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Bangladesh Biology Olympiad (bdbo)

2012   (in English)

We collaborate with the other Olympiads (Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Informatics) to inform the high schools about the Olympiads. A letter is sent out to the head of each high school. Our volunteers (called ‘enzymes’), mostly undergrad students, run the campaign by visiting schools. There are biological science outreach programs, like BioTalk, which is held as seminars in different educational institutes throughout the country all the year round. We also inform about bdbo through social media and emails. We also collaborate with national daily newspapers, both online and print, as well as TV channels, as our media partners to publish and broadcast news on bdbo activities. Information is also available on our website. A phone number acts as ‘hotline’ for anyone to call and know about bdbo.

Till now, we have been arranging ten Regional Biology Olympiads (RBOs), followed by one National Biology Olympiad (NBO) and a BioCamp each year to select top students. These rounds of selection are usually held at the top universities/institutes of the country. There are three categories. Registration fees is BDT 200 (about $2.5) per student to participate in RBO, BDT 1000 (about $12.5) in NBO and BDT 5000 (about $62.5) in BioCamp. We hope to waive the fees in future when we will have a dedicated sponsor.

According to IBO guidelines, skills in seven major areas of biology are evaluated throughout the selection process – cell biology and biochemistry, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, genetics and evolution, ecology, ethology and biosystematics. True-false type multiple response MCQ is usually the modality of assessment at regional screening and the first session of the national round. Each test item has a stem and four options, each of which is either true or false. Usually thirty such items are to be answered by the students in an exam at regional and national level and two sets of fifty items each at international level. For each item, five points are awarded if the response to its all four options are correct, while getting three, two or just one options right per item is reciprocated with three, one and zero points, respectively. No point is deducted if an option is not attempted or the response is wrong. In the second session of the national round, the mode of assessment is short answer questions (SAQ). In BioCamp, mostly objective structured practical examination (OSPE) is used to evaluate performance of the students at practical tasks. At regional level, science textbooks of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) is mostly followed for question paper preparation while at national level and in BioCamp, more advanced books and materials are consulted. The entire process of selection takes place during October – April.

About 20 best students selected through NBO will get to attend a training camp called ‘National BioCamp’. It is a 3-4 day residential training workshop on practical and laboratory skills in biological sciences which usually takes place at the National Institute of Biotechnology.

We have prepared some preliminary study materials for NBO and BioCamp but the work is still at its beginning. Bangladesh Biology Olympiad publishes books on biology, both popular and academic, especially in Bengali. However, we recommend that students to study former IBO papers, high-school and university textbooks.

Primarily selected students at RBOs and NBO get certificate, medal and books as prizes. Certificate of participation is also awarded to every student who takes part. The highest scorers get special crests and monetary prizes. No specific access to University is linked to NBO.

We get media coverage from newspapers (both print and online), TV channels and social media.

Currently we don’t have any dedicated sponsor. All the activities of bdbo is financed by the registration fees from the students, voluntary contribution from the members and patrons, temporary and partial sponsors. We are hoping to get government or private investors to sponsor the arrangement of RBOs, NBO and BioCamp, purchasing lab equipment for student training and textbooks for theoretical learning and awards.

Appointing authority of bdbo to select and send national team to IBO. No financial support.

The country is divided in 10 or more regions for the RBO which is the screening round at regional level. Each of the regions has their own RBO. Students from anywhere within the country who fulfill the criteria according to IBO guidelines can register online during the registration window. About 25-33% of the participants from each region are selected for competing at the next level, NBO. Each of the three categories is provided with different problem sets suitable for their academic strata. Winners of RBO from all over the country compete in NBO at the capital city, Dhaka. There are two sessions – first session of MCQ and second session of SAQ. Like RBO, there are separate MCQ problem sets for different academic categories but the SAQ problem set is same for all categories. About 6-7% of the total NBO competitors are awarded on the basis of their scores at MCQ part and about 20 participants are selected for BioCamp on the basis of both MCQ and SAQ parts of the NBO. Sometimes, RBO scores (z scores) are used as tie-breakers. At the end of BioCamp, final selection of IBO contestants is done through a set of rigorous practical exams. If a tie-breaker is required, then an additional intensive selection round is executed few weeks after BioCamp.

Although bdbo came into existence in 2012, we could arrange NBO for the first time in 2015.

2015: 567 students from 40 schools participated in total.

2016: 1123 students from 60 schools participated in total.

2017: 7096 students from 229 schools participated in total.

2018: 3741 students from 170 schools participated in total.

2018: 7202 students from 808 schools participated in total.

from January to December.
minimum 0, maximum 6.

Dr. Saumitra Chakravarty

Department of Pathology, 5th Floor, Basic Science Building, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh. Tel: +880-1816-653-358.
152/1, First floor, Green road, Panthapath signal, Adjacent to Health and Hope Hospital, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh.

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by Saumitra Chakravarty last modified Apr 08, 2019 11:57 AM