LEARN2000: Abstract

Hakikur Rahman

Bangladesh Open University.

Title: A turning point towards the virtuality, the lone distance educator: compromise or gain.


Since 1992, Bangladesh Open University (BOU) has been providing educational facilities to the rural disadvantaged groups and general mass through formal and non-formal programs using Radio, Television and Computer in addition to conventional print media as the lone distance educator through the introduction of IT based methods for developing materials to implement direct teaching and learning with conventional tutorial support at LAN/WAN environment.

With nearly 16000 students enrolled in one of the popular program Secondary School Certificate in 1995 BOU is projecting to admit more than 75000 at current number of 35000 students. A growth of more than 400% in 10 years. Closely looking at another program, namely Higher Secondary Certificate a growth rate has been forecasted at 750% (from 12000 in 1995 to 90000 in 2005).

To enhance the outreach mission of the University using available distance education technologies, fiber optic, telephone line, computer network, audio-teleconferencing and other advanced communication technologies linking interactively with all RRC's (Regional Resource Centre) and other locations throughout the country. Currently BOU has nearly 200,000 students dealt by 12 RRCs, 80 Local Centres (LCs) and 700 Tutorial Centres (TCs). Within a short time BOU is going to be evolved as one of the mega-University providing education support to the 130 million population in nearly 155,000 square miles space where more than 80% population lives in rural area, thus making it as a virtual University.

Effective utilization of capital resources, enhancement towards an improved situation and achievement/ success of the BOU initiated collaborative learning depends largely on socio-economics, geographical pattern, political stability, motivation and ethical issues. Otherwise, all will be just another compromise, not a gain.

Keywords: LAN/WAN, RRC, TC, LC, Collaborative Learning.


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