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ECIL Istanbul, Turkey, 22 – 25 October 2013: Information Literacy (IL) Skills among the Female Students of Rural Secondary Schools of Dhaka District, Bangladesh
November 23, 2013, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Abstract of session at European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) by professor Muhammad Mezbah-ul-Islam of ISLM department, Dhaka University, Bangladesh

Information Literacy (IL) is relatively a new concept in Bangladesh. However, the whole picture is not that much bleak. Some universities have started training-workshop programs on IL and included in their syllabuses. As an wareness campaign, Centre for Information Studies, Bangladesh (CIS, B) and United Nations Information Center (UNIC)-Dhaka are jointly conducting training programs on IL for rural secondary schools of Bangladesh (The Daily Ittefaq.2010). The National Education Policy-2010 of Bangladesh has recognized the importance of lifelong learning (Bangladesh, 2010). So, time has come to integrate IL course in schools, colleges and universities of Bangladesh. No programs for improving information capabilities can be conceived until an objective investigation is conducted about the level of IL skills among Bangladeshi school students. Experts opined and literatures showed that IL programs should be started in rural and urban schools but rural schools should be given priority as their need is more urgent (Hoq, 2006). The objectives of the study were to know the pattern of library use and other supplementary sources by the students; approach of using ICT sources; to develop a course module on IL training for the secondary school students and suggestions for implementing IL program in Bangladesh. The work was an empirical study and survey method was used that supported by observations & interviews. Girls’ enrollment in secondary schools of Bangladesh rose 67 percent in 17 years. Female enrollment, as a percentage of total enrollment, increased from 33 percent in 1991 to 48 percent in 1997 and close to 55 percent in 2008 overall (World Bank, 2011). These significant changes in enrollments led to conduct the research on female students. Moreover, another study measured the IL skills both male and female (Islam and Ahmed, 2011). Female student of class-X of Savar and Karanigonj sub-districts under Dhaka as population and 200 students were drawn for the study as the participants. A close-ended questionnaire was designed and personally administered. The study revealed that only 48.8% students identified their textbooks as the sources of information. Though 41% students have knowledge on library and 77% students have no idea about library catalogue. Sixty six percent students were in dark in case of radio, television and newspaper as sources. Moreover, 63% students failed to identify reference materials. In case of ICT as sources, 65% answered incorrect options. Moreover, Bangladesh is envisioning to a Digital Bangladesh by 2021. But 61% students had no idea about Digital Bangladesh. A training module also has been developed for the IL programs. The study provides analysis of the prevailing situation that helps in planning for policy makers to integrate IL courses in the mainstream of the secondary school education system. Study showed that the role of teachers and librarians in the school is critical. If the teachers are convinced about the significance of IL, they may become willing partners in this process (Rehman, and Alfaresi, 2009). Further in-depth research is needed to back these marginally significant findings. There is a need for mass awareness raising program about IL in Bangladesh.

Pecha Kucha by prof. Mezbah-ul-Islam

Pecha Kucha by prof. Mezbah-ul-Islam


Prof. Mezbah with Paul G Zurkowski

Prof. Mezbah with Paul G Zurkowski