The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Jawarimal Parakh

Teacher as Distance Teacher: A case study of ODL system in India

Jawarimal Parakh
School of Humanities, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India

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     Last modified: October 13, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/01/2006 10:00 AM in ST Windsor B
     (View Schedule)

The first Open University was established in India in 1982 at Hyderabad which is now called Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Open university. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) – the first Open university with national jurisdiction- was established in India in 1985 by an Act of Parliament. To provide opportunities for higher education to those who have been deprived from it due to social and economical reasons is one of the major objectives of IGNOU. To reach the above sections of the society, a flexible and open education system is the need of the time. IGNOU Act provides the broad guidelines in this regard. The IGNOU Act defines the objectives and functions of the university and it also defines some important terminologies which are deeply associated with the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system. The word “ Teacher” is one of them. If we look at the definition of teachers as employees of the University as given in IGNOU Act in respect of its objects, one can easily understand the role of teachers vis-a-vis other categories of employees of the University. But the definition of a teacher given in the Act initiated debate in early years of the University among teachers and management. This article tries to observe and analyze the efforts made by the teachers and management of the University to define and determine the duties and activities of the teachers and academics. It also tries to understand and analyse the impact and consequences of the evolving definition of a teacher in the past two decades on the academic activities of not only IGNOU but also on other ODL institutions in the country.

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