Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Satisfaction of Distance Learners with the Quality of Teacher Education in Pakistan: A Case Study of AIOU, Islamabad

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Satisfaction of Distance Learners with the Quality of Teacher Education in Pakistan: A Case Study of AIOU, Islamabad

Article excerpt

Introduction

Satisfaction means "fulfillment of one's desires, prospects or needs" about something. It gives pleasure, relief, contentment and sense of achievement to a person. Satisfaction level and performance has strong relationship with each other. Satisfaction motivates a person to work hard and try to perform best in the field. Satisfaction of students with the institutional policies and working is a good motivator to improve learning performance of students. It helps institution to get popularity that results in the achievement of good ranks in assessment of institutions. Lack of satisfaction of students about the fulfillment of educational needs, desires and wishes regarding institution demotivates students to work hard that also results for the failure of educational institution.

Education is basic tool for enabling people to live with awareness about their rights. Governments plan to provide education to citizens. It is evident that governments cannot fulfill educational needs of people by formal education institutions. Therefore, major forcing factors of formal education system "non-availability of educational institutions in deprived areas, shortage of seats for admission in regular institutions, high expenses for education and high cost of education" (Goel and Goel, 2000, P.30) have motivated policy makers as well as students to adopt and accept distance education to improve educational facilities and status of people as well. Working class, women and people belonging to deprived areas has accepted it as blessing to improve educational status. "Distance education free learners from constraints of time and place offering flexible learning opportunities to individuals and groups" (Talesra, 2004, P.2). So, people accept it happily and governments and educational institutions take it economic from different aspects. It is evident from the history of last few years that distance education has arrived as new development to expand educational facilities for people all around the world. According to Holliangworth (2006) approximately 75% of colleges and universities in USA are offering distance learning courses at various levels. A report by Woodley (1998) indicates that Open University (OU), UK is now expected to teach more students but with reduced funding. Prasad (2006) has reported that in present, 25% of Indians are receiving education through distance mode and in next years it is expected to go up to 40%. Further, Swamy (2003) has indicated that distance education is one of the emerging areas in education that will become normal pattern of education in next twenty years.

In Pakistan, distance education was introduced with establishment of AIOU in 1974 in consequence of "Act No. XXXIX passed by National Assembly in May 1974" (AIOU, 1979, P.1). Keeping in view its acceptance by the people of Pakistan, Virtual education started in March 2002 (VU, 2013). Later on, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan launched the plan to establish directorate of distance education in selected public sector universities with the motive to discourage private education at higher stage of education and narrow down quality gap between private and regular students (HEC, n.d, P.2). As result, BZU, Gomal University, Government College University Faisalabad and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur introduced distance education courses at various levels.

AIOU is oldest distance education institution in Pakistan and has rich enrollment in teacher education programs. Overview of enrolment trend in AIOU as reported by AIOU (2010) and AIOU (2011) indicates that it enrolled 6160861 students in 17875081 courses during the years 2006 to 2011. It shows acceptance of teacher education programs through distance education in Pakistan. High acceptance of distance education courses in Pakistan demands planners of distance education in the country to improve quality of education and satisfy needs of learners but some studies have pointed out displeasure of distance learners for the quality of teacher education by distance education courses in Pakistan (Asif, 1996; Anjum, 2004; Shah, 2004; Farooq, 2006; Ahmed, 2011; Iqbal, 2011). …

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