Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni inaugurated the platform through a videoconference in the afternoon.
Supported by the UNDP, Access to Information (a2i) under the ICT Division and the Ministry of Education will run the project as an alternative to physical classes during Covid-19, and as a supplementary educational platform after the pandemic.
"Distance learning exists everywhere in the world. We have to change our mindset too. If we can, then virtual classes will not be so difficult for us," said Dipu Moni.
She added that training teachers is a must to adopt virtual learning in the country.
State Minister for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak presided over the ceremony. He said the division is working to provide smartphones or laptops to needy students as loans.
"We will also launch a project to ensure internet facilities to all students. But we have to ensure adoption of ICT in education, as well as ICT education in the country," the state minister added.
Professor Dr Harun-or-Rashid, vice chancellor of National University, said higher education is not a matter of increasing the number of enrollments only.
"It is important to ensure quality higher education so that the graduates can contribute to nation-building activities. We will not go for virtual classes by excluding a portion of students. It must be ensured for all students," he said.
Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Open University Professor MA Mannan said three pre-conditions are a must for virtual classes to be successful – conversion of textbooks to e-books, an e-library and the option to record lecturers.
Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Sylhet University of Science and Technology, said his university had started online classes and have completed a semester in this manner. But he had to train the teachers as they were not accustomed with the new system.
He suggested that the government adopt a training helpline for teachers.
Among others, Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury, Vice-Chancellor of Rajshahi University Professor Abdus Sobhan, Senior Secretary of ICT Division NM Ziaul Alam, and Secretary of Secondary and Higher Education Division Md Mahbub Hossain, also spoke at the event.