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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - By Hassan Cheruppa
JEDDAH — The Jeddah-based Educational Consulting & Guidance Services (ECGS) will be holding virtual coaching classes for students of international schools following India’s Central Board of Secondary School (CBSE) curriculum. Riaz Mulla, general manager of ECGS, said virtual classes are open for students of all classes from grade one to 12 in a flexible manner and with an affordable fee.
ECGS is the overseas study center of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for distance and open learning programs for higher studies in the Kingdom. IGNOU, run by the central government of India, is the largest university in the world with active enrollment of over four million students spread over 42 countries.
Addressing a seminar titled “Online education: A new attraction for students,” at a local restaurant here, Mulla said online course will be beneficial for tens of thousands of Indian boys and girls who are pursuing studies in more than 40 CBSE-affiliated schools across the Kingdom. Classes will be conducted through the virtual Zoom platform and will be based on integrated software featuring e-books, virtual labs, online test and co-curricular activities, he said.
Mulla specially thanked Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed for his great support for IGNOU programs in the Kingdom. “ECGS has taken the initiative to support the students through online learning at a time when the coronavirus pandemic situation barred them from physically attending classes. We are partnered with PCTI, India’s leading distance education institution, to provide online coaching classes to the students of CBSE schools,” he said.
“We have created a unique virtual platform where a student can perform all the activities of a live classroom, sitting at home. This is the byproduct of the positive impact of COVID-19 on education and how we can overcome the challenges by providing access to online education for all levels of education,” he said noting that ECGS is keeping pace with the substantial change in the educational scenario with the distinctive rise of e-learning following the closure of schools and universities all around the world due to the pandemic.
Mulla said ECGS offers all the IGNOU bachelor and master degree programs along with certificate and diploma courses. They also include short-term career and job-oriented courses in digital marketing, web designing, multimedia and artificial intelligence with Python. “ECGS, in association with PCTI India, has introduced various short-term job-oriented courses which can run simulataneously with regular bachelor courses to enhance the personality and professionalism. Students can have an added advantage of learning job-oriented skilled program and get a job with handsome package along with degree, as well as certification from Google and Facebook,” he added.
The seminar session also witnessed virtual address of a number of top academics of IGNOU and PCTI from India. They included Prof. B.B. Khanna, director of international division of IGNOU; Maj. Sushil Goel, managing director of PCTI; Dr. Ritu Kaushal, vice president of PCTI; and Devender Kumar, general manager of PCTI.
Prof. Khanna highlighted the pioneering role of IGNOU as one of the global leaders in distance learning with unique features of affordability and flexibility. “IGNOU has introduced 15 online programs during the exceptional situation caused by the outbreak of the pandemic. We have as many as 2,200 courses plus scores of wide ranging programs targeting Indian students within the country and abroad,” he said. As a world leader in distance education, IGNOU has 21 schools of studies and a network of 67 regional centers and around 2,667 learner support centers. The university offers about 228 certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral programs, with providing access to higher education with high-quality, innovative and need-based programs to all segments of the society.
Apart from being one of IGNOU’s 29 overseas partner institutions, ECGS is also the official representative of various universities and colleges of India, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia in Saudi Arabia.
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