The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Abdul Mannan

Role of open and distance learning in accelerating outcomes of the millennium development goals

Abdul Mannan
University of Papua New Guinea

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     Last modified: October 14, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 4:15 PM in NT Portland A
     (View Schedule)

The paper addresses the objectives and the anticipated outcomes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Oceania Islands Region, with special reference to Papua New Guinea. It questions the pessimistic perceptions towards the achievement of the targets of the MDGs, increasingly being paraded as unrealistic and not achievable. Among the factors identified as the major impediments in achieving the MDGs include limited access to education, lack of knowledge, and information in a geographically dispersed and culturally diverse population.

National policies on the MDGs emphasise the need for expansion of the education system, which focuses on the conventional method of delivery of basic educational services in building human and social capital, fostering community and life-long learning and knowledge sharing. The paper further seeks to explain the role of Open and Distance Learning as an intervening strategy to break the conventional business as usual, to providing basic educational services and dissemination of information and knowledge that effects personal and community life of individuals.

The paper also further discusses the role of ICT to strengthen the delivery of mass education and information services to the marginalized and un-reached. It is concluded that collaboration and networking among the ODL providers and stakeholders is necessary to reach the millions, and to accelerate the achievement of MDGs.

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