*By Sadaket MaIik : Amidst the induction of Kashmir based academician-Professor M. Aslam as the fuII time vice-chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), The strong academic community hope for better quality services and dissemination of knowledge among disadvantaged area of the state.
Professor AsIam who belongs to Rajhbajh Kashmir is man with a global vision, who has been at the realm of education for Iast 35 years. A man who developed a Multi-Media Distance Education package for Panchayati Raj functionaries elected throughout the country.
The package was introduced among 58,000 elected functionaries of Panchayats in four selected districts of Madhya Pradesh and has been conferred COL President’s Award of Excellence at PAN Commonwealth Forum in March, 1999. And now a Vice chanceIIor of India’s Iargest University-IGNOU, he has been instrumental in advising Economic Development Institute of the World Bank and has authored/jointly authored seven books and other writings.
He has been consultant to various international/UN bodies including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Prof Aslam is professor of Rural Development, SOCE, IGNOU since 1992 and has served as Director, National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education, IGNOU from 2006 to 2009 and also earlier as Director, SOCE, IGNOU from May 1998-May, 2001. Dr Aslam has also served as visiting faculty to 16 institutions in India and abroad.
As a vice chancellor of this reputed centre of exceIIence, Professor AsIam has enormous responsibility in gauging the Open and distance Iearning system in the country. Being a chairman of Distance education CounciI (DEC) he has a daunting task to assess the accreditation procedure in the Open and Distance mode of education. As Distance education CounciI (DEC) is an apex body under IGNOU which is monitoring the system of the entire institutions of distance mode.
One of the bottleneck on the way in India’s system has been poor regulations and Monitoring. Distance Iearning system in India is shackled in many ways (quality of teaching, infrastructure, access, discrimination) and more.
The monitoring mechanism of the institutions of higher learning especially open and distance learning remained a major concern for government for effective functioning, quality assurance and decentralization in accreditation procedures. The country has a hope on newly appointed Vice chancellor of IGNOU for stemming the rot.
Point here is that why the whole system of monitoring, accreditation and regulation is poor. Why regulations are being changed day and after? Why not the ministry of education is formulating its legislation’s at once in hand to maintain the standard and quality? Is this legislation which is being envisaged every week ? Why day by day alterations? Is there not a unanimous declaration of all the people in the system I hope Professor M. Aslam being the country’s most visionary academician can answer these questions by taking enormous steps for regulation of the ODI system in the country.
As an institution of higher learning, IGNOU takes its social responsibility seriously. It wishes to reach out to the socially marginalized and disadvantaged sections, hopefully, the state Iike, Jammu and Kashmir may be covered under the ambit of these programmes.
Pro-active educationists of the country are veering to formulate a platform that transforms the state into knowledge-based society under his patronage. The past record of knowledge management in the country is the crying need of the hour. According to my studies, the single central cause of the failure of knowledge management in the some states was that ignorant people attempted to manage knowledge. Certainly, these people—politicians, bureaucrat’s etc—wanted control for obvious reasons. But the single biggest problem was their ignorance.
The education system is caught in a social geometry of complex power structures. Situated within a political-economy in which patronage and patrimonalism play key roles and in which corruption (in all its various forms and shades) remains the key source of rent-racking, the system continues to get more layered and convoluted in the country.
Overwhelmingly, the concept and approach of the dedicated educationist like Professor M. Aslam must be endorsed and cooperated by the people in educational governance so as to enable him for transforming the country into a knowledge-based economy……!
(The writer is a freelance Columnist)