“I am earning at least 100 USD per week by bidding on odesk”, says Mr. Kamrul Hasan who completed both web design and database courses from Bangladesh-Korea Information Access Center (BK-IAC). “I studied in textile engineering and never in my wildest dream had I thought of becoming an IT professional” he continues, “BK-IAC changed my life”. Kamrul is now studying M.Sc (IT) in Charles Sturt University, Australia.
“When my department decided to outsource automation job, I said, wait, we can do this ourselves”, says Mrs. Rehana Sultana, assistant librarian of Dhaka University and a trainee of BK-IAC’s Web Development course. “Even though I had no IT background, the training course introduced me to PHP programming. We developed a simple yet robust solution for our library management and saved project cost immensely.” adds Rehana.
There are many such valiant stories of success and innovation of the BK-IAC. It was established in 2008 and renovated in 2012 with the support from NIA, Korea. Now, the center has become a rendezvous of IT conscious people eager to acquire and practice the state of the art knowledge in IT.
Since its inception the center has been serving relentlessly to meet the growing need of developing IT skills among the mass people of the country. The center has been arranged a number of IT training and specialized courses, many seminars and talks relevant to IT research and industry, several competitions like database skill test, website exhibition etc. Its world-class seminar-room has been used for arranging events like International Workshop on Algorithms and Computation (WALCOM) in 2010 and 2012, orientation ceremony, prize-giving ceremony, workshops and seminars of the department. The facilities of the center have been effectively used by the IAC members, applicants and participants of IAC courses, and students of CSE department of BUET.
Prize giving ceremony
The IT experts of Bangladesh are securing a strong position increasingly in the global outsourcing markets. Advanced courses such as web development, java enterprise solution, and application development in C# and Android have been developed to enhance the skill and expertise of these talents. The people from non-IT background get the magical touch of IT through the basic courses namely web design, database management, and server configuration. Specialized courses are also offered to meet the needs of the government officials and to reduce bureaucratic tangles in the workspace enhancing good-governance. The nationwide demand of the courses is increasing rapidly as the quality is strictly maintained through proper monitoring. So far, more than 1500 people have taken training from BK-IAC and step up for a better career and life.
BK-IAC has become a cultural “melting pot”. Every year since 2010 volunteers from Korea IT Volunteer Program (KIV) come here to train different IT short courses. The participants and volunteers use the opportunity to exchange their experience in life, education system, and culture of their own countries to each other. This cultural exchange is significant in developing people-to-people contact between the two friendly countries.
Everyday people from different walks of life come to BK-IAC and take advantage of the high speed internet service. Thus, BK-IAC is contributing to shatter the digital wall in the country which is greatly appreciated by the Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh during her august visit to the center.
BK-IAC has successfully developed rich learning materials, online test and evaluation system, and application portal from scratch for its IT courses focusing the trend in the local and international market. It has also created learning materials for the courses like e-governance, digital image processing, and graphics design.
BK-IAC runs in a self-sustaining model. Its income sources are the minimal course fee and charges earned by renting its facilities. The earning is used to pay off trainers and meet other running expenses while a handful amount is reserved for future contingencies. The rich faculty of the CSE department of BUET has been serving relentlessly for the betterment of BK-IAC. As a result, it is financially independent and technologically superior to any such centers in the country. In future, it plans to expand the facilities to accommodate more students and diverse courses using its reserved fund.
It is evident that, BK-IAC covers a wide spectrum of knowledge-exchange. It facilitates skill-development for the mass people who have minimal knowledge about the IT. At the same time, it spurs the high-end research and innovation through talks, seminars, workshops etc. Therefore, BK-IAC has become a change-maker in IT in Bangladesh.