ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)
Vol 2, No.1, 2012
Effectiveness of Open and Distance Education and the
Relevance of ICT: A North-East Indian Perspective
Prasenjit Das, Ritimoni Bordoloi*
Department of English, Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University, Guwahati 781006, Assam, India * E-mail of the corresponding author: email@example.com Abstract
In today’sKnowledge Society, it is almost accepted by common agreement that open and distance learning (ODL) has enabled people to develop different levels of proficiency in various fields. The application of information and communication technology, commonly known as ICT in ODL has not only made teaching-learning an interesting activity, but has also helped in inculcating a practical mindset among the learners. ICT-enabled learning as a surrogate system of the conventional ODL has released a lot of avenues for the people. In this context, it is not surprising to find that the relevance of ICT in the education sector of the North Eastern part of India has been being increasingly realized in recent times. The National Knowledge Commission of India too that has laid unprecedented attention on the ICT sector and its use in educational purposes, thereby helping to restore the potentials of ICT to every individual hailing from each and every corner of India. This paper seeks to address some of the assumptions that ICT enabled teaching learning has the potential to drastically change the educational scenario of the North Eastern part of India. Key Words:ICTs and Open and Distance Learningin North East of India 1. Indian Education: A Brief Survey
As a lifelong process, education has considerably changed the meaning of existence in the contemporary world. Education is termed as the bedrock of our socio-economic development as it providesnecessary and relevant knowledge on various fields, acquaints people with many need-based skills, and directs attention towards an achievable goal, thereby changing the whole socio-economic set-up of a country. In Indiatoo, such an understanding has resulted in the consideration of education as a vital pre-requisite for the development and the welfare of an individual in particular and the entire human society in general. Education is one of the main indicators of Human Capital Formation or Manpower Planning. So, in a democratic country like India, each individual has the basic right to get educated irrespective of all forms of disparities and discriminations. It is important to note that open and distance education has joined hands with the conventional face-to-face mode of education in order to translate the need to extend education beyond all barriers into a reality.
Democratization of education has received further fillip by the Constitution of India under the Article 45, which has made education free and compulsory for all children in the age group between 6 to 14 years. Still, the effect of the motto Education for Allcould not be tuned towardactuality for which the Government of India hadto take necessaryand futuristicinitiatives to bring education to every common household of the country. The Government of India even made provisionsfor making education aFundamental Right under the 86th Amendment of the Constitution in 2002. So, naturally, the achievements are clearly visible in the rapid growth in the number of a strong, literate, robustmanpower in India,a country known for being the largest elementary education provider in the world. It is also to be noted that India is the third largest country having a well-organized system of higher education after USA and China. But, in spite of all developmental measures, the alarming success rate has generated concerns from both the public and private providers of education in the country. While currently India is having a literacy rate of 64.28%, there is still a big gender gap as the male literacy percentage is 75.26%...