The UDHR Right to Education: how distance education helps to achieve this

This year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the UDHR-Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and six leading international journals in open and distance education have collaborated over the past two years to elicit papers from all around the world to discuss how well distance education has promoted the UDHR article 26 on the Right to Education. The six journals are: the ‘Asian Journal of Distance Education’,  ‘Distance et Savoirs’, ‘EURODL’, ‘IRRODL’, ‘ALN’ and ‘Open Praxis’. On achieving the universal Right to Education through distance education, the ‘Asian Journal of Distance Education’has contributed leading papers from Malaysia, from Japan, from China, from India, from Sub-Saharan Africa, and continues to contribute with papers from other regions, including the Arab States of the Gulf. This project has been officially recognized by the United Nations for celebrating this 60th anniversary. All the contributions now posted up online on a new dedicated Website are reviewed, and critically analyzed. The critical analysis suggests that distance education for developing regions should be initially through public money, followed by adaptation, and then local distribution, or initially created locally, which is far cheaper, but perhaps more difficult, due to lack in technological expertise. Another conclusion is that distance education providers should have an eye on the aging society, and the expected increase in older active but handicapped students. Also the analysis suggests more resources should be produced in the students’ own native language. Other findings are discussed.

Received: 25 July 2008

Revised: 30th July 2008

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