Welcome to the GEIST International Foundation, Bangladesh Country Office
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the GEIST International Foundation, Bangladesh Country Office to welcome you to our home page. GEIST is a global non-profit organization, headquartered at Dhaka, Bangladesh, that has been spearheading the cause and development of Sustainable educational transformation globally.
GEIST (BD) is responsible for facilitating the overall activities in Bangladesh. It has over 300 direct members of which most of them are U.S. Alumni. Based on our membership network , GEIST is proud that it will be reach out to most of the educational community countrywide.
The purpose of the GEIST Foundation Program is to prepare students & Educators for success at their filed level by providing them with the solid skills in English,ICT, Environment and Mathematics that they need to pursue global competencies. The use of such preparation is a common practice in higher education world-wide.
The Foundation Program’s multicultural and multilingual academic and administrative staff strives to provide a successful and positive experience for its stakeholders. With a goal of helping new members reach their maximum potential, its highly-qualified instructors:
- create supportive learning environments,
- differentiate instruction according to members’ readiness levels, interests, and learning styles, and
- provide challenging yet enjoyable interactive classroom activities.
Since its establishment the GEIST International Foundation has continued to carry out internationally recognized activities. As Country Chief of Bangladesh I will work to ensure the foundation carries out activities according to the guiding principles. It will be particularly important to exercise foresight to read and stay ahead of constantly shifting trends.
Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in South Asia with GDP growth more than 6%. It is also endowed with vast natural resources including fresh water lakes, a number of big rivers , minerals, world’s longest sea beach and mangrove forest. The country’s population is largely composed of young and emerging cadres for the 21st century job markets.
Considering the above situation and understanding the role and importance of Education & Global Competence, we have started our operation in Bangladesh to build a Sustainable future generation. I hope that it will bring a lot of experience on knowledge development and improving global competencies. At this moment GEIST is operating its international stations in Nepal, India, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam & Uzbekistan. We have a good team comprising policy makers in government, academics and researchers, financiers and entrepreneurs.
We are looking forward for a very big turn-up of Emerging Future Leaders from local as well as international arena, who are eager to participate and listen to the exchange of field experiences that include opportunities and challenges facing both local as well as those from other parts of the world.
Let me conclude by expressing my sincere appreciation for the warm interest and support that we at the GEIST International Foundation have continued to receive, and I look forward to the continued advice and guidance of all our partners.
You are all welcome
Moshammat Monia Sultana
Director ( Operation),Bangladesh
The GEIST International Foundation
Bangladesh - Country Description
Actually, the word Bangladesh is a compound noun, combination of ‘Bangla’ and ‘Desh’. The word ‘Desh’ refers to land followed by the Sanskrit word deśha. And the word ‘Bangla’ refers to two different things; 1. ‘Bangla’ the mother tongue of the community and 2. The kingdom ‘Vanga’(during the Iron Age).
The Portuguese referred to the region ‘Bangala’ in the 16th century. Hence, the name Bangladesh means "Land of Bengal" or "Country of Bengal"
The name Bangladesh was originally written as two words only, Bangla Desh. The term Bangla is a major name for both the Bengal region and the Bengali Language. The Portuguese referred to the region as Bengala in the 16th century.
The origins of the term Bangla are unclear, with theories pointing to a Bronze Age proto-Dravidian tribe, the Austric word "Bonga" (Sun god), and the Iron Age Vanga Kingdom. The Indo-Aryan suffix Desh is derived from the Sanskrit word deśha, which means "land" or "country". Hence, the name Bangladesh means "Land of Bengal" or "Country of Bengal". National bird is wagtail and fruit is Jackfruit.
Bangladesh is located between 20º 34' and 26º38' north latitude and between 88º01' and 92º41' east longitude. The country is surrounded by India apart from a small common border with Myanmar in the southeast and the Bay of Bengal in the south part of the country. Bangladesh is a riverine country with 700 rivers, traversed by the many branches and tributaries of Ganges (local name Padma) and Brahmaputra (Jamuna) rivers. The delta region is inflected heavy damage by the tropical monsoons and frequent floods and cyclones. The Padma unites with the Jamuna and later joins the Meghna and finally flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
17% of the total area of Bangladesh is covered by forests and 12% by hill systems. Territorial water is 12 nautical miles Territorial Sea, 200 nautical miles Economic Zone. The country is divided into 8 divisions and 64 districts and those are into 489 sub-districts.
