Pre-PCF6 International Workshop India Habitat Centre, Lodi Estate, New Delhi

The inaugural session of the Pre -PCF6 Workshop held on 22nd November 2010, was presided over by Ms. Vibha Puri Das, IAS, Secretary, Higher Education, Government of India. The thrust of the Workshop was 'Research in Open Schooling." Dr. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, was the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. S.S. Jena, Chairman, NIOS, emphasized on the need for Research in Open Schooling in order to contribute to the growth of Open Schooling in terms of access and quality, not only in India, but in all commonwealth countries. Ms. Frances Ferreira, Education specialist, Commonwealth of Learning (COL) lamented the fact that despite having been on the ground for quite sometime, the Open Schools have yet to find a place in the research arena. She informed the house that, over the two days, the group would develop and consolidate strategies for collecting baseline Institutional data in Open Schooling in the Commonwealth and would also discuss methodological issues appropriate for Research in Open Schooling and analyse and understand the importance of systematic reporting of research results. The sharing of research results was stressed on by all the speakers.

Prof. Pillai stressed on the fact that education is successful only when it is sociological, contextual and it is in this sphere that educational research takes on a very important role, specially research in open schooling. He suggested that quality teaching of Science and Maths could go a long way in reducing the number of school dropouts.

Ms. Vibha Puri Das informed that India was set to reap the demographic dividend and would have the largest number of young persons in the world. It was thus the need of the hour to provide quality education through multiple pathways, including vocationalisation of education. She said that the National Knowledge Commission has also advocated the setting up of a Research Foundation for research in Open and Distance Education. This must be used to conduct research and implement the findings.

Sh. G.G. Saxena, Secretary, NIOS proposed a Vote of Thanks.

Venue : 'CASUARINA', India Habitat Centre, Lodi Estate, New Delhi-110003.

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