Learner Support Services in Open and Distance Learning: Issues and Evidences from the State of Assam
Distance education in its organized form, is one of the path breaking innovations in the field of education of the Twentieth century. The period between “1960-1985” has witnessed remarkable growth of distance education all around the world (The International Scene -1, 2001). In our country as well, correspondence education started in as early as 1960s. However, with the establishment of the B.R. Ambedkar State Open University in 1982 and the IGNOU in 1985, distance education has emerged as a distinct educational system. In fact, governments in all around the world and in the developing countries in particular today have accepted ODL (Open and Distance Learning) as a legitimate means of meeting educational goals. For example, Government of India (GOI) in its Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007) aimed for wide expansion of the ODL institutions with an aim to enroll 40% of all tertiary students in such institutions by 2007. The governments of Namibia and Ghana declared their national policy to be of dual mode instruction. Similarly, national open universities have been established in other SouthAsian countries viz. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and Bangladesh to meet respective national policy objectives (Raza, 2008).
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