Open Educational Resources for Network Enabled Education
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 20 – 21 August 2009, INITITATIVES FROM COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING, Dr. R. Sreedher, Director, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi // The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Governments to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training. // The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of more than 50 independent sovereign states, which provide support to each other, and work together toward international goals. The Commonwealth is described as a "family" of nations, originally linked together in the British Empire, and now building on their common heritage in language, culture and education, which enables them to work together in an atmosphere of greater trust and understanding than generally prevails among nations. Bringing together some 1.7 billion people of many faiths, races, languages, traditions and levels of economic development, the Commonwealth represents almost one-third of the world's population. // COL's Three-year Plan for 2009-2012 is entitled Learning for Development, continuing with the theme of the previous triennium. The broad term “learning” – which subsumes formal education and training – not only captures the variety of demands that development makes on people but also evokes the vision implicit in COL’s name: Learning is our Common Wealth. Learning for Development expresses a vision that reaches beyond formal education to embrace areas of learning that are vital for better livelihoods, greater prosperity and a safer environment. Understanding development as the process of increasing the freedoms that people can enjoy, COL pursues this vision operationally within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the campaign for Education for All (EFA) and Commonwealth values. While building on the extensive pan-Commonwealth consultation conducted for the previous triennium, COL has refreshed its understanding of current development priorities through regional meetings with the country Focal Points appointed by Ministers of Education. A rigorous external evaluation of its work in 2006–2009 has enabled COL to play to its strengths in responding to these priorities.