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PublicationInternationalisation of education without commercialisation( 2001-05)Internationalisation of education without commercialisation, The Commonwealth of Learning's President describes how the organisation serves the developing nations of the Commonwealth by: Gajaraj Dhanarajan (Professor Emeritus), President and Chief Executive Officer, The Commonwealth of Learning, May 2001 // COL embraces the internationalisation of education but does not endorse the over-commercialisation of what is essentially a social good." // While the Education and Training For All challenge has remained largely the same since The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) was established 12 years ago, there have been dramatic changes in the delivery mechanisms available to address that challenge. // New technologies and pedagogies are offering solutions for closing the gap between the demand for, and supply of, this vital social service. Global discussions - the World Education Forum/Education for All (Dakar, 2000), the Global Knowledge II Forum (Kuala Lumpur, 2000), the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Durban, 1999), the International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education (Seoul, 1999), UNESCO's World Conference on Higher Education (Paris, 1998) and others - have all reaffirmed the promise afforded by learning technologies and distance and open learning strategies, including common-place small media such as radio.
PublicationOnline Learning – A Social Good or Another Social Divide?( 2001-01-10)On-Line Learning - A Social Good or Another Social Divide? International Conference on Learning and Teaching On-Line South China Normal University Guangzhou, China Keynote Address by Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Commonwealth of Learning, 10 January 2001 // Lest you mistake me for a Luddite, after reading the abstract of this presentation, let me assure you quite unequivocally that my passion for distance education as well as the new variants of it, such as the theme of this conference, is still as high as it was some 30 years ago when I began my association with the field in Malaysia. // Having said that, like many others of my generation, who benefited from and saw the value that education made to one's personal circumstances, I was motivated to be part of a movement that brought down barriers to accessing learning. Many of you, like me, know and recognise that learning has never been as freely available to the poor as to the rich. It is easier for those in urban areas than for those in rural communities; people marginalised whether by geography, race, religion, abilities, have always found it difficult to access learning than non-marginalised populations. Most importantly, in the context of this conference, those who had more prior learning have always found it easier to access more new learning than those without.
PublicationEducation and the Future of the Commonwealth( 2001-01-18)Education and the Future of the Commonwealth, Summary: FIFTH ANNUAL LECTURE OF THE COUNCIL FOR EDUCATION IN THE COMMONWEALTH By The Rt Hon Donald C McKinnon, Secretary General of the Commonwealth 18 January 2001. (courtesy of the Commonwealth Secretariat) // Let me first thank the CEC for the kind invitation to deliver this year's lecture. It is quite opportune that I should be talking to you on this subject, so soon after the highly successful Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (14CCEM) in Halifax, Canada. // I would, however, like to point out that for the first time in over forty years of Commonwealth education co-operation, ministers reached agreement in Halifax on a major statement that builds on the unique experiences and strengths of the Commonwealth to set out a clear framework for future cooperation in education and human development. This would hopefully enable our societies to meet current and future challenges in a rapidly changing world where education is of paramount importance. That document, entitled Education for our Common Future is also known as The Halifax Statement on Education in the Commonwealth. I strongly recommend it to you as an important guide to understanding what the Commonwealth seeks to achieve in the field of education, and why education itself is so important to the future of the Commonwealth. // Turning to the business at hand, I propose to cover three main points in this lecture. First I shall briefly highlight the dangers of complacency about the future of the Commonwealth. We need to be aware that nothing can be taken for granted in today's world, regardless of pedigree or potential. Second, I shall try to sketch out a personal vision for the future of the Commonwealth. This is perhaps foolhardy of me, given the exponential rate and unpredictable nature of change in today's world. Finally, I shall explore the role of education as a key to the future of the Commonwealth.
PublicationCombating Poverty through Adult Education( 2001-03-05)Combating Poverty through Adult Education Silver Jubilee Celebration Institute of Distance and Continuing Education University of Guyana Inauguration of the Dennis Irvine Lecture Series First Lecture by Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan President and Chief Executive Officer, The Commonwealth of Learning, 5 March 2001 // May I first congratulate and compliment the University, its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education, the Vice-Chancellor, and Mr. Samuel Small on the Silver Jubilee of the Institute and in celebrating and recognising a great regional academic leader, scholar, administrator, international public servant, Dr. Dennis H. Irvine, through a Lecture Series in his honour. Secondly, please accept my sincere gratitude for giving me the honour of delivering this inaugural lecture in the Series. I am humbled by your invitation, flattered at the thought of addressing such a distinguished gathering, enormously pleased to pay homage to a great friend of The Commonwealth of Learning (COL), and at the same time to also have the opportunity to publicly place on record the gratitude of COL for the unstinting service and support Dr. Irvine rendered to COL while he was in Canada and when he returned to his native land, Jamaica. All those who have come to know him, hold Dennis, in great awe. We are constantly amazed at the erudition, energy and passion he brings to the things he does and through his powers of argument, persuasion and clever diplomacy, the contributions he has made to education, not only here in Guyana but to the greater Commonwealth also. When he invited me, Mr. Small suggested that I speak of adult education and poverty alleviation. The first I know a little about through professional experience and the second, a little bit more through personal experience. This lecture is therefore based less on scholarship of the subject and more arising out of a sense of despondency witnessing the indignities and inequalities suffered by those who have been denied greater opportunities for learning for one reason or another.
PublicationCatching Up With eLearning: Implications for Education and Social Policy( 2001-06-28)Catching Up With E-Learning: Implications for Education and Social Policy by H. Ian Macdonald, Chairman of the Commonwealth of Learning and President Emeritus York University, Toronto, Canada, Address delivered to the 10th AMIC Annual Conference, Manila, The Philippines, 28 June, 2001 // The Commonwealth of Learning, the only official Commonwealth agency located outside London, has been dedicated to increasing access to education since it began operating in 1989. With a mandate to assist with the delivery of education at all levels - primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and non-formal, and operating in all forms from conventional print, through radio, visual and electronic, the Commonwealth of Learning has delivered over 625 programmes throughout the 54 countries of the Commonwealth. In the process, we have learned one basic lesson: there is no magic formula in any methodology, and it is a long journey from concept to implementation, particularly in the case of E-Learning. // Although I have been asked to consider the E-Learning environment for universities in particular, my remarks today apply equally to all levels of education. In the process, I would like to consider: (a) the limitations of E-Learning in terms of pedagogy; (b) the problem of access to ensure that it serves to narrow the social divide between people and nations rather than widen it. // Great strides have been made over the past few years in enhancing the capacity for E-Learning and finding ways to broaden its exposure. The recent announcement by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that it would make most of its course material freely available to the public, through the Internet, is a major innovation. As a result, a university, where the annual tuition is about $39,000, anticipates that not only individuals but universities all over the world will take advantage of its course lists, lecture notes, and even videotaped lectures.