Geographic location between 200 34' and 260 38' north latitude and between 880 01'
And 920 41' east longitude (20.34’…….88.01’)
The geography of Bangladesh is divided between three regions. Most of the country is dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. The northwest and central parts of the country are formed by the Madhupur and the Barind plateaus. The northeast and southeast are home to evergreen hill ranges. The Ganges delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pôdda),Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna, finally flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
Territorial water is 12 nautical miles Territorial Sea, 200 nautical miles Economic Zone.
17% of the country is covered by forests and 12% is covered by hill systems. Bangladesh has 8 division and 64 districts and those are into 489 sub-districts.
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate characterized by wide seasonal variations in rainfall, humidity and high temperatures. There are three distinct seasons in Bangladesh. A hot and humid summer continues from March to June; a cool, rainy monsoon from June to October; and a cold, dry winter from October to March. Most places receive more than 1,525 mm of rain a year. The hilly areas receive 5080 mm of rain water though.
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladesh's climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, and a hot, humid summer from March to June. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country's rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. Main season are summer (March-May), rainy season (June-September) and winter (December-February)
Bangladesh is one of the most biodiversity-enriched countries in the world. The country is located in the Indo-Malaya Eco zone. There are five broad types of ecosystems in Bangladesh. These are a) Coastal and marine ecosystem, b) inland freshwater ecosystem, c) terrestrial forest ecosystem, d) hilly ecosystem and e) man-maid homestead ecosystem. The plain area of Bangladesh is famous for its fertile alluvial soil which supports extensive cultivation. The whole county is buried in groves of mango, jackfruit, banana, bamboo, betel-nut, coconut etc. About 6000 species of plant life including 5000 flowering plants are available in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans is the world’s largest mangrove forest is situated in the southwest part of the country. It covers an area of 6,000 km² in the littoral region and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bangladesh is located in the Indomalaya Eco zone. Its ecology includes a long sea coastline, numerous rivers and tributaries, lakes, wetlands, evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, hill forests, moist deciduous forests, freshwater swamp forests and flat land with tall grass. The Bangladesh Plain is famous for its fertile alluvial soil which supports extensive cultivation. The country is dominated by lush vegetation, with villages often buried in groves of mango, jackfruit, bamboo, betel nut, coconut and date palm. There are 6000 species of plant life, including 5000 flowering plants. Water bodies and wetland systems provide a habitat for many aquatic plants. Water lilies and lotuses grow vividly during the monsoon. The country has 50 wildlife sanctuaries.
Bangladesh is home too much of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. It covers an area of 6,000 km2 in the southwest littoral region and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also includes tropical and subtropical coniferous forests, a freshwater swamp forest and mixed deciduous forests.
Total Population is in Million 156.6 (source: World Bank, United States Census Bureau, 2013)
Bangla (Bengali) is the first (L1) as well as the official language of Bangladesh. English is considered as the foreign language. English is also used as the second language in higher education and in the legal system. Bangladesh has over thirty tribes with 2-3 million tribal people who speak their own with some exceptions.
Bangla (Bengali) being the sole official language, English is sometimes used secondarily for official purposes, especially in the judiciary.
More than 98% of Bangladeshis speak Bangla as their native language. English is also used as a second language among the middle and upper classes and is also widely used in higher education and the legal system. Bangladesh's Constitution and all laws are now in both English and Bangla.
- Transportation - Waterways
There are 3200-5202 miles (5150-8372 km) of navigable waterways in Bangladesh. As two-third of the country is a wetland laced with a dense network of rivers, canals and creeks, water transport is the most popular means of carrying passengers and merchandise. Launches, steamers, boats, cargo vessels are used trade and carrying passengers. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTC) has been established by the government for the maintenance of the waterways.
