Arming the armed forces for a civilian life: an experience of IGNOU

Dorothy, J S
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Period of employability and sudden termination either due to individual preference or due to disaster or due to end of the employable period are a constant endeavour in Armed forces. In addition, the importance of secrecy of movement of the armed personnel is crucial as it directly indicates the protection due for the Country. Service exigencies, constant move, shelter in camps and in places away from home, earmarked service benefits which remove the day-to-day hassles, mark the life of army men. Inspite of the organisational facilities streamlined to increase the conduct of training programmes for upgradation of the knowledge, certification of the educational qualification of army men necessitated the collaboration between the armed forces and a Distance Teaching Institution (DTI). In addition, equipping an individual educationally, to face reality of employment procedures in the civilian life, is one of the preventive/proactive measures of rehabilitation. An example of such collaboration that facilitates the education of the armed forces is the Army-IGNOU Educational Project which is in vogue from the year 2001. This paper discusses about the issues related to this project and how the opportunity for continuing education enables the armed forces for a civilian life after their term of employment in the armed forces. This paper throws light about the importance of the armed men as a new audience of the Distance Learning System and how the implementers are equally new for executing the various activities prescribed by the Distance Teaching Institution especially while maintaining the work-life-learning balance. The practical difficulties are mainly those age old difficulties encountered for taking education into the employees’ doorstep, eventhough the beneficiaries seemed ‘new’ both from the eyes of the Armed forces and the DTI. The social cause of rehabilitation/preparing for the post-service period/retired life/civilian living initially posed as a challenge not only for the educational institution and the society has been re-engineered into the Army-IGNOU Educational Project by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), thus making the Distance Education System (DES) as a responsive to learners in the armed forces who ultimately have to merge with their respective society after the period of service. // Paper ID: 361

Skills Development,Distance Education,Military