Online classes are one of the many windows of online education throughout the world. We are no longer solely dependent on in class teaching and learning. Online classes have become a convenient alternative to it. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to go for online classes as educational institutions throughout world have been experiencing partial or complete closure.
In Bangladesh also, we have adapted online classes in different levels of education to meet the demand of the situation. Most of the schools and colleges conducted online classes to finish the education year on time. Before the corona virus pandemic, we could not think about this revolutionary transition from traditional classes to online classes.
However, it is surely a realization of Digital Bangladesh, a part of the Government's Vision 2021. This has tested our ability to digitalize our education system, and the success rate so far is satisfactory. As a part of a project of a2i (Access to Information program funded by UNDP), the government has launched an online platform called Virtual Class (www.virtualclass.gov.bd).
Through this platform, the Government facilitated online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online classes of primary to higher secondary levels were aired on Sangsad TV. Bangladesh Open University on the other hand has been providing distance learning using BTV for almost two decades.
Teachers were also being trained in educational technology to cope with the situation. The private schools and colleges all over the country have also conducted online classes. Both free and paid versions of different video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Messenger Room, WhatsApp, Viber, etc. have been in use to run these classes.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Google Classroom, Canvas and Moodle have been of immense help to the educators. Some of the institutions have developed their own LMSS to continue online classes and assessment.
Hence, it can be said that the progress of online classes in Bangladesh is somewhat satisfactory. However, we have setbacks too. As most of the people in our country are poor, they cannot afford the technological devices like android phones and computers. The internet connection is not satisfactory in the remote areas apart from being quite expensive.
Again, the attitude of the teachers and learners is also important to successfully run online classes. The online assessment is another challenge for us as we are not accustomed to this kind of assessment process.
The promising thing about the current.initiatives of the Government is that it is working to make internet and other technological devices affordable for the mass people. Also many of the institutions are providing free devices and internet to their students so that online classes can smoothly be run.
Taking all these into consideration, it can surely be assumed that the prospects of online classes in Bangladesh are not only bright at present but also in the futuristic context of tech - based education.