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Title: Problems Related to the Development of Distance Education in Pakistan: A Case Study of Province Sindh
Authors: Arain, Shahid Saleem
Keywords: Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: University of Sindh, Jamshoro
Abstract: This study investigated the problems related to the development of distance education in Pakistan with main focus on the Sindh province. As a case study, it concentrated on institutional problems relating to students, tutors and management. It was a descriptive study with mixed design. The population consisted of three categories: distance learners, tutors and on the site managers. The sample of quantitative part comprised of 1170 students of B.Ed (2013 year group) and 140 tutors of coherent group from AIOU. It also comprised of 504 students of BS (Computer Science, 2013 year group) of VUP and their 52 tutors. It comprised of all the 7 RDs from AIOU and all the 6 CMs of VUP working in Sindh. For the quantitative phase the sample of students and tutors of AIOU was drawn by random stratified and purposive sampling technique. The sample of students and tutors of VUP was drawn by census technique. For qualitative phase of the study the sample of RDs/ARDs of AIOU and CMs of VUP was drawn by census technique. Data for quantitative phase was collected by developing four questionnaires: one for students of print and e-based, one for tutors of print and e-based DE. Statements were developed on Likert scale. Descriptive, inferential in terms of percentages and mean scores were used for statistical treatment. For the qualitative phase interviews were conducted; one from RDs/ARDs of AIOU and other from CMs of VUP. Transcription approach was used for interpretation of qualitative data. The questionnaires were administered by personal visits at study centers & postal services. High returns were ensured by follow up. The interviews of RDs/ARDs and CMs were conducted at the centers, by establishing proper rapport. At AIOU, the results revealed; mismatches of study material and student needs, single choice of material for heavy reliance to work out assignments; inadequate libraries, reference books, A.V aids, insufficient facilities at study centers, absenteeism of students in study meetings, cheating in examinations, un-conducive learning environment at the centers constituted some total of student problems. Non criterion based tutor deployment, short or no training in the dealing with isolated distant learners, non professional behavior, word by mouth mode of delivery, irregularity at study centers, inadequate assistance in writing, checking and returning assignments formed some critical problems associated with tutorial system. Bureaucratic approach of RDs/ARDs, lack of authority, insufficient monitoring at examination centers, lack of empathy with students and tutors, insufficient dissemination of information flow, non committal attitude with students to solve or connect them with right channels of main campus, unconcern with return of assignments, unplanned and unskilled system operation formed some management gaps. Most of the RCs have unsuitable buildings. Technical facilities are not equally available at RCs like multimedia, video conferencing etc. A.V aids are not available at RCs. Most of the RCs have minor level libraries. The issues of students at RCs are delay in issuance of certificates/degrees, non-receipt of books and computer errors in particulars. RCs have no authority to solve on the ground problems, although operational system of AIOU is e-based. The experiences of VUP are not distinct from AIOU. The results revealed that at VUP mismatches of study material and student needs, single choice of material for heavy reliance to work out assignments; inadequate libraries, reference books, AV aids, seldom arrangement of video conferencing for studies, slow browsing at VCs, ignorance of VTV by cable operators formed some major problems for VUP students. Lack of authority and will at VCs, highly centralized system, delay in issuance of certificates/degrees and high fees formed some problems of VUP students. High dropout rate was reported. Feelings of isolation, need of training by tutors of VUP, need of additional software with LMS to write numerical values, non provision of study material and no arrangement for watching video lectures formed some problems of tutors of VUP. The VCs are not equally equipped. Lack of AV aids, libraries, and book shops, lack of authority and high centralization constituted critical problems at VUP campuses. Most of VCs have no alternate in case of non connectivity or slow browsing. The study recommends visibility of high vision of top management in strategic planning, professionalism and powerful delivery of faculties of both universities in management and evaluation of their programs, demonstrating their involvement, service delivery, skilled training to RDs/ ARDs, criterion-based deployment and development of tutors, motivational and rapport based client approach student treatment, enriched student learning material, improved quality of assignments and their relationship with final pattern of examination, reducing chances of cheating. Organization of alternate fiber network with PTCL, show VTV all over Pakistan, prompt response of VU tutors, instituting facilities of internet, TV and library facilities , marketing seminars for admissions, scholarship and discount in fees for backward areas. Improving LMS to solve equations/formulas in GDB/MDB, strengthening deficiency semesters formed some recommendations of VUP. More intensive studies in specific areas, focusing student learning, tutor training, manuals and their delivery, comparative performance of formal and non- formal graduates supported by employer opinions for quality enhancement. Advanced studies would further provide feedback and direction of change.
Gov't Doc #: 27187
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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