Professor Asha Singh Kanwar
||Professor Asha Singh Kanwar became Vice President of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) on 1 April 2006 and assumed additional responsibility as Programme Director in April 2007. She is specifically responsible for stakeholder engagement and programme direction. A recipient of several awards and fellowships, Professor Kanwar brings with her the experience of having studied and worked in different contexts, both developing and developed. She received her undergraduate, master's and MPhil degrees from the Panjab University in India and a DPhil from the University of Sussex. She was also a Fulbright Fellow for post-doctoral research at Iowa State University, where she was later invited to teach. Prof Kanwar received the ICDE Prize of Excellence in 2009.|
ODL for Development
In the year 2000 the international community agreed on two set of development objectives: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Dakar Goals of Education for All (EFA). In creating a framework for its own work the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) adds the Commonwealth ideals of Peace, Democracy, Good Governance and the Rule of Law.
In this decade the main focus has been on the goal of achieving Universal Primary Education (MDG 2). Many African countries have launched major initiatives to introduce free primary education.
The second challenge is to achieve universal primary education in all countries. This requires many more teachers. Existing teacher training institutions do not have the capacity to address these shortfalls, so it is critical to expand the use of ODL to teacher training.
But ODL for development is not only, perhaps not mainly, about strengthening formal education. ODL can contribute to poverty reduction (MDG 1) by the development of skills training packages for poor communities.
One of COL’s most consistent activities has been its capacity-building work in mass media known as COL Media Empowerment (COLME).
Over the 20 years of its existence, COL has expanded the scope of its activities within the formal education sector by moving from higher education to teacher development and open schooling. COL’s motto ‘Learning for Development’ expresses a vision that takes us beyond formal education into non-formal modes of learning that have given a new connotation to what we mean by ODL. Increasingly, Member States are beginning to see the value of ODL for development.
Presentation: 'Learning for Development'
Professor Kanwar discusses the role of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in various global development programs.
See the presentation* (43:10 mins)
*This video is accessible to broadband (or better) users.