Quality and Effectiveness of Distance Education in Secondary and Higher Secondary Programmes of Bangladesh Open University – A Learner-Based Evaluation
To materialize Bangladesh’s goal for becoming a middle-income country by 2021 requires creation of techo-based large educated workforce. Due to socio-economic drawbacks a big number of students drop out from conventional system of regular education. They could be included in the stream of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) under Bangladesh Open University (BOU), which is the only authorized institution for ODL in Bangladesh. But, BOU education should be free from quality debates as against the conventional system of education. Secondary and Higher Secondary levels being the spring board for both job market and higher education are focused in this research and the improvements as regards quality and effectiveness are sought for through a learner-based evaluation. This has been a primary research based on questionnaire survey applied among a gender mix of 119 students of secondary and Higher Secondary levels. The methodology adopted both quantitative and qualitative system of analysis. The survey was conducted on the existing system of ODL in BOU. // The survey revealed weakness in BOU information dissemination system, its product delivery service and in the TV and radio programmes. The admission procedure, quality of books, management of tutorial classes and the quality of tutoring and the commitment of tutors are found to be of acceptable standard. As a whole, the quality and effectiveness of the Secondary and Higher Secondary programmes are found just satisfactory necessitating improvements. // The research identifies a strong necessity of addressing the needs of the learners and a stronger necessity of putting in concerted efforts in meeting and satisfying the diverse nature of the needs of the learners. It suggests a strategy of improvement in keeping with the motto of BOU, i.e. “We assure education at your doorstep”; making of education convenient and flexible for the learners so that no distractions can come in the way of their learning. The suggested steps are creation of a robust and proactive system of delivery of information, development of a strong and sustainable ICT infrastructure, diversification of products to make learning experience more flexible, and finally introducing accountability at all levels to ensure delivery of effective support to the learners. // Paper ID 327
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