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Distance Education and Developing Countries


The purpose of this paper is to give those who work in distance education a better awareness of the factors at work in developing nations and to help those whose profession is national development gain a fuller understanding of distance education. It begins with a discussion of the process of national development which focuses on the factors that are involved in such development and the role that education plays in development. A World Bank study of educational effectiveness in Africa is reviewed, highlighting areas where distance education promotes development and where it is counterproductive. Canadian policies are described as they contribute to the development of human resources, programs, and distance education systems. Distance education is then examined against the backdrop of the principles and practice of development, and the distinction between distance education and open learning is clarified. Institutional requirements of distance education are compared to military logistics, and the evolution of organizational structures for the conduct of distance education are discussed. It is noted that distance education is not linked to a particular level of education, to specific technologies, nor to a standard organizational set-up. The paper concludes with a description of the Commonwealth of Learning, an attempt by member countries of the Commonwealth to help each other apply distance education to the challenges of human resource development. (references) (DB)


Daniel, J.S. Distance Education and Developing Countries. Retrieved July 16, 2019 from .

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