The British Council, Department of Public Libraries and Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN) will jointly organise nationwide preparatory workshops for the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO), International Robot Olympiad (IROC) and World Robot Olympiad (WRO). For successfull execution of these activities, British Council has renewed the agreement with BdOSN at the Bishwo Shahitto Kendro office in Banglamotor today through an event.
The signing ceremony was graced by the presence of Md. Abdul Mannan Ilias Director General (Additional Secretary) Department of Public Libraries and Ministry of Cultural Affairs as the chief guest. Among others, Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council Bangladesh, Kirsty Crawford, Programme Director, Libraries Unlimited, British Council and Lafifa Zamal, Professor, Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering, Dhaka University and Vice President BdOSN were also present.
These international competitions as International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO), International Robot Olympiad (IROC) and World Robot Olympiad (WRO) are held in different countries every year. Participating countries select the contestants from the district level. After that, the selected contestants were sent to different countries to participate in the final round by forming a national team.
The British Council and BdOSN will jointly organise campaigns, awareness and hand-on-training in Government Public Libraries in at least 30 districts of Bangladesh. BdOSN will provide volunteer support for these workshops. The activation will begin in March 2020.
The Chief Guest of the event, Md. Abdul Mannan Ilias said, “Competitions like International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO), International Robot Olympiad (IROC) and World Robot Olympiad (WRO) help to increase the interest in science and robotics among young people,” He mentioned that he was hopeful as new library users will be generated with an enhanced thurst for knowledge through the campaigns, awareness raising events and hands-on training to be organised by the British Council and BdOSN in Government Public Libraries. The Department of Public Libraries will have their full cooperation in this regard, he confirmed.
Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council Bangladesh said “We are very happy to organise preparatory workshops for International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO), International Robot Olympiad (IROC) and World Robot Olympiad (WRO) in collaboration with the Department of National Public Libraries and BDOSN.” The International Robot Olympiad participants of Bangladesh won gold medals last year and we are hoping to add more gold medals for Bangladesh in upcoming competetions as a result of these preparatoy workshops, hands-on training and awarenes raising events, he added.
Kirsty Crawford, Programme Director, Libraries Unlimited, British Council stated “We are bringing innovative services to modernise the public libraries in the country under the Libraries Unlimited programme. This includes organising coding workshops in libraries. We are providing Kano computers and micro-bits to government libraries in Bangladesh”. The Code Club initiative has been a success in youth engagement for the past year and a half she mentioned. Ms. Crowford also added, Libraries Unlimited is providing training in coding, programming, robotics and IOT (Internet of Things) in government libraries with the help of the partners. She was hopeful that, these workshops will add new dimensions to the education and library sector of Bangladesh.
The BdOSN and the British Council signed the agreement in 2018. BdOSN has been providing volunteer support for organising computer coding and programming workshops in the district government public libraries under this agreement since then.