IGNOU Celebrated Global Womens Breakfast – 2023”

Nagpur :- International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) started in 2019 a global event of Global Women Breakfast” aimed to address the barriers and inequalities faced by women in science. It is held at several cities across all the continents on same day i.e. 14th February. Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT) which is the apex national body of chemistry teachers promote the programme. IGNOU Regional Centre Nagpur in association with Hislop College Nagpur as part of National Science Day Celebrations also, organized hybrid mode webinar on the theme Breaking the Barriers in Science Education through Open University Feedback of Teachers and students of IGNOU. The speakers include National Level experts from IGNOU New Delhi, Academic Counselors and IGNOU Science students from various districts like Nagpur, Wardha, Gadchiroli, Pune etc.

Dr. Prashant Shelke, Principal Hislop College welcomed the participants. Dr. P. Sivaswaroop, Senior Regional Director, IGNOU Regional Centre Nagpur explained the objectives of the webinar. He said that it is generally felt that science education is not practicable through distance education or Open University, but IGNOU has been offering several science programmes since 1991 with compulsory practical components without whose attendance a degree or diploma is not awarded. He presented IUPAC Video on GWB#2023.

Prof. Shachi Shah, Director, School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies (SOITS), IGNOU New Delhi explained the curriculum design, development and implementation of Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSCENV). She said there are 3 practicals of 4 credits in the first 3 semesters and in fourth semester project work is compulsory. Prof. Lalita S. Kumar, Prof. of Chemistry, IGNOU, New Delhi spoke on Breaking Barriers in Science Education- Role of IGNOU. She said that now School of Science IGNOU is offering courses from certificate level to Ph.D level program in Science and the women enrollment has increased continuously over the years. Dr. O. P. Sharma, Director, National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education (NCIDE) spoke about the breaking barriers for girls especially in science education. He said that in terms of access, language and financial barriers, open universities are breaking the barriers for all, especially for girls.

Dr. Naqui Siddiqui, Coordinator, IGNOU Study Centre 36009P, Institute of Science, Nagpur said that the regular colleges have seat limitation like for MSC Environmental Science they have maximum 11 seats in the college. Whereas in IGNOU for MSCENV in the 1st batch had 82 students from entire Maharashtra, Goa, Telangana and Chattisgarh. IGNOU follows strict attendance in practicals. Dr. Shubhangi Jungle, MSCENV Academic Councilor said that distance education helped the desired learners to pursue their chosen course.

Pranali Bawankule who completed Post Graduate Diploma in Analytical Chemistry said that IGNOU is a ray of hope for those who want to study science while working. Jayshree N. Bhakare, MSCENV student said IGNOU proved wrong that practicals cannot be done in distance education. She quoted that she received excellent practical knowledge by attending practicals. Sadhana Bhurse, ZP School Teacher from Gadchiroli said that she is from a remote area and felt that it is difficult to study science. But she completed BSC from IGNOU and now just completed MSCENV. She said they feel new in the laboratory in the initial days but the counselors are very friendly and students feel very comfortable. She said that because of IGNOU practicals she is now able to deal her school laboratory effectively. She happily shares that there are about 10 women students from Gadchiroli who joined for MSCENV of IGNOU. Ms. Roshita Thakur who tried admission in regular university for MSCENV but could not get due to limited seats. Now she joined and completed from IGNOU.

Roma Shah BSCG student said that when she was attending lab sessions, she never felt she is a Open University student. Other students like Ashlesha Kawale, Jyoti Dasila also spoke. Dr. Subhajit Haldar, Assistant Coordinator, IGNOU Study Centre 36055, Hislop College, Nagpur conducted the program and proposed vote of thanks.


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