In India, besides the respective state boards, students can enroll in schools following the syllabus by the CBSE, ICSE, and IB boards. In these schooling systems, the child attends regular schools and follows the set curriculum and schedule prepared by the school. While most fall in with the schedule and social life of the regular schooling system, many may not find conventional schools to be the right fit. This may be because –
- The child has a professional career
- The child has a strong area of interest that they wish to pursue (For instance, arts, sports, acting, or some entrepreneurial venture)
- The child has a learning disability (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD)
- The child has a physical disability
- The child had a traumatic experience at school (For instance, bullying, ragging, sexual abuse)
- The parents are in transferable jobs
- There aren’t any good schools where the child lives
- Other personal or financial problems at home
Recognition of open schools
The HRD Ministry instated the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) in response to the growing demand for an alternative education system that would ensure equitable opportunities for all students. Every child’s education needs are different, their talents vary, and they excel in different spheres. The rigors of regular schooling may not be suitable for all students and just because a child cannot attend school regularly does not mean that they have to drop out of the education system entirely. To protect the universal right to education, open schooling facility is offered.
NIOS offers flexibility and choice to students. If they wish to be home schooled, then they will still get the complete benefit of regular education with access to study material and giving regular exams and assessments. Students can attend their Secondary School and Higher Secondary School Certificate exams through NIOS. They can opt for any 5 subjects minimum or more and two languages for their board examinations. After earning their High School Certificate, students can apply to college and appear for competitive exams to qualify for jobs or higher education.
Understanding Open Schooling
In a country where children are brainwashed from a young age that they are on Earth only to learn Science and Maths, where a girl is not even considered marriageable unless she has an Engineering certificate, and thousands of children suffer from depression, low self-esteem, or go to the extent of committing suicide because they could not pass their board exams, the open schooling system brings great relief. It gives hope to millions of students that even if they are unable to excel academically, they can still get basic education that they can use in future to go to college, earn a degree and have a career. It gives control over their ambitions and aspirations to students who are weak in Maths and Science.
Most importantly, for parents who are compelled to homeschool their children, the open school gives them a timetable, structure, and syllabus of subjects to cover to ensure that their child’s education isn’t compromised.