IGNOU launches distance education drive

Soon after completing his second PU in commerce, Mohammed Usmaan started working as a telecaller with a prominent telecom company. While Usmaan wanted to pursue his studies and do BCom, quitting his job was not an option because of financial constraints at home.

A resident of Gangondanahalli near Chandra Layout, Usmaan was considering enrolling himself in an evening college. However, he is now looking at a more viable option.

The regional centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Bangalore, conducted its first-ever enrolment drive in the City at Gangondanahalli on Saturday, with the aim to encourage people from various walks of life and from various backgrounds to enrol in and continue their higher education.The drive is being carried out in association with NGOs – Smile Foundation and Sama Foundation.

“Working and studying at the same time is a hard thing to do. Going to an evening college was an option I was considering as of now. However, I think I prefer the distance BCom programme under IGNOU. It will be more convenient,” said Usmaan.

Many youth like Usmaan from Gangondanahalli had been receiving short-term training in various skills - basics in the English language, computer skills - at a centre jointly run by the two NGOs. A number of them had even got jobs in various companies on the basis of this training. IGNOU used this platform to try and leverage its cause.

"Such training in basic skills is no doubt useful. However, to ensure gainful employment, there is a need for higher learning in core subjects and this is what IGNOU wants to encourage,” said P M Sowjanya, assistant director, Bangalore Regional Centre, IGNOU.

Bibi Fathima, another resident from the area, has completed her second PU in Arts and has been receiving training at the centre for the past three months. Although she wants to do her BA, Fathima cannot do a fulltime course in a regular college due to some issues in her family.

“I cannot go for fulltime classes, but at least now, I can hope to further my education through this mode,” said Fathima. Of the around 40 people who participated in the enrolment drive, more than half showed enthusiasm in enrolling themselves for various distance programmes. “Most of the students here said that they wanted to enrol for the six-month BPP (bachelor’s preparatory programme) and the BDP (bachelor’s degree programme) and I will be looking forward to seeing these enthusiastic faces at the regional centre,” said Sowjanya.

As many as 10,000 students are presently enrolled with the regional IGNOU centre in Bangalore.

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