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Findings

86% percent of the respondents in sample size of 100 respondents form different areas of suburbs of Mumbai are aware and have some idea about distance education and learning programme Many of the people from the low income group study in the vernacular medium. University of Mumbai`s distance learning program i.e. IDOL 38% of respondents are aware of the institute followed by Sikkim manipal university 22%, YCMOU 20% are some prominent institutes which respondents are aware of they provide distance education we can say that only 26% of the respondents have done some kind of distance course rest 74% are not done any kind of distance learning program. From this we can say that the penetration of the distance education in suburbs of Mumbai is around 20% to 30%. we can say that the respondents satisfaction towards the traditional education is not that high around 75% of the respondents have given a average & below average score to the traditional system of education. Around 74% of the respondents want the option for the traditional form of the education. Around 63% of respondent said yes about joining the distance education program.. Maximum percentage of respondents wants to go for reasons of job and work while studying Many people were in dilemma about the job opportunity aspect of distance education. Acceptance and credibility of distance education in corporate world is not very good. People like the 24X7 365 days in year it as a good feature of distance education access to education from distance learning. Respondents feel that distance education is much more affordable then the traditional form of education. In front of curriculum the traditional education curriculum and distance education system is evenly matched in this case The trustworthiness of the distance education is lower than the trustworthiness of the traditional education system.

Recommendations

The vernacular medium for education: Primary education in the semi-urban and rural areas is delivered in the vernacular medium. The numbers of students willing to pursue higher education but step back because of the language barrier account for large numbers. Distance Learning courses, if delivered in the vernacular medium, yield the double-advantage: firstly, it can attract more students to continue education and secondly, the ease and comfort of learning in ones mother tongue gives a better understanding of the subject and thereby delivers better results. Quality with affordability: Quality stands top for all students. And, when distance education comes on par with the regular stream of learning with timely delivery, excellent interface with its students, up-to-date course materials, more number of students will resort to take to distance learning as their main stream.

Relaxations in eligibility-entry, exit, re-entry: Compared to regular stream of learning, which imposes the 10+2+3, norm, the eligibility criteria for any distance learning course is less stringent. Further relaxations can be brought in for students, who have the merit to pursue higher education but do not satisfy certain criteria, especially those who had to discontinue studies and are keen on studying further. Education loans and Scholarship schemes: Distance education universities can initiate student loan schemes on subsidised interest rates. This way, the deserving students from the economically weaker sections can continue their education without hassles. Scholarship schemes can work in tandem with loans to make the pursuit of higher education simple and flexible.

Conclusion

Distance education is mode to provide an opportunity to those who left the study in between and want to be part of the regular system and want to be part of the learned society. Through its various professional, vocational and practical courses distance education is playing an important role in the overall development of the students. There is no doubt that distance learning is playing a vital role in imparting higher education through distance mode. But the need of the hour is that more emphasis must be given to distance learning so that the left out and those who enable to carry on their study through regular mode of education can get a chance of learning through distance mode of education and be a part of learned society. The distance education have more potential to grow in the place where formal education cannot be opted as mode of education but the credibility of the distance education is still a big doubt in the minds the people.

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