Policy-makers ought to remove the mental block in providing government jobs to those candidates who obtain degrees through distance education mode.It is not in the interest of higher education to reject outright those candidates as unfit for government jobs, said C.R.K.Murthy, Professor of Distance Education, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).He was delivering a speech at the inaugural session of the two-day workshop on “Development and revision of self-learning study materials” organised by the Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalai University, in association with the IGNOU, at Chidambaram on Friday. It had been the practice of the private sector to evaluate the new recruits not on the basis of the mode of education but on the basis of personality profile and communication skills.
There were at least 450 universities and 30,000 colleges in the country offering formal education but all of them could not claim that they were stickler to standards, as the quality of the outcome vastly varied.
Therefore, discriminating the candidates of distance education mode in government jobs was tantamount to denying them social acceptance. It could be set right only through political will and the Distance Education Council had been taking up the issue in various forums.Mr. Murthy further said that the Council was also impressing upon the institutions offering distance education programmes to raise the bar and prove that their products too were eminently employable.He also noted that at the international level, there were 100 open universities, of which 60 were located in Asia and India alone accounted for 15 such universities.
He hailed Annamalai University as one of the forerunners in starting the distance mode of education and becoming popular in enrolling candidates across the country. When hardly 10 per cent of the eligible age group was pursuing higher education in the country, democratisation of higher education could be possible only through distance education mode, Mr. Murthy said.
Vice-Chancellor, M. Ramanathan, said that from the days of sending correspondence courses through posts distance education had progressed a great deal by using all modes of communication such as tele-conferencing and satellite linkage.
He said that the self-learning materials should be diligently designed and periodically upgraded by infusing them with quality, user-friendliness and flexibility for which every teacher ought to work studiously and with a sense of dedication. Mr. Ramanathan insisted on necessary changes in the curriculum framework.
Ashok K.Gaba,resource person from the IGNOU, S.B.Nagewara Rao, Director, DDE, Annamalai University and S.Ravi, coordinator, participated.