Exploring New Paradigms of “Students Support Services” in Open and Distance Learning Systems-Experiences from Madhya Pradesh (India)

Umesh Chandra Pandey, Ashutosh Pathak

Abstract


The success of Open Universities in any society will ultimately depend upon how well their practitioners can sense the requirements of their target groups and accordingly design & implement the Student Support Services. Indian system presents a very challenging situation, primarily because of its heterogeneous character, multilingual environment, diversity in culture contexts and sharp disparities in socio economic backgrounds. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) which has the jurisdiction across the country, has to face this major challenge. Though the response to IGNOU’s academic programmes have been a resounding success in urban areas, the University is yet to create similar impact in remote rural interiors. Though during three decades of its existence, University has put in place a huge network of Learner Support Centers up to remotest places in the country, we find that disadvantaged rural and tribal communities still find it difficult to avail its products and services.

The sparsely distributed population, low literacy rates, poor transport networks and livelihood commitments of people seriously constrain their access to the services of the University. This paper looks in to peculiar problems which the people living in rural areas face and explores the feasibility of Mobile Study Centres. The role of NGOs/Panchayats and Community Based Organizations has been critically examined in the implementation of the Student Support Services in remote areas. The experiences gained by the IGNOU Regional Centre Jabalpur in the implementation of the Pilot Project of Mobile Study Centre in District Dindori in 2007 and its subsequent replication at few other places have  been described. All these learning experiences have been put in to perspective and a case study have been presented.


Keywords


ODL System

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References


Pandey U C, Reaching the Grassroots through Mobile Study Centres, Digital Learning (special issue) Dec 2008.

Pandey U C Presentation about “Reaching out to the unreached through ICT interventions/Mobile Study Centres/Distance Learning Facilitators”, Presentation in the Brain Storming with Regional Directors on student support services on 22nd Feb., 2013.

Vision 2018 plan of Government of Madhya Pradesh available at http://mpplanningcommission.gov.in/Vision2018English.pdf (accessed on 28th Dec 2015)

India - Madhya Pradesh Higher Education Quality Improvement Project (English) document available at world bank site at http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2015/07/24632273/india-madhya-pradesh-higher-education-quality-improvement-project&gws_rd=cr&ei=cvaAVoOOJNaWuASMn7-QCw (accessed on 28th Dec 2015)

Pandey U C, Reaching the Grassroots through Mobile Study Centres, Digital Learning (special issue) Dec 2008.

Pandey U C Mainstreaming the Marginalized Population in Madhya Pradesh: Initiatives taken by IGNOU in a National Seminar on Economic Reforms and Its Impact on Madhya Pradesh, National Seminar organized by Swami Vivekanada Government College Raisen(Madhya Pradesh) with the support of University Grants Commission on 25-26 February 2015

Shrivastava, Amit Kumar, Pandey U C, Rizvi Haider ”Management of Open and Distance Learning Systems to enhance Enrolment in Higher Education in Tribal Areas of Madhya Pradesh-Exploring the Possibilities of Paradigm Shifts” Presented in National Seminar on ”Open and Distance Learning in India: Present Status and Future Prospects” organized by Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) IGNOU on September 29-30,2015

Pandey U C ,Indrakanti, Varlaxmi, ”Enhancing the Reach of Students Support Services in Tribal Areas through Mobile Study Centres: Experiences from Madhya Pradesh” Presented in National Seminar on ”Open and Distance Learning in India: Present Status and Future Prospects” organized by Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) IGNOU on September 29-30,2015


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