Education Minister Tawde inaugurates NIOS in city

ST CORRESPONDENT
Sunday, 13 January 2019

"Many have reservations against open schooling, questioning its validity in front of state board certificates. The State government has given an equal standard to both." said Vinod Tawde.

PUNE: To combat the number of school dropouts and keep specially-abled, sports or art enthusiastic students and those who had to discontinue their education in mainstream school education, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has started its own National Institute of Open School (NIOS). 

The open school was inaugurated by State School Education and Sports Minister Vinod Tawde at MSBSHSE office in Shivajinagar on Thursday.

NIOS has started inviting online applications for enrollment to Std V and VIII from Thursday (January 10). There are a total of 543 centres across the State, out of which 76 centres have been established in Pune division, including three districts i.e. Pune, Solapur and Ahmednagar. 

The State government has also stated that certificates obtained in Std X and XII will be equivalent to Std X and XII certificates provided by MSBSHSE. 

Additional Chief Secretary of School Education Vandana Krishna, Education Commissioner Vishal Solanki, Chairperson of MSBSHSE Shakuntala Kale, Secretary Ashok Bhosale, other eminent personalities of the education sector and members who were part of making the syllabus were present at the inaugural function.

"Many have reservations against open schooling, questioning its validity in front of state board certificates. The State government has given an equal standard to both. Hence, students can freely choose their respective careers without any hesitation. NIOS will follow learning centric approach of teaching. We want to encourage students who wish to dream extraordinary and choose non-conventional careers," said Tawde.

"Many stakeholders or companies are coming up with new minimum qualification criteria wherein the candidates are needed to have at least Std X certificate like it was stated for rickshaw drivers should have passed Std X. Such people will benefit from NIOS. They can get admission here and complete their remaining education," added Tawde.

"We have been trying to improve the school curriculum and make it more about analyse-evaluate-create instead of the ongoing tradition of remember-understand-apply. Even the board examination pattern has been changed to figure out learners outcome from the syllabus. The efforts, along with changing education syllabus, raise the quality of education and for all," he said.

THREE STUDENTS ENROLLED NIOS
Swarali Joglekar, who takes homeschooling, Vinod Pawar who will work and study and State-level badminton player Paakhee Jain have enrolled in NIOS. 

Jain who has taken admission for Std VIII, said, "My previous school didn’t support my sport well. They would mandate me to attend classes and give examination even when I had special tournaments away from the city. And if I missed any examination, it would be marked as zero attendance. I want to focus on my sport and aiming to make a career out of it and play international games. However, I don’t want to sideline studies and for which NIOS will help me a lot to continue with my education."

Paakhee’s father Puneet Jain Patni said, "Paakhee practices badminton for 8-9 hours a day regularly. In between this, it becomes difficult to catch up with regular classes in the school. Even though, we would request her previous school to exempt from examination, which would clash with her outdoor tournaments, they would not budge. Hence, NIOS seems to be the right choice, especially for children like these who want to focus in making careers in different fields like sport, dance, etc., but wish to hold on to studies as well."

TEACHERS’ RECRUITMENT SOON
- Speaking to the media, Education Minister Vinod Tawde said that teacher recruitment process in schools and colleges will begin soon. He mentioned that the privately aided schools will be given a choice of five candidates per seat from which the school will choose. These candidates will be selected based on merit. Also, it will be a mandatatory for school management authorities to take a video of the entire interview to maintain transparency in the process.” 
- He also said that once teacher recruitment is done, roster system will start, as the process to finalise rosters is in progress. The candidates who have qualified the eligibility cum aptitude test have been asked to fill their details on Pavitra portal.

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