BUP Global Affairs Council (BUPGAC) just finished their second online event called "Quaranteen Week" amidst this dreaded pandemic. The country, as of now, has been in a lockdown state for more than three months. This long quarantine has been extremely anxiety-inducing for almost all people. The sheer uncertainty revolving around this pandemic is turning out to be profound.
In this debilitating time, BUPGAC has taken the initiative to launch "Quaranteen Week". This event has catered to shifting the troubling minds to do something productive for a while. In addition, it has created a platform for development on both individual and community level.
BUP Global Affairs Council (BUPGAC) is a club of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) that has been striving to prepare the students for the competitive global arena. From the very beginning, the club has been aiming to build a platform where global issues are discussed and students are taught necessary global skills such as leadership, diplomacy, negotiation skills and so on. Some such events and competitions that this club has previously arranged are - BUP Intra MUN, Lead-it (a global leadership competition), and Brink- Brain to Ink (online analytical writing competition).
"Quaranteen Week" was a four-day long event with the purpose of giving the students a push to be productive in this idle period. The event consisted of six sessions continuing for three days in total. The essence of the segments was -- mental health, higher education, and necessary skills. In addition, there were two more goals -- to inspire voluntary work and to promote community leadership.
There were two kinds of sessions -- the interactive sessions via Zoom, and the one-way sessions via Facebook Live. Both the types of sessions were open for all, however the participants were required to register beforehand for the interactive sessions via Zoom. In addition, the participants of the interactive sessions got to flaunt of a "Digital Certificate" for their attendance.
The event started on June 28 and ended on July 01. Two sessions were held each day.
On the first day, a session on mental health and a session on higher education took place.
The guest for the session on mental health was Dr Mehtab Khanam, professor and chairperson of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University of Dhaka. In this session, she discussed about depression, anxiety, and relevant disorders such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Moreover, she related these to our current pandemic situation and touched on how we can and should seek professional help in these situations and what we can do to help others who are facing these troubles.
The session on higher education was addressed by Dr Ragib Hasan, associate professor of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. He discussed different aspects of university application process such as when and how to apply, importance of CGPA and ECA etc. At the same time, he shared his views on contemporary education issues such as online classes and so on.
On day two, both sessions were interactive and took place via the online platform Zoom. In the first session, Sohan Haidear, CEO, and founder of Smartifier Academy discussed the necessities and how-tos of basic software skills. And on the subsequent session, Korvi Rakshand, founder of Jaago Foundation appeared as the guest. He conversed about different aspects of volunteering skills. Participants on Zoom offered the chance to ask questions and get responses. For an online session, this interactive functionality was highly cherished.
The last two sessions were held on the next day. They were on community leadership and necessity of skills.
Osama Bin Noor, co-founder of Youth Opportunities, took the session on community leadership. He discussed his personal struggle, the journey of youth opportunities, and his future plans. In addition, he touched on how the practice of leadership can be carried out and inspired the next generation in community leadership.
For the last session of the event, Ayman Sadiq, founder, and CEO of 10 Minute School graced the viewers with his valuable insights and advices. In the session, he talked about his personal philosophies, his thoughts on the required skills during the pandemic and how students can learn them, and so on.
The General Secretary of BUP Global Affairs Council, Nuzhat Tasnim Rahman Raisa stated, "Quaranteen Week, to me, was the perfect opportunity to bring the youth together for learning something productive. I believe, apart from staying safe and careful, we should all be developing ourselves so that once this pandemic is stabilised, we can actually do something to change the crises we are about to face afterwards"
This event gracefully succeeded in keeping the teens busy in productive activities amidst this frightful pandemic and that should be relieving for the participants at least a little bit.
The President of BUP Global Affairs Council Abdullah Hasan commented, "Quaranteen Week was targeted for the teenagers, who are struggling to cope up in this pandemic. Our sole purpose of this event was to guide them for the future. With professional guidance, we tried to give them a direction to achieve cutting-edge skills so that they stay ahead in their career."
The writer is a third-year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. He can be reached at [email protected]