Distance learning for vocational education and training in the small island states in the Pacific
Open and distance learning (ODL) provides an alternative which should be exploited more vigorously in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. The enthusiasm generated by and the acceptance of the instructional design model by the stakeholders in the Pacific Islands has resulted in further requests to develop sets of ODL materials. In March 1999, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) invited the ministers of education from all the Pacific Island Commonwealth member countries to meet in Kuala Lumpur to discuss a proposal to utilise ODL to increase access and quality of technical and VET. To ensure that the efforts to increase access to VET through the use of ODL are sustainable, there need to be drivers within the countries. Sustainability requires a cadre of skilled personnel who can develop and deliver ODL courses in VET. Since the first meetings in 2000, all of the island states are utilising ODL in some way.