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IGNOU Hosts Delegation of Administrators of Institutions of Higher Education from Myanmar

06 April, 2018

Indira Gandhi National Open University today hosted administrators of Higher Education Institutions from Myanmar on 4th April 2018 The purpose of this visit to IGNOU was to understand the Open and Distance Education system. The delegates represented various universities of Myanmar and were participants of IPEM programme being held at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA). The educational visit to IGNOU was organized by the Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE).

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. S.B. Arora, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU welcomed the delegates and reiterated IGNOU's commitment to help neighboring countries in promoting higher education through the Open & Distance Mode. He spoke of the role of IGNOU and the diverse programmes offered by IGNOU including those in health sciences. He said that IGNOU would be willing to share its expertise for the growth of the ODL system and he extended full support of the university to Myanmar in every way.

In his address, Prof. P R Ramanujam gave a brief history of Open Education in the world. He spoke about the setting up of UNISA (University of South Africa) and the UK Open University. He outlined the beginnings of IGNOU from its inception in 1985 and said that IGNOU which had begun with student strength of around 4000 now has more than 3 million students. Prof Ramanujam also reiterated the four key features of the open education, viz., Open to People, Open to Places, Open to Ideas and Open to new Methods. He highlighted IGNOU's contribution in developing quality Self-Learning Study Materials, using technologies especially ICTs to reach everywhere, establishing a vast regional network and developing an unconventional curriculum to cater to different populations.

Earlier Prof P.K. Biswas, Director, STRIDE, welcomed the delegates from Myanmar and recollected the association that IGNOU has had with Myanmar Open University when it was set up. Prof. Najma Akhtar from NUEPA spoke about IGNOU as a model for Open and Distance learning and the need to learn from the IGNOU experience. NUEPA faculty Prof Veera Gupta and Dr Savita Kaushal accompanied the Myanmar delegates.

The delegates visited the State-of-the-Art Electronic Media Production Centre (EMPC) and witnessed how TV and Radio technology is being used to provide education across the length and breadth of the country. A film on IGNOU was also shown to the delegates. They also visited the Material Production and Distribution Division and witnessed the packing process used for dispatching course material packets to lakhs of IGNOU students. The administrators expressed their admiration for these mammoth operations being carried out so smoothly by IGNOU.

This Programme was coordinated by Dr Anita Priyadarshini, Associate Professor and Seminar Coordinator, STRIDE, IGNOU.