The multiple teaching credentials Fyruz Khan holds, including his CELTA degree, attest to the fact that he is an educator who is deeply committed to his profession. The English department at North South University has also recently welcomed him as a faculty member. He has effectively broken the mold in Dhaka’s after-school tuition/coaching center scene by establishing Fyruz Education Services, a revolutionary after-school facility that enables students to achieve their academic goals through the application of unique teaching approaches. In just a few years, FES has established relations with renowned education providers such as Monash Pathways and International School Dhaka, to name a few. In a recent interview, Fyruz discusses his journey and how his one-of-a-kind endeavor to provide education through a distinct approach has proved to be a success and garnered positive feedback.
Since its start just a few years ago, FES has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s finest after-school academic institutes. What factors, in your opinion, has been most instrumental in highlighting its biggest strengths?
As a newcomer to the profession, I instantly detected a plethora of serious concerns in the concurrent scenario at the very beginning of my teaching career. The significant inadequacies in the existing structure became clearer to me when I looked up coaching centers or tutoring facilities in Dhaka on search engines and the results predominantly displayed the same major issues and lackings. What I observed was the fact that none of the facilities had a designated study space for students, the majority of the classrooms looked shabby and extremely congested and lastly, the teaching strategies these institutions advertised about practicing were dubious at best. Due to this, when I sought to establish FES, I focused on developing an integrated system, in which studying would not be confined to the conventional chalk and board technique that is embraced by other education providers offering the same courses as my institution. During business hours, I’ve assigned a designated employee to thoroughly answer any queries callers or visitors might have about our facility. We have established facilities for guardians or students to pay course fees from the comfort of their homes or anywhere else via online digital payment. We prepared every measure ahead of time to make sure that the concerns I discovered when I initially started working in the country’s education sector were addressed with top priority at FES. The institution is also overseen by a corporate body, who ensures that the entire structure is continuously monitored, modifications are made, and suggestions for improvements are accepted. As a result, any likelihood of making biased decisions is eliminated.
At FES, we go beyond the traditional approach by considering the opinions of everyone involved, be it our personnel, parents, students, or stakeholders, while being consistent at perfecting the experience that we strive to offer. We have established this institute based on the qualifications that our faculty possesses, which are reflected in our chosen teaching methods. Unfortunately, one major issue in our country is the classroom teaching approach, practiced predominantly all over Bangladesh. Usually, educators present lectures based on consecutive slides. Whereas the trick is possessing the knowledge to determine the order of slides to be shown from first to last, know what the expected reactions from pupils should be and how to prepare lessons to make sure educators have engaged their undivided attention throughout the lecture. One of the strategies that I have found useful as an educator is filming lectures for the students and assign them the task to watch them at home before the in-person lecture. Afterwards, in the lecture, we discuss the problems needed to be solved in the classroom, which as a result makes efficient use of time. This method is known as “flipping the classroom,” which is rarely practiced here. My team and I are knowledgeable about such methods as we have obtained the necessary qualifications to implement them which as a result have made us proficient on how to instruct, excite, and serve each student according to their preferred learning methods. On the other hand, the majority of teachers in Bangladesh haven’t picked up on such practices as of yet. We also hold counseling sessions with our entire student body on a monthly basis, allowing them to express the obstacles they are facing and then, depending on our capability, attempt to find the right solutions to overcome them. Additionally, we have established a financial assistance system for our underprivileged students. From my viewpoint, these strategies have helped us grow, gain recognition, and deserve to be called out to be our greatest strengths in these past few years.
What are some major milestones of FES since the last time we met in 2019?
We have advanced in every aspect, whether its teaching methods or providing a learning space for our students. Keeping a minimalist aesthetic in mind we renovated our premises completely, adding various high-tech facilities as well. As we depend increasingly on technology, we have introduced cameras in study halls so that students can attend lectures remotely from any part of the world. Numerous Pakistani and Indian students regularly reach out to me, expressing their interest to join my courses, I started this remote learning option to make it possible for these students to join my lectures, removing the impediment of physical nearness for learning. In 2019, our student body count was between 150 to 200 students, however, after the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed quick development. Currently, more than 600 students are enrolled. I consider our constant commitment towards improving the quality of services to be held responsible for our success. The educators at FES have complete freedom to teach using a range of innovative approaches to produce positive outcomes and make the learning process engaging. Over time, these approaches have been applauded, gaining us recognition and leading to various renowned universities in Bangladesh requesting me to give lectures at their campuses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I created content in the form of video lessons and gave students free access to them. These videos received a great deal of positive response, and ever since, many students have enrolled for my Business and IELTS courses.
