<<January 30, 2001>>
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Shahab Khan <Afroz@khi.compol.com>

Dr. Paul Lefrere <p.lefrere@open.ac.uk>

Peter T. Knight, Ph.D. <ptknight@attglobal.net>

Dear Shahab:

(1) Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I) in response to our list
distribution Final report of Web-based Education Commission - December
30, 2000" which can be retrieved at

(2) I think that you have mixed up two different aspects of technologies
for e-learning; one is delivery and the other storage of information.

(3) Web is a superb medium of the latter in conjunction with the most
suitable delivery system of Internet of the former, especially from
the viewpoint of interactivity, asynchronous features for "Education
for All" (UNESCO's motto) at anywhere, anytime and at any pace.

(4) We have to work on the following (which are closely interwoven) simultaneously;

(a) construction of global broadband Internet (preferably in wireless mode),

(b) development of e-learning contents,

(c) training of teachers of teachers,

(d) development of administrative and management infrastructures, etc.

This is why we need to have a big money, e.g., Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) project.

(5) The U.K. Open University is, as you say, the oldest e-learning school,
and has well established operational and administrative
infrastructures (the so-called soft technology) which utilized the
cutting-edge delivery system of broadband Internet and storage system of multimedia web.

You may ask Paul's opinion about the policy/direction of the U.K. Open
University with regard to this matter.

Dear Peter:

(6) Is the final feasibility report of the Virtual Information Technology
University (VITU) project of the government of Pakistan available now?
If so, pls let me know. As far as I read its draft which Shahab sent
to me, your report is superb and would be very valuable to our list
members in other developing countries.

Best, Tak

Date: Sunday, December 31, 2000 12:54 PM
From: shahab khan <afroz@planwel.edu>
To: Tak <utsumi@columbia.edu>

Dear Tak

I am greatful to you for drawing our attention to the Web commisson report. I
have read it with much interest and believe it has much to teach and guide
developing countries such as Pakistan for web based education which has just
commenced here and has the greatest amount of budgetary allocation by the goverment.

I have certain queries and observations which I would like to mention here
and seek your guidance, particularly in the context of the Virtual
Information Technology University (VITU) project of the goverment of
Pakistan, for which a feasiblity report has been recently submitted by Mr.
Peter Knight.to the goverment for approval.

1. Web based education is recommended to be initiated in the US with the web
being the primary delivery medium for instructions. In this context it has
also been pointed out that there is an urgent need for training of teachers
not only for basic computer and internet training, but also for using the
internet for teaching purpose. In the US there is a current shortage of 3
million teachers trained for teaching on the web. However, the US is well
aware of this problem and there are many parallel initiatives for training of
technology based teachers. My concern is for the developing countries, where
we are short of funds for capitlization of such projects and programmes such
as training of teachers are seldom implemented.

2. On the other hand, we have seen that the experience of the Open University
of UK, who are one of the oldest and biggest provider of distance edcuation
courses. They are not relying too much on one techology, instead use a
combination of technolgies and believe that technologies change with time.
There emphasis is more on the soft technologies and use the web as an
excellent medium for student to student learning, support and administration,
registration and logistics, services and inquiries from students to the
instructors, rather then for actual instructional delivery.

I believe you are the best person, with above 20 years of experience dealing
with the Internet and seeing it mature and grow over the years and the state
of awareness in developing countries with a mission for global e-learning and
therefore, would be much grateful if you would kindly guide us on the above
two views and advise what should be the best strategy for developing
countries to adopt. I would particularly like your views as, in my opinion,
the VITU feasibility, appears to be based more on the technical solutions and
does not say much about the soft technologies.

Your views and guidance would greatly assist us in understanding the issues
and help developing countries adopt a viable solution.


Shahab Khan, Director
List of Distribution

Shahab Khan
Planwel University
Planwel Institute of Science and Technology (PLANWEL)
A-1, L.C.H.S
Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Block-20
Karachi. 75290, Pakistan
Tel: 011-92-21-811-5851
Fax: 011-92-21-811-6178

Dr. Paul Lefrere
Senior Lecturer
Institute of Educational Technology
Director, Networking and Partnerships, Joint Information Systems Committee
Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Systems
Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
Tel: +44-1-908 65 33 88
Fax: +44-1-908 67 28 02

Peter T. Knight, Ph.D.
Board member of GLOSAS/USA
Knight, Moore - Telematics for Education and Development
Communications Development Incorporated (CDI)
Strategy, Policy, Design, Implementation, Evaluation
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