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English Release 25-October 2014
Date Month Year
  • President's Secretariat
  • Speech by the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the Occasion of Release of a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Anagarika Dharmapala
  • President of India Releases a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Anagarika Dharmapala
  • Prime Minister's Office
  • Text of The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s address at the ceremony held to rededicate, Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, in Mumbai
  • PM rededicates Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai
  • PM greets the Nation on auspicious occasion of Bhai Dooj
  • Election Commission
  • Press Note
  • Schedule for bye-election to fill casual vacancies in the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi – Regarding.
  • Schedule for General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Min of Comm. & Information Technology
  • Minister for Communications & IT and Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Spoke at the Release Function of a Postage Stamp Commemorating Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala, the Great Buddhist Thinker and Visionary from Sri Lanka
  • Ministry of Finance
  • President of India to Inaugurate Three Day Accountants’ General Conference on Monday
  • Min of Home Affairs
  • Observance of the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on 31st October
  • Min of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
  • Dr. Jitendra Singh says Indian bureaucrats need constant re-orientation as they face new challenges every day

Previous Date

 
Ministry of Human Resource Development23-November, 2012 19:03 IST
Speech of Dr M M Pallam Raju, Minister of Human Resource Development at the 24th Foundation Day of National School of Open Schooling

Dr M M Raju takes charge of Ministry of Human Resource Development , says moral fibre should not go out of focus in education

 

 

I am glad to be here on this very important day, a momentous occasion, which marks the 24th Foundation Day and the beginning of the Silver Jubilee Year Celebrations for NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling).

I would like to congratulate each and every person associated with NIOS for working towards building this institution with sincerity and unfailing dedication.

A mighty banyan tree that provides shade and shelter to thousands, grows from a humble seed. Similarly, NIOS has grown from a modest project in the Central Board of Secondary Education to an institute of national importance, catering to the educational needs of the disadvantaged, the masses who are unable to access the formal school education, who are deprived of education due to various reasons.   

The Govt. of India has always given due importance to education and its efforts towards providing quality school education to all culminated in the enactment of the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

The two flagship programmes of the MHRD – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan - are aimed at universalization of elementary and secondary education respectively. After the success of the SSA, pressure has come on to the secondary level. The Govt. is now all set to extend the RTE Act to the secondary level.

 

The NIOS is playing a very significant role in both these programmes. In fact, NIOS has a crucial role to play in the country’s endeavour towards universalization of secondary education. The RMSA Framework recognizes the role of Open Schooling and states that:

 

“Despite massive expansion of educational facilities in Secondary Schooling, a large number of adolescents and youth in the concerned age groups will not be able to take advantage of formal schooling during stipulated school hours that often coincide with the productive labour required in rural areas for agriculture and in urban areas for a variety of income generating activities particularly for lower middle class and poor families. It is necessary to design, create and establish alternative educational provisions for such prospective learners.  As a result of experimentation and initiatives in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) the Open Schooling system has emerged as an alternative school education system.”

 

NIOS has emerged as the largest open schooling system in the world. And, as I have already mentioned, NIOS is going to be the key to open the door that will lead to the cherished goal of education for all at secondary level.

It has been estimated that at least 15 % of the relevant age group, i.e. 14years to 16years will be channelised through the open distance learning system at the school level. This accounts for more than one crore children in the context to be provisioned for secondary level education through this alternative schooling systems, as many of them just cannot go to a regular school due to their socio-economic disadvantage. The open schooling system is meant to supplement and complement the formal system to provide “education for all”, especially for educational development of disadvantaged groups, particularly the scheduled castes (SCs), the scheduled tribes (STs), minorities, other backward castes (OBCs) and differently-abled children. The Open schools in the country, consisting of the NIOS at the central government level and 17 State Open Schools, therefore, would have to take up this agenda vigorously so that vulnerable sections of the society and those living in difficult contexts may also reap the benefits of education. The basic philosophy of such approach is to reach the unreached and unreachable.

The revolution brought about by the growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has empowered the operationalisation of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) System and opened various ways for adopting a flexible, constructivist, learner friendly and multi-channel approach to teaching learning process which is essential for creativity, leadership and scholarship leading to total development of human personality and in responding appropriately to the challenges of education related to numbers, credibility, quality and equity, thus paving the way for lifelong education. I have been told that NIOS has made whole hearted efforts to harness the power of ICT for enhancing the learning experience of its learners. NIOS makes use of media and technology effectively in its programmes. They provide online facility for admission and other student services. They have launched Mukta Vidya Vani that involves audio streaming through the internet for reaching out to their learners. They are also in the process of starting a Community Radio. I congratulate them for all these achievements. 

The demographic dividend is favourable for India and our young population is going to be an invaluable asset, if equipped appropriately with knowledge and skills empowering them to contribute effectively in the overall development of the nation. Considering the magnitude of the challenge in terms of the need for nearly 500 million skilled workers by 2022, the need of the hour is to pool all the resources and provide skill training in all possible modes, be it face to face or through distance learning.  I understand that NIOS has a good number of vocational education and skill development programme. It provides opportunities to interested learners by making available a variety of vocational courses through open and distance learning (ODL) mode.  For the vocational education blended learning approach, using both open distance learning methodologies and hands on training, is followed by them. NIOS is working towards linking their vocational courses with the National Vocational Educational Framework. As I understand a pioneering attempt is also made to assess the prior learning of our unorganised workers and certify them to give due credit to their skills acquired in an informal set up. I wish NIOS all success in this endeavour.

The contribution of NIOS is praiseworthy even in the realm of adult education. They work closely with the Sakshar Bharat Programme for the education of adult neo-literates. NIOS has been entrusted with the task of Basic Literacy Assessment for those illiterate adults who have undergone the Basic Literacy Programme of the National Literacy Mission Authority. I’m amazed at the stupendous task accomplished by NIOS in this regard. I have been told that more than 2 crore adults have been assessed during last two years for the basic literacy programme by NIOS and about 70% of them have been certified. NIOS does not stop at that. They have made provision of continuing education of adult neo-literates under the Equivalency Programme in collaboration with NLMA. The Open Basic Education Programme of NIOS provides this opportunity to neo-literates at 3 levels – ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ equivalent to class 3, 5 and 8 respectively. This is a noteworthy contribution of NIOS that has no substitute. 

NIOS has been functioning effectively as the National Resource Organization in the field of open schooling, just like NCERT is doing for the formal system. I’m happy to know that they have established a Capacity Building Cell for training open schooling functionaries and a Research and Development Cell for promoting research in this field.

NIOS has extended its wings outside the country too. They have emerged as world leaders in open schooling, particularly among the Commonwealth and other developing countries. I’m happy to know that the Secretariat of COMOSA (Commonwealth Open Schooling Association) is located in NIOS and Chairman NIOS is the Chairperson of COMOSA. Several countries approach NIOS for capacity building of their functionaries. They have recently trained faculty members of Bangladesh Open University. Training of functionaries from Afghanistan is on the cards.         

Striving for excellence in all spheres and activities by an Institution is not a onetime effort.  Rather to excel one has to do even the most common things in an uncommon way.  And to do so, “people of excellence go the extra mile to do what’s right”. I once again congratulate NIOS for its accomplishments and contribution for building not only a literate India, but an educated and empowered India, reaching out to the unreached, the disadvantaged, the have-nots, helping them to live a life of dignity and self sufficiency.     

 

BK/VSB


(Release ID :89366)

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