UGC urges to ensure quality of online education
Shafiqul Islam (Shafiq)
Bangladesh University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Professor Dr. Kazi Shahidullah said online education has become a part of our lives in the situation caused by the Corona epidemic. So it is demand of time to increase the quality of online education. You don’t just have to give lectures online. Rather, it is important to ensure that students participate in online learning activities as well as verify their achievements.
Otherwise, online education will not be effective. He was speaking at the inaugural function of a workshop on open resource creation, utilization and online education activities for teachers of Bangladesh’s higher education institutions organized by Virtual on Monday.
The five-day workshop, jointly organized by UGC and the Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia (SEMCA) in Vancouver, Canada, was inaugurated by UGC member Professor Dr. Md. Sajjad Hossain, Professor Md. Abu Taher, UGC Secretary (additional responsibilities) Dr. Ferdous Zaman, Director of Semka, Professor Dr. Madhu Parhar and Senior Program Officer (Education) Dr. Manas Ranjan Panigrahi. Mohammad Makshudur Rahman Bhuiyan, Director (Addl Responsibilities), IMCT Division, UGC, conducted the workshop.
UGC Chairman Kazi Shahidullah said Bangladesh has a number of challenges to address in order to make its online education program effective. Without ensuring power supply in all parts of the country as well as ensuring strong internet network service, it will not be possible to bring all students under online education. Although the power supply situation has improved significantly as a result of special initiatives of the government, the internet network is very weak in many places. Moreover, many students do not have the ability to purchase the device.
In this regard, UGC has made arrangements to provide loans to the students of public universities for the purchase of devices and to provide internet services to the students at affordable prices through mobile phone operators, he said in his speech.
He said these educational activities could not be implemented unless the capacity of teachers about online and blended learning was enhanced. Corona will continue to run online education and blended learning activities in the future. To make this system sustainable, UGC is working on a Blended Learning Policy.
Semka’s director, Professor Dr. Madhu Parhar emphasized on making education related content accessible to all in order to improve the quality of education. If lecture notes, texts, assignment papers, power point presentations, research papers etc. prepared by the teachers of the university are open then the teachers and students of other universities of the same subject can use it as they like. This will facilitate the spread of education. He hopes the five-day workshop will encourage teachers to create an open resource policy for their university.
500 teachers from 10 universities of the country are participating in this five-day workshop. Bangladesh Open University (BOU) Treasurer and Dean of the School of Business, Professor Mostafa Kamal Azad conducted the session on the first day of the workshop.
It is to be noted that another workshop on the same subject will be organized soon in which 500 teachers from 10 more universities will participate.