Distance Education: Missing its track?

Distance Education was started with an aim to provide higher educational opportunities for the people who can’t attend the regular classes. It is a boon for working and for the people staying at remote places as they can receive reading material on time and can appear for the exams directly. Some of the universities offering distance education have introduced the concept of assignments to its students so that they are on track and keep in touch with the subjects. But the entire concept is being misused by the people desiring to pursue higher studies and even by some universities. Universities are mainly doing it in the name of study centers.

Recently I came across a news paper advertisement regarding distance education programs of an university. The advertisement was all about a study center of an university offering various courses ranging from doctorate to undergraduate programs in various disciplines, except medical related courses as far as my knowledge. Even it was clearly mentioned that all the degrees will be awarded in one sitting, may be meaning to give the degree on the spot!

According to UGC guidelines doctoral or any degree offered by the universities should follow its guidelines and all the programs have to be offered through contact classes at its study centers or at the university campus. Also, the private universities established under the section 2f of UGC are eligible to offer distance education through its campus or at an authorized study center within the same state where the university is situated. But these universities are allowing study centers wherever possible. Some of the study centers are located in such a place that it is not even suitable for dumping waste.

Distance education is missing its track. Even though some universities are maintaining standards, the study centers are failing to follow. Even some universities are offering courses without the consent of Directorate of Distance Education which is mandatory. The students really in need are in dilemma as many got cheated or extorted in the pursuit of gaining degree.


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