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Distance learning or correspondence education has completely changed the way students approach education. It has not just opened up endless avenues for education seekers but offers flexibility, convenience and a learn-at-will opportunity to those who want to study at any age from anywhere. Distance learning means that students can enroll into courses of their choice from the institute or university that is offering that course irrespective of its location. The study material and other reading stuff is dispatched to the students at their address and they can read it on their own and learn at their own pace.
The study material is sent to them regularly and after a certain fixed period, exam or a test is held after which the student is awarded the degree or diploma certificate.
For a country as huge as India, correspondence education is nothing less than a boon. For those who want to pursue any particular course at any particular age irrespective of where they live, opting for distance learning programmes is always a very attractive option. Firstly, it gives one the flexibility to adjust study timings as per one's schedule. So, for instance, if someone is a working professional and wants to enhance his/her skills but doesn't have time to spare for regular
Classroom study, he/she can always opt for that course through correspondence. This way, the person gets the flexibility to adjust work, life and family with the education that one wants to pursue.
Secondly, distance learning programmes let you take up any course that you want to even if it is not offered in the area that is accessible to you. This is especially beneficial for rural students and those from small towns who may not have institutes and colleges in their area offering the course that they want to pursue. Thanks to correspondence education, if they are eligible, their geography doesn't limit their desire to take up that course. They can get enrolled for that course offered by a university in India or abroad. Sometimes, even students in bigger cities who have no dearth of institutes offering courses opt for correspondence courses for the simple reason that it offers more flexibility and is convenient.
There is some minimum eligibility that a student has to fulfill to be able to take up a distance learning course and it is different for different universities. Many recognized universities across India offer courses in various disciplines through correspondence. Delhi University, Himachal Pradesh University, Annamalai University, IGNOU are some of the many universities that offer distance learning programmes to thousands of students each year. Apart from these government run universities, hundreds of private institutes also run correspondence programmes for various courses.
Since a correspondence programe lets you learn at your own pace, you can decide when and where you want to study. There is no regular class framework that you have to adhere to whether it suits your lifestyle or not. Also, you could be studying at night, in the early morning time, between your other schedule or only on the weekends. Such flexibility and convenience is not possible with regular courses.
Most universities have support centers for their distance learning students. These are located at various cities and if you encounter a problem or are looking at any kind of support during the programme, you can approach these centers and meet the counselors there. Some universities offer online support to their students. Thus, you can go online, post y our queries and teachers from the university will reply back. Sometimes, virtual online sessions are also conducted.
Thus, you have various benefits that come with correspondence educational programmes. You can pursue as many programmes as you want from the convenience of your time and location and even save time and money. Students across the length and breadth of the country are opting for such programmes be it an distance learning in MBA, BBA, or courses in the arts and commerce stream or other courses. However, there are a few disadvantages too of correspondence education. Firstly, there is no social interaction with other students and direct interaction with teachers. Also, there aren't any extra-curricular activities as offered by regular learning programmes and sometimes motivation becomes a problem as students have to remain self-motivated in a correspondence programme.
About the Author:
Geetika jain writes on behalf of Shiksha.com. Shiksha.com is an education portal that connects education seeker with education provider. Shiksha.com has wide information over study abroad colleges, Professional colleges in India and courses like distance learning courses etc. Its education forums enable its users to seek opinion of students, alumni and faculty of colleges and schools through College Groups and School Groups.