Piloting of Agents of Change Distance Course of the Anglican Alliance in collaboration with Open University, UK launched in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 29 January 2013. Four students were selected for the course and took part in the one day Orientation Session. The Session was divided into two parts. First part was inaugural session and that followed by the working session. Moderator and Bishop of Dhaka, Church of Bangladesh Rt Revd Paul S Sarker attended the session, blessed the students and formally inaugurated the course. He thanked the Anglican Alliance for introducing such course and found the course effective and need based. He commented “The course modules are very well arranged, practical, easy to understand, but academically rich. I am sure the students will enjoy the course and give effective placement of it in the community. It will make them closer to the community and the community will own the work that they desire for. And thereby development will be practical to them”. A total of 20 people attended the inaugural session from different Ministers of the Church. In the working session along with the students few others, like Principal of St Andrew’s Theological College of COB, Dean of Dhaka Deanery, local priest, official from social development programme of COB attended as observers and to get familiar with the course with an interest to become Mentor of the course in future.
The orientation course introduced the workbook, the modules, the formation process and needs of the support group, and the roles of the Course Mentor to the students. In the working session the students selected their projects and defined the possible outcomes of that. At the end of the working session they send a message over email to their mentor informing their starting of the course. The students also worked on their course calendar and set the date of their next Support Group meeting for finalizing their course calendar.
The session was very interactive and the people attended the orientation session took much interest in the course. Church of Bangladesh is planning to tag this course to their mainstream theology course. In first piloting in Asia started with the participation of: Antony Bidhan Biswas, Mreethmandir Roy, Alvin Shouvik Sarker, and Isaac Protim Halder.