Guwahati – The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has planned significant expansion of its network of study centres across the Northeast within the next two years and also assist the State open universities to widen the reach of open learning.
Addressing the media, the IGNOU VC said the plan is to open 2,000 more study centres in the country to take maximum prospective learners within the folds of open learning. At present, IGNOU has 3,000 such centres across the country. IGNOU, will pay more attention towards North-East and would increase the number of its study centres to 400 from the present 272.
Swayam Prabha, the bouquet of 32 educational broadcast channels would also help in the expansion of distance learning, he said. Notably, five out of the total channels have been awarded to IGNOU, which are dedicated to study of culture, agriculture, vocational science, teachers’ education, etc.
“One of the channels has been reserved for interactions and assistance and we will lend it to the state open universities by sharing the broadcast time with them and help them in development of learning material.
“The educational needs of the country are still met partially. So we plan to take up this work in alliance with the state open universities, by helping them flourish and assist them in whatever way possible,” he stated, adding that all the regional directors of the IGNOU have been directed to assist the state open universities in this regard.
When asked about the status of training the untrained teachers through the Diploma in Elementary Education course in Assam, he said it was for the particular state government to approach the IGNOU as per the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) norms. It may be mentioned that there has been a proposal from the Government of Assam for training 45 thousand untrained teachers awaiting the completion of formalities.
The revival of educational radio and TV channels Gyan Vani and Gyan Darshan would further expand the reach of IGNOU in even remotest corners of the country.
“We have a plan to shift a major component of our academic counseling on the Gyan Darshan and Gyan Vani. The advantage will be that our learners will get quality counseling material in all parts of the country. With eight hours of live telecast and two cycles of repeat telecasts of eight hours each, we would reach the learners in even the remotest areas of the country, at their convenient time,” he mentioned.
With the expansion of digitization, the national open university has also planned to switch from printed learning material to digitized material in view of the fast-changing profile of the learners. The digitization would be done in all centres at the same time.
The IGNOU Northeast Coordinators’ Conference was also inaugurated today. The two-day meet will deliberate on students’ support services to be delivered through regional centres in particular and reach out to rural and disadvantageous locations.
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