A Bangladeshi online platform offering comprehensive study solutions for grades VIII-XII yesterday won the top award of an Asia-Pacific regional competition.
The “10 Minute School” is the nation's first entity to have won the APICTA award, which is presented under the e-learning category.
The APICTA (Asia Pacific ICT Alliance) comprises national organisations of 17 countries working to build and enhance a mutually cooperative network to promote ICT. The competition is organised among the member states every year.
Bangladesh became an APICTA member in 2015 and this year the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and the ICT Division organised the contest.
The four-day programme was held at the Radisson hotel in Dhaka and the competition's 17 category-based awards were presented by Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.
Of the remaining 16 awards, companies from Hong Kong won the highest four, from Sri Lanka three and from China and Thailand two respectively.
Those from Malaysia, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Pakistan won one award respectively. Members from Brunei, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia and Vietnam also took part in the event.
Besides, another 14 Bangladeshi projects won “merit awards”.
The contest saw the submission of 188 projects from 366 firms, including 47 from Bangladesh.
The APICTA award will bring immense prestige for the country, said industry leaders.
“Receiving awards like APICTA is always exciting and as it is the first award for the country, I am quite happy to receive it,” said Ayman Sadiq, chief executive officer and founder of “10 Minute School”.
He recently won the Queen's Young Leaders Award 2018, which recognises exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth.
Sadiq said there were currently 1.50 lakh students taking support from his platform, which comprises live classes and quizzes and has 3,452 online video tutorials.
He said the platform's operations would be expanded from January, including inclusion of another 2,500 tutorials and launch of a mobile application.
Sadiq launched the platform in May 2015 with support from mobile phone operator Robi.
The operator also won numerous awards for the collaboration from reputed international organisations, including a major award at the Mobile World Congress this year in the best mobile innovation on education and learning category.
The ICT Division also joined “10 Minute School” and Sadiq expressed gratitude for all the support he received.
Yesterday, State Minister of ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said Bangladesh's current annual IT export earnings amounted to about $800 million and the country was targeting to earn $1 billion by next year and $5 billion by 2021. “To meet that target, events like these are very important,” he said.
Bangladesh organising the competition just two years after becoming a member is a great achievement, said Russell T Ahmed, convener of the event.
These kinds of events will help highlight the country as the world's next ICT hub, he said, adding that the programme would also help the country explore new business opportunities. BASIS President Mustafa Jabbar was also present.