Tuesday 28 December 2021
Convocation Speech 2021 - Presidency International School
I was invited by the Presidency International School in the Graduation Ceremony of the Graduating Batch 2021. I delivered this convocation speech on 05/08/2021.
Convocation Speech – By Dr Pradip Deb
Presidency International School and College
5 August 2021
Thank you very much for your kind introduction.
Respected teachers, parents and my dear friends who are graduating today. It is my great pleasure and opportunity to be with you on your graduation day. This is one of the most important days in your academic journey. Let’s celebrate it.
Dear graduates, I must congratulate you for your hard work and achievement. You know very well – that your journey was not always as smooth as it seems today. You tried your best to achieve the best possible outcome. And you did it right. My heartiest congratulations on your achievement.
Dear Parents, I know you are proud of your children’s achievement. Without your constant supports, your children could not have been here today. You have given them unconditional love and support in all aspects – what they required, and sometimes more than they required. In many occasions you deprived yourself from many things to support your children. You did it selflessly. I believe your children will understand your sacrifice for them. The achievement of your children is not just theirs; it is your achievement too. So, I congratulate you. You deserve to be proud.
My respected teachers, you are the nation builders. You are the real architects of all achievement that we are celebrating today. Your continuous guidance and encouragement not only illuminate the road to achievement – but also design, create and build the systematic steps of knowledge. You are the unsung heroes in the education sector. Each and every achievement of your students – reflects your contribution to it. I salute you for what you do to make our children educated.
My friends who are graduating today, you are so happy today because – of course you are graduate, that is not the only reason you are happy, –you are also becoming independent! This is your Independence Day!! In the modern world – when you turn 18, you are independent. Now you are ready to enter the university – which is eventually the gateway to the universe. I know in many occasions you were impatient to be independent – specially when you wanted to do something but your parents or teachers did not allow you to do that. So, you must be very happy today.
But my friends, independence not only bring joys, but also bring responsibilities. From now on, you are responsible for your own actions. In developed countries – when you turn 18, enter university, you are liable for your own economy as well. That means, you will be responsible to pay your educational cost, living cost and all other personal costs. But I think you are lucky in Bangladesh that your parents are taking that responsibility on their own shoulder without imposing any hard conditions on you.
I know many of you are planning to study abroad. Since you have been following the international curricula, you are aware of many things that have been covered in your subject contents. But there are many things cannot be achieved by only reading the text books. The lessons of life can only be acquired by living the life.
I have been teaching in an Australian university for more than a decade. Every year, I witness the journey of hundreds of students – both local and international in Australia. The journey of the local and international students is not different in academic point of view, but very different in terms of lifestyle. Local students know the culture and whereabouts – so they are a bit ahead of your journey from where you are starting. But in terms of academic activities – there is no difference between national or international students.
No matter which university you are going to get your studies, Australia, America, Canada, Europe, New Zealand – campus life is almost similar everywhere. Let me share my own experience with you.
I started my postgraduate studies in Australia 23 years ago. Besides homesickness and many other problems, one of the major problems was my poor communication skills. My English vocabulary was limited. My thought process of communication was slow. When I would need to say anything to anyone, I would need to translate that from Bangla to English, then deliver it. As my pronunciation was not good, I had a very heavy accent. Very often, the person I would talk to, would not understand what I was saying. It was frustrating. It was even worst while someone would say anything to me. I would translate that into Bangla to understand what was said, then I prepare my answer in Bangla, then translate it into English, then deliver it – but by that time the person or the topic has already gone or changed. It was really frustrating. Sometimes, funny things happened too. In one occasion, there was a discussion about something. One of my fellow researchers said – “it’s a piece of cake.” I thought he was talking about a piece of cake somewhere. Perhaps I was hungry! I said – where is the cake? You know how stupid statement it was!
None of you will have this type of problem ever, as you are almost native in English. With time, If I can become an academic in an Australian university, you can be anything you want - anywhere in this universe.
The scenario at that time was much different to what you have today. Today the world is fully connected through your mobile and internet networks. So, missing your dear ones is not much as serious as then. Homesickness will still be there. But you can be with your family and friends virtually whenever you want.
But there is something you must prepare yourself for. I don’t know how many of you capable of preparing your own food at home. If you can, congratulations. If you can’t – please learn. You must know how to do your personal work, such as washing your clothes, cleaning your dishes, cleaning and tidying up your room etc. If someone has to wake you up in the morning for school, please change that habit. Please stop asking other people to find your own belongings at home. These responsibilities are attached with your independence.
Remember, when you are healthy, your own body is your best friend. But while you are sick, your own body can be your worst enemy. You need to bear the pain. In foreign land, you need to take care of your own health. So, while choosing your university overseas, please consider the weather there if it would suit you.
No matter where you live in this planet or space, no matter how many passports from other countries you collect, you will represent Bangladesh. Your good work will make your country proud.
Not everyone needs to go abroad for higher studies. There are plenty of opportunities in our own universities too.
So far, in your studies – you have had only few options. But in your universities, here or overseas – you will have plenty of options to chose from. Choosing a pathway of career is not easy. Please try to find out what you like most. If you do something that you really love to do, it will never be a burden to you. There are career advisers in all universities. Before you choose a program of studies, please check the opportunities and graduate attributes of the program.
And also, remember, don’t be pushed by peer pressure or any other external pressures. If you have done physics or other sciences, you know what pressure is – it is applied force per unit area. If your area is large enough, your effective pressure will be small. If you cannot avoid the applied force, try to increase your area of interest.
In higher education, originality matters. You will be using lots of learning materials – but you will reflect your own original ideas and words. Please do not fool yourself. The easiest task is to fool oneself. If you do not understand something – please do not pretend to yourself that you understood it.
No matter how the world changes itself every second, one thing never changes – that is honesty. Honesty is still the best policy. It is always rewarded in the end. Please never lose it.
Another thing you need to remember – life is not all about success. There is failure too. Please do not afraid to be failed, do not be stopped if you are not successful in any particular attempt. Only one kind of people never fail in anything – those who never try anything. Only those people do not do any mistakes – who never do any work. Please learn to accept the failure, because every failure will make you more experienced.
Before I finish, I wish you all the best for your future endeavour. You have world full of opportunities. World is yours, go and grab it, not by force, by your own merit, by your own credit. Knowledge does not have any geographical boarder. Acquire and spread the knowledge.
Cheers and thank you for listening.
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