Goa Conference Update

lamplighting.jpg The Open Learning Conference began with a range of presentations from National and State Ministry of Education representatives from across India and neighbouring countries. The event opened following traditional lighting of the lamp (see photo) after which we heard an opening address from each of the key dignitaries attending (second photograph shows Susan Phillips, COL rep., getting up to speak). conferenceopening.jpg
The conference is being attended by around 60 national and state ministers and secretaries of education and other government officials from the education sector. In India, open schooling is an attempt to address the problem of the extremely large numbers of students who drop out of schooling before completing a secondary education, and the even larger numbers of students who do not have access to any form of schooling at all.
Key messages from the first day include:


  • Changes over a century in India: in 1900 the illiteracy rate was 93.6%, in 2001 ?? 44%. However, in the same period of time, the population has grown from around 230 million to one billion ?? so the actual numbers of people considered illiterate in India has actually grown!

  • Strong endorsement for educational policies to mandate a multi-modal learning approach ?? to embrace as wide a range of learners and learning opportunities as possible
  • Assertion that all learners must become autonomous, self-directed learners. This requires:
    1. Learning what to learn
    2. Learning how to learn
    3. Learning how to evaluate one??s own achievements
    4. A self-regulated process for monitoring learning throughout life

Some good quotes I heard during the day??

  • We need to liberate education so that education can liberate us!
  • education is a process of human empowerment and human enlightenment in order to achieve human transformation.
  • open schooling is not about providing access alone ?? but about providing every chance of success!

3 thoughts on “Goa Conference Update

  1. Is the notion of the autonomous learner who is self directed and self monitoring, the purest form of education or a mechanism needed to cope with the sheer volume of the problem of mass education in a financially constrained situation – a political necessity? Hmmmmm

  2. There is an interesting tension between the notion of an autonomous learner who is self directed and self monitoring and a social constructivist model of learning which is by its nature collaborative and requires interdependance. My concern is that software vendors will jumpt to the technological solution that has self audit followed by a ‘programmed’ or CAL approach.

    BTW, thsi is a gfascenating statistic “1900 the illiteracy rate was 93.6%, in 2001 ?? 44%.” What did the empire ever do for us:^) (In jest of course!)

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