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excellence in open schooling NIOS with international recognition provides access to sustainable and learner-centric quality school education, skill upgradation and training through Open and Distance Education (ODE)

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IOS is the pivotal organisation for Open and Distance learning from the year 2010-11. NIOS has introduced 100 percent online admissions to facilitate learners to register; and 4,80,513 learners have been enrolled, bringing the valid cumulative enrolments to 17,56,319. Following its basic philosophy, to reach the unreached and unreachable ,i.e. vulnerable sections of the society and those living in difficult contexts; 5911 accreditation Institution, AVIs, AAs and study centres are functional. Keeping in view the target groups and their diversified needs pre-degree courses vary from basic education to senior secondary level, alongwith vocational education and life-enrichment programmes. NIOS with international recognition provides access to sustainable and learner-centric quality school education, skill upgradation and training through Open and Distance Education (ODE) and ensures convergence of Open Schooling. National Consortium for

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Open Schooling (NCOS), NIOS provides professional support to states to set up and develop State Open Schools particularly with regional medium. COMOSA is a non-profit, democratic collaborative and futuristic organisation with commitment to support efforts of Open Schooling Institutions with an aim to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of United Nations, the association through ODL provides innovative, high quality equitable, gender sensitive and cost effective programmes of school education for sustainable development in Common Wealth Countries. Both NCOS and COMOSA have their secretariats at NIOS HQs in NOIDA.

Vocationalization of Secondary Education At NIOS vocational courses are offered at basic education, secondary and sr. secondary and post SS level. It provides an opportunity to continue education without disturbing one’s work with no upper age

limit and facility to complete a course in five years, credit accumulation, Self Learning Material (SLM) and Personal Contact Programmes (PCP) and ‘On Demand Examination System’ (ODES) where students can take exams as per their convenience makes it a unique system of education. In 201011, 13,438 students were enrolled, rising the cumulative valid enrolments to 16,6,641. Vocational courses are offered through 1313 AVIs spread throughout the country.

Special Achievements (1) HUNAR The ‘HUNAR’ is a unique, innovative project of NIOS for empowerment of Muslim girls through vocational training and skill development. Over 505 new centres under 27 nodal agencies have been inspected and accredited apart from 298 accredited Institutions of Hunar. Tripartite MoUs have been signed with these nodal agencies for collaboration with NIOS for running project Hunar.

(2) SPQEM Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) launched by MHRD has been adopted by NIOS. Where in Madarasas/Maktabs have been accredited for, primary to Senior Secondary level and financial assistance is provided to Maktabs, Madarasas and Darul-ulooms. The Minority cell at NIOS has developed Multimedia programmes in Urdu vocational courses and books have been translated to Urdu Medium along with the facility to take exams in Urdu Medium. (3) International collaborations Under public private partnership (PPP). NIOS has signed an MoU with CISCO, a reputed international organization in field of information technology. An online certificate course titled ‘IT essentials: PC Hardware and Software’ of six months has started on pilot basis. NIOS has enterered into MoU with Bangalore-based NGO, Functional Vocational Training and Research Soci-


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ety (FVTRS) with the aim to impart training skills with market value/demand. MoU have been signed with various international bodies including UNESCO. NIOS is working in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Common Wealth Open Schooling Association (COMOSA). Which is a futuristic organisation based on mutual respect, to support the efforts of Open Schooling. Commonwealth Educational Media Centre (CEMCA) for Asia is the regional media service of COL. NIOS is working in unison with CEMCA to expand the scope, scale and

quality of learning by using new approaches and technologies especially these under the general term of Open and Distance Learning (ODL). (4) 100 per cent online Admission 100 per cent online Admission, 24x7 are being offered from year 2010-11 for both academic and vocational courses. More regional centres are being set up in Bangalore, Gandhi Nagar, Imphal, Dehradun, Bhubneshwar and proposals are to set up Regional centres in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Hary-

ana, Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand in coming years. Libraries have been set up in regional centres to facilitate the staff and resource persons. Keeping in view the need and demand of market seven new vocational courses have been developed.

Alongwith research activities the cell coordinates NCOS (National Consortium of Open Schooling). Bring out News Bulletin and half yearly Open learning magazine for Open School learners are some of the related activities taken up.

(5) ICT NIOS has a computer training and data centre especially for capacity building on IT of the personnel involved in Open Schooling. NIOS in collaboration with Intel organised an IT tech programme to enhance the IT skills of NIOS officials. NIOS had revamped its website to make it user friendly; there is provision for regular updates, facility for feedback and academic support.

(8) Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) AEP aims at empowerment of adolescents through education and life skills development. The project is supported by UNFPA. NIOS website and Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) provide information on life skills development among learners of NIOS. An Adolscent friendly Centre (AFC) has been set up in Bhubaneswar to addresses the psycho-social emotional, adolescence and vocation related concerns of learners in a great way.

(6) Media Support NIOS has set up a media centre i.e. audio and video studio facilities for in-house productions and a community radio station at the headquarter. Broadcast/Telecast of these programmes is for NIOS learners on national channel of Doordarshan (DDI) and on Educational channel Gyan Darshan everyday and audio programmes on Gyan Vani (FM channel) are being broadcast. (7) Research and Development Cell Constituted explicitly for the purpose of research activities in field of Open Schooling; the R&D cell is instrumental in promotion of research, planning and monitoring and evaluation work in Open Learning. NIOS is involved in advocacy, consultancy and resource support to states for upscalling Open Schools and setting up of State Open School (SOS) in remaining states and capacity building of their functionaries.

(9) Course Revision The NIOS programmes pay special attention towards requirements of first generation learners, physically, mentally and visually challenged learners from disadvantaged sections of the society. The learning through self instructional material alongwith audio and visual programmes, personal contact programme (PCP) and Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA). The Secondary level courses have been revised being in view our clientele.

Future Perspective In India Open Schooling is at a take off stage and NIOS is playing a pivotal role in a giving directions to research development , training, networking in this field. NIOS shall work mainly as resource organization in Open Schooling at National and International level.\\ digitalLEARNING / July 2011

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