Open distance learning for sustainable development in India
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Open and distance learning (ODL) is considered a significant medium for sustainable development in the information age of advanced learning. India, which is considered as the case study for this article, is facing the challenges of knowledge and information upgrading. In order to meet the demands of globalisation for sustainable development, in 1985 the Government of India established the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) by an Act of Parliament at national level. The aim of this article is to establish a coalition between ODL and sustainable development for the social, economic, vocational and educational strengthening of communities. The article explores the implementation of ODL methodologies that are utilised to empower the rural masses and functionaries in rural India. The author acknowledges that education and training in a non-formal setting can be significant in providing development at grass-root levels; and that ODL methodologies may have the potential to meet the requirements of education for sustainable development (ESD). The article, holistically, suggests the futuristic model(s) of distance training as a transformed form of capacity building. There is a need for a developmental model of education that provides for quality education, and offers the possibility of sustainable development to learners, job seekers and society as a whole.
- Faculty of Humanities