Controversy over Distance Education stamp on certificates

Controversy over Distance Education stamp on certificates
Highlights

The decision taken by Kakatiya University (KU) authorities to classify the certificates issued by KU School of Distance Learning and Continuing Education (SDLCE) with a seal ‘Distance Education’ has turned controversial. The SDLCE employees and students, pursuing various courses, offered by the School are seriously opposing the decision. 

Warangal: The decision taken by Kakatiya University (KU) authorities to classify the certificates issued by KU School of Distance Learning and Continuing Education (SDLCE) with a seal ‘Distance Education’ has turned controversial. The SDLCE employees and students, pursuing various courses, offered by the School are seriously opposing the decision.

They opine that the decision would prove detrimental to the School’s noble objective of imparting education to those who could not pursue education on regular basis. It is a plot to diminish the importance of distance education courses offered by the SDLCE, they averred. “The decision is non-progressive. It reflects the narrow-mindedness of the varsity authorities.

It aims at keeping the students away from the SDLCE and also to affect the prospects of job and higher education of the students,” said SDLCE SC-ST Employees’ Association president G Bhasker and General Secretary G Anjaneyulu. For the past three decades, the SDLCE is serving the needs of students across the State by maintaining high standards as per UGC norms.

What is the need to differentiate the certificates issued in distance mode and regular mode now, they questioned. At present, about 50,000 students are pursuing certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate courses through the School and nearly 150 employees are working. Moreover, the SDLCE is the main source of finance to the university, they explained.

Speaking to The Hans India here on Monday, Bhasker and Anjaneyulu said the University Standing Council recently took the decision to differentiate distance and regular certificates and in-charge Registrar Prof Altaf Hussain reportedly okayed it. The decision was taken unilaterally and without informing SDLCE Director Prof Ch Dinesh Kumar, they alleged.

Those in the Standing Council lack knowledge on how the SDLCE is run and are set to blemish the future of SC/ST/BC and minority students who constitute majority of the students. Before taking any major decision, they should consult persons all levels, but the university authorities unilaterally took the decision without taking into consideration the opinions of SDLCE officials, said Bhasker.

According to him, in order FNo.UGC/DEB/2013, the UGC directed the universities to treat the distance degrees on par with the regular stream of education. The UGC and the Union government also noted that open and distance education in India is contributing a lot in the ‘expansion of higher education’, he said.

The decision of the university authorities to differentiate distance degrees from regular degree is against the UGC orders. Bhasker demanded that the university authorities should immediately withdraw their decision, which harms the interests of thousands of students.
Students Guguloth Rajesh Naik, Y Suresh, M Bhargav and Ch Jyostna, who are pursuing degree courses from SDLCE, are of the same opinion.

“The poorer sections, differently-abled, those working to make a living and want to study would be affected by the university’s decision,” they said. Meanwhile, both the SDLCE employees and the students warned of taking up agitations if the university officials fail to withdraw the decision. Meanwhile, Osmania and Nagarjuna Universities which are offering distance education do not differentiate the degrees offered in distance and regular mode.

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