Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region

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Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region
TDSL Project Report

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region


           Mayur Nawal (08D07003)
           Rohanil Raje (08D07010)
          Prateek Chaplot (08D07011)

               Under the guidance of

              Prof. Sridhar Iyer

  Department of Computer Science and Engineering,
      Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
                  Mumbai-400 076

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region

We would like to thank our guide Prof. Sridhar Iyer, for supporting us throughout the period of
this project on open schooling. We would like to thank for his valuable suggestions which we will
carry forward in our future life also. We would also like to thank Prof. Purushottam Kulkarni for
giving us an opportunity to work on this project. Apart from these, we sincerely thank authorities
of open schools which we visited and Mr. K. L. Gupta, Regional Director of Pune Centre for
giving us their precious time to talk.

                                                                       -Mayur Nawal
                                                                        Rohanil Raje
                                                                        Prateek Chaplot

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region


1   Aim and Motivation                                                          -5

2   The concept of Open Schooling and NIOS                                      -6

3   Structure of NIOS                                                           -9

              Role of AI

              Role of Regional Centre

4   Broad Research Question                                                    -13

5   Learning the art of taking interviews: Methodology                         -17

              Success Metric

6   Instruments & Preliminary Survey                                           -20

              Questions for Authorities

              Questions for Students

              Questions for Teachers

7   Findings - phase wise                                                      -22

              Registration Phase

              Schooling Phase

8   New Initiatives of NIOS                                                    -26

9   Problems faced in execution (Report Limitations) and Future Plans          -28

10 Summarize - top 3 problems impacting effectiveness, top 3 recommendations   -29

11 References                                                                  -30

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region
Section 1

Aim and Motivation:

Aim of the project was to study the functioning of National Institute of Open Schooling,
understand its structure, objectives, way of functioning and to provide insights into how (if any)
things can be improved and what is its standing as compared to other educational institutes.
We have an aim that through our report we will be able to deliver good insights into the
shortcomings of NIOS and if implemented will help in improving the overall standards of NIOS.
With this motive we followed a cyclic research methodology of (Study) -> (Survey) ->
(Understanding) -> (Survey).

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region
Section 2

The Concept of Open Schooling and NIOS:


Need for Literacy:
        A country’s economic prosperity depends on its natural, financial & human resources.
Abundant availability of natural & financial resources alone doesn’t guarantee economic
prosperity; their effective utilization is equally important which becomes possible only with
skilled workforce. Literacy helps in creating skilled workforce by providing people with
communication, professional and social skills and thus contributes substantially to nation’s
economy. Japan, for e.g., has overcome it’s deficiency of natural resources by excelling in
human resources and has become a developed economy whereas Afghanistan, though rich in
natural resources, is still underdeveloped.

Current educational scenario of India:

     ●    Around 273 million people (26% of India’s 1.05 billion population), above 7 years of age,
          are illiterate i.e. they can’t even read and write any language
     ●    85% of India’s young people have not received higher education

Source: census India 2011, global education digest 2011, E&Y- Edge 2011, NIOS
Gross enrollment ratio (GER), designates a nation's total enrollment "in a specific level of education, regardless of age, expressed
as a percentage of the population in the official age group corresponding to this level of education”

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region
Challenges faced by India’s current education system

   ● Though gross enrollment ratio in primary classes has been hovering between 90-100%
      since 1990-91 India’s literacy stands at a low of 74%
   ● This is mainly because many children drop out of schools before achieving literacy
   ● The school dropout rate in India touches 56.8% by the time students reach the 10th
   ● The main reason for high dropout rates in India is the disinterest towards studies
      cultivated among students due to low quality educational facilities like ill-trained
      teachers, boring curriculum etc. provided in schools
   ● 46% of primary schools had Pupil to teacher ratio (PTR) greater than 30 (optimal ratio
      set by RTE) in 2009-10. High PTR causes less individual attention and hence diminishes
      the quality of education imparted

Higher education
   ● Higher education is costly which deters economically backward students from pursuing
   ● Indian higher education institutes face an acute problem in terms of lack of academic
      and physical infrastructure
   ● 64% of 16000 colleges & 24% of 417 universities in India do not meet the criteria of
      academic and physical infrastructure defined by UGC
   ● India has one of the highest student-teacher ratio (STR) of 22:1 in the world

Source: FICCI-Ernst & Young Paper, nuepa statistics 2010, ugc report 2007-12, EDGE 2011, Mission Document
RTE– right to education, UGC- university grants commission
NAAC - national assessment accreditation council

Need of the time
   ● There is a need to decrease the pressure on existing educational infra
   ● There is also a need to cater to the lesser & specific educational demands of people of
      all ages who did not attend or continue formal education due to various reasons
   ● Open and distance learning caters to the above demands and hence its being

What is an Open School (OS) ?
       Open school are meant to educate those students who cannot attend regular classes, in
other words there is a physical separation of the student from the teacher (except a few

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region
occasion), to link this gap, unconventional teaching methodologies, information and
communication technologies(ICT) are used.
         Open here symbolizes the openness of the system wherein there are very few
restrictions on students as compared to the conventional way of teaching. (Restrictions like:
student age, content of courses, number of courses a student must enrol ). Pattern followed in
most of the open schools is almost the same, in which students study specially designed
material on their own according to their convenience in parallel to which there are regular
opportunities to meet with the teachers for doubt clearance and career guidance.

