Panel: Democratizing Distance Education (HE 2010)

Moderated by A M Thimmayya, SVP, Distributed Learning, Manipal Education who referred also to the debate between India and “Bharat”.

The theme was – Democratizing the dissemination of Quality Education.

The first panelist, Dr. C K Ghosh, Director, Student Service Centre, IGNOU, spoke about the value of the sensitizing people that technology can be used for learning. He mentioned how EDUSAT is helping get high quality content and how power failures could be combatted by looking at alternate power technologies like solar power. With so much going around ICT, we should not forget the simplicity of audio; in fact why not use VSAT + FM radio as a way to reach out. Railing against the entire recognition/accreditation process, he maintained that quality should speak for itself.

Sharat Kumar, former director, Institute of Management Technology, talked about his experience in leading faculty and students to create the brand that is IMT today.

Prof. Sunitha Raju, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, talked about how they run a degree program online and brought into focus hwo technology can be used in a blended manner to impart education effectively.

Prof. Seema Parihar, Deputy Dean, Central Placement Cell, Delhi University, seemed perturbed that a connotation could be that digital learning or adding technology is the missing link to the formula for a good teacher. Surveys she has led show that teachers are not very comfortable with teacher reviews. It is also very important to prepare an action plan against the feedback that has been collected. “eLearning cannot create a university but a university can create eLearning” was her last comment.

Dr. Neeta Kapai, Deputy Director, Campus Placement Cell, IGNOU talked about tie ups with Common Service Centres (and telecentre.org) training students for industry and providing them consulting on employability and industry focus.

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