Learners’ Demographic Profiles and Attitude towards the Learners of Open School at Bangladesh Open University, A Study

Islam, Md Anwarul
Numan, Sharker M
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Bangladesh is one of the developing countries in the world. The total population of Bangladesh is near about 156 million and expectancy of life is only 60 years. The bureau of statistics calculates the present per capita income in Bangladesh at US$ 690 (1US$=70BDT). To enhance development and continuation of its development, there should be fulfilling the fundamental needs for every citizen of the country in time. Illiteracy is considered to be one of the important parameters causing socio-economic backwardness. Illiteracy minimizes skill manpower and lack of educational infrastructure minimizes human resource (Numan, 2001). // Bangladesh Open University (BOU) is the only public institution in the country that offered education in distance and flexible mode. This university is to increase access to education and training in the fields of basic education, secondary education, and vocational education, strengthens formal and non-formal education programs for the general population. BOU launched Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) programs in 1995 and 1998 respectively through Open School (OS). OS emphasis the printed text materials for the learners where can accept easily and comfortably. To understand the difficult lessons of the text audio-visual programs have been developed. Study revealed that the use of media i.e. audio and video can strengthen the formal method of classroom teaching (James 1986; Islam and Islam 2003). // BOU’s main objective is to provide need based education to the deprived and disadvantaged group especially women and people of rural/remote areas, working people and dropped out learner those who are unable to join the conventional education. It provides opportunities of education to all classes of people and creates efficient manpower by improving the quality of education. The response to BOU programs is so phenomenal that current enrolment of learners (289,791) is several folds higher than that of total enrolment in all public and private universities in the country. Thus BOU is emerged as a new member of the mega-universities (Daniel, 1996; Islam et.al, 2006). In several studies, it has been found that BOU education is flexible, cost-effective and comparable standard to the conventional universities (Anonymous, 2002; Islam and Selim, 2006). To provide learner support services BOU has a network of 12 regional resource centers (RRC), 80 local centers (LC) and More than 1300 study centers (SC) all over the country. // Now a days teaching is not teachers centered, it is learners centered. Distance education can be more learners centered if distance educators are aware of the problems, needs, attitudes and characteristics of their learners. The present study tried to reflect the learners’ demographic status and attitudes towards their tutorial session and the audio-video media those are broadcasting along with the formal programs.
Open Universities, Distance Education, Open Schooling