Country made crafts are the most widely used carriers on the rivers. These carry passengers and merchandise on a large scale. The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 major rivers which flow essentially north-south. Wherever there is a river and a village, a launch or steamer will play for trade.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has been established by the government for maintenance of navigability of ports and channels while the state-owned BIWTC provides passenger and cargo services in inland waterways and coastal areas of the country.
- Transportation - Road
Road transport system in Bangladesh has been playing a vital role in transporting passengers and goods. About 133,514km of roadways have been constructed by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGRD). Besides, a large number of bridges and culverts have also been built as a part of socio-economic development. The roadways of Bangladesh is not only a medium of quick transportation but also a way of facilitating transmission of electricity, natural gas and telecommunication links.
Bangladesh, among the various modes of transport, road transport system has been playing a significant role in transporting passengers and goods.
Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has so far constructed a total of 133,514 km (64,691 km dirt road and 68,823 km paved roads) upazila and union roads. The 4.8 km long Bangabandhu Bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1998, is the eleventh longest in the world. It has established a strategic link between the East and the West of Bangladesh. It is generating multifaceted benefits to the people and promoting inter-regional trade. Apart from quick movement of goods and passenger traffic, it is facilitating transmission of electricity and natural gas and has integrated the telecommunication links. Another attraction is Cycle rickshaw. It is the most popular form of public transport in Bangladesh. Dhaka, the nation's biggest city, is nicknamed the Rickshaw Capital of the World. Rickshaws also ply the streets of other major cities, as well as the countryside. Bangladeshi rickshaws are decorated with colorful posters and boards, often depicting movie stars, national monuments or religious icons. Rickshaw art is considered a form of neo-romanticism.
- Transportation - Railways
Bangladesh Railway is the only state-owned rail transport agency of Bangladesh. It covers the total length of 2,855 kilometers. There are three gauges used for rail transportation; Broad gauge, Meter gauge and Dual gauge. It has become popular in the sense of safety and less expense. Train services between Bangladesh and India have been commenced on April 14, 2008 with a view to establishing strong relationship between two countries.
The Bangladesh Railway provides an efficient service to places of interest such as Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Mymensingh, Bogra, Rajshahi, Dinajpuir starting from Dhaka. The inter-city Express Service is available to and from important cities at cheap fares.
Train services between Dhaka-Kolkata have been commenced on 14 April 2008 in order to establish communication between Bangladesh and India. After inclusion of railway track over the Jamuna Bridge, railway link between east and west zone has been established.
- Transportation - Airways
Bangladesh has a great geographical importance in the sense of air-transportation. Biman Bangladeh Airlines is the only national flag carrier airlines of Bangladesh which commenced operation just after following year of independence. The country has other registered passenger airlines such as Novoair, Regent Airways and United Airways. All these airlines have their hub at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka to operate their national and international flights. There are three international (Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong) and five domestic airports (Barishal, Cox’s Bazar, Jessore, Rajshahi and Saidpur) in Bangladesh. Biman Bangladesh airlines connects Dhaka with 27 major cities of the world.
The national flag carrier Biman flies to 26 international and eight domestic destinations.
There are now 13 operational airports and Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) ports in Bangladesh. These are Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla, Cox's Bazar, Ishurdi, Jessore, Rajshahi, Syedpur, Sylhet and Thakurgaon. Of these, the airports at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet serve international routes. Air cargo and STOL services have been handed over to the private sector by the government.
Bangladesh can be reached by air from any part of the world. Several international carriers fly to and from Dhaka. Biman, Bangladesh airlines connects Dhaka with 27 major cities of the world.
‘Bhate Machhe Bangali’ is the most common saying for the Bangladeshi. That means Bangladeshi are with rice and fish. Rice is the staple food of Bangladesh and is served with different types of curries. On the other hand, fish is the main source of protein in Bengali cuisine. It also includes various vegetables and lentils. During the harvest, our village women make different types of Pithas and enjoy their evening with their family in a festive mood. Vegetable dishes, either boiled, mashed or leaf-based are widely served. Actually, Bangladeshi cuisine has been influenced by the diverse history and traditional practices. The spectacular combination of our age old traditional values and a diverse range of perfectly blended spices give Bangladesh cuisines a unique taste and so people from all around the world do not hesitate to come back here again.
