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BRAVE: Pioneers of AV-based learning in Bangladesh

It’s been quite a while that the world has moved towards audiovisual learning methods, and Bangladesh is only beginning to put that method into practice. A number of online groups have already begun to develop audiovisual lessons. BRAVE – Be Related to Audiovisual Education – a voluntary online group based in Chandpur district, is one of the pioneers.

Despite all the advancement in the fields of science and technology, human beings have managed to understand only a tiny of bit of how their brains work. One of those findings is that it becomes a lot easier for the human brain to understand and remember any input that appeals to multiple sensory avenues – auditory and visual to be specific.

From such understanding, BRAVE has been developing different kinds of audiovisual learning resources for the web, mainly targeting school and college students for several years now. The voluntary group was formed back in 2013 by Rupok Roy, a young associate professor at a local college in Chandpur.

“In 2013, the Chandpur Municipality organized a series of anti-drug docu-drama screening at schools and colleges. I was involved with that project and I gained some first-hand experience on how multimedia content can create much greater appeal and response compared to printed materials,” Rupok reminisces.

Then the idea of developing a series of audiovisual (AV) web content on different chapters from school and college textbooks came to his mind. As a student, Rupok had worked on developing audiovisual content. So, with some online-enthusiast students from his college, he formed BRAVE.

In the beginning, BRAVE tried to convince school and college teachers and sought cooperation for classroom screening of their AV content. Most teachers were skeptical; only a handful realized the potential of such teaching methods and agreed to cooperate.

BRAVE doesn’t have a full-fledged workstation setup as yet. The members usually source footage from the internet and when needed shoot small video clips with their mobile phones or basic digital cameras. Then, they add text and voiceover to the video using free video and sound editing tools.

BRAVE won the Joy Bangla Youth Award in 2017 in the community development category for their contribution in promoting AV-based learning methods in Chandpur.

“Now that we have got the Joy Bangla Youth Award, it would be much easier for us to make teachers understand what we are doing isn’t worthless,” said Md Nazmul Haq, an active member of BRAVE.

Slowly, BRAVE’s way of learning is gaining popularity in Chandpur and a number of schools and colleges are now screening their content on Liberation War, history, ethics, humanities, social studies, science, economics, etc. in the classrooms. Several volunteer-members of BRAVE have taken training on film-making, documentary making, acting and videography from the National Institution of Mass Communication.

Here’s the link to BRAVE’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfdVYX-BciL0dZSv2W2UWhQ/videos

The organization is solely run on the monthly subscription of its 250 volunteer members. As audiovisual-based learning is a relatively new concept in Bangladesh, and also because they are based in a small district town, they haven’t been able to attract any sizeable funding for a meaningful expansion.

Currently, a total of 10 teams of BRAVE are actively working to promote AV-based education in as many educational institutions in the district including the Chandpur Government Women’s College. They are also voluntarily working to promote gardening habits among school and college students.

Their immediate future plan now is to create more content on the Liberation War, especially develop and preserve documentaries on the Biranganas and families of martyrs with help from Young Bangla.

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