TNOU to open four new regional centres and encourage girls from rural areas to take up programmes 

This decision was taken in lieu of students from interior districts having to travel long distances to the existing regional centres to enquire about courses or to get their study materials 
Tamil Nadu Open University (Picture: College Dunia)
Tamil Nadu Open University (Picture: College Dunia)

With a view to reach more youngsters in rural Tamil Nadu, especially among girl students, the Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) has decided to open four new regional centres in the state. The new centres will come up at Sivaganga, Salem, Tiruvannamalai and Mayiladuthurai districts, stated a Government Order regarding this. K Parthasarathy, Vice-Chancellor of TNOU, said, "We have plans to set up the four new regional centres by December. With the addition of these four centres, the total number of regional centres of TNOU will become 12. As per the proposal, a sum of Rs 1 crore will be spent on setting up the four regional centres."

The Vice-Chancellor has appointed four assistant professors to function as the directors of these regional centres. The varsity officials said that students from interior districts have to travel long distances to the existing eight regional centres to enquire about courses or to get their study materials. To make education more accessible to them, TNOU had proposed to set up these centres in some of these districts. 

The university also has plans to attract more girl students from these rural districts. Speaking about his plan, Parthasarathy said, "Many girls in the rural areas are not able to pursue higher education due to lack of colleges in the surrounding areas of these districts and their involvement in household work. The regional centres will create awareness about the short-term and certificate skill development courses that can be pursued after Class X among girls. We will also be offering a special discount to students who will study the course in Tamil language."

During the pandemic-induced lockdown, along with online learning, even distance learning is gaining strength and has become a viable mode of higher education. According to varsity officials, last year, over 15,000 students had enrolled in different undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offered by TNOU while so far, the figure is over 8000. "The admission season will end in December and we are expecting enrolment of over 25,000 students this year. The new regional centres will help in catering to the rising demand," said an official of the university. TNOU currently offers 80 courses. 

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