Linux TPD @ Sonargoan

Timeline: March 9 – March 13
Location: Central Gono Bidyalaya, Sonargoan

We organized a 5-day long Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training at Central Gono Bidyalaya at Sonargoan. The training provided 18 school teachers with intermediate-level IT skills while simultaneously teaching active educational methodologies. Over the course of the training, participants learned to use Fedora Core 5, OOo Writer, OOo Impress, OOo Calc, Nvu, KolourPaint, The GIMP, along with digital camera operation and the Internet. Food, accommodation and the training itself was provided free of cost.

Sonargoan Visit

Whenever someone mentions Sonargoan, it’s very likely that he’s referring to Pan Pacific Sonargoan, the luxury 5-star hotel in Dhaka. What most people don’t know is about 25 km away from Dhaka lies the former capital of Bengal, the great historical city of Sonargoan. It’s not their fault either — other than Shipakarja Jainul Adedin, no one, no goverment ever took any initiative to protect and promote the great heritage of this this city. Pathetic, but true.

On the entrance to Sonargoan Rajbari is the famous sculpture of bull wagon by Jainul Abedin, which symolises toil and struggle. Jainul Abedin has always been one my favourite artist and I took a chance to get a pic of mine infront of the sculpture:

In front of the Bulls, the symbol of Struggle

Just a few steps ahead to the left is the 2-storied palace, or the Rajbari, which is now being used as a museum:

Sonargoan Rajbari

The palace has over 100 small rooms, and it’s completely like a maze inside. All the rooms are of same size and design, and now they are home to different cultural and architectural masterpieces collected from different parts of Bangladesh. I was told by my guide that this palace was used by few rulers, including the Hindu Jamidars who ruled during the British regime. It’s open for visitors from 10:00 to 17:00 everyday, except for Thursday.

Brief history of Sonargoan, as told by Dr. Abu Sayeed:

Sonargaon, which literally means “golden village” in Bengali, was the capital of the Banga province or Eastern Bengal, which was one of the three political units of this territory during the Delhi Imperial rule. In 1338 Fakhr-al-Din-Mubarak seized the provincial government of Sonargaon and declared himself independent from Delhi and was the first independent Sultan of Bengal.

In 1352, he was overthrown by the Sultan of Gaur Ilyas Shah, and from this time Sonargaon formed a part of the independent kingdom of united Bengal until the advent of the Moguls (1575).

In the reign of Akbar, it was the chief city of Isa Khan, who maintained his independence for several years. After Isa Khan’s death it became a part of the Great Mogul Empire. The decline of Sonargaon started with the establishment of the Mogul capital in Dhaka in 1608, and with the conquest of the kingdom of Isa Khan by the forces of Islam Khan in 1611 it became one of the Sarkers of the Bengal Subah, losing its former prestige forever.

The history of Sonargaon for the next two hundred years until the establishment of the commercial belt of the East India Company in Panam is still unknown to us. The colonial city of Panam came into being in the nineteenth century and continued to flourish till the end of the Second World War.

Jessore Visit

Timeline: March 27 – March 29

On ferry, while crossing Padma river

Stuffs that happened this time:

– Mr. Faruque was me
– We took Jack’s car (he’s in Australia now)
– Akram was fired due to his poor performance at work

Technical Training at Chittagong

The training is finally over. Seems like I overestimated the learning capability of the teachers. I wasn’t able to deliver half of what I intended to since they could not catch it easily. Any how, my office doesn’t really care about how much they have learnt. The management is concerned mostly about the *number* of trainees. More the trainees, more the funding.

My cell phone’s battery died yesterday night, and I couldn’t recharge it since I forgot to bring the charger! Big mistake. Sadly, my laptop’s battery is about to die in a while… can’t recharge it since I left the “round-pin” converter at office. Who knows, after a while I might find that the camera’s battery is dead as well!

February Trip to Chittagong

I’m here at Chittagong once again, and this time my job is to conduct a technical training for local high school teachers. Teachers from 14 public and private high schools are supposed to participate in the training program. The venue is Agrabad Kala Kakali High School, one of the core ILCs of Relief International.

Here’s what I’m going to talking about in the training:

  • Overview of computer software and hardware:
    • Capability of computers
    • Hardware and peripheral devices
    • System and application software
  • PC configuration and maintenance:
    • CMOS/BIOS setup
    • OS installation
    • Driver settings and installation
    • Tips and tricks to keep the machines running smoothly
    • Virus protection
    • Backup procedure
  • Overview on networking
    • Advantages of a networked environment
    • Topologies, LAN, WAN, switching, routing, cables, sockets
    • Peer to peer networking concept
    • Security issues, firewall
    • Practical session
    • Connecting RJ-45 plugs
    • Hub/switch settings and installation
    • Connecting PCs with 10 base T cables
    • Sharing peripheral devices
  • Overview on Internet:
    • WWW, e-mail, bulletin board, relay chat
    • Connection types
    • Netethics

I gotta sleep early tonight, the training starts at 10:00 tomorrow!

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