What is NIOS ?
  ● National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and was set up in 1989 by the Ministry of
       Human Resource Development (MHRD) in accordance with National policy on
       education, 1986
  ● It provides secondary and senior secondary education, to all those who did not attend
       formal school system, through Open & Distance Learning (ODL)
  ● NIOS also has Open Basic Education (OBE) programme which provides elementary
       level courses
  ● A unique feature of NIOS is that it provides variety of vocational, life enriching and
       community oriented courses to its students apart from the general academic courses

Achievements of NIOS
   ● By the end of Mar 2011, 16 lakh students were enrolled with NIOS supported by 3700
      accredited Indian institutions making it the largest open school in the world
   ● By the end of 2010, NIOS had tutored and certified more than 9 lakh students aged 14
      years and above as class X school leavers
   ● Of the 3.7 lakh learners enrolled in the programs equivalent to classes III, V and VIII of
      the formal school system , around 88 thousand - 24% - are in the age group of 21 years
      and above

Practices of NIOS in Maharashtra region
Section 3

Structure of NIOS:

The basic tree of NIOS is: Accredited Institutes (lowest node) -> Regional Centre ->
Headquarters (Noida)

Role of AI:
        Any school or centre, which wishes to be accredited institute of NIOS, approaches to
regional centre for application. There are various ways to apply. The centers can apply online
also in which they have to register online and send some documents to regional centre. As soon
as regional centre gets the application, a panel of inspection goes to check the centre. While
giving accreditation, there is a proper inspection of facilities available at the centre. All policy
matters are conveyed to centers. It is seen how the centers are going to provide required infra-
structure. And the main thing is teachers’ provision. Panel inspects how centers are going to
provide teachers to teach learners of AIs. Then, they take that whole inspected data to regional
centre and decide after discussing with regional director.

Generally, the government granted regular schools are preferred to make as centers.
Because they have all the required facilities which learner wants to have. Navodaya Vidyalaya,
CBSE schools are given accreditation without much inspection only.

        As soon as the centre is given accreditation, it is given a number, which is called
accreditation number. This number becomes identity of that centre for further documentation.
Even, students also find AIs with these numbers many times. Students’ roll numbers include
their AI numbers.

Role of AI in admissions:
        In case of admissions also, AI comes into picture. If some students want to take
admission in some AI and he doesn’t have access to internet, he approaches to AI and to fill the
offline admission form and submit it to AI. AI sends those offline admission forms to regional
centre. Many times, students get confused while admission process, then AI helps and guides
them throughout the process. Before 2-3 years ago, there was no online admission process so
all admissions had to do at AI only. So that was a way of interaction between AI and students
who are taking admissions at their centre.

       A very important thing which centres should look after is the teaching staff. They have to
provide enough teaching staff for learners. There might be less number of students registered
for a particular course/subject but teachers must be appointed there in centre. Teachers are
generally from regular school. So some of the teachers in the regular school get open school
teaching as an extra work from the schools. As this is extra work, they get extra salary too. That
is managed by school from the grant given by NIOS to school/AI.

        The requirements of NIOS for teachers are different than those which are being
implemented at AIs. NIOS says that teachers of AIs should have master’s degree. But regular
schools / AIs find it difficult to get master’s degree teachers for open schooling. And centres
think that if B.Sc. degree teachers can teach better than or equivalent to M. Sc. Teachers then
there should not be any problem in appointing B.Sc. degree qualified teachers at AIs.

Interaction between AI and students:
       There are 3 more ways of direct interaction of students with AI. One of them is Personal
Contact Program (PCP). In this program, there are 30 classes are scheduled for each subject.
But these all 30 classes happen only when there are more than 20 students registered for the
course/subject. If the number of students is less than number of classes are also less (i.e. if only
2-3 students are registered then there would be only 1 or 2 classes to give some brief idea
about the syllabus) but AI officially can’t cut down the number of classes of PCP. If some
student wants all classes he can ask for that and AI has to provide it.

