The Directorate of Regional Services of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Islamabad is a coordinating and policy implementing body of the AIOU's network of 48 regions and 07 Model Study Centers set up across the country including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Primarily tasked with keeping tabs on the overall progress, its all-encompassing role involves monitoring and evaluation and, accordingly, issue instructions to achieve better performance.
Tutorial Support Services: Tutorial Support Services comprises the supervision of the academic guidance, tutorials, organization of face-to-face teaching and training, conduct of workshops for all Teacher Education BS and Postgraduate programs, overseeing the conduct of examinations and keeping a liaison with local educational authorities.
Student Support Services: Student Support Services encompasses analyzing the needs of the students and provision of adequate information about the AIOU academic programs for aspiring applicants, ensuring availability of admission forms throughout the country, program announcements, advising/counseling on preferable fields of study, in addition to resolving the complaints/inquiries raised during the semester.
Responsibilities of the Directorate
The main responsibilities of the Directorate of Regional Services include the following:
- Overall supervision, controlling and coordination of regional network
- Coordination between regional campuses and academic departments
- Implementation of University’s policies in regional campuses
- Facilitating all academic departments in implementation of their academic programs and co-curricular activities
- Appointing Part Time Regional Coordinators (PTRCs) for helping regions
- Registration of tutors across the country
- Providing tutorial support to the AIOU students in Pakistan and overseas
- Promotional activities of AIOU Academic Programs and Admissions
- Tutor’s appointment and allocation of students for each course and establishment of study centers
- Arranging workshops for all Teacher Training Programs/ Postgraduate Programs during the semester
- To ensure punching of assignment marks through tutors
- Providing financial assistance to the needy students
- Standardization of procedures/practices for homogeneity across the country
- Providing counselling services to the students
- Allocation of resources to regional campuses
To carry out these responsibilities more effectively and efficiently, the regions are equipped with necessary physical infrastructure and manpower to offer strong support services to the field. Now, most of the regions are functioning in their own purpose-built campuses which are provided with necessary equipment i.e. laptops, personal computers, projectors, printers, photocopiers, internet, video conferencing connectivity and transport facility for monitoring field activities. Owing to the high demand, the AIOU has just built a truly sustainable IT infrastructure.
Student support is a fundamental component of educating and learning and it is of basic significance in distance learning in two broad categories i.e. Academic and administrative support, which are being organized by the Directorate of Regional Services through its regional network across the country.
The Directorate is the backbone of Distance Education Learning in Pakistan. The Regional Directors/Heads are supposed to be the academic/administrative Head for all academic and student related activities in close liaison with the directorate and local educational authorities. The major responsibilities of the Directorate include the following:
- Promotional activities for admission to AIOU academic programmes through extensive visits to the local educational institutions and having meetings with the executives, principals, heads of the institutions, notable educationists and other dignitaries.
- Appointment of local academics as Tutors in various disciplines for more than 1200 courses
- Arrangement of post graduate academic workshops for AIOU students enrolled in Teacher Education and Postgraduate Programmes in each semester
- Liaising with the local educational heads for the conduct of examinations
- Heading students co-curricular activities as a part of their studies
- Organizing academic research workshops, functions, etc.
Glimpses of Regional Network
The AIOU Regional Network became operative in 1976, when the University planned to establish its offices in all the four provinces, starting from Multan in November and at Quetta Karachi in December 1976. Now, in total there are forty-seven regional campuses and seven model study centers operational all over Pakistan.
- 19 regional Campuses having own purpose built buildings
- Student enrolment in an academic year more than one million
- More than 300 study centers for student-tutor meetings
- Around 575 examination centers and 30 jail centers to facilitate the students all across the country at their door step
- 13 approved study centers for face to face classes
- Part Time Regional Coordinators (PTRC) at tehsil/ district levels, where required
Offered Facilities Through Regions
- Online registration and allocation of tutors
- Unified learning Management System (LMS) AAGHI
- Digitalized tutorial support
- Admission/enrolment through CMS portal
- Free education to visually impaired, jail inmates and transgenders
- Free Matric program for Baluchistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and erstwhile FATA
- Digital payment gateway via TELCOs
- Remuneration of tutors, resource persons, examiners, evaluators and supervisors through ERP
- PERN connectivity at Regional Campuses
- State of the art video conferencing/ e-Classroom facility at 18 regions
- Computer labs and lecture rooms for students
- Libraries for students, tutors and staff
- Accessibility centers for visually impaired students