National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), the largest Open Schooling system in the world, has been upscaling open schooling programme at national and state level through advocacy, consultancy and research support, providing quality assurance in open schooling and building capacity of open schooling functionaries. NIOS recently organised three day events to explore the understanding of research in open schooling through three different interventions
By Gowri Diwaker
In large, complex and pluralistic societies functioning in a liberal democratic framework, the concerns of the government has been to address the issues of marginalised minority communities and their treatment by the nation at large while ensuring sound socio-economic developments. In the Indian context, all elected governments have made steady endeavours to address concerns of access, equity and justice for their marginalised minority. To this effect, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) was established as an effective instrument of policy intervention by the state for inclusion of the deprived and marginalised community into the educational mainstream of India, more specifically in the light of the recommendations of Sachar Committee.
Following the vision of Open and Distance Learning (ODL), NIOS has been working towards 'inclusion'. NIOS organised three benchmark events in November, 2010 alongside celebrating their journey of 22 years.
Annual General Body Meeting of COMOSA
Under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) organised the Annual General Body Meeting of the Commonwealth Open Schooling Association (COMOSA) on November 21, 2010 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
In total, 25 participants mostly, the Open schooling Heads of Commonwealth countries, from Australia, Belize, Botswana, Bangladesh, Canada, Fiji, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia, India, South Africa , the NIOS and Indian State Open Schools participated in this Meeting. Delivering his key note address on “Education for the 21st Century: Time for Open Schools to Raise their Game”, Sir John Daniel, President & CEO, Commonwealth of Learning said that for a large part of the world, the 21st Century belongs to Open School. “Secondary schooling for girls is the most powerful tool against climate change”, he said, implying that for every girl taught, it would help in population control, in the context of three contemporary challenges in the education system, the others being universal primary education and teacher shortage.
Sir John Daniel released the Logo of COMOSA and launched the website of COMOSA on this occasion. The COMOSA Journal for Open Schooling was also released by him. On this occasion, the NIOS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Open Polytechnic of New Zealand to strengthen and further develop the relations between them in the field of distance education upto pre-degree level and to work in the area of Vocational and Technical Education. Emphasising on the need for more and more collaboration between institutions of COMOSA, Frances Ferreira, Education Specialist, COL said that “Open Schooling has the capacity to deliver access to all levels of school education and vocational education”.
S C Khuntia, Joint Secretary (School Education and Literacy), MHRD, said that “Collaborative efforts through COMOSA would help in the process of globalisation by exchange of best practices which could be conveniently adapted” in the context of the paradigm shift in education from classroom teaching to collaborative teaching. Welcoming the participants, Dr SS Jena, Chairman, NIOS said that the NIOS has grown to be placed in the centre stage of education and has become the first choice for many learners.
Pre-Pan Commonwealth Forum-6 Workshop
The inaugural session of the Pre