        NIOS has their different syllabus and different study material. That material is provided
to the students just after the admissions. Material of NIOS is made for learners by keeping in

mind it as self study material. So, the main motive behind PCP is to give students brief idea
about the chapters in the course/subject, to tell learners how to use the material to study for the
course/subject. Other motive is to solve doubts of learners. As these books of NIOS are
different from regular school books, teachers have to study them also before; but it doesn’t
require much efforts as the content/concept is more or less similar in both syllabus.

         It is compulsory for students to attend 50% PCP classes. So this is also a big way of
interaction between students and AI. Second way is at the time of exam fee submission.
Students have to get in touch with AIs for exam fee submission. AI collects exam fee and sends
it to regional centre collectively. If deadline is missed to pay the fee, students have to pay it to
regional centre by physically going there (in direct way not through transferring ways).

        The third way of interaction is tutor marked assignments (TMAs). NIOS provides 3
assignments for each subject. There are deadlines set to submit those assignments and they
carry some weightage. TMAs have to be submitted at AIs and those are checked at AIs by
respective teachers and after correcting them they are sent to regional center. Regional center
generally doesn’t recheck them, the marks are added in database. Students receive TMAs at
their home through post or they come to AIs.

         Generally AIs are only appointed as exam centers. So AIs need to provide manpower for
invigilation. Many times they take help from state police to get done exams in proper way
without any malpractices. And state police also helps NIOS because NIOS is benefitting and
educating their areas’ learners only.

        AI has to convey all important information to students. They publicize the dates of
registration. They convey exam dates and timings, exam fee submission dates, TMA
submission dates etc. They send hall-tickets for exam, TMAs, Books to students, if all of those
come to AIs. AIs do get addresses and contacts of learners, who has taken admissions at there
by regional center.

Role of Regional Centre:
     The main two tasks of regional centers are:
1.     Admission: online and offline
2.     Inspection of AI

Role of regional center in admissions:
          Previously NIOS had offline admission process in which students have to fill the forms in
AI and AIS used to send them to regional centre. Then regional centre used to put all that
hardcopy data on to the digital database (computers). But transferring data from hardcopy to PC
was causing many mistakes and it used to take much time and manpower. So to make that
thing easy, NIOS has introduced online admission along with offline admission. SO currently
both online and offline admission process are open. So, this online admission is just an extra
facility. NIOS wants to spread out this new process, so one day they will get 100% admissions

through online process only. Currently many of the students have adopted this online thing and
goal of NIOS is going to reach.

       As student does fill online form, he has to take printout of them and send it to regional
centre with admission fees which is 250/- per course.

        For admission there are two admission blocks. Block 1 is from March to August and
block 2 is from September to February. For taking admission in block 1, the exams are
conducted in next year’s April-May and for block 2, exams are conducted in October-november.
We will take a case to understand admission process: if I send online form on 15th March 2012
then my roll number will come to me on 30th September. Then I will get my identity card till 31st
November. Simultaneously list of candidates is sent to AI (both soft copy and hard copy). Then
PCP starts and in December exams forms are floated for April exam. And in April exam
happens. Papers come to check towards regional center. Regional keeps a panel of
experienced teachers from regular schools to correct those papers; so hardly within a month
results come out.

Evaluation of AI:
        Second important task of regional center is to evaluate and inspect AIs. All AIs have to
send attendance of students to PCP to regional centre which is not done strictly. As many
students don’t attend PCP (for students 50% attendance for PCP is required but at many places
it has become like college attendance scene; students pay for attendance to AI and they go for
private tutions). In case of TMAs regional centres are strict. AIs are told to collect TMAs strictly
and send them to regional center. If this doesn’t happen, letter regarding that goes to AI and
asks to not to repeat this thing again. Accreditation to AI is given only after their own wish and
infrastructure. If some school approaches to regional center for accreditation, regional center
panel goes to check on site. It checks if there are the facilities are good enough or not. Facilities
contain mainly computer lab, infra-structure for classes, teaching panel. So generally AIs follow
everything that comes under NIOS. If anyone has problem regarding regional center then he or
she is told to come and contact regional center to sort out the problem.

        Fee structure of NIOS is simple for AI, it has fixed fee for all courses. But in AVI the fee
varies according to course. Some courses need more infra-structure so fees are more. And 75%
of the fee of AVI courses are kept to AIs and remaining is given to NIOS.
This is the structure of NIOS.

Section 4

Research Questions:

As we didn’t have much practical information of NIOS, we sat down and made some initial
research questions. We wanted to come out with a broad research question of our project
through this exercise. For that we noted down all questions which we felt we don’t know
about the answers of them. Those are listed down:

                       What & How”- Category Research Questions
Broad Question:
                          Is it making a difference to students?
        “it” = Educational, Vocational and recreational facilities of open school.
                 “difference” = In terms of Literacy and employment.
    “Students” = are divided into - Age, Region, employed - unemployed, social class,

Question to know students’ perspective:
 Do students feel that is making a difference? As in how much of their expectations have
                                         been met?

