ASEAN Virtual School Eyed to Advance S&T Workforce

Manila Bulletin, August 31, 2004 | Go to article overview

ASEAN Virtual School Eyed to Advance S&T Workforce


Now science and technology practitioners need no longer leave their workplaces to seek advanced training and education. Through the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Virtual Institute of Science and Technology, or AVIST, updating their professional knowledge and skills without interrupting their work routine has finally become possible.

A collaborative project of the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST) through the SubCommittee on S&T Infrastructure and Resource Development (SCIRD), AVIST offers courses relevant to the needs of the South East Asian region through distance and open, or virtual, mode. This means that student- professor interaction will mainly, but not exclusively, be on an online environment facilitated by the innovative use of information and communication technologies (ICT) such as satellite TV and web-based courses.

"Aside from offering distance learning, AVIST also gives opportunities for students to undergo real practice experience at participating universities," informs Dr. Ida Dalmacio, focal person of ASEANSCIRD. "It is meant to complement and add value, rather than duplicate, S&T human resource development interventions already available in various ASEAN countries," Dalmacio stresses.

A virtual institute without the need of a physical campus, AVIST can be accessed through participating universities and institutes that serve as its physical sites. In the country, AVIST courses can be availed through the University of the Philippines Open University in Los Banos, Laguna.

Its S&T-focused, short-term three-month courses that meet internationally acceptable quality benchmarks set AVIST apart from all other virtual learning institutions in the region. For this term, the institute offers its pilot courses on Sustainable Ecotourism Development, Hypercourse on Bioinformatics, and Introduction to Technology and Innovation Management.

AVIST courses are held in virtual classrooms which bring together students and professors, who may be at home, in internet cafes, or in their workplaces, through the use of computers. …

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ASEAN Virtual School Eyed to Advance S&T Workforce
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