From the Viewsroom

Shoddy performance by NIOS

Preeti Mehra | Updated on March 18, 2018 Published on March 18, 2018

Poor organisation makes open schooling a nightmare in India

Slipshod management and flawed monitoring can render even the most well-intentioned processes ineffective. On paper, the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is a laudable effort launched in 1989 by the Government for children to study without attending formal school. Official claims suggest NIOS is the world’s largest open schooling system catering to 2.71 million students at the secondary, senior secondary and vocational levels.

Last week, the NIOS board held practical exams for Class 12 in Delhi. The written paper is scheduled for next month. Yet, the last-minute scramble was not for hall tickets and ID cards. Instead, students who should have received textbooks at their doorstep several months ago, were still hunting for them with the final exam barely weeks away. In trying to help a student from our neighbourhood get textbooks, I joined a group of parents and their wards who had been sent on wild goose chase across the National Capital Region in search of the elusive books. It came as a big relief when we finally managed to zero in on a few copies. And to think that all this was happening in Delhi, where the NIOS is headquartered!

For first generation learners and their unlettered parents, the NIOS is a tough mountain to climb. The admission process is unfriendly for those with limited access to the internet. The shoddily produced textbooks are either delivered too late or are not received at all. The exam schedules are put up at the last moment. Such is the litany of woes that it is time the NIOS was subjected to a performance audit, and feedback sought from parents and students. If that’s not done and corrective action taken, the objective for which the organisation was set up will, unfortunately, not be served.

Associate Editor

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Published on March 18, 2018
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