White rice is the staple of Bangladeshi cuisine, along with many vegetables and lentils. Rice preparations also include Bengali biryanis, Polas, and khichuis. Mustard sauce, ghee, sunflower oil and fruit chutneys are widely used in Bangladeshi cooking. Fish is the main source of protein in Bengali cuisine. The Hilsa is the national fish and immensely popular across Bangladesh. Seafood holds an important place in Bengali cuisine, especially lobsters, shrimps and dried fish and including distinctive sweets like Rôshogolla, Rôshomalai, Chomchom, Mishti Doiand Kalojaam. Pithas are traditional boiled desserts made with rice or fruits. Our Bangladeshi cuisine is a classic culinary art-form. Our food is ecstatic; a pure South Asian delicacy. The spectacular combination of our age old traditional values and a diverse range of perfectly blended spices give Bangladesh cuisines a unique taste for which people from all around the world do not hesitate to come back here again. Our foods and spices are so great that now these rule the whole world. Many of you might have already tasted those in abroad in many restaurants that provide Bangladeshi dishes.
Most of the Bangladeshi dishes are based on rice. Abundance of fishes in rivers and ponds and our love towards different varieties of fishes in many forms of dishes make the proverb “Fish and rice makes a Bengali” more meaningful. Especially Shorshe Ilish, a dish of smoked hilsha with mustard-seed paste, is considered as the most significant and important part of our Bangladeshi cuisine.
Festivals play the most significant role in the life of the Bangladeshi. There are basically two types of fastivals; traditional and religious. Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali New Year (April 14), is the major traditional festival followed by the daylong cultural activities. Most colorful gatherings of Bangladeshi people are arranged to celebrate the new year. Regardless of age, gender and religion, the Pohela Boishakh represents the communal harmony of the people of Bangladesh. We also observe The Independent Day and The Victory day with the same festive mood.
For the religious fastivals, the Muslim observe Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The Hindu festivals of Durga Puja; the Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christian festival of Christmas are also observed following the respective rituals.
Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali New Year, is the major festival of Bengali culture and sees widespread festivities. Of the major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh, only Pohela Boishakh comes without any preexisting expectations. Unlike holidays like Eid al-Fitr, where dressing up in lavish clothes has become a norm, or Christmas where exchanging gifts has become an integral part of the holiday, Pohela Boishakh is really about celebrating the simpler, rural roots of the Bengal. As a result, more people can participate in the festivities together without the burden of having to reveal one's class, religion, or financial capacity. Other cultural festivals include Nabonno, and Poush Parbon both of which are Bengali harvest festivals.
The Muslim festivals of Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha; the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja; the Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christian festival of Christmas.
Jahangirnagar University (Retd.)
Member of the Executive Board of the Montreal-based International University Theatre Association.
Board of the Theatre Education and Training Committee of International Theatre Institute (UNESCO).
Adjunct Faculty Member,
Premier University, Ctg.
Chittagong College, Ctg.)
Adjunct Faculty Member,
Premier University, Ctg
(Ex- Vice Principal,
Chittagong College, Ctg)
Chairman, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation.
Ex Judge , Advocate (Supreme Court),
Panel Advisor of Dhaka Residential Model school,
President , Modhumoti Rotary Club.
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities,
Associate professor & Chairman ,
Dept. of English, Comilla University.
Associate Professor of English, curriculum specialist ,
Secondary Education Sector Investment Programme (SESIP).
National Curriculum and Textbook Board, Bangladesh.
Teaching Assistant, Department of English and Humanities
Peer Tutor, ULAB English Zone
University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, ULAB
YES Alumni Bangladesh
Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA.
ILEP Fellow 2016
Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Host uni- Arizona State University. USA.
Student, Dept. of Sociology, D.U.