Distance Learning for Development: Achievements, Trends and Plans

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Daniel, John
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO, Paris, Strategic Seminar Series, 7 February 2007, Distance Learning for Development: Achievements, Trends and Plans, Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning // So I shall try to wrap planning and distance learning up together and I've taken as my title Distance Learning for Development: Achievements, Trends and Plans. I shall try - with how much success you will have to judge - to weave the warp of comments on planning into the weft of remarks on distance education. // I shall start with some background on COL before explaining the thinking behind our Three-Year Plan for 2006-09, called simply Learning for Development. This Plan was endorsed by Commonwealth Ministers of Education at their Conference in Cape Town in December. // The Plan gives the overall framework of our programme for the Commonwealth as a whole. However, the key lesson that I learned by working at UNESCO for Director-General Matsuura was that what counts for individual countries is what you do for them. We translated this principle into our planning process in two ways. // First, in reporting on our work for last three years we produced a set of 49 country reports - one for each Commonwealth country except Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. We omitted them because our mission is to the smaller and developing countries of the Commonwealth. These are available on our website if you are interested. Compiling them was a considerable task for a small organisation and it would have been an impossible task were it not for our rather sophisticated knowledge management systems, which capture every mission report and update the profiles of our work in each country. // These provided the springboard for preparing the 49 Country Action Plans that we have finalised since the Ministers' Conference in December and which make operational our overall plan for the current triennium.
Distance Education, Learning for Sustainable Development, Open Schooling
Europe, Pan-Commonwealth