A Hybrid Professional Development Program (HPDP) that has been under development for the past few months was launched early September 2013 by AIT Consulting.

Aiming to provide wider access to high quality professional programs through a combination of distance and traditional approaches, the HPDP is set to bridge the gap between teachers and students that may be hindered by their current geographical locations. Through its online component, courses are offered online simulating a similar learning experience with the courses delivered inside a classroom. The program is divided into six key phases, including: written pre-evaluation, registration for online course, delivery of the online course, hands on training, on-the-job training, and online evaluation.

The Ministry of Construction (MOC) based in Naypyidaw, Myanmar is the first organization utilizing the program for two professional development programs. MOC is responsible for the country’s construction and maintenance of public infrastructure, including roads and bridges. The ministry also oversees the initiative to professionalize engineers and bring the country’s expertise at par with international peers.

The professional development programs for the officials from MOC were designed to support 20-25 participants. The onset of the first professional development program on the topic of tall buildings was on 9 September and is set to run until 15 November 2013. The second program on the topic of bridges will be conducted over a three-week period, from 16 September to 6 December 2013. All the key phases of the training are being conducted in Myanmar except for the on-the-job training which will be implemented in Bangkok, Thailand.

The HPDP allows participants to learn dynamically using tools that are readily available. They can access the online components through personal computers and mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Participants are also encouraged to create their own profile and maximize online functions such as the virtual desk, calendar, mail, and the online library.

These two programs were the result of an agreement between AIT and MOC which was followed through by the team from AIT Consulting led by Dr. Naveed Anwar, Executive Director and Mr. Thaung Htut Aung, Project Coordinator.