Need to Expand Distance Learning

Need to Expand Distance LearningNeed to Expand Distance Learning

An estimated 1,700 distance learning schools are providing education to 200,000 students. Their capacity can be expanded but the concept of distance education is little-known in the country.

Many are not even aware of the opportunity that distance learning provides in the field of education.

Goudarz Shahmoradi, director general of Distance Education Division at the Ministry of Education, said the target groups of distance learning “are those who have missed the first opportunity in education as well as those who are not able to attend formal classes” for whatever reasons.

The target population comprises two groups: school-age children who don’t have access to formal classroom education for reasons such as long distance to schools, and adults who have working schedules, housewives and the disabled, he told Alef News Agency.

Distance learning is flexible as it provides students with self-study books to work on their own, but at least six hours of class attendance is compulsory for each subject to address firsthand any problems with the teachers. At the moment distance learning in Iran for school-age students is available for secondary grades only.  

Shahmoradi said that this system of education is one of the best means to promote educational justice.

“There are villages in Iran with only one student where it would be costly to build a school. This is where the method of distance education can play a role at a quarter of the cost. “

The Education Department in each district as well as the ministry’s websites provides the necessary information about distance education schools. Distance education is traditionally defined as any educational or learning procedure in which the teacher and the student are separated geographically.

Present-day distance learning is influenced greatly by computer and electronics technology. The technology has now made it possible for teacher and student to connect almost immediately. Study resources can be delivered instantly through computers, satellites, internet and interactive video.