On the eve of 10th Foundation Day Celebration IGNOU Regional Centre, Nagpur has arranged the Panel Discussion on “education @75+ – What, Why and How?” As per practice, the University invited 5 of its students who are 75 and above Age as Panelists. They shared their experiences on why they want to study and WHAT they want to study and how they want to study.
Dr. P. Sivaswaroop, Regional Director has welcomed the panelists, media persons and invitees. In his welcome address, he told that the elderly population in the country is increasing from 104 million in 2011 and projected to be as 173 million by 2026. The literate among them is also increasing from 27% in 1991 to 44% in 2011. Dr. Sivaswaroop said that the capacity of older adults to remain physically, mentally and socially active depends partially on their participation in Learning and Education.
So, the education system also should respond to their needs and ambitions. He stated that IGNOU is a University which offers education to everyone who has a desire to study subjects of their choice, with plenty of flexibility and no restriction on Age. He informed that IGNOU Regional Centre Nagpur has around 40 learners who are of 75 years and above Age. The panelists shared their experiences in IGNOU and expertise in their professions.
Dr. Nathuram Swarnakar, Retired Scientist, NEERI and 78 years who completed MBA from IGNOU. He stated that the talents and the innovative ideas of the senior people should be shared and taken to the upliftment of society. He said that Learning is a life long process that’s why he has joined for the programme and he is still a learner. Dr. Swarnakar stated that IGNOU is the only University where he can fulfill his desire for education, due to the in-built flexibility in IGNOU.
Dr. S. W. Kulkarni, Former Vice-Chancellor, DY Patil University and 78 years, joined MA Anthropology in IGNOU.
According to him, Coordination of Geriatric persons is lacking in the country. A university like IGNOU should take initiation to have an academic forum to discuss and integrate the thought and mind of the elderly people to the younger generation. Dr. Kulkarni said that old people need a soft treatment to pursue their Education and IGNOU has such a system built into it.
Dr. D. M. Alsi, General Manager (Retired), and 78 years completed MA Anthropology and pursuing MCOM 2nd year in IGNOU. He said that he has 24 Degrees, out of which 16 are Post Graduate Degrees. He pursued those degrees for the reason that all the social sciences disciplines are interrelated and he wants to have a piece of basic knowledge in those disciplines. Degrees in Social Sciences made him understand happiness in life.
The discipline Anthropology made him understand life naturally and that will give happiness. He also insisted that the discipline of Anthropology should be at Graduation level to understand the society and the culture of the people. He said he advises every Senior Citizen to join the IGNOU course and spend their leisure time educationally.
Dr. Anand B Kakde retired medical officer and 77 years old joined MA Psychology in IGNOU. His professional experiences made him realize that the learning which he has acquired from his degree is not sufficient to work in the rural areas. His interest made him join the psychology programme in IGNOU. But due to his heart operation, he could not continue his studies.
Dr. Baban Nakhle, Former Editor, and 75 years are pursuing MA Anthropology in IGNOU. He said he got his Ph.D. at 72 years and now pursuing Anthropology. Dr. Nakhle said that old people get strained by sitting in the classroom even for two hours, so IGNOU is more suitable for them. He said cooperation and support from Nagpur Regional Centre are excellent.
Dr. P. T. Shukla Retired Principal told that age is not the barrier at all for the education. The younger generation should not feel satisfied after getting the first job and stopped their education, they have to learn, unlearn and relearn as we did so far.
The panel discussion was concluded with a summary of the panel discussion. Dr. P. Sivaswaroop, Regional Director had thanked all the panelists, media persons and other dignitaries who have attended the panel discussion.
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