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3 more IGNOU centers in NE
SHILLONG, AUG 27, Correspondent:
Published on 28 Aug. 2008 12:26 AM IST
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Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) have decided to set up three more new institutes, including a regional research center in the Northeast India to enhance access to education for distant populations. The proposed institutes are: National Institute of Vocational Education and Training (NIVET), Institute of Professional Competency and Advancement of Teaching (IPCAT) and North East Center for Research and Development (NECRD). The Union the Ministry of Human Resource Development had agreed to the IGNOU's proposal to open the new institutes to meet the region's educational needs of the teachers and students. At present, the IGNOU is in the process of finalizing the locations for these institutes. The Northeast Center for Research and Development, a proposed think tank for the region, will be based in Guwahati, while the NIVET will be set up in Shillong. The other institute, the IPCAT, is most likely to be based in either Jorhat or Tezpur that can easily connect other States. "These institutes are being set up to address the specific needs of the region and to bridge the education and knowledge gap between India's mainland and the geographically challenged northeastern region," the IGNOU Pro-Vice Chancellor in charge of the northeast region, Prof Omprakash Mishra said. Prof Mishra, however, said the introduction of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has overcome this physical barrier could through internet and satellite based teaching-learning systems - anytime and anywhere. "But the issues of untrained teachers and unemployable youths in the region still need to be addressed seriously," he observed. IGNOU, one of the world's largest open and distant learning institutes, is working with over 80 colleges and various educational institutes of the region, and more areas would be brought under the IGNOU online learning and teaching systems. IGNOU has also decided to provide each study center of the region with two computers, printers and accessory to encourage digital literacy and online learning. "This is important because very soon almost all the IGNOU programmes and courses will be available online," Prof Mishra said. Not only that, IGNOU is also implementing a major project - 'Educational Development of North East and Sikkim' - sponsored by the MHRD. The key objectives of the project are: i) providing access to education in all the eight States of the region by set up learning centers/ tele-learning centers in remote and far off areas; ii) using ICT in enhancing information and knowledge, and iii) providing need-based entrepreneurship and training programmes in collaboration with other State/Central agencies to increase the employment opportunities in the region. In fact, the Northeastern Council (NEC) has enlisted the support of IGNOU in capacity building of various educational and teaching training institutes of the region.

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