May 26, 2013 | 08:05 AM (BD Time)
26 May, 2013 Sunday
Universities, colleges to get IT connectivity soon
ICT Horizon Report:
The government has taken vast initiative to bring all public and private universities under high-speed internet connectivity while the upazila-level honours colleges are also being brought under internet network to implement the vision2020 about building 'Digital Bangladesh'.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently signed a 20-year agreement for using two dark fibers to establish the Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN) with the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB). BdREN will enable high performance connectivity among academics, scientists and researchers in higher education to communicate with their peers within the country and eventually with the global academic and research community.
By setting up the Network Operation Center (NOC) at UGC, the first phase of BdREN implementation has already begun. Points of Presence (POP) have been created in six universities in Dhaka. Three of these universities are already enjoying interconnectivity. Gradually, all universities and research institutions of the country will be covered by BdREN. These activities are being funded by the Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP).
Under the, an Academic Innovation Fund is established to provide grants on a competitive basis. The project awarded grants to 91 winning proposals from 25 public universities and two private universities in the first round. These proposals are now under implementation and would contribute significantly to enhance the quality of higher education in Bangladesh.
The World Bank is providing US$ 81 million financial aid for HEQEP Project, which aims to bring forth both innovation and accountability within universities and enhance the technical and institutional capacity of the higher education sector. The project seeks to establish conditions that will stimulate teaching, improve learning, and boost research in universities, and introduce an efficient instrument for the allocation of public funds to universities.
While the Academic Innovation Fund under the Project will help release internal potentials of the universities in creating a better environment for teaching, learning and research. BdREN will aid the teachers and students of Bangladesh in accessing the latest developments in the realms of knowledge globally, particularly through a widely covered digital library, which will also be supported by this Project.
Under the college programme, at first, every college has to spend a total of Tk 30,000 for purchasing computer, printer and internet modem. Later, the National University will reimburse the cost from the allocated budget of 2010-11 financial year.
This digitization drive will be continued till September 30.
In the first phase, the colleges which run honours courses will come onto the global information superhighway under the project. Later, the rest of the degree colleges will be brought under the net connection, an NU source said.
Dr Md Anwar Hossain, acting college inspector of the National University, is coordinating implementation of the recipe.
A total of 326 colleges are running honours courses under the National University. Of them, 119 are in Dhaka, 69 in Rajshahi, 44 in Chittagong, 72 in Khulna, 14 in Barisal and 8 in Sylhet.
Moreover, there are a total of 1532 degree colleges under the university across the country: 509 in Rajshahi, 352 in Dhaka, 252 in Khulna, 229 in Chittagong, 130 in Barisal and 60 in Sylhet.
"The National University has run the honours admission process through internet since last year," said Badaruzzaman, acting controller of examinations of the university.
Badruzzaman said, "The admission process in honours colleges at upazila level was hampered for lack of internet connection but now it will be smooth after introduction of the online services."
On completion of internet installation, the students will get all information, including admission, exam results, and form filling up, and the affiliating university will come under one network, he said.
The teachers of the colleges have to come to the National University campus for official purposes. "But if the network is operated, they will get all kinds of services sitting on the own college campus," he further said on a note of high hopes about the hi-tech academic process.
There will be separate software for every college in which the data of every student will be preserved.
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