07. Pan-Commonwealth Forum 7 (PCF7), 2013

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  • Publication
    Empowering an Open Distance Dual-Mode Regional Blended Lifelong Learning Management System through Community Colleges in Supporting the Transformation of Village Girls and Women Societal Development and Human Capital
    ( 2013-11) Lee, Tan Luck
    The Purpose of this research is to examine the empowerment of a Dual-Mode open and blended distance Regional Lifelong Learning Management System model on educating village women in improving the quality of life, human capital and digital knowledge in societal development through the existing community colleges in each district vicinity. The village women could use the wifi connectivity and internet facilities in community colleges not only to communicate but also to acquire knowledge on social livelihood and fulfill the initiative of transforming a digital knowledge society. The culture of using technologies in acquiring first hand social knowledge have great influence in determining the quality of live. Demographic factors such as education level, computer literacy, language proficiency and working experiences are also taken into consideration. Methodology use is by looking into the dimensions of enhancing a dual-mode blended open and distance learning to educate and improve livelihood of Malaysian village women through the Regional dual-mode Lifelong Learning Management System (LMS) through the community colleges (village women demographic, technology facility availability, learning culture and leadership of instructors in community colleges) were examined to determine the success of supporting community lifelong Learning by enhancing Open and Distance Learning and transforming the societal development in Malaysia. The finding shows there are significant differences among factors stated above which will upgrade village youths in improving the quality of life, and digital knowledge in societal development through the community colleges. The introduction of a dual mode regional blended lifelong LMS via the community colleges throughout the country by enhancing open and distance learning could be beneficial to the village youths on social knowledge and networking in fostering and transforming the society development and a digital knowledge society. The Practical implications of this research is the utmost important for the maximization in the utilization of digital technologies in community colleges to improve its efficiency and integrity on the transformation of social development in producing quality human capital. // Paper ID: 17
  • Publication
    Gender Stereotypes and Girl-Child Education in Nigeria
    ( 2013-11) Ofoha, Dorothy
    In Nigeria, as in most African countries, girls’ school attendance is low, as records have shown that fewer girls go to school than boys. Despite the provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act and the Child Rights Act aimed at ensuring the right to education for all children, the girl-child continues to lag behind in the education system. Research shows majority of them drop out for various reasons before completion of basic education. Consequently, they cannot raise their socio-economic standard and therefore cannot contribute to nation building. Why has the situation persisted despite efforts by governments, international organizations and NGOs to boost female education over the years? It appears the real issues have not been appropriately addressed. One area that seems to have not been well explored is the issue of gender stereotypes. This paper therefore examines how stereotypic beliefs against female gender can affect the girls-child’s attitude toward education and educational aspirations. It considers attitude as significant because attitudes determine behaviour, which in turn combine to affect girls’ access to education. Gender stereotypes in the paper refer to socio-cultural beliefs and practices, which tend to limit the girl-child’s rights to education. The paper starts with a review of gender role development in African society. It discusses the patriarchal nature of African society and the Nigerian perceptions regarding the girl-child. It reviews some examples of commonly held stereotypic beliefs that pose threat to female gender and presents concern on the plight of the African girl-child who is caught up in the struggle for self-determination and the patriarchal system, which seems to limit her rights and expectations of herself. The paper argues that such a system increases the burden of the developmental tasks for the girl-child thereby causing a setback to her development. A nation that endangers the development of a critical segment of its own population puts itself at risk. The paper further argues that until we address the challenge of gender stereotyping and the impact it imposes on the girl-child, the mere provision of laws, conventions, charters, as the panacea, though laudable, remains futile. To this end, the paper considers how ODL can be used as a strategy to counteract the impact of gender stereotypes and socio-cultural beliefs that pose threat to female gender thereby increasing girls’ access to education. // Paper ID: 19
  • Publication
    Reaching the Unreached Women through Open and Distance Education: Implications for the Playwright
    ( 2013-11) Iwuchukwu, Onyeka