(blue = questions to be asked to students, red = authorities)
To get to know the answer of above broad question, we form the question in more
quantitative way. As we want to take out the measures for the broad question’s answer, we
divided broad research question in small research questions; then in background questions.
Then, by using background questions we made our survey questions.

We have made a tree structure of questions.

Broad research questions

                                    Sub research

  Questions for                     Questions for                     Questions for
    students                         authorities                        teachers

Broad Question 1):
What is the literary and employment effectiveness of OS?
         i What is the Effectiveness of Educational Training (Exam Oriented) System? (This
             question is related to literacy effectiveness of open school. This section is
             dependent upon some parameters like faculty-student interaction, teachers,
             students, educational material.)
             ●     How useful is the interaction between faculty and students ?
                   i    what is the frequency of faculty visits ?
                   ii   how much time do the faculty teaches them and stays for doubt
                        clearance ?
                   iii what are the other ways to contact the concerned faculty and the
                        feasibility of those methods ? (What are the various PCP that are being
                        run for OS ?)
                   iv what is the student vs faculty ratio ?
                   v    are there any exam oriented doubt clearing sessions ?
                   vi are the faculty equipped enough to solve your doubts ?
                   vii how are the overall facilities for regular classes and doubt sessions ?
                   viii how according to you these interaction processes can be improved ?

            ●     How is the staff selected and what are their responsibilities?
                  i  What is the procedure to select staff(teacher and Associates)
                  ii What all functions does a teacher do in Open School ?

iii   How do you evaluate teachers ?

             ●   How is the faculty treated by NIOS and Students?
                 i   What is the remuneration and other facilities given to the staff ?
                 ii  For students: what is their attitude towards teachers ? (eg. do they like
                     their teaching?...)
                 iii For Teachers: How do students behave with them?
             ●   What are the other methods(Online, radio & SSM) of transferring
                 knowledge?How effective is the existing technical assistance ?
                 iv what is existing technical assistance ? and for what purpose it is being
                 v   is their any kind of regular updation in the technology?
                 vi Are you able to reach and use the technology ?
                 vii Is it comprehensive, accurate & understandable ?

             ●   How are students evaluated?
                 viii How are the exams conducted?
                 ix When are the exams conducted?
                 x    Where are the exams conducted?
                 xi How is the student’s exam output evaluated?

        ii  What is the role of Recreational Structure on effective of literary and
            employment? (This question is related to literacy and employment effectiveness
            of open schooling. It has parameters like personality development of students)
            ●     How is OS developing the personality of enrolled students?
                  i    What are the different recreational open to enrolled students ?
                  ii are the students being able to avail them and are they availing them?
                  iii how do you find the recreational activities?
        iii How effective is vocational training at OS ? (This question is related to
            employment effectiveness of open schooling. It has parameters like opportunities
            of jobs, regional needs)
                  i    What are the employment opportunities made available ?
                  ii   what all is being taught to you and how good a training was given to
                       you ?
                  iii for how long and at what cost was this training given ?
                  iv did you get a job on the basis of vocational training?
                  v    are these vocational training catering to the regional needs and what is
                       its demand in the market ?

             ●   How is OS helping the enrolled students in their professional and personal

Broad Research Question 2)

How does NIOS plan to cover India ?
      1. What is the outreach of current NIOS centres ? (This question is know current
         status of outreach)
           ●     What is the outreach of Regional Centre in Pune ? (As main hubs are
                 regional centers only)
      2. How to increase the outreach of Open School ? (This question is all about to give
         some suggestions to increase outreach; for that we eed to know current reasons of
         open schooling opting, procedure to open OS for someone, role of NGOs )
           ●     What are the reasons people opt for OS ?
                      i. What are the employment opportunities OS provide ?
           ●     How easy it is to open OS ?
                     ii. What are the Infrastructural requirement ?
           ●     How can Non Governmental agencies assist OS ?
                    iii. What kind of agencies can assist OS ?
                    iv. How is the collaboration done ?
           ●     How can the awareness be increased?
                     v. What are the various ways to achieve this?
      3. How can be EDUSAT be used to increase the outreach? (EDUSAT is a satellite used
         for education purpose)
           ●     How is it being used ?

Section 5

Learning the art of taking interviews:

Scientific methods for constructing surveys and conducting Interviews

(i) The process that we followed for creating our Surveys
(ii) The items in the Survey.

