JEDDAH - There’s good news for Indian students who wish to pursue their education through Open and Distance Learning with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) reopening its doors in Saudi Arabia.
Educational Consulting & Guidance Services (ECGS) - Overseas Study Center, which provides services for IGNOU, has been given the go-ahead to start admissions for this July semester.
“IGNOU New Delhi has approved ECGS to start its admission for July 2016 session and ECGS overseas center has approval from the President of
India, Chancellor of the university and MHRD,” said Atieco’s General Manager Riaz Mulla, who is in charge of IGNOU’s operation here
“At this moment we would like to thank higher officials of Indian Missions, MHRD, MEA and higher officials of IGNOU for their support and cooperation in resolving the issue of IGNOU operation in Saudi Arabia,” he said while elaborating on the fact that IGNOU had suspended operation in Saudi Arabia for three years.
“We got a letter asking us to start the admission for this semester, and we set the process in motion. We sent out emails, SMS to the Indian community and they have responded well,” said Riaz Mulla. “But the important thing is that after lapse of three years the confidence is at a minimal, and we are trying to rekindle interest in our brand (IGNOU), that had been established for 13 years. Unfortunately we lost three years, and it will take time to re-establish IGNOU’s name in the market.”
“The issue was created by the university’s vice chancellor and his perverse action that led to thousands of students’ aspirations being suspended and some of the students being forced on to the streets and the eventual loss of millions. By September 2015, nine centers were approved, but unfortunately ECGS overseas Study Center was not among them, due to various reasons. But we kept trying and tried our level best to restart ECGS, and we are thankful for all the support, in India and here, especially the community and the missions we succeeded,” he added.
Fowzan Mulla, business development manager Atieco, elaborated, ”For Atieco, the running of IGNOU is not a commercial proposition, and they do it for community service and they are not-for-profit organization, specially because they would like to impart education to Indians, who cannot go overseas for advanced studies.”
Riaz said, “We have got clearance for Riyadh and Jeddah centers and we are preparing files for restarting the Dammam unit too. But students can enroll from there and still give their exams in either Riyadh or Jeddah.”
He added, “If the number of students in Dammam is high, then we could even get them to sit their exams at the Indian International School in Dammam. But, meanwhile, we are also trying to get the Dammam center cleared by the UGC.”
Fowzan said that this would be possible because “IGNOU programs are more learner-based than tutor-based. We are consultancy, but we offer dedicated counselors in our offices and they can guide the students. We also have recorded lectures on our websites that the students can view and learn.”
“In-spite of no admission for the last three long years ECGS has supported old IGNOU students and provided all student support services so that they can complete their program. ECGS was operational to support IGNOU old students bearing all financial losses. Many students have been successful in completing their programs and awarded degrees and diplomas,” Riaz said.
IGNOU is the largest Mega University in the world, established by an Act of Indian Parliament in 1985 with objective to disseminate high quality higher education through distance mode.
As an Open University, IGNOU has come a long way since 1985, having crossed national boundaries providing higher education as well as assisting other developing countries in this regard.
In 1996 the International Cell of IGNOU was assigned the task of promoting the offering of the academic programs by establishing bilateral and multilateral cooperation and exchanges at the international level.
Currently IGNOU’s academic programs are on offer in 38 countries across Asian, Middle East, Far East, African, Pacific and Caribbean countries
The courses offered are: Certificate: Six Months; Diploma: One Year; Bachelor Degree: Three Years; Master Degree: Two Years; Professional Degree (B.Ed/MBA) in the area of: Social Sciences; Humanities; Tourism; Education; Business Management.
Courtesy : Saudi Gazette
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