With the lion´s share of the world´s nuclear power growth forecasted for Asia, in November 2007 the IAEA implemented for the first time an Internet-based, distance learning programme that allows educators to reach students across the region. As part of its Asian Network for Education in Nuclear Technology (ANENT), the IAEA held a course that simultaneously brought together participants from eight countries.
During the week-long programme students were led through video-conference modules that examined the environmental impact of different energy options at a country level. Throughout the duration of the course, tutors were available for any questions or issues that arose.
"Overall, the learning experience was a rewarding experience for both participants and moderators," said Ahmed Irej Jalal, Senior Energy/Nuclear Power Planner and Project Manager of the course. "Participants benefited from the knowledge-sharing and courseware that the ANENT-hosted course provided, and we were fortunate to grow our experience of the technical capabilities of distance learning."
This was the first of more distance learning and face-to-face classes and seminars slated for launch on ANENT. The IAEA is also working on a plan to globalize its distance learning offerings in partnership with other regional groups and distance learning initiatives.
The Evaluating External Cost of Health and Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Power and Other Energy Options course was comprised of government-nominated participants from India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Since its launch in 2004, ANENT has helped to coordinate nuclear training and research by linking educators and professionals across the region via its web portal. The network facilitates information sharing and learning opportunities via coordination of joint research activities, standardization of nuclear educational resources, and sharing of knowledge resources and materials.