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October 6, 2009

IGNOU workshop evolves guidelines for setting up Community Colleges

IGNOU workshop evolves guidelines for setting up Community Colleges

New Delhi:IGNOU recently released a slew of recommendations to institutions registered with it for starting Community Colleges. The recommendations were made by experts at the conclusion of the three-day workshop to “Develop guidelines for preparation of Text-Books and Training Manuals” for these colleges.

Explaining what these colleges have to do to meet the requirements of IGNOU’s Degrees and Certificates, the convener of the workshop and director of Student Services Division of the university Dr C K Ghosh said :

•IGNOU will train the trainers and resource persons, who develop coursewares at Community Colleges at every region, to ensure compliance of standard requirements.
•All such colleges will have to be provided with the university’s standard norms for fixing the required credits for achieving certificates and the norms must have to be strictly translated into the Text-Books and Training Manuals.
•Each Community College will have to be provided with standard sample Text-Books and Training Manuals to develop their own coursewares.

At brainstorming sessions for three days, issues were discussed threadbare to evolve guidelines. Experts agreed that the level of programmes will be uniform at all Community Colleges. In cases of full-time face-to-face classes, a credit will consist of 15 hours of attendance and in part-time situations it will comprise 30 hours. A student will be required to study for creditisation as under :

•A Certificate 16 to 20 credits
•A Diploma 32 to 36 credits
•An ADP 64 to 68 credits (ADB stands for Associate Degree Programme)
•An UG programme 96 to108 credits (an UG stands for Under Graduate programme. The undergraduate programmes are 3 years for a BA, BSc and 4 years for technical subjects.

There will also be non-credit programmes for certification and these will be customized according to need of the state and the concerned trade or individuals.

Students for the ADPs will have to be 12+2 pass-outs for direct entry. Those who could not complete or do their Plus 2 stage would have to come through Bachelors’ Preparatory Programme (BPP) of IGNOU or through a Bridge Course of an Open University.

For students aspiring to get admitted to a Certificate programme at a Community College, the entry level is only class 8th pass-out, or through a bridge course of an Open University. Any formal qualification will not be required for taking admission for a certificate in certain special vocations where the applicant is already employed in a domain knowledge scenario.

Experts were unanimous over the issue to development or academic programmes on vocations. It has been decided that the stress will be on Local-needs, addressing issues in the Socio-Economic Milieu and there would be regular need analyses to identify broad areas of state-needs.

That eventually led to addressing programme contents. For Foundation Courses, said the draft recommendation under consideration of the competent authority at IGNOU, the coursewares would comprise training on skills development in soft areas, language,
functional English speaking, computer literacy, communicative arts and entrepreneurial; for Application-oriented Sunjects there would be internships, hands-on training and extension apprenticeships.

The three-day workshop was chaired by IGNOU Vice Chancellor Professor VN Rajasekharan Pillai. Were among the eminent experts in Community College concept, who attended the workshop.

Fr. Xavier Alphonse S.J., ICRDCE, Chennai, Mr. Vikas Singh, Director, Crux Management Services P Ltd., Hyderabad, Ms. Nalini Gangadharan, Chairperson, CAP Foundation, Hyderabad, Dr. Stephen J. Muthu SJ, Director, Madurai Community College, Dr. Ms. Ordetta Mendoza, Stella Maris College, Chennai, Prof. Anil Bhattacharya, Former Professor of Physics, APC College, New Barrackpore, Kolkata, Prof. JK Sharma, OSD, Institute of Management Sciences, University of Lucknow, rof. S. Neelamegham, Director General NIILM, New Delhi, Prof. Sunita Sengupta, FMS, University of Delhi, New Delhi, Dr. Pankaj Sinha, Associate Professor, FMS, University of Delhi, Prof. HM Mishra, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administrations, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, Prof. Bharati Sharma, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi and Prof Vijay Kapur, ex-IAS and former Seattle University (USA) professor at Community Colleges.

IGNOU Pro-Vice Chamcellor and incharge of the Community College Scheme Dr. Latha Pillai, and eminent scientist in Information and communication technologies (ICTs) Prof KR Srivathsan were also present at the workshop.

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