Open & distance learning
May 2008

Open & distance learning

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Students Learn English Through Radio

Hundreds of thousands of students in Class 1 and 2 across Bihar, one of the most underdeveloped states of India listen to the radio as it begins its lessons in spoken English. The programme is broadcast three times a week during school hours.

The programme covers nearly six million primary school students in 37 districts in the state and is broadcast through radio sets in government schools. ‘English for Fun’ was launched by the Bihar government in December last year at a cost of Rs 40 million in collaboration with a Bangalore-based NGO, Education Development Centre, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

It teaches spoken English and grammar through 50 songs and simple lessons aired by All India Radio in a 50-minute capsule

Distance Education for Executives Catchinmg On

Over 2.8 million students are currently using the distance education (DE) programme to get their degrees, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC) data. Yet, DE is still regarded as the ‘poor cousin’ of the conventional classroom learning method — especially for freshers.

Among the host of online courses offered by the premier institutions IIM-Calcutta (IIM-C) offers one-year executive programme in business management, programme for development of strategic skills and a programme for development of successful entrepreneurs.

UNESCO Guidelines In Distance Education

Educationists from countries like Britain, Australia, Malaysia and Canada who met  along with those from India to discuss the need and advantage of providing higher education through private distance educational institutes said India should follow UNESCO guidelines to weed out unscrupulous players.

Organised by the Commonwealth Education Media Centre, New Delhi and the Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning, Pune, the two-day conference will address how India can follow the example of developed countries that have succeeded in providing quality.

At present 1.75 million students are pursuing higher education through Indira Gandhi National Open University, which is 18 percent of the students enrolled for higher education in India.

There are 35 private open distance education centres in the country. Moreover, 15 state supported and 60 conventional universities in the country have departments that offer distance education,

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