The Education Development of the North East Regional Unit (EDNERU) of IGNOU organized a special session on the emerging scenario of education in the North Eastern states of India. The session was attended by key stakeholders in the education sector from States in the North East. The objectives of the session was to exchange ideas on challenges and opportunities in the education sector and explore avenues for vocational and skills training in the region
Dr Bini Toms opened the session by highlighting the activities of the Educational Development of North East Region Unit (EDNERU), which was established with the objective of creating educational access and to equalize the opportunities of education and vocational training to the hitherto 'unreached' in the North East Region cutting across physical and geographical barriers.
Prof Debjani Roy specified some of the activities of the Centre for Traditional Knowledge Systems, which has been in the process of assessing, analyzing and accrediting the traditional knowledge of North East region.
Prof Srivathsan pointed out that one of the most important method of promoting education in backward regions of India is to link ICT with development. The Community Knowledge Enterprise, he emphasized, can play an important role in inculcating common IT literacy among masses.
The session provided insights into the work being done by IGNOU for promoting education in the North East. Indira Gandhi National Open University in its endeavour to bring quality education to the North East region has further expanded its activities in the region by establishing the IGNOU Institute for Vocational Education and Training (IIVET) at Shillong, Meghalaya to equip people with skills and knowledge to expand their life choices.
The session highlighted a need to set standards for vocational education and training. IGNOU has been working towards this endeavour and has been promoting the accreditation and certification of traditional knowledge and vocational skills in the North East.
One of the key requirements that was pointed out was the need for faculty development and training workshops in order to update the skills of faculty members of educational institutes of the North East region.
It was also highlighted that skills development
in the North East should not just focus on the organized sector but also on the unorganized sections.
There is also a need to integrate the indigenous knowledge of the traditional communities in the north east with modern trade and employment. Efforts have to be strengthened to ensure that indigenous knowledge are not wiped out by the onslaught of modern technologies and trade.