Survey are a very important tool for quantifying a theory in applied social science. Survey
involves taking feedback from people on a topic and the results of the survey are used to
validate/invalidate the theory. Survey can be short involving a short feedback or an intensive
one which involves an in depth one on one interview.

Types of Survey:

1. Questionnaire 2. Interview
Questionnaire are meant to be completed by the respondent on their own, they are usually
paper and pencil instruments. (Short Closed ended Question)
Interview: Answers are tabulated by the interviewer based on the reply to the questions asked,
is usually practiced to be taken as a normal conversation making the respondent at ease so that
he/she gives the best answers. (Broad open ended questions)

Designing questionnaire and interview

Based on the superstructure that we have explained in the section 3, we formulated a few key
issues on which we focused our research. To make survey questions we first narrowed down
what exactly do we want to find out and hence every survey question had a purpose associated
with it and was helping us in one way or the other to draw some conclusion to our hypothesis.
The purpose here can be explained here with an example like “as an open school teacher aapki
kya kya zimmedariyan hain?” the purpose behind this question was to know the exact
responsibilities that a school teacher considers she/he has towards the students and school in
particular, we followed it up with a similar question to the authorities “aap teachers kaise appoint

karte hai?” This gave us the other side of the coin stating the expectations of the authorities
from the teachers they appoint, any difference between the two would automatically lead us to a
conclusion that there is a lack of communication between the NIOS authorities and the school
teachers regarding the roles and responsibilities.

Most of the questions were open ended and all the surveys that we conducted were interview
We finalized the survey by forming a performance metric with the expected outputs of the
survey questions based on which we have provided conclusions in section 5.

We made a Success Metrics to get down the points which we want to find out at the end to
decode the answer of our research question:

Success Metrics:
                             Parameter to measure
                             effectiveness of open


          Parameters to
         measure literacy

                               % of                                 Depends
              Drop                                                    on
    Marks                    students
   obtaine                    opting
     d by     rates
   student                  education
       s                                                                               Educational
                                  Teacher     Student
                                                          Faculty     Infrastructure

Success Metrics depends on:
    Teachers
    Students
    Student-Faculty ratio
    Infrastructure
    Educational material

Important pointers that we kept in mind before and during interviewing:
1. We did a pilot run amongst us, it helped in ensuring a smooth and a healthy interview with
2. We followed our surveys with a meet in which we jotted down the important conclusions of
the day’s activities.
3. We always went to the surveys in groups of 3, this way we didn’t miss any question and we
were able to jot down all the responses completely.

Section 6

         Instruments are the methods which we have used to get insights about NIOS.
Instruments generally consists of Surveys, Interviews, Observations sessions. We have sticked
to the first 2 of these methods, Surveys and Interviews.

       Different set of people have different perspectives and a different view of the same thing.
Hence having a client specific survey was the need of the hour, leading us to form surveys for
teachers, students and authorities.
We tried to get answers to the basic needs of our research, by asking similar questions from all
the respondents.

       Following are the Surveys (for teachers, authorities, students separately) that we have
made. After each question we have written in Italic what exactly we want to know from that

Questions for Authorities

Question 1: tell us something about your school
What we wanted to know from this question: classes kaun kaun si hai, classes mein strength
kya hai, student - faculty ka ratio kya hai, infrastructure

Question 2: aap vocational training ke liye teachers kaise appoint karte hai ??
What we wanted to know from this question: qualification of teachers, teacher ki zimmedari
(time spent frequency of visit )kya kya hoti hai , payment kitna karte hai, unke kaam ko kaise
cross check karte hai,

Question 3: aapke studentske baare mein aapki kya rai hai ?

Question 4: aapkya kya sudhar chahate hai aapne school mein ?

Questions for teachers

Question 1: as an open school teacher aapki kya kya zimmedariyan hain?
What we wanted to know from this question: manage normal and open school sessions
concurrently, how do you manage this difference of content between NIOS and Normal school ,
tutor marked assignments

Question 2: difference kya hai students (open vs normal) ke performance aur conduct main?
What we wanted to know from this question: interest, behaviour, regularity, students

Question 3: aap kya improvements dekhna chahte hain open school main?
What we wanted to know from this question: scheduling, infrastructure, extra benefits of
teaching in open schools, TMA

Survey questions for students

Question 1: Name, Grade, Age, Occupation

Question 2: aapka open school join karne ka karan kya hai ?
Motivation to study , occupational opportunity,

Question 3: abhi aap open school mein kya kya activities karte hai ?
kitna time padai, solve assignments, attendance, faculty interaction,

Question 4: NIOS centre se aap ko kya kya facility milti hai ?
Educational Material Quality, Medium of recieving, Infrastructure,

Question 5: kya kya subjects padate hai aur wo kitne kaam ke hai aapke liye ?
regional demands sikhate hai kya,

Question 6: apane teachers ke baare mein bataiyen ?
Quality of teachers, frequency/time of doubt sessions, ways to contact teachers, student -
teacher ratio,

Question 7: Padai karne mein kya kya difficulties hoti hai ?
community support, grade difference

Question 8: kya kya sudhar kiya ja sakta hai ?
educational material, teacher standard, infra-structure, job se releated .

