Open and Distance Learning for Sustainable Development in Bangladesh

Open and Distance Learning for Sustainable Development in Bangladesh

Monira Jahan (Institute of Education and Research (IER) Dhaka, Bangladesh & Jagannath University, Bangladesh), Md. Arif-Uz-Zaman (Bangladesh Open University, Bangladesh), A. N. M. Tofail Hossain (Bangladesh Open University, Bangladesh) and Shamima Akhter (Jagannath University, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2624-7.ch003
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Bangladesh Open University (BOU) is considered as a Mega University for its continuous growth over the last two decades. The modus operandi of education makes BOU distinct from other traditional universities. In Bangladesh this is the first and only university that adopts Open and Distance Learning (ODL) as a mode of delivery. From its inception, BOU has taken several initiatives for the development of ODL in Bangladesh. The main intention of such initiatives is to contribute national development. The success and sustainability of any organization largely depends on its management capacity to cope with the rapid world-wide change, which is also true for BOU. To evaluate the role of BOU in sustainable development, this chapter outlines the achievements of BOU and challenges that it is facing in delivering effective ODL. This chapter also discusses the origins and meaning of the term “sustainability” and strategies that should be taken into consideration to ensure sustainable ODL, which can provide a framework for its successful implementation linking BOU's contribution to sustainable development.
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Development Of Bou Over Two Decades: An Overview

ODL in Bangladesh was first introduced in 1950s, when the Education Directorate was assigned with the responsibility for distribution of 200 radio receivers to educational institutions which effectively led to the establishment of Audio-Visual education Centre. However, upon achieving independence in 1971, Bangladesh faced the challenge to meet the educational needs of mass people. Table 1 shows the distribution of higher education institutions. But the number of universities increases from two (2) to four (4) in Bangladesh at the time of independence in1971 (Bangladesh Country Summary of Higher Education). These inadequate number of higher education institutions could not fulfill the Government’s need after independence of Bangladesh.

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