New Delhi: Praising IGNOU`s role in taking education to the masses, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said regular update of course content and access to study material within reasonable time was absolutely essential.
IGNOU, the largest open university in the world, has started with a mandate of providing need-based education at different levels to all those who need it, but it must be kept in mind that needs keep changing over time.
"The curriculum must reflect these changing needs. Knowledge creation is happening at such a tremendous pace that things become obsolete and even irrelevant before we realise it. Continuous updating and review of existing material with new information is, therefore, absolutely essential," the President said addressing IGNOU`s 26th convocation.
Thanks to IGNOU in popularising open and distance learning mode in the country, the President said enrolment to its programmes has increased from 27 lakhs in 2006-07 to 42 lakhs in 2011-12.
"It needs to be ensured that students receive or access their materials within reasonable time. There is also a need to harness technological advancements, particularly in IT and communication, to improve programmes and course content as well as cater to the growing size of student enrolment," he said.
The President said in coming times academic programmes that support multiple career goals will be more in demand. Learning systems should therefore need to adjust to the pace of the learner.
"Learning is locating itself off the campus, to the home, the workplace and the field. For these set of emerging realities, open and distance learning is a perfect fit," he said at the function where 11 students were awarded doctoral degrees including a gold medal and a gold medal for a student from abroad.
Hailing IGNOU for becoming a "pioneer" in open and distance learning mode in a span of 27 years, he said the varsity today meets education needs of 30 lakh students in India and 43 other countries through a network of 67 regional centres, around 3,350 learner support centres and 82 overseas centres.