Distance learning or distance education has experienced quite a comprehensive history. It was first proposed in 1728 with a teacher named Caleb Phillips who posted an ad from the Boston Gazette for students who would be interested in learning shorthand with him through correspondence and lessons that could be sent to them over a weekly basis.
As time progressed, and partly due to progression of the postal service in the nineteenth century, the idea of learning through correspondence grew and became more widespread. The University of London was the 1st school to offer courses through this manner. Right after, more universities and colleges create their particular open universities. Today, online education centers are available all over the world. Several them have even grown to get mega-universities that have over 100,000 students enrolled.
One very successful distance education provider, and this is considered the largest on the planet, is the Indira Gandhi National Open University of India. This open university caters to over 3 million students and provides over 3,000 different IGNOU courses.
The IGNOU came to be in 1985 in the hope that it could help solve the education and literacy issues that were plaguing the nation. Founders of your school urged the federal government to support the creation of a wide open university that might have jurisdiction over the entire country to ensure that it could provide education to all individuals, irrespective of how remote the area they lived in was.
The college, once it had been operational, was an immediate hit. In 1989, they held their first convocation where over 1,000 students were awarded their diplomas. Since then, more individuals have been given an education. Many people would not have had this opportunity had it not been to the school as well as the ignou grade card that are offered.
Another one of several successes of your school is because they could actually establish a wide educational network that currently contains 43 Regional Centers, 6 Sub-Regional Centers, and 1,400 Study Centers which can be located throughout India in order to provide easy accessibility and effective support to students. They also have been able to develop Special Study Centers for minority groups, differently-abled learners, jail inmates, and personnel of various wings of Defense and Para-military services. Which means that the Indira Gandhi National Open University has not yet only was able to expand the education market and then make it more accessible to students however it has opened the doors of education to a number of the more marginalized sectors.
But the achievements of this school along with the benefits they have reaped are not only confined to India, as it has created alliances with some other countries, namely Australia, the Great Britain, France, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Liberia.
With over 338 programs of study, 3,500 IGNOU courses to pick from, a solid and well-trained workforce, and an incredible number of students which can be given education they would not normally gain access to, the Indira Gandhi National Open University certainly features a success story which may well work as an inspiration to many other countries and institutions for distance education.