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Essay on “Distance Education” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Distance Education

Essay No. 01

Before ten years Distance Education was not thought a good means of educations because ‘to take degree’ is not the aim of a student. The main base is the real knowledge of that line to be obtained as we find in case of regular classes. But with the progress of science- electronic media- now electronic equipment, the situation has been changed. Through T.V. Educational programmes the correspondence education can be made to be understood in better way. As regards experiments in the laboratory, we can have better understanding than of school labs. Now distance education from academic to technical fields. Due to this progress a question arises :

“Could distance education be a better alternative to the present education system? Why not?” it has already got that status. Many universities like IGNOU, KOTA OPEN UNIVERSITY, ALL INDIA MANAGEMENT ASSOCATION(AIMA) etc, provide teaching facilities only through distance learning. Lakhs of students  are getting education through  distant education. Soon school education can follow this path in future. Population is increasing rapidly, Education is considered a must for life to maintain the standard and status of a happy man. Trends in Education reach to everybody, Distance Education system is getting popularity day by day. Now Distance Education has been a popular mode of learning not only for the formal courses but for professional courses too. M.B.A, M.C.A., C.A., I.C.W.A, B.C.A., and many other professional courses are available through distance learning, these days. However, the usefulness of this new mode has been accepted by the modern students without any hesitation. The contribution of T.V. Programmes regarding Distance Education is praiseworthy.

It is full possibilities.  Its growing popularity itself explains the truth. But one trend is alarming in the system. Almost all institutes conducting such courses are merely interest in conducting  exams and providing degrees. This is not a good trend. Improvement must be made in this regard.

Distance education is a need of the time in a big country like India. Many universities have understood the fact. This is the reason that many prestigious universities and institutions have separate directorates to conduct courses through distance learning, apart from their regular courses. This is good enough reason to understand their importance.

It is a boon for those candidates who really want to pursue their education but they have no time to attend regular classes. Distance education provides them opportunity for this. It is an effective option to continue education.

Some say that this is merely a system to obtain degrees anyhow. How can it be an alternative to the formal education system? Interaction between teachers and students, classroom experiences, etc, have their own role in the system. Distance learning cannot fulfil these needs or experiences. Education does not mean degrees only; it is much more than that. Before the source of education T.V. programme it may be right to some extent. But at present this correspondence method has taken a unique place.

The electronic media, new electronic equipment, teleconferencing facility , etc, have provided ample scope for distance education to emerge as a strong alternative , especially in India. But a lot of work still remain to be done in this field.

No doubt, the distance education system has proved its capabilities. It is a big hope for those students who do not get a seat in regular courses in a college. In these terms, it is a strong alternative to the present education system. But it has many limitations too. Before making it an alternative education system, we must be aware of these.        


Essay No. 02  



Distance Education or Open University

India has a high rate of illiteracy. Only about 52 per cent of Indians are literate. Although the rate of literacy has increased, it has not kept pace with the .rate of increase in population.  Besides, poverty and compulsion to work force many students to drop out of school and colleges. In order to give an opportunity to the underprivileged, handicapped and women to continue “their education at some later” stage distance education was started as an alternative through correspondence courses and Open University system. It has proved a boon to many who want to improve their qualifications, broaden-their horizon and study at their own pace. These courses are also expected to “if reduce the rush to institutions of higher education. The growth of distance education should be encouraged keeping in view rapidly increasing demand for it.

India is a developing nation. The rate of development of a nation depends on the literacy rate of its population. However despite an increase in the rate of literacy the number of literates has not increased. One single factor largely responsible for this is increase in population due to various reasons. 

The rate of school dropouts is an alarming 76.6%. Only 2 percent of the youth join college .Poverty, compulsion to work to support the family forces many students to drop out of schools and colleges. Till some years ago, there was no opportunity for people who wanted to pursue higher studies but could not do so while young due to their circumstances.

Education by mail, started by Delhi University in 1962, came as boon to such people who found in it an opportunity to pursue higher education despite age.  The purpose of this experiment was to provide an opportunity for higher studies to working people who could not afford the Luxury of higher education at a college or university.  The experiment was hailed by different sections of society. Many persons who were physically handicapped, housewives working people desirous of improving their job prospects found in this system a second chance to fulfill their ambitions. The success of this experiment encouraged other universities to set up Directorates of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education.

