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ICDE celebrates 85 years working to bring education to all

This year, ICDE celebrates 85 years since its establishment in Canada. From handwritten postal letters to innovation in the digital age, Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (OFDL) has come a long way since 1938. ICDE has been at the forefront of this exciting journey and its membership has evolved with the growth of the organisation. ICDE marks this special anniversary by highlighting the contributions of its community of over 320 members and partners who strive for universal access to education worldwide.

Distance education is not a modern concept. Its history dates back to 1840 when the first distance learners accessed educational materials provided through postal services. Since that time, various modes of distance learning has helped to increase access to quality education, even in challenging circumstances. It creates new opportunities in the face of economic constraints, geographical barriers, conflict and crisis. It has the power to set socially excluded children and adults on the pathway out of poverty, enabling them to develop a fully-rounded life. 

ICDE is the oldest international membership organisation contributing to this transformation, promoting the benefits of OFDL and sharing the expertise of its members across the globe.

Since 1988, the ICDE Permanent Secretariat has been hosted and supported by Norway, one of the pioneering countries for distance education.

Today, as a consultative partner to UNESCO, ICDE continues to advocate for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all, in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 4. On this special anniversary, ICDE extends sincere gratitude to all members and partners for their steadfast commitment to advocating for more accessible and high-quality education for all. 

I stand in awe of what has been achieved over the last 85 years, and know that regardless of what opportunities or challenges ICDE members face in the next 85 years, the future will be a better place because of the educational opportunities created by ICDE members.” – ICDE President, Neil Fassina 

ICDE invites all interested in innovative and scalable learning to help shape the future of education and join the innovation and knowledge sharing taking place at the 29th ICDE World Conference in Costa Rica this November. Register to be part of the discussions and make an impact 

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