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Forty Bangladeshi Youth Graduate from U.S. Embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Program
February 11, 2021

The 40 students from Dhaka’s vocational schools successfully completed the two-year Access Program, strengthening their English language and leadership skills and other marketable skills.

DHAKA, February 11, 2021 – U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller congratulated the 40 newest graduates of the U.S. State Department-funded English Access Microscholarship Program during a virtual ceremony today, February 11, 2021.  Ambassador Miller praised the 20 young women and 20 young men for their hard work in completing the course during the pandemic and encouraged them to continue their studies to prepare for the future.  “As Bangladesh approaches the 50th anniversary of its independence, there’s no better time to recognize the power of young minds – like yours – to solve problems and shape the future of our increasingly interconnected world,” he said.

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a two-year interactive program that builds a foundation of English language, American culture, and leadership skills for 13-20-year-olds from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and helps them to become more competitive for higher education and employment opportunities.  Currently 132 students are enrolled in Access programs in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Sylhet, and Chattogram.  Two hundred additional students will start the program in 2021.  Since the program began in 2004, more than 1,200 Bangladeshi students have successfully completed it.  Today’s graduating class joins 95,000 other Access program alumni in more than 85 countries around the world.

Today’s graduating cohort is the first group of Access students in South Asia to attend Access classes online – transitioning from in-person to online learning following the COVID-19 outbreak last year.  The group is also the Embassy’s first ever cohort of Access students from Dhaka-area vocational schools.  The Global Educators Initiative for Sustainable Transformation (GEIST) International Foundation, the Embassy’s implementing partner for this Access program, played an integral role in helping convert the interactive in-person course and materials to an online course.

The Access program is one of U.S. Embassy Dhaka’s many initiatives to strengthen and expand people-to-people ties and educational linkages between the United States and Bangladesh, enhance the quality of education locally, and empower Bangladeshi youth through innovative learning opportunities.

For more information about U.S. Embassy Dhaka’s English language programs, visit:  https://bd.usembassy.gov/education-culture/english-language-programs/.

For information about other Embassy- and U.S. government-funded exchange opportunities for students, visit:  https://bd.usembassy.gov/education-culture/student-exchange-programs/.

Global Educators Initiative for Sustainable Transformation (GEIST) International Foundation partnered with the U.S. Embassy to deliver this Access program.  GEIST is a Bangladesh-based nonprofit organization, founded by alumni of U.S. government exchange programs, and is focused on teacher training and English instruction.  Its membership includes 1,000 students, 400 teachers, and 580 professionals from the education and development sectors.  Currently, GEIST works with alumni of U.S.-funded teacher training programs in 143 partner educational institutions in India, Nepal, Vietnam, Columbia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Iraq, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Columbia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Germany, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and France.