Megauniversity/Bangladesh Open University

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Introduction[edit | edit source]


Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Myanmar to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south.

In the late 18th century, British came to dominate this region. East Bengal (today Bangladesh) joined movement for the independence of India with West Pakistan. And India achieved independence in 1947, but East Bengal and West Pakistan (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) because of the difference of religion and they jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but subjected to political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect at the hands of West Pakistan, East Pakistan declared independence in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh (it means the country of Bengal and official language is Bengali).

Bangladesh (the population is 150,448,339 [1]) is among the most thickly populated countries in the world. The government is a parliamentary democracy which has been suspended under emergency law since 11 January 2007. Geographically the country straddles the Ganges Delta and is easily affected by annual monsoon floods and cyclones. Recently the big cyclone attacked southern eastern coast area in 15 November 2007. It was said that the number of casualty was more than 3,000 and about 300,000 people became displaced .

Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic prospects, Bangladesh remains one of the Least Developing Counties (LDC) in part due to its large population. Its GDP per capita is $2,300. However, World Bank says that Bangladesh has recorded impressive economic and social gains since the 1990s. And it also mentions that the growth performance, coupled with an impressive decline in the population growth rate from 2.5% in the 1980s to 1.7% in 1990-2004, has led to a doubling of annual per capita GDP growth, from 1.6% in the 1980s to 3.3% in 1990-2004.[2]

About the Educational situation in Bangladesh, please refer to wikipedia "Education in Bangladesh"

Bangladesh Open University[edit | edit source]

History of Distance Education in Bangladesh[edit | edit source]

The history of Distance Education in Bangladesh goes back to 1956, when the Education Directorate was assigned with the responsibility for distribution of 200 radio receivers to educational institutions. This led to the creation of an Audio-Visual Cell and the Audio-Visual Education Centre (AVEC in 1962). After the independence in 1971, there emerged a need to provide mass education. And in 1978, the School Broadcasting Programme (SBP) launched under the President Ziaur Rahman. In 1983, the project was changed into National Institute of Educational Media and Technology (NIEMT). Then in 1985, NIEMT was replaced by the Bangladesh Institute of Distance Education (BIDE) and it offered the Bachelor educational program in distance mode. BIDE’s success motivated policy makers to establish an open university. Finally in 1992, the Parliament of Bangladesh decided to establish BOU passing “the Bangladesh Open University Act.

Purpose of BOU[edit | edit source]

The Bangladesh Open University (BOU) is the only university to use Distance Education as a method of delivery. BOU teaching media includes printed course books, study guides, radio and television broadcasts, audio cassettes and occasional face-to-tace tutorials. The main building of BOU is located at Gazipur, about 49 kilometers north of Dhaka-the capital city of Bangladesh. It is designed for those who want to acquire new vocational or educational skills by studying at home or at work-places. It especially meets the need for people who are deprived of education in formal schools.

Because of large population of Bangladesh, educational facilities are inadequate to offer educational access to all people. So, the objectives of BOU are "to create educated and trained work-force by providing access to a wide range of educational and vocational training programs for all levels of people particularly for disadvantaged and rural masses including women who are generally deprived of formal education and training" [3]". This is mentioned in the Act-1992, No-38, 3(5) [4].

The Government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) extended the funds for setting up the BOU.

Programs[edit | edit source]

BOU provides two types of programs Formal (21 programs) and Non-formal (19 programs), thorough seven different kinds of schools.

Formal Programs[edit | edit source]

In Formal programs, there are four levels, i.e. Certificate, Diplomas, Degree and Masters. Students can utilize Regional Resource Centers (RRC), Coordinating Offices (CO) and Tutorial Centers (TC). There are 12 RRCs, 80 COs and 1000 TCs in 35 areas (2006). The students have to take two examination, one each semester. The main media which students use in studying is print materials. Also, BOU offers 25 minutes radio programs everyday and 20-25 television programs five days a week.

