a vast country like India, where people and their favorite
institutions are separated by great distances, often obstructing
the mainstream style of education, the distance mode will prove
to be useful in many cases.
The tremendous pace at which science and technology is progressing
makes it essential for people to develop their knowledge and
skills in order to keep themselves abreast of the current trends
in their fields of work. These are indeed global phenomena and
not confined to our country. The emergence of distance learning
as a significant component of education in society has become
a source of opportunities for a sizeable segment of our people.
Yet another bright aspect
of the system is that it helps to impart education to those
who aspire to learn more, but who do not have the convenience
for it, since they happen to be stationed in remote areas. Also,
there are school/college dropouts who wish to come back to learning,
either for career advancement or for other reasons. The fulfillment
of the aspirations of such disadvantaged groups has a positive
In distance learning or
distance education, the teacher and learner are separated geographically
and by time. We know the system of correspondence courses. This
has developed into distance education, with the acquisition
of additional features. On the other hand, open learning refers
to an arrangement in which learners adopt the style of self-instruction,
completing courses structured around specially prepared learning
materials, supported by contact classes and examinations.
Open learning implies a
philosophy of open entry and access to learning opportunities.
But it does not necessarily incorporate technological advances.
Distance learning makes use of new technological devices. There
may be slightly varying views on these definitions. Open universities
have made remarkable progress in recent years thanks to the
great demand for facilities different from those offered by
Correspondence / Distance Education Courses offered by various