Open learning system has potential to reach uncovered areas

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Srinagar, May 18 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt General (Retd) S K Sinha today said the open learning system has potential to impart education globally and reach out to hitherto uncovered segments of Indian population in remote and far off areas.

Inaugurating 3-day National level workshop on Open Distance Learning, jointly organized by the Distance Education Department of Kashmir University and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at Gandhi Bhavan of KU here today, the governor said by the end of this century it can even assume inter-planetary dimensions.

General Sinha said though this system of education lacks the ambience and atmosphere of the university, where interaction between youngsters and the educational environment leaves an important bearing on the students, yet its importance cannot be undermined as reaching out to larger segments is important for achieving the objective of expanding higher learning.

He described the present age as the age of knowledge where mankind is in the process of conquering time and space. This, he said, has brought the world together in which development of education holds a key to progress and prosperity.

He said on the basis of knowledge Asia is emerging as a focus of power in the spheres of human resource and economics.

General Sinha said meeting the challenge of reaching millions of un-reached people in the country with an effective multi-media package, the system of distance education could be the chosen mode for such programmes of education and training.

He exuded confidence that given the expertise in this field, India will emerge as one of world leaders in years to come.

He hoped that the delegates and participants in the workshop will benefit from the experience of each other and translate that into an action programme for benefit of the targetted population.

In his presidential address, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prrof Riyaz Punjabi said that distance mode of education has traversed a long way since 70s and made its inroads in South Asia.

'It is heartening that SAARC countries are now seeking guidance from India as the country possesses a lot of expertise in this field', he added.

Prof Punjabi stressed the need for change in the mindset about this mode of education and hoped that alternative system of education will be accepted as a viable mode of learning.

Vice Chancellor, IGNOU Prof B N Rajishekhran Pillai delivered the key note address while Director Distance Education, University of Kashmir, Professor Shafeeqa Parveen gave an overview of this department and achievements registered over the years.

UNI BAS SY RN1627

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