Section 7

Registration Phase:

           Problem                       Impact on effectiveness Proposed solution
●   The form for registration is very Registration awareness is ● With large number of
    lengthy and the process of           required for effective     students opting to apply for
    registration is complicated to       number of admissions.      admission via online
    complete with many links and         This problem directly      registration it is very
    minimal instructions, 4/5 students doesn’t relate to literacy   important to have a step by
    mentioned that they were             effectiveness but          step, easy to understand
    confused while filling the form and indirectly through number   registration instruction set
    AIs didn’t help them in filling the of admissions, it can be    that can make the process
    information either.                  related to literacy        easier for the applicants
●   The major problem lies with          effectiveness.           ● The application process of
    information not being displayed in                              other private institutes can be
    an organized manner which                                       looked upon to get a better
    makes it difficult to find the right                            idea of the formatting
    links.                                                          involved and presenting the
                                                                    information in a way that is
                                                                    easily comprehensible. Video
                                                                    tutorials and a document for
                                                                    applying online can be
                                                                    prepared to aid the
                                                                  ● The major focus should be
                                                                    organizing the information in
                                                                    a structured format,
                                                                    highlighting the important
                                                                    links and presenting them in
                                                                    the most appropriate manner.
●   Once the registration is             Students missing out     ● It would be better to make
    completed the details of the         exams, assignments,        them comfortable to use
    students registered at a particular important deadlines due     online information. For that
    AI are sent to the corresponding to this communication gap      purpose, some online
    AI through soft copy and hard        is affecting literacy      workshops can be kept.
    copy by regional centre. We          effectiveness.             There should be more online
    found that 2/4 AI’s didn’t check                                activities happening so that

the details online due to lack of                                   they won’t have options. And
  interest on adopting the change,                                    regional centre should
  apart from this the AIs received                                    confirm by calling at AI if the
  the hard copy late. Both these                                      message or information has
  factors contributed to AIs not                                      been received and
  having timely information of the                                    implemented accordingly.
  students registered at their centre
  and thus restricting their
  communication regarding PCP
  and exam schedules with the
  their registered students.

Schooling phase

Dubious practices:                 Not related to literacy        NIOS should publicize about
● Some of the schools provide      effectiveness                  fees clearly everywhere.
   extra teaching classes to the                                  Currently, due to lack of
   registered students. One of the                                awareness these things are
   school offered the classes at a                                happening. And in between the
   very high charge of 40k for one                                year, regional centre can do
   year (- Sharada School,                                        random checks by asking
   information given to us by a                                   students about the practices in
   NIOS student )                                                 open schooling which they are
● In many cases students were                                     experiencing.
   not attending PCPs, which
   should be compulsorily
   attended, because the schools
   had arranged for a bribery
   mechanism through which the
   students paid a regular amount
   to the school for attendance
   (50% attendance for PCP
   classes is required)

Materials delivery                   Literacy effectiveness        ● Solution 1 - Hire a private
● One of the other major             reduces as material             courier service or set up a
   problems experienced by the       doesn’t reach out to            courier service like flipkart to
   students is the late arrival of   students on time.               ensure timely and correct
   materials delivered through       Sometimes they get it after     delivery of materials to
   post ( i.e. books, exam           exams, so students can’t        students
   refreshers, hall tickets,         study properly. It effects on ● Solution 2 - Continue with
   certificates)                     their marks.                    the old model of sending the
● In some case the hall tickets                                      materials but now increase
   reached the students after the                                    the awareness among the
   exams while in some the                                           students about the different
   books arrived one month prior                                     charges and the procedures
   to the exams. This is a serious                                   the students must adhere to
   problem that should be taken                                      at different stages while
   into consideration                                                being the student of NIOS

●   Earlier everything used to be
    given at the AI centre.
●   Some of the AI centres were
    charging for books for which
    the students had already paid
    through the basic fee payment.
    This was one of the main
    reason due to which the
    system of sending the
    materials to students through
    post came into existence
●   This new system of sending
    the materials to students
    directly is also one of the
    reasons for reducing
    interaction between the AI
    centres and the students

