The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) was founded in May 1974 with the primary goal of offering opportunities for education to the general public as well as those who are unable to flee their house or places of employment. Over the years, the University has delivered more than its promises.
It has provided access to ladies on their doorstep and has opened up educational chances for working people. It has also made breakthroughs in the field of mass education. It is currently pioneering new ground in professional, scientific, and technical education. It is seeking to reach Pakistan’s most distant districts. It aims to get Pakistan’s remotest communities.
Mr Harold Wilson, the British Prime Minister, initially proposed distance education in the late 1960s. He believed that educational possibilities should be made available to people who may have missed out on a better education due to early employment and who wish to improve their knowledge and abilities in their spare time at home in the evenings. As a result, in 1969, the UK Open University was established. It has now evolved into a significant educational establishment in the United Kingdom, offering millions of working people opportunities. Since then, the faith in remote and open learning has spread throughout the world. More than sixty Open Universities operate across the globe based on small education.
When it officially opened its doors in 1974, the AIOU was the world’s second Open University and the first in Asia and Africa. As a result, it speaks to the foresight of policymakers at the time. As the past years of AIOU have demonstrated, distance education has opened up new prospects for millions of people, notably women, and has dramatically augmented the efforts of the federal and provincial governments while remaining cost-effective.
Due to the circumstances of poverty and relative deprivation of women in Pakistan, the concept of distance education gained more relevance and acceptance. In Pakistan’s impoverished classes, literacy, dropout rates, and an overabundance of higher education are all significantly lower. Poverty is far more prevalent in rural areas, where formal schooling is scarce. Many traditional parents, influenced by old traditions, refuse to allow their daughters to attend school. Through its Remote Education initiative, the AIOU has therefore given educational opportunities for housebound girls and women.
The Pakistani Parliament passed Act No. XXXIX in May 1974, for establishing the Allama Iqbal Open University. It was initially known as the People’s Open University before being renamed Allama Iqbal Open University in 1977, the national poet and philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s first centenary. The concept of an “open university” was introduced in the Education Policy of 1972-1980, which stated the following fundamental principles:
“In numerous countries, open universities are being used to give education and training to people who are unable to leave their homes and employment to pursue full-time studies. As a result, an open university will be developed to offer part-time educational opportunities via correspondence courses, tutorials, seminars, workshops, laboratories, television and radio broadcasts, and other forms of mass communication….”
The University’s principal goals, as stated in the Act, are as follows:
- To provide educational opportunities to persons who cannot leave their homes and jobs in the manner that it deems appropriate.
- To provide the people with such facilities as it considers necessary for their educational progress.
- Exams are held, and degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic honours are awarded and conferred.
Undergraduate, graduate, Master’s, M.Phil., and doctoral programmes have all been implemented. Introductory functional courses for illiterates and semiliterate are also available at the University. These programmes set the University apart from other educational institutions in Pakistan since it meets the needs of people of various ages and academic levels. The following is a list of existing programmes:
- PhD Programmes
- M. Phil Programmes
- Master’s Programmes
- B.Ed Programme
- Bachelor Programmes
- Higher Secondary School Certificate (Intermediate)
- Secondary School Certificate (Matric)
- Post Graduate Diploma (PGD)
- STEP/Functional Non Credit/Certificate Courses
Since its inception, Allama Iqbal Open University has been providing and extending its educational and training facilities to assist working people and women in improving their qualifications and occupational skills. The following are the main characteristics of AIOU:
- The semester system is provided twice a year, in the spring and autumn semesters.
- The country’s largest University, with over 1.2 million students enrolled each year.
- There are almost 2000 courses available.
- More emphasis on science and technology by introducing physics, agriculture extension, livestock management and nutrition, forestry extension, and computer science, among other fields.
- By providing roughly 700 PCs, the main campus and the districts have been computerized.
- Availability of networking infrastructure for data/information sharing and student issue handling between the main campus and the area.
- Partnership with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) to offer lab space for AIOU students.
- In Pakistan, this is the first institution to offer post-graduate Special Education programmes.
- The only post-graduate degree in Educational Planning and Management provided in the country.
- “AIOU Magazine” is a bi-monthly television show created in the IET studios and shown on PTV-National on each month’s first and third Mondays. This monthly feature program provides up-to-date information on academic and co-curricular activities. AIOU students can listen to live FM radio broadcasts from the University’s FM radio station.
- More than 70% of students are employed.
- Moreover, half of the students are female.
- Students have distributed 58 per cent in rural areas and 42 per cent in metropolitan areas.
- There is no upper age limit for enrolling in university programmes.
- From semester to semester, a student can go at his own pace.
Currently, many students are enrolled in SSC, Intermediate, Bachelor’s, and Teacher Education programs. However, in recent years, the institution has prioritized higher education.
Home page of AIOU —> aiou.edu.pk/
Login page of AIOU —> https://aaghi.aiou.edu.pk/
Just go to the above mention link and you will get the login detail of all the programmes.
Help page of AIOU —> http://support.aiou.edu.pk/
Result page of AIOU —> https://www.aiou.edu.pk/rollnoslip.asp
Result page of AIOU —> http://result.aiou.edu.pk/Results.asp
Online admission (or registration) page of AIOU —> https://aiou.edu.pk/onlineadmissionform.asp
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