An Open University would begin operations in Kerala by the next academic year, the Education Minister M.A. Baby said here on Thursday.
He was briefing media persons on Thursday, after receiving the report on the Kerala Open University (KOU) from the three-member committee set up to study the feasibility of setting up an open university in the State. The Committee was headed by the former vice chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Ram Takwale.
The report says that its “guesstimate” is that Rs. 100 crore would be required for five years to set up the KOU. “A programme of creating a new organisation appropriate for (the) Information Age and for Quality Education and Development for All requires higher resource allocation,” the report points out.
The Government would soon initiate the administrative and legislative processes required to set up the open university, which would start functioning in phases. Till such time as the KOU is fully operational all the distance education programmes now being offered by the State’s universities would remain in place. “Students of such programmes need not have any concern. Only after the KOU is fully in place would the other distance learning programmes be stopped,” Mr. Baby said.
The Minister recorded the Government’s satisfaction over the “commendable work” done by the Committee and termed the report “an elaborate study.” The Kerala State Higher Education Council has often stressed the need for the speedy setting up of an open university in the state given that regular universities are switching over to the credit and semester mode of teaching and learning. “Once it starts functioning fully, the open university too would function in a semester-mode,” Mr. Baby added.
The vice chancellor of the Kozhikode University, Anvar Jehan Zuberi, the former regional director of the IGNOU, V. Vasudevan, — the other members of the committee — and the vice chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council, K. N. Panikkar, were also present.
The KOU should evolve a social and state-dependent model of a university and make it sustainable at every level of operations, the report adds.