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Allama Iqbal Open University

The AIOU, when established in 1974, was the second Open University in the world and first in Asia and Africa. It, thus, speaks of the foresight of the policy-makers of that time. As these past years of AIOU have proved, Distance Education has opened up new opportunities for millions, particularly women, and supplemented the efforts of the federal and provincial governments in a big way and that too without becoming a burden on their resources. The idea of Distance Education assumed greater relevance and acceptance in Pakistan due to the factors of poverty and relative deprivation of women. The rate of literacy, incidence of dropouts, and excess to higher education is much lower in the poorer classes of Pakistan. The incidence of poverty is much higher in the rural areas, where formal education is much less established. The rate of literacy and education is much lower for females in Pakistan, particularly in the rural areas, due to poverty and conservative traditions. Many conservative parents under the pressure of old age traditions do not allow their daughters to go out to the schools. The AIOU, through its system of Distance Education has, thus, provided educational opportunities to these housebound girls and...
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