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Pakistan Virtual University

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    Pakistan Virtual University

    Does anyone have or know of any one who has used this?Good?Bad?

    Teaching goes virtual in Pakistan

    Pakistan is investing in expanding net access

    Thousands of Pakistanis are being offered the chance to learn the skills they need to thrive in the computer age thanks to a new virtual university.
    The US$40m project is providing distance learning over the television and internet so that anyone can take part in the classes, regardless of where they live in Pakistan.

    The aim is to create a generation of software programmers and computer engineers who can rival the best in countries like the US.

    Pakistan is eager to develop an information technology industry, much like India has done. Experts estimate the country needs at least 60,000 computer science graduates to achieve this aim.

    "India is a very inspiring case. They got their act together very early," said Salman Ansari, adviser to Pakistan's Ministry of Science and Technology.

    "We are leveraging technology to get to the level that we need to get to," he told the BBC programme Go Digital.

    Exciting education

    The Virtual University combines television, video-conferencing and the internet to provide lessons, tutorials and guidance to students all over Pakistan.

    Students are realising that they are having a better educational experience than most of our conventional institutions

    Naveed Malik, Virtual University rector
    The lectures are produced in a professional studio, carefully put together to ensure they are clear and accessible.

    Students can log on to the university over the internet and discuss the subject with a lecturer.

    "The students feel empowered by sitting in front of a PC and being able to shoot off questions or put their comments on a discussion board," said Naveed Malik, the rector of the Virtual University.

    "It's a very exciting experience. Students are realising that they are having a better educational experience than most of our conventional institutions."

    Cheap and friendly

    Currently around 500 people are taking part in a pilot project. The organisers hope to have 5,000 students by September, rising to 25,000 by the end of 2003.

    Ansari: Provide low cost net access

    One of the key aspects of the project is to ensure that anyone, regardless of their income and where they live, can take part in the lessons.

    "We have opened up access to the Virtual University to all segments of the population by keeping the prices extremely low," said Mr Malik.

    To this end, educational centres are being set up where students can view the courses and access the internet.

    The plan is to set up a high-speed computer network linking 60 universities and 2,500 schools and colleges. A further 10,000 schools will be able to access the lessons through the internet.

    "We realised that we had to build up the internet in Pakistan very rapidly," said Mr Ansari.

    "So two years ago we had about 29 cities on the internet; today we have 580 online and it will be 1,000 by the end of the year."

    The government has also worked to ensure that the cost of going online is within reach of most.

    "I could be sitting in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from anywhere, but when I log in, the cost would be six rupees (10 cents) an hour," he said.

    If Pakistan manages to develop that...THAT WOULD BE REALLY NICE!!


      RealDeal, you may find this link in Economic Performance in Pak, too

      Live & Let Live


        PT , I do believe we have to find out if it works first.