Use of ICTs for Capacity Building in the ODL System

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF4 // Education is an organic entity; it dynamically evolves to meet new and emerging requirements. Therefore, the education system in general and every institution in particular is expected to introspect constantly to evaluate its relevance in contemporary scenario. The emergence of knowledge society powered by revolutionary developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their integrated applications in delivery of education in the 21 st century has changed the pace of transformation. Now knowledge, rather than labour and capital, is the basic resource to create wealth. The range of media and tools that have become available to us for transmission, storage and retrieval of data are amazing in terms of their efficiency, versatility flexibility, economy and productivity. These have enhanced the reach of the word of mouth to such an extent that now omnipresent (any where, any time) education for all and life long learning for continuous professional development have become a reality. The Internet mediated virtual conferencing for PCF-4 began a month before the actual event; the University of the South Pacific manages to reach its learners on isolated atolls in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean through satellite based USPNET and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) presents the best teachers simultaneously to its entire student population inhabitating backhole districts, Andaman and Nicobar islands, villages and metro cities all over the country through 134 video-conferencing centres, more than 800 teleconferencing centres, 26 FM radio stations under Gyan Vani cooperative, four educational TV channels under Gyan Darshan , 186 radio stations of All India Radio and 486 community based Information Centres in the North-East. // IGNOU is singularly privileged and placed; it has already digitised its learning materials and placed the same in the electronic repository, named, eGyan Kosh . It is also participating in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, GoI initiative of one stop Educational Portal – Sakshat – for students of all levels (K20) and achievements as well as other knowledge workers for indigenous capacity building. The best e-materials developed in-country are being uploaded and those available as open resource are being hyper-linked. To facilitate free access of these resources to students, broadband connectivity is being provided by GoI to all schools, colleges and university departments at no cost to them. This has genesis in the belief that deploying latest ICTs will facilitate equitable access to educational opportunities to all and help indigenous capacity building and raise the standard of education and training, particularly to those engaged in learning at a distance, and equip the society for meeting tomorrow's needs at work. // Paper ID 469