Monday, April 12, 2010

India's 1st online Community College launched

New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) Bringing about a revolution in providing skill-based education, India's first online Community College was launched here today that promises gainful employment to country's youth, especially the rural population.

The digital institution has been launched by Gurukul Online Learning Solutions Academy (GOLS) under the Community College scheme of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

IGNOU Vice-Chancellor Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, the Chief Guest on the occasion, emphasised that in the country, although several million people were working, only five per cent of them have quality and eligible certification.

''This online Community College will enable teachers and trainers to reach the masses in a better way, enhancing the quality of learning process,'' Prof Pillai said.

Terming it as misconception, the Vice-Chancellor said reaching out to rural India was not as difficult now as it was earlier.

''A number of institutions, including the government, have taken up several measures to enable the reach of internet to our villages. One of the biggest examples is setting up of the Community Service Centres,'' Prof Pillai said.

After pursuing a course of at least six months in this online college, students would be able to obtain either certificate level qualification or higher. The interested candidates can visit the academy's website ''''.

''One of the best features of the college is that the students can take a break from the course at any time and resume it later by obtaining credits of what he or she has already achieved, with the maximum duration being six years,'' GOLS CEO Shailesh H Mehta said.

Talking to UNI, he said over 30 certificate, diploma and associate degree programmes have been initially started under this scheme.

''The duration of these programmes varies between three months to two years and are priced at between Rs 2,500 to Rs 25,000,'' Mr Mehta said.

Referring to students' placement, he said talks regarding collaboration with various companies were in process. ''We are sure to join hands with many and provide employment to many of our students,'' he said.

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