The Open Schooling system in India, which is at an initial stage of popularity and importance, has to have a great leap forward to meet the challenge of making the national learning society in a reasonable period of time within India and other countries. It is because a large section of uneducated Indians leave the country for work who later realize the importance of secondary and senior secondary education for them to move ahead in their career graph.
Keeping in view the above, the NIOS has prepared its Vision Document. It provides a framework giving directions in which research, development, training, programm, networking, extension and other programmes of NIOS should be conducted in order to best serve the object of implementing and promoting the open schooling programme in the country.
The NIOS will work mainly as Resource Organisation in open schooling at national and international level with its usual programme delivery role to provide an environment of distance learning without much pain to aspiring students as It gives freedom of learning. The State Open Schools (SOSs) are required to assume major responsibility for expansion of open schooling in India, particularly because the prospective students would generally opt for regional languages as mediums for their courses of study. This is now the main concern which NIOS is really reaching out to at the current time.
The NIOS, in collaboration with international social organizations like COL and UNESCO, will strive for promotion of open schooling in the developing countries through various forms such as consultancy, training of functionaries, dissemination of information, workshops, conferences etc.
The open schooling system with inbuilt flexibilities is going to be a major programme delivery mode of study up to pre-degree level. In India, we are at a crucial moment when a big thrust needs to be given to the open schooling system. It is very clear that with every passing year NIOS mode of education will gain pace as more and more people want flexibility in education system because of work or for some other reasons.
It is hoped that the State Education Departments with the help of local governments, specially the State Open Schools (SOSs), would also take steps for preparation of their Vision Plans for promotion of open schooling. The NIOS would provide forum for SOSs to share information as also to deliberate on various issues and problems pertaining to formulation and implementation of Vision Plans on Open Schooling.
The NOS has a plan of extensive use of technology in the coming years. A situation of admission on demand is also envisaged. Taking into account the fact that India is a multilingual society with pluralistic culture, it is necessary that the entire education should be locally relevant. The need for decentralization is of utmost importance. It is at work to develop parallel test items for each level of examination conducted by it. These items will be fed into the computer and it will be possible to generate innumerable sets of parallel tests. Necessary software will be developed for this purpose. Thus with the available technology it may be possible for us to reach a stage of ‘examination on demand’ without the fear of copying or mass copying plaguing the examination system currently. The NOS is moving towards this goal by having ten regional offices. Then these regional centers will be working as extended outreach stations of the NOS for the AI s Decentralization, therefore, is the prime need of this country, particularly because of its size, variety of its culture, and the uneducated masses within the country. The issue of the relevance has been at a discount for quite a long time and has created certain aberration in Indian education. This needs to be corrected by allowing greater flexibility in curriculum development and implementation. Even the States in India are too big a unit for that matter. The promotion of establishment of the State Open Schools is one of the priority areas of concern to the NIOS.