    Open and Distance Education is designed basically to provide accessible and affordable education to all especially those who were denied education earlier in life. Women and girls are mostly affected as evident in UNICEF’s declaration that in Africa, among children not attending school, there are twice as many girls as boys, and among illiterate adults, there are twice as many women as men. In most cultures in Nigeria, the girl-child is denied the opportunity for higher education because of early marriage or because the finances are lean so the male-child is given preference in educational considerations. The Open and Distance Learning provides opportunity for these women to acquire education but unfortunately, many of them are not aware of this golden opportunity. There is therefore a need to reach as many of them as possible through enlightenment and mobilization programmes. This study therefore proposes the use of drama as a tool for the sensitization and mobilization of women on the importance education and the availability of a convenient medium for it. // Paper ID: 116
  • Publication
    Open School and Girls’ Education in Hill Districts of Bangladesh
    ( 2013-11) Khalid, A K M Iftekhar
    Women empowerment is identified as an essential component for the progress of a nation. One of the main tools for women empowerment is education. In Bangladesh, many girl children cannot join schools and along with that, in the hill districts of the country, the challenges of bringing and keeping the girls to schools are more complicated because of geographical position. Bangladesh Open University (BOU) has been established in 1992 with an aim to make education accessible to the population at large and Open School of BOU has been working for educating people with emphasizing the dropout and the underprivileged. Open School is offering education through open and distance learning (ODL) and has a flexible manner towards enrolling students who have been discontinued from formal education. Though government organizations, Open School of BOU, other government organizations and non-government organizations (NGOs) are working for the girl children with a special emphasis in hill districts, the girls still quit schools before they are able to complete upper primary and secondary schooling. This research initiative was taken to know what are the difficulties that the girls are facing so that they have to leave school so early. The paper concentrates on the challenges which the educators, teachers, local people, guardians, parents and girls were mentioning during a research initiative in two hill districts e.g. Rangamati, Bandarbon. The research has been based on interviews and the informants were interviewed individually and in groups. Qualitative method was employed to collect the data from the respondents and analyse the collected data. The research is providing a depth overview how girls in hill districts are confronting to the barriers and how they are discontinuing their education at a very early stage of life and how Open School of BOU can give a wider option to bring the girls back to the schools again. This essay would definitely give an understanding to the policy planners, educators, practitioners as well as general people for the girl children’s present predicaments in hill tracts in Bangladesh and recommendations to bring them back to schools for continuing education. // Paper ID: 39
  • Publication
    Flexible, Open and Distance Learning: An Enabler or Barrier to Women’s Empowerment through Education and Learning
    ( 2013-11) Whittington, Sherrill A
    This paper will address the potential of Flexible, Open and Distance Learning (FODL) as a modality not only to deliver education equitably and equally, but one that removes barriers to women’s learning and enhances empowerment, particularly in a development context. // Although most of the early writings on women and distance learning focused on how its open, flexible approach could open up doors for women in developed countries denied access to intramural educational opportunities, concerns were raised as early as the mid-1980s that it might not have been as ‘woman-friendly’ as anticipated. This led to a number of studies being undertaken in tertiary distance education institutions over the next two decades examining what barriers women faced and how these could be overcome. The findings of four such studies, two from universities in the North, and two from the South, reveal very similar challenges which women encounter due to their socialised gender roles. // While these analyses were addressing gendered learning and pedagogical issues inherent in FODL, there was the simultaneous development of a separate discourse by feminists concerned with the rapid acceleration of man-made technology which was exclusive of women and female input. This approach focused particularly on the gendered exclusivity of ICTs, but did not consider how this could impact on women’s access to educational delivery platforms that were becoming increasingly ICT reliant. In transferring such technology to education and learning in Third World countries, development specialists promoting gender equality and women’s rights, have not evaluated how combining extramural learning with ICTs will impact on women’s empowerment and gender-based discrimination in all areas of women’s lives. // Given that these three theoretical strands have not been melded, the paper concludes by examining a most recent learning model which can be considered to blend all three gender frameworks. This is a most successful program of Lifelong Learning (L3) for women farmers in Tamil Nadu, India, which has factored in all the concerns raised about women’s exclusion and inequality. This program has facilitated by the Commonwealth of Learning has implemented a process and system of “Life Long Learning” in rural communities leading to knowledge empowerment, particularly among women who have been enabled to translate the knowledge empowerment into livelihood security. It has done so by utilizing a modern ICT in the form of mobile telephones to enable uneducated, illiterate women to alter their lives remarkably, taking the journey from total personal and economic disempowerment, to where they are making key decisions about their own lives and that of their families and their communities. // Paper ID: 45