 National Open School (NOS) was established in 19.89 as an autonomous organization with the objective to provide quality education through distance education mode upto secondary stage for the school dropouts and children who cannot attend the formal schools. The NOS provides student support services through a network of study centres known as accredited institutions (AIs) for academic courses and accredited vocational institutions (AVIs) for vocational courses. As on March 31, 1994, 306 AIs and 39 AVIs were functioning under NOS.

Distance education has come to stay as an alternative to formal system and has become an accepted form of education. To begin with, the philosophy of distance education was not that of openness, It was merely an extension of the formal system with all its digitises except compulsory attendance. The system was designed mainly to absorb the surplus candidates in the colleges. Further, it attracted the drop-outs of the formal system since the same courses were offered in formal and distance education system. Certain factors led to change in objectives and expectations. These were population growth, distribution of population, inaccessibility of the formal system to people in remote villages, the prohibitive cost of education, changing priorities of the government in respect of education, the prohibitive cost in expanding the formal system further, the need for giving equal opportunity in education, need to subsidies education for weaker sections of society and above all the need to create a learned society.

 The failure and limitations of the formal system made educationists expect a complementary and supplementary role for distance education. They felt distance education could he an open and flexible system where a student could study at his own pace. They realised that it was not necessary that every student must rise in the educational ladder passing through the same steps as laid down in the conventional system. Why should there be emphasis on rigid entry qualifications? Could not individuals be trained without insistence on previous academic qualifications and be-selected by means of certain entry tests? Consequently, the idea of open education took shape some universities took up the idea. The first to do so was Andhra Pradesh University in 1982. In 1985, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) came into existence. These universities otter an opportunity to students to join at any age, study at his own pace and place.

India has ambitious plans of developing a network of open universities with IGNOU at the top. The network will be developed with two objectives. One, the course material in all the Open universities will be the same. Secondly, a student can transfer his credits from one Open University to another. The Open University system is trying to impart quality education by planning lessons carefully, using the multimedia approach, i.e. preparing audio and visual lessons, opening study centres selling the material to students, providing face, to face contact with the teachers through seminars and meetings with tutors at study centres, methods similar to the ones being used by correspondence courses. Open universities are, perhaps, going to be more flexible in course content and pace of learning, where correspondence courses study material and duration of courses and limit is the same as in the formal system.

The IGNOU introduced its academic programmes in 1987 and has so launched 58 programmes of study. The total number of students registered for various programmes during 1995 was over 91,000. The University has established an extensive students support services network consisting of  16 regional centres and 244 study centres situated in different parts the country. At present there are six other open universities in the country viz.  B.R. Ambedkar Open University in Hyderabad, Kola Open University Kota, Nalanda Open University, Bihar; Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashi Open University, Nasik, M P Bhoj Open University, Bhopal and Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad.

Distance education is expanding three times faster than the formal university education. Since as a part of National Education Policy, the States intend to restrict enrollment in formal education, they have stopped encouraging: growth in the number of colleges and universities. Therefore, distance education has a bright future. Keeping in view the demand for higher education, more and more States are opening distance education institutions. Bold experiments are being tried by making use of labs of regular college: on holidays and Sundays so that students can do practical work. At some places institutes are Opening their own labs so that students can make use of them whenever required. More and more courses are being offered and students are enrolling themselves enthusiastically to improve their skill and qualifications.

Considering that by the end of the Eighth Plan, nearly 15-17″ per cent of all students will be receiving instructions through the distance education System, there will be a need for more funds to develop infrastructure Study centres support Services in the foam of personal contact programme library services. Audio-visual cassettes will be required to enable student to acquire an understanding of their subjects. This will mean more allocation of funds to distance education so that a fairly well developed network of learning resource centres can be established. Only then will the distance education system which is relatively less costly, become a more effective system of learning. 


