New Delhi: As part of its initiative to integrate modern technology in distance education, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) said Tuesday it would provide a certificate programme in English through Nokia phone`s Ovi Life Tools.
"We will initially start this programme in six districts of Maharashtra. After six months, depending on the response, we will launch it on a national level," IGNOU Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai told reporters.
IGNOU has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Nokia to provide the programme. It will be in functional English provided mainly through SMS.
"We have entered into an exclusive agreement with Nokia for this programme. This is a first-of-its-kind collaboration to provide English education on a large scale," said Pillai, adding IGNOU might sign a similar deal with other companies to accelerate education growth in the country.
The six-month certificate programme in functional English will begin from January next year. It is divided in three levels - English in daily life, English in education and joining the workforce. It will cost Rs.1, 900.
D. Shivakumar, managing director, Nokia India, said the company had taken the initiative to accelerate education growth in the country.
"Nokia`s Ovi Life Tools is aimed at bridging information gaps by providing timely and relevant information customised to the user`s location, language and personal preferences directly on their mobile devices," said Shivakumar.
Ovi Life Tools, launched by Nokia in June 2009, is a range of services covering agriculture, education and entertainment. It supports 10 Indian languages -- Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and Oriya -- besides English.
Shivakumar said quality English education would be made available to the people living in far-flung areas through Ovi Life Tools as it can work wherever a mobile phone works.
"Education is considered a necessary skill for progress and gateway to a better future.
Our association with IGNOU will immensely benefit students through the dissemination of quality educational content," Shivakumar added.