Online Learning – A Social Good or Another Social Divide?
On-Line Learning - A Social Good or Another Social Divide? International Conference on Learning and Teaching On-Line South China Normal University Guangzhou, China Keynote Address by Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Commonwealth of Learning, 10 January 2001 // Lest you mistake me for a Luddite, after reading the abstract of this presentation, let me assure you quite unequivocally that my passion for distance education as well as the new variants of it, such as the theme of this conference, is still as high as it was some 30 years ago when I began my association with the field in Malaysia. // Having said that, like many others of my generation, who benefited from and saw the value that education made to one's personal circumstances, I was motivated to be part of a movement that brought down barriers to accessing learning. Many of you, like me, know and recognise that learning has never been as freely available to the poor as to the rich. It is easier for those in urban areas than for those in rural communities; people marginalised whether by geography, race, religion, abilities, have always found it difficult to access learning than non-marginalised populations. Most importantly, in the context of this conference, those who had more prior learning have always found it easier to access more new learning than those without.