Essay No. 03


Distance Education


It is not correct to think that education can be imparted only in schools and colleges. Abraham Lincoln spent less than a year at a school, and yet he was the author of the great Gettysburg Speech. The school of experience is the most effective school, if only we are devoted students of this school. Observations rather than books, experience rather than the school teachers are the best educators. Hence, the most effective means of teaching is to make students learn to use their commonsense properly.

Distance education is based on the fundamental premise that anything that can be taught or learnt in a classroom situation, can also be taught or learnt from a distance. It presupposes that distance teaching is autonomous learning and is a learner-centered activity. Even then the role of a teacher is not precluded in this system. The teacher is not only the learner’s guide throughout his studies, but is a facilitator too. As the face-to-face meetings of the teachers and the taught are few and far between, written words replace the ‘words of mouth’ of the classroom situation. These written words are given to a distant learner ill either Of the two forms—printed lessons or comments on assignments.

In western countries, distance education began to grow after World War II but its importance was felt in India only in the sixties. The success of distance education in advanced countries, the socio-economic compulsions of the changing times and the need to democratise higher education alter Independence made the planners tap the resources of distance education in this country too. University of Delhi started a pilot project in 1962. At present, there are 34 Distance Education Directorates and four Open Universities in India. The Open University System, an extension of the correspondence course, came to India with the setting up of the Andhra Pradesh Open University in 1982. Other such universities are Indira Gandhi National Open University, Kota Open University and Nalanda Open University. This is indeed, a milestone in the evolution and development of education in India.

Education is vital for a largely illiterate, poverty-ridden country like India. Today, it has become an economic necessity. The recent electronic and telecommunication revolution in the country has opened new vistas for our young men and women who cannot—or are not in a position to’ get admission to regular colleges and institutes. Facilities are already scarce in the nearly 200 regular universities and their affiliated colleges in the country, and classrooms are bursting at the seams. The teacher-student ratio is very high. In such a scenario distance education plays a much-needed role in educating the country’s youth.

The prospects of distance education with our ever-burgeoning population are immense. As the resources of the Government are limited, distance education set-ups have become the need of the hour. AB against the intake of 2,000-3,000 in a regular college, a distance education institution can enroll upto 50,000-60,000 students in one course at a time as there is no constraint on space.

Most distance education directorates in the country have effected innovations in education like providing instruction for vocational courses, viz., journalism, writing for profit, salesmanship, etc. This goes a long way a fulfilling the needs of those already following a vocation/career and wishing to do better. Such courses are not possible in the regular stream. By offering a choice from among a wide variety of subjects, these distance education directorates have carved a unique niche in the educational system of the country.

These institutions have not lost touch with the students in the sense that their lessons for various streams are regularly broadcast on the radio and telecast on the national channel so as to reach the maximum number of students in various part of the country. Distance education directorates also conduct periodic contact programmes where students from nearby areas may contact teachers for solving their difficulties.

However, all said and done, distance education is still looked upon as second-rate. This is on account of the importance attached to students going to regular institutions. But what people forget is the fact that degrees/diplomas given by distance education directorates are treated at par with degrees/diplomas from regular universities. There is an urgent need to create awareness to the effect that distance education, far from being inferior, is equal to regular education. It is, in fact, better in the sense that students can earn while they learn.

The second problem with distance education is that it is available only in the humanities and commerce streams. Students, who wish to opt for the science stream, have to enroll in a regular college on account of the laboratory facilities. If, like the contact programmes, distance education directorates could also incorporate courses in the science stream with provision for intensive laboratory work during specific periods in a year, this lacuna could be removed. Such facilities are made available to students of distance education abroad. This is another problem area in distance education in the country today.

The third problem is that the so-called contact programmes organised by distance education directorates have become a farce, hundreds of students are packed in a hired room in a school/college and they are in the in holy hurry to get across to them and finish the syllabus within a week or ten days allotted to them. This is contact at breakneck speed. Neither the teachers nor the students have any time or inclination to get close to one another. Everything is over before one gets to find one’s moorings.

Distance education through Open University is not only less expensive, but can also reach remote areas, for it is primarily a portal course and can make use of communication technology like radio and television. This would, in a way, be integrating education in India. This is the first step towards providing education to the poorest and most backward. Ordinary Indian people will get a chance to educate themselves through this new concept that will reach every corner of the country.


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