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 Volume 6 | Issue 19 | May 13, 2012 |


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A New Way of Learning

Promiti Prova Chowdhury

'E-learning', the term comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. E-learning applications and processes include web-based and computer-based learning, virtual education opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.

This comparatively new method of teaching was introduced and discussed in the 'E-Learning Seminar' held on May 5, 2012 at the Spectra Convention Centre in Gulshan, Dhaka. With title sponsor Citycell Zoom Ultra, aSIX, an organisation working for promoting E-Learning and E-Marketing in Bangladesh, arranged this seminar with Dr Badrul H Khan, founder of McWeadon Education, USA. The theme for this seminar was, 'Understanding the Prospects and Possibilities of E-Learning for knowledge and skill development in Bangladesh'.

Distinguished guests who spoke at the event. Photo: ASIX

After opening remarks from Mehboob Chowdhury, CEO, Citycell, Dr Badrul H Khan presented the keynote speech on 'Prospects and Process of E-Learning in Bangladesh'. Dr Khan, who is accredited for popularising the concept of 'Web Based Instruction', presented the objectives, dimensions and stakeholders of E-Learning through a power point presentation. The stakeholders of this system are the learners, instructors, technical and support staff and organisations. He demonstrated the two wings of the process-- E-Education and E-Training. He also pointed out the fact that the success of this system depends on the context.

After his presentation a plenary session started where the speakers were Professor Shamsur Rahman, Director General, National Academy for Educational Management, Dr Badrul H Khan, Mehboob Chowdhury, Munir Hasan, IT Consultant, Professor Mohammed Zafar Iqbal, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and Md Nazrul Islam Khan, Private Secretary (one) to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and National Director of the project, 'Support to Digital Bangladesh'. The moderator of the panel discussion was Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, A2I Programme, Prime Minister's office.

In this session a lively interaction took place among the distinguished guests which addressed issues like, price of bandwidth in the country, government's initiatives, collaboration between content provider and infrastructure provider etc. Professor Mohammed Zafar Iqbal, who was also the special guest of the event, said, “We should start from the underprivileged group. For example, there are 80 thousand students of Science under National University but they rarely get quality lectures. So they can be focused first.” He also said that only 2.4% of the GDP has been allocated for the sector of education which is extremely disappointing in a country like ours. He criticised the role of government for not paying heed to this matter.

At the end of the discussion, moderator Anir Chowdhury chalked out two points as outcomes. Firstly, government, NGOs, and other autonomous organisations have to work collaboratively to make 'E-Learning' a success in Bangladesh. Secondly, this new system might get established through experimentation. The partners of this initiative were Bangladesh Society for Human Resource Management (BSHRM) and Prothom-alo jobs.

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