The 19th annual meeting of the Advisory Council of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) was held earlier this month in New Delhi, India. COL President and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar, served as the chair of the meeting. Representatives of the Ministries of Education in India and Sri Lanka joined the meeting, along with Vice Chancellors of national Open Universities in Bangladesh and India. Vice President of COL, Dr Venkataraman Balaji, also joined as an ex-officio member.
Professor Madhu Parhar, Director of CEMCA, presented the annual report on CEMCA programmes, highlighting the wide range of activities in both Education and Skills sectors, as well as in Community Radio. In the ensuing discussions, Professor M A Mannan, Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Open University highlighted the contribution of CEMCA to the programmes in his university related to open educational resources and learning management systems. Professor Nageshwar Rao, Vice Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University, spoke of the importance of capacity building in critical, emerging areas such as accreditation of OU courses. Ministerial representatives were of the view that CEMCA should emerge as the premier, one-stop information resource on OU’s in the region, as there is a serious demand for such a service. Professor Ashok Ogra, renowned expert in media administration and member of the council, spoke of the need for CEMCA to be strategic in developing new focal areas in a region where the education sector is undergoing profound changes. Professor Kanwar observed that the membership of this council represents the most advanced thoughts and policies in all matters related to ODL and lifelong learning and thanked the members for their observations, insights and advice.