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Volunteers Association for Bangladesh


Teacher Empowerment

Teacher Empowerment Measures include teachers’ training, performance awards for teachers, professional day for teachers, headmasters’ seminars and best performance school awards.

The teachers of the rural schools face difficulties in respect of subject knowledge, teaching techniques and teaching tools. The situation is made worse by an environment not conducive to quality education, the culture of rote learning and the absence of the exercise of accountability. The teachers’ knowledge of subjects, especially the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are upgraded as is their ability to use problem-solving methodologies. The teachers are also trained in mentorship - developing the ability to transfer the responsibility of student activities to the students themselves. This transfer of responsibility engages and motivates the students to accomplish activities they would not ordinarily undertake.

Teachers are trained, in particular, in one of four subject areas: Mathematics, Science, Language and Computer Skills. Computer skill training is conducted differently and is tailored to the needs of each school. Every year, for each of the three subjects - Mathematics, Science, and Language - two teachers are picked from each school to attend a 5-7 day training session at the VAB Training Center located at the VAB headquarters in Dhaka. Training sessions for the three subjects are conducted during different weeks. The two teachers from each school for each topic attend separate classes. One class has curriculum for teaching senior students, the other has curriculum for teaching junior students.

Instructors are teachers that are drawn from high quality urban schools. VAB has used this system all through. The instructors enjoy the experience and the teachers learn quickly from their peers who have faced many of the same issues. After selecting instructors, VAB and the instructors meet to work out the curriculum and determine needed equipment and supplies.

Teachers Training in Mathematics

The curriculum for the Mathematics training courses has the following elements:

  • Subject content
  • Pedagogical content
  • ICT in math instruction (e.g., the Khan Academy approach)
  • Instruction on mentoring students for math competitions.

Teachers Training in Science

The science curricula in the teachers’ training courses have the following elements:

  • Subject content
  • Pedagogical content
  • ICT in science instruction (e.g., the Khan Academy approach)
  • Demonstration of science experiments
  • Instruction on mentoring students for science fair projects.

Teachers Training in Language and Communication

The curricula in the teachers’ training courses have the following elements:

  • Subject content
  • Pedagogical content
  • Spoken English
  • Communication skills.

Teachers Training in Computer

Two- to three -day on-site computer training is conducted by a roving VAB computer trainer. The curriculum is dynamic to be tailored to the needs of each school. The training is imparted to all the teachers, with a minimum target of five teachers. The immediate scope of the training is the day to day application of the computer and the Internet. Two teachers at each school are trained sufficiently to upkeep the computer facilities.

Teacher Support

Most rural schools have an insufficient number of teachers - often more than 50 students per class. The schools enlisted for government support obtain the salaries of a specified number of teachers from the government. Often the schools hire additional teachers with very minor compensation. Some of them who promise to be successful teachers may be provided some additional support under this VAB measure.

Professional Day for Teachers

The VAB approach is not only to offer training but also to work towards developing a quality environment that is sustainable. This is done by a multi-pronged approach – engaging the teachers in the quality improvement process and promoting ownership by the teachers as the primary step.

Professional day is a one- or two-day workshop to stimulate the teachers to thrash out ideas for the improvement of the quality of education. The workshop also includes representatives from the students, the school management committee members and the community. They are asked to draw up plans with time line and budget for the recommendations they make for the improvement of the quality of education. The workshop is conducted by internal or external facilitators and the duration is one or two days.

Performance Award

VAB also offers performance based reward for the teachers with the verifiable indicators of student performance in respective areas. The expectation is that a reward and recognition will be a motivating factor, perhaps more effective than financial incentives.

VAB’s Teacher Empowerment Programs

The Table below shows the programs carried out to empower the teachers. It may be mentioned that most VAB training had components for both students and teachers. For example, for English conversation and Debate, the training given to the leadership groups for clubs was also given to the teachers. VAB found this to be an empowering force for the teachers to impart training and guidance to all students and also a factor contributing to reduction of program costs.

Table: VAB’s Teacher Empowerment Programs, 2012-2020

Name of Program

Program Components






English Speaking and








Computer Basic Training



Included both Teachers and  Headmasters

Group Method Pedagogy







English and ICT



Included both Teachers Headmasters





Planning Workshop




Performance Award

100% Pass Rate of Students in English & Math



In SSC examination


Quality education for the underprivileged in rural Bangladesh.


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