Challenges and Opportunities created by Covid-19 for ODL: A case study of IGNOU

The pandemic Covid-19 came as havoc for developing countries like India. It has significantly disrupted the education sector which is a critical determinant of a country’s economic future. It has compelled the human society to maintain social distancing. It has made people mandatory to sit indoor and sitting idle indoor may lead to mental stress. Hence, it has created more challenges to keep people engaged and free from mental stress. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system is the best solution to meet the challenges of education during this pandemic situation of COVID-19. Every challenge is an opportunity. These challenges have also created opportunities for the educational institutes to strengthen their technological knowledge and infrastructure to tackle the Covid-19 like situation. Indian education system is more acquainted with face to face or physical teaching learning process. Most of educators and learners are not equipped with use of technology in education and there is also lack of practice and motivation towards use of technology in education which creates more challenges during pandemics. This article highlights different challenges and opportunities created by Covid-19 for ODL system of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The steps taken by IGNOU to meet the challenges by exploring various opportunities are pointed. Some tools and techniques for distance learning which can ensure the continuity of learning during the current pandemic are described. Some suggestions for handling the challenges created by Covid-19 by exploring various opportunities for ODL system are also pointed in the article.
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