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Published in the 1-15 July 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Education & careers

Distance Education – pathway for success

By Ameen-E-Mudassar

The Milli Gazette Online

Distance Education in India is increasing every day. Lets quickly look at these two cases which can be an eye opener on why is distance learning more opted nowadays.

Case 1: Zakir, with a Masters in Arts ( MA) and an experience of over 5 yrs applies for the post of Head Master, similarly Akbar equally qualified and with 3 yrs of experience applies for the same post. In the Interview, Akbar presents one more additional qualification – a Post Graduate Diploma in School Administration. He gets the Job. The question here: Who is more Qualified ? Zakir or Akbar.

Case 2: Advertisement in a leading newspaper – Wanted Office Manager for a MNC in Delhi. Qualification : Graduation. (any degree), Additional Qualification : Dip in Office Administration Preference given to certified persons who can speak and Write Arabic and German. Candidates within 24yrs can apply. Salary no bar for the right candidate. 
The question here: Can just 1 degree give us a Good, well paid and satisfactory Job ? 

Analysis of the cases:
The 2 cases in simple words convey the message that " Specialization is the key for greater success" and " Multiple skills increase your employability". Making these remarks is like knocking the doors of a distance education program. Yes, with today’s increasing opportunities, demands and globalization, acquiring necessary and prerequisite diploma / degree has become inevitable. 
Hence this article aims to produce certain details about distance education. There is too much to be discussed and presented but I limit myself to explain the facts and let you know the pros and cons of distance learning.. 

A few questions to yourself

  1. 1. How can I take up Multiple diploma’s while attending one college ?

  2. My age is past the youth. How can I study MCA ? 

  3. I have loads of Problems, I need to work and also study ? Any solutions?

  4. I am just fed up of attending college. But still want to study. What to do ? 

  5. I wish me and my father studied the same course. How’s that possible ? 
    The answer for all these and many more such questions is just - Distance Education

Why study through Distance Education ?

  1. If you Lack time and efforts to take a full time course.

  2. Non-availability of course in regular college. Only available through distance mode.

  3. Insufficient marks/ money and seats to join a regular course

  4. Demand of employers for basic qualification – Diploma/ Degree / PG/ Phd. 

  5. To get a promotion in job and acquire higher positions.

  6. Create more career options, increase employment areas. 

  7. To achieve higher levels of performance with consistency. 

Advantages of Distance Education

  1. It helps to elevate, promote and enrich the knowledge of individuals.

  2. Education is local (at home) but recognition is global.

  3. Students can spend their time effectively for studies without affecting the normal life. 

  4. Easy time management to fulfill family, social and work obligations. 

  5. Distance learning builds self discipline and self confidence naturally. 

  6. Builds an enduring personality which can face challenges independently. 

  7. Exposure and experience of Technology in Education : e-learning, Satellite Education, etc..

  8. Multiple Qualifications can be obtained simultaneously. And many more practical reasons which has motivated millions worldwide to take up distance education. 

Beware of these facts !

Here are a few facts which are to be well understood and taken into consideration before taking up distance education. The facts are not aimed to give a caution and not demotivating students from distance education 

  1. Distance learning some times can be frustrating since it requires more self inputs and reliance on one’s own intellect for understanding and executing things. 

  2. Postal strike, No power supply, No internet connection – If these things happen during critical days of exam preparation, things can change drastically.

  3. Indefinite postponement of Exams, No confidentiality in question papers, No response for queries – post / email etc… can put you in a fix.
    4. Lack of basic facilities in Study centers, Over reaction of co-ordinators, Irresponsible statements by concerned authorities can also happen.

    Distance Education in India
    Being a country of more than 1 Billion and striving hard to achieve total literacy, the Governmetn too banks on the distance/correspondence mode of education to see India youth more empowered. Hence almost all universities ( 80% of them ) in India have a Dept for Distance Education or a Directorate of Distance Education. We have almost all courses offered through distance mode. Realizing the need for specialization and extra qualification, there is a big surge of young and old to take up Distance Education.

    Courses offered
    A variety of courses are offered by most of the Distance Education Universities. Listed below are the courses and a few prominent of them being highlighted.

    Certificate Courses
    Most of the certificate courses are designed to give the basics and increase their knowledge about the subject. These courses are mostly taken up by people as per the need. For Example : If a candidate has completed Diploma in Travel and Tourism (regular), he/she will take up a certificate course in a foreign language to enhance his/her employability. 

    Few Common Certificate Courses : Library Sciences, Foreign languages, Police Administration, School Administration, Agriculture, Electrical Winding, Marketing, etc…

    Duration: 3/6months/ 1yr. Elig: Pass in 10th/ 12th / Open Stream (No formal Education)

    Diploma Courses
    These are aimed to help candidates get a valued diploma in their subject of Interest. The curriculum is also not vast but covers all fundamentals. 
    Few Common Courses : Funcational Arabic, Labour Law, School Management, Public Relations, etc..

    Duration : 1/2yrs. Elig: 10th / 12th Pass.

    Under Graduate Courses
    These courses are on par with regular courses in colleges. The syllabus of these courses is similar to any UG course offered by a regular college. Generally candidates who get into work after their completion of 12th select these courses.
    Few Common UG Courses: BA, BSc, BBA, BBM, Bcom, BSc, etc. There are different specializations in each of these UG courses
    Duration: 3yrs. Elig: Pass in 10th/ 12th / Open Stream (No formal Education)

    Post Graduate / Professional courses
    These courses are generally aimed to help graduates. The syllabus is in accordance with the concerned university for regular courses. 
    Few Common PG Courses: MA, MBA, MCA, MSc, MCom, MTech, Mphil. Etc..
    Duration : 1/2/3 yrs. Elig : Graduation 

    For list of Distance Education Universities in India Log on to http://www.mswt.org. 

    The author is a Career Counsellor, working with M.S.W - Career Guidance & information
    «

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