ICT Award 2017 Champion in e-learning section
Shikkha – Education Made Easy, a platform developed by Rational Technologies Ltd. is the winner of Bangladesh National ICT Awards, 2017 in the e-learning category.
Shikkha is a virtual learning system through which skilled teachers can conduct virtual classes remotely from major cities and content providers can upload contents.
According to a press release, most schools in Bangladesh have a shortage of skilled teachers. There is also a lack of study materials and up to date content.
As a result, students all over the country are not getting access to proper education to meet the demands of the 21st century.
This problem is especially acute outside the major cities and thereby unduly victimizes rural children and those from economically disadvantaged.
Software like Skype, Viber etc allow remote video and audio communication but are not suitable for training material sharing in one-to-many broadcasting basis.
Youtube videos used for educational purposes do not allow for two-way communication or other classroom functions.
Furthermore, no competitors have designed their products so as to allow for easy localization i.e adapted for basic internet conditions, built-in native language support and easy access.
Shikkha is designed for low bandwidth conditions and can support up to 100 connections to join a live classroom with two way interaction between teacher and students.
One teacher can teach many students simultaneously without compromising the quality of video. The product is also unique in a way that it was designed keeping the Bangladeshi environment in mind -- so, it has Bangla integration and a simplified user interface.
It is content independent and allows the registration of multiple content providers to share different material. Shikkha is platform independent and is accessible from any device without downloading plugins or executables.
This is especially important considering, economically disadvantaged students and their schools may be using a mix of devices.
Therefore, Shikkha – Education Made Easy, ensures underprivileged and economically disadvantaged students get access to quality education no matter where they are.
Shikkha is not only a software platform, but also a platform that comes with a guideline for standard operating procedures to run a long distance classroom; for example – how far away should the teacher be from the camera, what are the ways to make the live long distance class more interactive, how to make the presence of the teacher feel more real etc.
So this is the complete 21st century solution for educating mass audience in an effective way, the release added.