European Journal of Alternative Education Studies COUNSELING SERVICES FOR STUDENTS SUSTAINABILITY IN OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING SYSTEM: A CASE OF ILALA REGIONAL CENTER OF THE OPEN UNIVERSITY OF TANZANIA
Open and Distance learning (ODL) programs are generally designed to serve an off campus population. These programs provide access to higher education for students who cannot attend traditional courses due to employment, marital status, family responsibilities, distance, and expenses incurred with traditional education (Hannay and Newvine 2006). According to Bukaliya and Musika,(2015), ODL lies in the philosophical nature of geographical dispersion of students and the vast distances apart
... tances apart between the students and the ODL institution. That nature of ODL underlie in the premise that, students know on how, where, when and what to study (Keegan, 1986), as a result students face a lot of challenges resulting in low learning motivation (Bukaliya and Musika, 2015). For sustainability in Open and Distance learning, counseling service as one of the Students Support Service (SSS) is very important in academic arena (Jung, 2005). Counseling is the process of helping an individual to receive, accept his/her conception of him/herself and his/her problems, perceptions, attitudes, goals, plans and choices and use advice that can help him to understand and solve his/her problem/ disturbing issues or to cope with it successfully for a better future (Biswalo, 1996). For the counseling process to be effective the counselor should have the knowledge of counseling skills, counseling techniques on how to conduct the counseling interview. In Open and Distance Learning, a counselor has to understand the effect of distance on the choice of technology (UNESCO: 2004) by considering Accessibility, Flexibility, Cost, and Speed (COL, 2003).