Founder, Fyruz Education Services (FES)
Counselling is a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of education in Bangladesh, primarily due to the high number of students per institution. How does FES ensure that each student gets the individualized attention they deserve?
Some parents misunderstood the goal of our effort when I began offering counselling sessions at FES, asking me questions like, “Is my child going insane?” I had to change the word “counselling” to “education advising” to get everyone on the same page. For example, if a student was passionate about science, we offer the instruction and guidance to help him/her excel in that field. We hold the conviction that, with motivation and assistance, the possibilities and prospects for students holds no boundaries. Though this trend isn’t widespread in Bangladesh, counselling can be problematic when a large group of students are involved. Therefore, we form small groups of students and colleagues hold one-on-one conversations with them once a month. We have the backing of several reputed organizations who offer guidance for the students, such as Square Hospital, International School Dhaka, Monash Pathways, and so on.
I’ve assigned a designated employee to thoroughly answer any queries callers or visitors might have about our facility. We have established facilities for guardians or students to pay course fees from the comfort of their homes or anywhere else via online digital payment.
From your years of experience as an educator and counsellor, what advice do you have for students, parents, and teachers to nurture a healthy and supportive learning environment?
In Bangladesh, the current educational system is facing several issues. There are too many curriculums in the education system whether it’s Madrasa, the National Education System in Bangla/English, the American curriculum, the British curriculum, or the IB curriculum, which makes it difficult to maintain an organized system. Finland is a great example of a well-functioning education system, following a curriculum that can be altered for different purposes. By doing this, teachers in rural areas can receive the same training as others, which, as a result, helps them teach more effectively. Additionally, this gives students the chance to benefit from better instruction rather than worrying about mocks and exams. It is necessary to fully understand the book by taking advantage of resources and brushing up on knowledge. Additionally, having group discussions with mates who are learning the same material is beneficial for comprehending the material quickly. Mock exams can only then give an idea of how well the material is understood. The pressure to obtain high grades is stressful for students. To restructure the education system, it is essential to first get rid of the current framework and slowly build up a public education system similar to that of Finland. This process will take between two to three decades. At FES, these principles are already incorporated into our teaching models.
At FES, we go beyond the traditional approach by considering the opinions of everyone involved, be it our personnel, parents, students, or stakeholders, while being consistent at perfecting the experience that we strive to offer.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the teaching profession today in Bangladesh?
Educators in rural areas are not adequately paid for their services. In the private educational sector, monetary compensation is available, but financially supporting public education is necessary for progress. In countries where education is prioritized, teaching is one of the most well-paid professions. The government should invest more funds in education so that teachers can be properly trained and rewarded for their work. Bangladesh has plenty of educated people holding teaching degrees, these individuals should be utilized to train fellow teachers. Furthermore, all educational establishments should be structurally improved and kept in a clean state to create an ideal learning atmosphere for students.
To restructure the education system, it is essential to first get rid of the current framework and slowly build up a public education system similar to that of Finland.
How do you envision the growth of FES over the coming years? What new services/collaborations can we expect from the institution?
Our primary goal is to continue the advancement of technology. We are improving digital payment services and arranging digital attendance for our students, as well as being consistent at providing them with better learning conditions. Furthermore, our program includes activities that go beyond the curriculum, such as music, art, etc. These activities are meant to foster creativity and cognitive aptitude. Ultimately, we aim to assist students through their entire learning process. In the upcoming month, we are taking a group of students to visit Universal College Bangladesh – Monash Pathways to help them decide whether it would be suitable for their higher studies. Additionally, we intend to provide students with help that goes beyond their college academics. This is something we intend to always keep doing. We also plan to start a teacher training center for educators so they can gain better knowledge on teaching students more effectively. Ultimately, we want to revolutionize and place a long-term positive impact on the education system of Bangladesh.