2 block registration               Not related to literacy        More incentives can be given
● The 2 block registration forces effectiveness                    to the teachers who are
    teachers to conduct classes in                                 offering classes in summers
    summers as well which eats                                     and other holidays.
    away the holidays, PCP
    classes are held in june and
    july for the October block
    registration, of the teachers
    and thus becomes a source of
    discomfort and complaints
PCP classes                         Literacy effectiveness        Having compulsory
● Students don’t attend the PCP reduces. Student who can’t         attendance with some
  classes owing to one of the       join private classes have to   percentage of marks
  various reasons which includes face a big loss. They don’t       allotted to the attendance in
  low quality teaching provided by get proper guidance of          the PCP classes would
  the AI centre, attending coaching subject.                       ensure high turnout
  classes, classes not being run by                               The quality of the PCP
  the AI centre                                                    classes can be increased
● Since not many students turn up
                                                                   by having problem solving
  for the PCP classes the AI
                                                                   sessions instead of just
  centres do not run them for the
                                                                   doubt solving sessions or
  low response subjects. ¾
  schools didn’t have PCP classes
                                                                   having a class with the
  running. Few students who came                                   focus on explaining a hard
  would be given simple                                            topic which will in turn
  assistance by the school                                         increase the interest of the
  teachers.                                                        students

TMAs                                 Literacy effectiveness       Having a weightage of
   Students are needed to solve      reduces. Assignments are      these TMAs’ marks in the
   and submit Tutor Marked           meant to get practice and     final results will ensure
   Assignments to the AI centre      score more marks in           timely submissions and

and the students get graded exams. But due this                hence would also improve
    for these TMAs, since the       problem, marks are getting     the preparations of the
    grades don’t affect the results affected.                      students
    of the students, students do
    not take these TMAs seriously
    and hence are inconsistent
     with their submissions

Role of AIs                            Not related to literacy    Having introduction
                                       effectiveness               seminars for the students
      Role of AIs is diminishing                                  which will provide them all
       with the time due to many                                   the details would increase
       of the above stated reasons                                 the bonding between
      All the materials is posted                                 students and AI centres at
       to the students, PCP                                        the same time help
       classes are generally not                                   students to get the most out
       organized an TMAs are not                                   of NIOS
       submitted. These factors                                   Things like materials, which
       have resulted in the role of                                have been reported to be
       AIs diminishing to just being                               posted late, can be posted
       a middleman with no worth.                                  to the AI centre so that they
                                                                   can dispatch it to the
                                                                   students which will again
                                                                   the opportunity of students
                                                                   interacting with the
                                                                   authorities at the AI centres
                                                                   and hence participate more

Section 8

New initiatives of NIOS:

       Open schooling was a pilot project of CBSE in 1989. Then after 1992, NIOS became
independent and started working along under MHRD.aim of NIOS was to run parallel education
system for them who really needs it (backloggers, slowlearners, employees who need degree,
poor etc.).
     NIOS has got a huge success and to get more they are planning some new initiatives.
Some of them are:
1.   One of the plans of NIOS is to come down below 10th standard also. Currently NIOS
     works only for 10th and 12th. For that currently open basic education (OBE) is going on.
     There are 4-5 OBE centres in Maharashtra. There are 3 levels of OBE:
                                      Level A: 3rd standard
                                      Level B: 5th standard
                                      Level C: 8th standard
       In OBE, teaching, exam, evaluation and making results are done by OBE centres only.
     They forward results to regional centre and regional centre makes certificates according to
     that. Next target of NIOS is to make more OBE centres. For that they are approaching
     state government to get more government schools as centres. The talk is going on with
     MHRD and state government. Looseness in OBE system is to compete with state boards
     recent addition of easiness in rules to pass learner till 9th without any failure.
2.   National literary mission exam is also new initiative took as joint venture controlled and
     managed by NIOS. More than 15 lacs learners appeared and passed learners were given
     certificates of 3rd class.
3.    Still 16 districts of Maharashtra are not covered by NIOS. They are fighting to get
     CBSE, Navodaya schools as centers. They want to make them as local regional
     points for learners.
4.     For AVI, NIOS is targeting government ITI centers. They generally have required infra-
     structure which is needed in most of the vocational courses.
5.     Now NIOS has initiated a competition between all AIs and all regional centre to select
     ‘Best AI’ and ‘Best Regional Centre’. It has initiated this year only. It will be helpful to
     improve the status of AI as well as regional centers.
6.   Currently, open distance learning material is in the process of improvement and increment.
     Now, NIOS has an FM radio channel also. It is named as ‘Gyaanvani’. Material is found on

