Fifty students from Dhaka successfully completed the rigorous US government-funded English Access Programme, strengthening their English language, critical thinking, and leadership skills.
US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Helen LaFave congratulated the newest graduates of the microscholarship programme during a graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
LaFave praised the 25 young women and 25 young men from local madrasas and public schools for their hard work in completing the two-year course during the pandemic.
The microscholarship programme, funded by the US Department of State, is an interactive programme building a foundation in English language, American culture, critical thinking, and leadership skills for 13-17-year-old students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and helps them become more competitive for higher education and employment opportunities.
Since it began in 2004, 1,300 Bangladeshi students have successfully completed the programme.
Today's graduating class joins 100,000 other access programme alumni in more than 85 countries around the world.
"Before joining this programme, I was very shy and couldn't talk with others in English. But after completing the course, I don't feel shy anymore and can interact with my friends in English easily," Golam Kabir Raihan, a student of the course said, expressing his feeling.
"This Access Programme gave me confidence and taught me leadership skills," he added.
Ruji Akhter, another student, said besides learning English, she has learned manners, etiquette, and also more confidence to do anything well.
The Language Proficiency Centre (LPC) administered the programme.
The LPC Bangladesh was set up in August 1998 with a vision to empower young females and males from marginalised communities to compete and seek a better life, through developing English language skills and basic computer skills at no charge.
"This year, we are celebrating 50 years of friendship between the United States and Bangladesh and the power of young minds to design the next 50 years. You can take your new skills and use them as leaders who will shape the future of Bangladesh," LaFave said.