About Open Schooling
Towards the latter half of the twentieth century, the appearance of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) System has been a natural and phenomenal evolution in the history of educational development. While the conventional education system continues to be the mainstream of educational transaction. It has its own limitations with regard to the expansion, access, equity, and cost-effectiveness. Major challenges that India faces today in the area of education are:
- Challenge of student’s presence in the classroom
- The challenge of education credibility
- The challenge of education quality.
The revolution and growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have greatly facilitated the expansion of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) System. It permitted adopting a flexible, constructivist, learner-friendly and multi-perspective approach to the teaching and learning process. This approach is essential for creativity, leadership, and scholarship leading to the total development of the human personality. It also useful in responding appropriately to the challenges of education identified above.
Focus of Open and Distance Learning
The Open and Distance Education System is a new paradigm with some elements of shift such as:
- From the classroom to anywhere
- From the teacher-centric to the learner-centric
- It shifts from mainly oral instructions to technology-aided instruction
- It shifts the fixed time learning to anytime learning
- Shifts from “you learn what we offer” to “we offer what you want to learn”
- From education as a one-time activity to education as a lifelong activity
- It shifts from the teacher as an instructor to the teacher as a facilitator
The concerns for the importance of ‘open schooling’ programmes include:
- The objective of open schooling is to providing “Education to all”
- To provide education to those who are unable to attend conventional schools for various social or economic reasons
- To those who for various reasons missed the opportunities to complete their schooling and developmental education
- The objective is to meet the educational needs of differently abled children
- To provide a wider choice of educational programmes to learners
There is every region and state of India faces more or less the above mentioned educational challenges.
About NIOS – Largest Open School
NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) is an “Open Schooling System” to cater to the needs of a heterogeneous group of learners of secondary and senior secondary level. NIOS was started as a project with in-built flexibilities by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The National Policy on Education suggested strengthening of Open School System for extending open learning facilities in a phased manner at the secondary and senior secondary level all over the country as an independent system with its own syllabus and curriculum and examination leading to certification. As a result, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India set up the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) set up the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) with a mission to provide relevant continuing education at school stage, up to pre-degree level. NIOS provides education through Open Learning System to prioritized client groups as an alternative to the formal system. NIOS provides education in pursuance of the normative national policy documents and in response to the need assessments of the people, and through it to make its share of contribution to:
- universalization of education,
- greater equity and justice in society, and
- the evolution of a learning society.
What does NIOS do?
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) provides an opportunity to interested learners. NIOS provides various course and programmes of study through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Mode. These courses include secondary and senior secondary course, vocational courses, life enrichment programmes etc. NIOS also conducts Open Basic Education (OBE) Programme, for Children (up to 14 years), adolescents and adults at A, B, and C levels that are equivalent to classes 3rd, 5th, and 8th of the formal school system respectively.
The OBE programme of NIOS envisages schooling by providing a learning continuum based on the graded system. It ensures the quality of education for children, school drop-outs or left-outs. For the successful implementation of the OBE programme, NIOS has forged a partnership with about 690 Agencies providing facilities to them as study centres. At the Secondary and Senior Secondary levels, NIOS provides flexibility in the choice of subjects and courses, the pace of learning. It also provides the facility of Transfer of Credits (TOC) from CBSE Board, various State Board of School Education and State Open Schools to enable student’s continuation.
A student is allowed as many as nine chances to appear in public examinations spread over a period of five years. The credits gained are accumulated until the student clears all the required credits for certification. The learning strategies of NIOS include; learning through printed self-learning material, audio and video programmes, participating in the Personal Contact Programme (PCP), and Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA).
Flexibilities of Open and Distance Learning in NIOS
- An opportunity to continue education using modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
- There is no upper age limit in open schooling. However, the minimum age for enrolment to Secondary course is 14 years and to Senior Secondary course is 15 years. The age is completed on or before 31st July for 1st block of admission and 31st January for 2nd block.
- Freedom to choose subjects, according to your needs, interests, requirement, and abilities.
- Continuous assessment of learners through Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs).
- You can complete a course in a maximum period of five years from the year of registration.
- In the open schooling system, you get credit accumulation facility over a period of five years.
- Facility of re-admission after five years with Transfer of Credit facility of previous achievements.
- You get learning Support through Personal Contact Programme (PCP).
- NIOS provides Transfer of credits from CBSE Board, CISCE, and various State Boards up to a maximum of two subjects.
- Under the part admission scheme, a student can take admission in one or more up to four subjects. On passing, a student will be issued only the Statement of Marks.
- To cater to the needs of people with physical and mental disabilities, the socially and geographically isolated and disadvantaged persons such as street children, working children, rural women, and SC & ST, the NIOS has accredited institutions called Special Accredited Institutions for
- Education of the Disadvantaged (SAIED).
- An innovative ICT based On Demand Examination System (ODES) at Secondary and Senior Secondary levels, which gives freedom to the students to appear in examination in the subjects of their choice. They give examination whenever they feel confident, has been operationalized at NIOS Headquarters and at the Regional Centre of NIOS.