website also. Next plan related to this is to make more open educational resources (OER).
      The plan is still in process.
7.      NIOS has introduced On Demand exam also. SO student can give exam anytime at
      regional centre only. And he gets results very soon. This initiative has seen a great
      response from learners as this is a very great facility. There was a case of guy who
      passed IIT-JEE exam but failed in 12th standard Physics subject. JEE results comes in
      May and admissions starts from July. So, he had one month time only. He took this on
      demand exam and got passed in Physics and got admission in IIT. So this new scheme is
      really helping students in lot of ways.
8.    NIOS is planning a new plan of minorities with the help of MHRD. They will give them free
      education and MHRD is going to pay for their education.
9.    Government checks and controls NIOS. As of now, Government funds NIOS 8-10% funds
      out of total funds of NIOS. Goal of NIOS is to be financially independent. NIOS gets
      enough money through fees. Every year NIOS gives 2 lacs certifications. 4 lacs learners
      take admission each year which gives around 30 crore of fund. 10 lacs learners give
      exams each year which gives 40 cr of the funds. Turnover of NIOS is around 100 Cr
      annually. So they don’t require any financial aid.
10.   Currently, there are 17 state open schools (SOS). Those are started by NIOS. SOS means
      they have centres throughout the state, in each district at least one, and they are in control
      of state government. But study material is provided by NIOS as NIOS has the best
      distance learning educational material. Maharashtra SOS are on the verge. Entering into
      state authority is difficult as said by regional director of Pune center. That is why, it is
      getting delayed.


According Regional Director, Pune, NIOS is heading towards the goal which they had set up
earlier. There is 5-10% increment in admissions each year. Aim of students to complete course
in short duration is also fulfilling. So, it is overall going very well. It is currently world’s largest
open schooling system.

Section 9

Problems faced during execution:

Unavailability of related people due to some reasons: as the exam was in the period of
October-November for block-II, we couldn’t meet up with bunch students of NIOS. We could
meet only few students outside of exam centres. So our data set of students is less. There was
Diwali holiday also, which caused to shut the schools. So many times we couldn’t set up the
meetings with schools. We tried and contacted at 25 schools but we got to meet 5 schools due
to all these reasons. Our area of study was specifically area of Mumbai and Pune. Many times
we got rejecting response from authorities of school and from some of the authorities of regional
centre. They didn’t want to share any kind of information with us.

Travelling: For interviewing regional director of Pune centre, we had to travel to Pune and had
to find the location of office. But all those efforts were worth as we had healthy discussion of 3
hours. Before meeting schools we had to call them and then had to travel there, it also took a lot
of efforts.

Theme decision: Before starting to work on survey we were thinking get something related the
placements of students of open schools but later we got to know that there is no such kind of
facility or terminology existed. We had to sit together thrice to discuss and narrow down our
main theme and main research question of project.

Future Plan:
We have worked on depend on parameters of success metric. Next task will be relating those
parameters to measure parameters and quantify the answer of broad question. The research
needs to connect more statistical data; so we need to collect that first and then give the strong

Section 10

We conclude that there are some problems which are affecting the literacy effectiveness of
open schooling badly. Those are:
          1. The form for registration is very lengthy and the process of registration is
              complicated to complete with many links and minimal instructions, 4/5 students
              mentioned that they were confused while filling the form and AIs didn’t help them
              in filling the information either.
          2. Role of AIs is diminishing with the time due to many reasons. All the materials is
              posted to the students, PCP classes are generally not organized an TMAs are
              not submitted. These factors have resulted in the role of AIs diminishing to just
              being a middleman with no worth.
          3. People are not much aware about this open schooling system yet. NIOS just
              publicize it through newspapers advertisements.

There are some suggestions/ recommendations which will help to solve above problems:
           1. The application process of other private institutes can be looked upon to get a
              better idea of the formatting involved and presenting the information in a way that
              is easily comprehensible. Video tutorials and a document for applying online can
              be prepared to aid the applicants
           2. Things like materials, which have been reported to be posted late, can be
              posted to the AI centre so that they can dispatch it to the students which will
              again the opportunity of students interacting with the authorities at the AI
              centres and hence participate more
           3. More media sources should be used to publicize open schooling by NIOS. They
              can use TV news channels, which is one of the best media sources.

Section 11

     Greville Rumble and Badri N Koul, "Open Schooling for Secondary & Higher Secondary
      Education: Costs and Effectiveness in India and Namibia", Commonwealth of Learning

   Official website of NIOS

     NIOS Annual Statistical Report for 2011-12

     FICCI-Ernst & Young Paper


   Interviews in Education

Places we visited and interviewed:

     St.Dominic Savio High School, Andheri (East)

     Sandesh Vidyalaya College of Arts & Commerce, Vikhroli (East)


     Children Welfare Centre, Versova

     NIOS Regional Center, Pune
      Mr. K.L. Gupta, Regional Director, Pune

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