Education News

Open universities should equip and empower: NCVET Chief

Hyderabad: Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), organized the “Open Universities—Open Educational Resources Fest (OU OER fest)” on Thursday at the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University Campus in Hyderabad.

Dr. Nirmal Jeet Singh Kalsi, Chairman of the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) in New Delhi, was the chief guest for the inaugural function of OU OER fest. Dr Kalsi emphasized that open universities should share best practices and research results to enhance the implementation of open-distance e-learning programs. This, he stated, would enable open universities to equip and empower those who lack resources. He highlighted that it is relatively easier to develop and offer courses that can be tailored on demand to meet the current needs of learners.

Dr. B. Shadrach, Director of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) in New Delhi, introduced the OU OER fest. He stressed the importance of research accountability among university teachers and advocated for more efforts to enhance skill development. Dr. Shadrach explained that open universities should prepare students with the skills and abilities needed to overcome challenges effectively.

Prof. K. Seetharama Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University and president of the inaugural session, discussed the challenges faced in achieving the objectives of sustainable development goals and the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP-2020). He underscored the crucial role played by open universities in contributing to the national level, with more than 12 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education. Notably, BRAOU’s contribution exceeds 17 per cent GER in higher education in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Prof. V.S. Prasad, former Vice-Chancellor of Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University and former Director of NAAC, delivered the keynote address. He emphasized that open universities, along with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), should advance the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER). He cautioned against the increasing commercialization of education, stating that OER should be utilized solely for public benefit, not commercial purposes. Prof. Prasad also highlighted the importance of effective learning, curriculum, engaging teaching, continuous assessment, and student support, as outlined in the OER Policy and NEP 2020.

Prof. G. Pushpa Chakrapani, Director of Academic at BRAOU, proposed the vote of thanks, while Prof. G. Lakshmi, Director of COEL, welcomed the gathering and provided an overview of the programme. (INN)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *