Collaboration of Stakeholders as an Expanded Learner System for a Distant Learner

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Mohasi, Mantina V
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF4 // Although Lesotho operated distance learning programmes for some time, these have been mostly part time, supported by print media. The Institute of Extra Mural Studies of the National University of Lesotho has been one of the key providers of such programmes at tertiary level. The programmes offered are in adult education, business managemnet and mass communication. They are highly subscribed because they offer the one solace for those high school graduates who cannot gain access into the one university and for the large population of working adult who wish to improve themselves. // These distance programmes however face a number of challenges, among which is a high drop out rate and failure rate. Although these are common ODL problems they are still a course for alarm because of their economic and social implications especially in a small country like Lesotho. This wastage rate also casts a dark cloud to the future of open and distance learning in Lesotho, which still has to establish itself as a viable strategy in democratizing education. This study examines the concept of learner support within ODL as critical in promoting a learning environment that can sustain motivation to stay in programmes and successfully complete. The study takes the concept of learner support as a collaborative effort not only among the inner circle directly inolved with learning, but among all stakeholders surrounding the distance learner. Each of these stakeholders is seen as part of the collaboration effort in building a comprehensive learner support system. // The qualitative empirical study will collect data through intensive interview to focus on knowledge of ODL, learner support mechanism through collaboration and opinions towards ODL's future plans. // Paper ID 256