TAMIL NADU

MKU plans separate centre for distance education

MADURAI, AUG 21. The Madurai-Kamaraj University is planning to establish a separate centre in the city for the Directorate of Distance Education (DDE) for the convenience of students from Madurai and surrounding areas. The full-fledged DDE centre will carry out spot admissions, distribute study material, conduct classes and provide all information.

The university authorities told The Hindu on Friday the proposal will benefit students in Madurai region as now they have to approach the varsity, which is away from the city. The decision on the new centre is expected to be taken at the Syndicate meeting on August 30.

According to the DDE sources, the full-fledged `DDE Madurai' centre will benefit a lot of distance education students for getting information and applications. Besides, it would be convenient for all students in the city and surrounding places as admissions can be made at the city office also, the university pointed out.

Roping in teachers

The university is also considering to regularise the pattern of using outside staff for the distance education classes to ensure quality of teaching. Varsity sources said the DDE used `outside talent' due to staff inadequacy and hence several factors played a role in selection of such outside persons. Stating that this system had hurt the quality of teaching to an extent, the varsity authorities said the Syndicate meeting would take a firm decision on evolving methods to rope in competent persons for teaching distance education students.

The Syndicate is also going to take up the issue of revenue earnings by the DDE in recent academic years and suggest ways to enhance it. Sources said the varsity would introduce viable courses, both diploma and postgraduate diploma, which are on demand.

Filling up key posts

The Vice-Chancellor, P. K. Ponnuswamy, said the two key posts in the university — Controller of Examinations and Director of Distance Education — would be filled up on August 30. The Syndicate would finalise the candidates for the posts after the interviews scheduled for August 29 and 30, he said. The Vice-Chancellor said he would announce the names of the selected candidates on August 31.