COL welcomes four new Board members

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The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) welcomes four new members to its Board of Governors: The Honourable Dr Unity Dow, The Honourable Mr Nurul Islam Nahid, Lord David Terence Puttnam and Mr K. K. Sharma. The new board members joined the COL board in 2017 and will attend COL’s annual Board of Governors meeting on 16 June 2017.

The Honourable Dr Unity Dow serves as the regional representative for Africa. Internationally recognised for her accomplishments in the fields of law, human rights and the literary arts, she was appointed Botswana’s Minister of Education and Skills Development on 1 March 2015. After taking office, she launched the Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan, referred to as the Educational Strategy 2015 -2020.

The Honourable Mr Nurul Islam Nahid serves as the regional representative for Asia. He was appointed Bangladesh’s Minister of Education in 2008 and, since then, has brought significant reforms to the country’s education system, including the National Education Policy 2010. Mr Nahid has also served as the Chairman of the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO since 2009.

Lord David Terence Puttnam serves as the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s appointee to COL’s Board. He spent 30 years as an independent film producer, retiring from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries. He was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997 and currently serves as the Chair of Atticus Education.

Mr K.K. Sharma serves as the appointee by the Government of India. He is the Secretary of the Department of Higher Education for India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. The Department of Higher Education is responsible for the overall development of the infrastructure of India’s higher education sector, both in terms of policy and planning.

COL is governed by a Commonwealth-wide Board of Governors with provision for up to 17 members consisting of the Chair, up to nine major donors, representatives from four Commonwealth regions, as well as the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Secretary-General’s appointee and the President of COL (ex-officio). This provides for regional spread complemented with rotation of representatives.

About the Commonwealth of Learning

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. Hosted by the Government of Canada and headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning. COL empowers people through learning that leads to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation.


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