Millennium Post

‘Need to increase enrolment ratio in higher education’

Ashok Thakur, secretary, Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), stressed on Sunday the need to increase gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education, which continues to be low at 20 per cent despite a substantial increase in the higher education budget. He observed that an intelligent use of ICTs can have multiplier effect to provide anytime anywhere education and also add quality to education.

‘For optimal use of technology, the content should be pitched at appropriate levels with greater hands-on experience to prepare the learners to meet the challenges of life,’ he said during his valedictory address towards the end of a two -day workshop on ‘Instructional Design for e-Content Development’ at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in the Electronic Media Production Centre (EMPC) at the headquarters in Delhi.

‘When we started with the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), we had 419 universities in the country and 18,000 colleges. Now, the number has grown manifold and we have each university granted with 1 GB/sec connectivity which we aim to increase with a 10-fold growth of 10 GB/sec,’ said N K Sinha, additional secretary, higher education, MHRD, also the director for NMEICT during the workshop ‘Content is a critical source in the world of e-knowledge. To create content in order to hit the bull’s eye is the challenge we need to undertake.

If we want to move in that direction then we need content, connectivity and devices. We aim to create wi-fi hot spots in the rural areas too. We have so much knowledge, but to package it is a challenge,’ he added.

Speaking during the inaugural session of the workshop, Gopinath Pradhan, vice-chancellor, IGNOU, brought forward his modus-operandi for the university, which is to switch over to online offering of most of the programmes of the university.  ‘This workshop is expected to enhance our knowledge on technological updating, which shall help us to reach our desired goals that we have set for us,’ he said.

The university’s Advanced Centre for Informatics and Innovative Learning (ACIIL) organised the workshop to build awareness about effective ways to design learning content in collaboration with the Planning Commission, MHRD and British Council.
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