …” Advanced vocabulary involved making new words with suffixes and prefixes.
It was the final program of VAB in celebration of the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the nation.
The students performed with eagerness and passion in presence of the virtual audience. Two girls, Nishat Tasnim Dihan and Sadia Anjum Pushpa, both from Bhangura Jarina Rahim Girls’ High School of Bhangura became joint first securing 89.4% marks while Apple Mamud of Nageshwari D. M. Academy securing 87.5% marks was in the third position.
Two of the judges were members of the VAB Board of Advisers and one a retired English teacher of D. M. Academy.
Participants included teachers, Headmasters and guests from New York and Melbourne, Australia.
At the end of the event, Dr. Mushfique Rahman of Melbourne, renowned expert in the field, and the judges applauded the performance of the contestants and advised them to be steadfast in practicing English.