The proposed Kerala Open University would be an institution that would link education to development, which in turn would lead to sustainable social transformation, the former Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Ram Takwale, has said.
He was speaking to the media here on Thursday after submitting the report of the three-member committee chaired by him set up to study the feasibility of starting an open university in the State.
The KOU would be a “mass university” which would cooperate with other universities instead of competing with them. Courses in the new university would be geared towards skill development and the application of those skills to a person’s workplace and livelihood. The course content in KOU would be technology-mediated so there could be quality education for all.
The University would use wiki processes to generate and use Open Resources. The varsity would deploy a Learning Management System to create a ‘linked’ society of students and teachers. “The report proposes extensive use of Information Society technologies for creating new connected communities of learning, teachers, experts and institutions supporting and employing people in education and development,” a press note distributed on the occasion said.
The KOU would follow a study centre mode of learning with distributed classrooms. Eventually the University would act as a platform offering its own courses and those of other universities. The University and its cyber infrastructure would be fashioned in such a manner as to be able to absorb changes in the knowledge society. This “Future Now’’ model of the university would essentially depend on five processes: e-infrastructure and networking for creating connected communities, development and deployment of open resources, social organisations such as Kudumbashree, their development and e-social governance, feedback, analytics, reforms and social transformation and the e-social governance of all learners, learning processes, organisations and transformations.
The KOU should have linkages with all government departments. The structure of the University proposed in the Committee’s report has been drawn up keeping this goal in mind, Dr. Takwale said without going into the exact proposals that the committee has made in this regard. The new structure of the KOU would enable everybody, from the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Education Minister down to each government department, to contribute to the functioning of the varsity, he said. Conceptualising the KOU was a challenging task for the committee, he added.