Speaking to Education Times, Nageshwar Rao, vice-chancellor, IGNOU, says, “Mandating of ABC account for ODL students is essential as students enrolled in these programmes have relatively lesser contact with their teachers as compared to the regular students. Now the credits that students earn will automatically be credited in their ABC account which will provide academic flexibility to them and they can simultaneously pursue any other course of their choice and resume their graduation as and when they want. Students enrolled in ODL programmes often drop for a year or more and many times the instances of their mark sheets gone missing have come to the fore when they rejoin. In addition to this, students often come up with the complaint that they are not being able to upload their assignments when they rejoin the course after the gap. Due to the mandating of ABC for ODL students, their academic record will be managed through an efficient system which will streamline the entire process.”
“This step by the UGC will also bring in uniformity between distance and regular education in the country and now more students will opt to get enrolled in ODL programmes. Till now we have registered 19 lakh students for the creation of their Academic Bank of Credits account,” adds Rao.
Gurpreet Singh, director, Institute of Distance & Online Learning, Chandigarh University, says, “With ABC becoming mandatory for students enrolled in ODL courses, they will be provided with academic flexibility. Now students who get enrolled in ODL courses will also be able to diversify their academic base as they will be able to simultaneously pursue other courses along with their graduation whose credits will be added in their ABC account. This decision is also in line with bringing in a practice of lifelong learning among the ODL educational ecosystem.”