ব্রেকিং নিউজ

Online Education: Bangladesh Perspective

Md. Mizanur Rahnan :: Education is considered to be very essentialfor human. It teaches individual keeping pace with the changing social reality by improving the material and nonmaterial conditions. Individual enables to survive by fighting against various adversities and obstacles through education. In ancient times, people were exposed to real-life experiences in the struggle for survival and learned strategies for survival. In the course of the evolution of society and in the context of social change, there has been a radical transformation in the field of education. Whereas in earlier primitive societies the mode of education was a ‘situation arising out of practical experience’, but it has now taken on an institutional shape. Institutions have been set up to provide education.

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Teachers for teaching and students for learningbecome accustomed to various mediums, tools and techniques. Online medium based teaching is the current addition in education especially in Bangladesh. At present online based teaching is gaining popularity. The COVID-19 epidemic is working to swell up online education. The current lockdown situation has put an end to everything. Educational institutions almost across the world have been closed. In this static condition, online-based teaching still keeps the education system afloat.

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Various educational institutions in Bangladesh have started online teaching. This online-based tutoring has revived education stalled due to the coronavirus circumstances. With the spread of online based teaching, the weakness of internet service in the country has come to the fore. Internet is essential for conducting and participating online learning activities. A significant number of internet users in Bangladesh are the younger generation, more specifically students. Again, most of these internet users use mobile data. The slow speed of internet is acting as a barrier for students to take part in online classes. In other words, due to the slow speed of internet, students are not being able to participate in the class properly. On the other hand, those who are participating in online classes are losing attention due to frequent disconnections of internet for poor speed. Again, if a student has six classes a week, he or she will need a certain amount of data to participate in the class. And every week, he or she must spend a significant amount of money to buy internet. That is, cost of data is another issue of participating in online classes. There is also less teacher-student interaction in online classes. The vivacity that could be observed in the classroom of the students is completely absent in the online class.

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The biggest challenge is being created around lab classes. Most of the lab classes of technical disciplines can’t be conducted in online. Again, those classes can be conducted in online, they require personal computer. This is a challenge for both teachers and students.

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Some of the public universities are not going to carry on the education in online platforms considering psychological condition, accessibility availability of internet, and financial condition of the students as they may be the barriers of online education.

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Nevertheless, having barriers in continuing online classes, they are saving time of both teachers and students. The time (a certain portion of day) that teachers or students had to waste on the road is being saved. Again students can participate in classes from anywhere.

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If sustainable development goals are to be achieved, quality education (SDG-4: Quality Education) must be ensured, as well as technological development (SDG-9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) must be accelerated. Conducting online classes with the slow speed of internet is definitely a big challengeof achieving those goals. Because, how can we make sure quality education with slow speed of internet and leaving manya vast number of students behind accessing online classes?The aforementioned problems are definitely obstacles to achieve sustainable development and building a digital Bangladesh.

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We never know when we will be able to get rid of this pandemic situation.Online based teaching can be the best possible way to keep alive our education. University Grant Commission (UGC) is going to be formulated the online education policy. While formulating online education policies, aforesaid issues need to be considered.The most urgent need is to ensure uninterrupted and continuous internet service to ensure student participation in online classes. Effective and fruitful online based education can only be ensured if easy availability and accessibility (bring within the purchasing power)of internet, constant and unremittingspeed of internet connection and spontaneous participation of the students can be assured.

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Md. Mizanur Rahnan

Writer: Adjunct Faculty and Research Fellow, Institute of Development  Studies and Sustainability, United International University.     
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