Non-Formal Programs[edit | edit source]

On the other hands, Non- Formal Programs don’t conduct any examination. They offer educational opportunity to those who cannot read and write. The objectives of Non-Formal Programs is to let people be familiar with modern and sustainable techniques in agriculture, poultry farming, health and nutrition, environment protection etc.

Entry Requirements[edit | edit source]

Programs and Enrollment[edit | edit source]

Programs and Students Enrollment (2006)
Schools Names of Courses Enrollment in 2001 Enrollment in 2006 [5]
School of Education
Master(M) of Ed 2,418 2,409
Bachelor(B) of Ed 16,873 4,209
Certificate(C) of Ed 5,427 722
Open School
Higher Secondary Certificate 50,876 65,564
Secondary School Certificate 97,801 95,371
School of Social Science, Humanities and Language
B. Social Science /B. Arts 7,339 124
B. English Language Teaching 2,025 65
C. English Language Proficiency 2,196 124
C. Arabic Language Proficiency 113 193
School of Agriculture & Rural Development
B. Agricultural Education 6,793 2,440
Diploma (D) in Youth in Development Work 113 76
C. Livestock & Poultry 199 162
C. Pisciculture & Fish Processing 253 41
School of Business
C. Management 1,388 40
Post Graduate Diploma in Management 12,349 821
M. Business Administration 858 715
Commonwealth Executive Master of Business(/Public) Administration - 333
School of Science & Technology
Diploma in Computer Science & Application 2,656 300
B. Science in Nursing - 2,029
Total Students enrollment 209,677 128,087

Impacts of Bangladesh Open University[edit | edit source]

Impact to educational circumstances in Bangladesh[edit | edit source]

  • Educational Impact
    1. Increased Access to Basic Education and Career-Development Training of rural disadvantaged groups, particularly the dropouts with no access to formal schooling. ADB report says that 60% of the sample students is from rural areas. And as you can see from the table above, most popular programs of BOU are the SSC and HSC programs.
    2. Increased general knowledge of the Rural Poor to improve their living conditions
  • Social Impact

According to Asian Development Bank (ADB), establishing BOU has contributed to improve the beneficiaries' socioeconomic status. ADB research proved that almost 90% of the sample of BOU graduates who were employed thought their socioeconomic status had improved.

Areas of Improvement[edit | edit source]

Quality Assurance

According to ADB, BOU curricula are reported slightly lower than national standard in Bangladesh (qtd by Isram et al, 2006). The relevance of coerces and actual works is also held in much doubt, from the survey for employers. (qtd by Isram et al, 2006). No professional tutors are also problematic, since they are not trained as tutor who takes a role of emotional support.

Modernize instruction

Even though, instruction is available on TV or radio, they are not well developed. In addition, the broadcasting is restricted owing to short period of broadcasting by the government owned TV and radian station. (Isram, 2006). Thus, still the text is a main instructional delivery. BOU bring ICT technology into view, the limitation of costs and infrastructure hold DE back in primitive stage.

Place for face-to-face session

For examination (A test is implemented as face-to-face), for practice session in agriculture, for tutorials, BOU have to rent some spaces from other institutions(Haughey, 2004), which limits schedule. Further arrangements and expansions of learning centers are required.

References[edit | edit source]

Books & Reports[edit | edit source]

  • Haughey. Margaret, Faruque. Abuhena Mohammed, Hensley. Donna & Robinson. Bernadette “Learning for and in the workplace” Vocational Education and Open and Distance Learning Volume-5, 2004, p183-202

  • Isram. Md. Tofazzal, Rahman. Md. Morschedur, & Rahman. K.M. Rezanur “Quality and Process of Bangladesh Open University Course Materials Development” TOJDE, April 2006

  • Asian Development Bank, "Bangladesh Open University Project (Program Performance Audit Reports)", October 2002
  • Parves Sultan, "Bangladesh Open University: An Evaluation"

Internet HP[edit | edit source]