The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has launched an intensive campaign in three southern districts to enrol more rural students for its undergraduate courses.

Since the July 2012 admissions are going on now, the varsity has placed special focus on Theni, Dindigul and Sivaganga districts where it has found that a substantial number of students were not proceeding to colleges after completing Plus Two.

This intensive campaign has been taken up on a pilot basis with attention being given to places such as Manamadurai, Kaalayarkoil, Thevaram, Varuthanadu, Devakottai and Uthamapalayam.

“We want to reach out to students in villages. Several students are not entering higher education after completing their Class XII. Our university is now on a campaign to target this group,” M.Shanmugham, Regional Director, IGNOU Regional Centre, Madurai, told The Hindu on Saturday.

Stating that ‘empowering through education’ is the mission of this intensive drive, he said that the university is undertaking the drive with the help of higher secondary schools in respective places.

Through the headmasters of these schools, the university team is talking to parents in villages and hamlets so that they will be motivated to admit their children in IGNOU’s distance education courses.

“Admissions will go on till July 31. We propose to have meetings with as many parents as possible. Students who have either passed or failed in Plus Two can join our courses,” he added.

Dr. Shanmugham said that students of Theni, Sivaganga and Dindigul districts are unable to pursue college education due to family background and hence the university wants to get them in to the higher education system.

More study centres are being established in rural areas and the IGNOU Regional Centre in Madurai has sent a communication to some school headmasters to create awareness among students about the distance education programmes of the varsity.

Regional centre

Meanwhile, the Madurai Regional Centre at Sikkandar Chavadi here is on an expansion mode and new buildings are coming up in the campus.

The Regional Director has said that an additional floor (8,000 Sq.ft) will be constructed at a cost of nearly Rs. 2 crore with well equipped facilities.

“This additional building will have more classrooms and laboratory. The Central Public Works Department will start construction work soon and required official sanctions have been obtained,” Dr. Shanmugham said.

He informed that IGNOU has witnessed lot of growth in Madurai region due to pro-active measures taken for enrolment of students. “People have realised about the flexibility and affordability of our university courses. Technology based programmes are our speciality and the study materials are top class,” he claimed.

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