Prospects of distance education

Biswajit Mukherjee


Distance learning can be defined as a system of education where students and teachers are separated by time and distance, aimed principally at experienced people with a desire to investigate who don’t require permanent contact with professors or classmates. Technology has mobilised the way we communicate, revolutionised our style of work and also our manner of study. In the field of teaching, it is already common to talk about open universities, distance systems, virtual classrooms and online universities. Educational institutions worldwide offer courses and university careers through distance education systems. As a result, there is no longer any excuse for those who live far from big cities or those who cannot coordinate their schedule with the programme of a traditional university, not to pursue further study.

Never before has there been the possibility for millions of people to earn a degree without neglecting their families and jobs. Mature adults are those who will benefit most from this system, breaking barriers and eliminating the obstacles of regular class attendance. Living and working far from the campus, commuting to or from work during rush- hour traffic, spending hours in the classroom listening sometimes to subjects that are not your specific interest, competing with students much younger than yourself and daily trying to organise an agenda overbooked with commitments are some of the obstacles that hinder a continual training.

Fortunately, times have changed and many universities around the world have adapted their educative processes to the circumstances and needs of the adult students. Hundreds of universities have developed more flexible programmes with more emphasis on the needs of the pupils than their own interests. We may inter after evaluating the changes in the educational field that people who are hindered in pursuing training by traditional methods, either because of place of residence or schedule complications are now more taken into account. This method allows students to administer their time with academic backing via techniques developed for this purpose. We have often heard it said. “I’m sorry, we wanted to promote you on the job, but you don’t have a degree. “How many times have we read in the want ads, ‘University graduate wanted, preferably with post-graduate studies.’ That ‘pieces of paper’, the diploma, becomes a necessity. The increased competition raises the demands at the time of job searching.

Today, the only one responsible for a professional career, training development and systematic education is you. This is the key for personal success. With the growing global trend, companies have entered a new level of competence, which has impacted in greater demands of organisations at the moments of choosing personnel because the only way to maintain the competitive edge is to have well-educated people. The weakness on the person-company link that has produced in recent years basically affects people with lesser capabilities. The scene is a cruel one, and it becomes worse when you don’t have that piece of paper”.

To be at the front of this change, distance learning minimises the usual difficulties of traditional education, making it possible to obtain the formation, training and diplomas that will improve personal possibilities for success. Classes by audio or video, interactive classes, videoconferences or simply through e-mail or fax. Virtual universities, online tutoring, and multi-media classrooms are concepts of this 21st century. It’s incredible to know that on can obtain a Master, without ever having entered a classroom.

The advantages are obvious, students may maintain their normal daily pace and fulfil their family, social and work obligations as they continue their education. Studies of distance learners show that this student is more self-disciplined, independent, motivated and investigate than the one who simply sits in the classroom and listens. On the other hand, the tuition is usually less Currently one can avail internationally acclaimed degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), India here in Nepal. ICA Pvt Ltd, Partner Institue-9601, has been setting trends in the information technology for years and has been providing education in the field of IT, management studies, tourism and social sciences through distance education in joint venture with IGNOU trough it’s International Study Centre.

The author is the coordinator of IGNOU, PI-9601, Nepal.