Students passing their 10th or 12th grade are poised to begin their career and are full of hope and anticipation. Children begin visualizing their dream job or profession as early as grade 5 based on their home environment, worldly experiences and social interactions. While this is apt to change over the years, by the time they hit their teens and begin grade 9 or 10, they have a fairly good idea of what they would like to do in future.
The scenario is slightly different however, for students passing out of open schooling – popularly known as NIOS or National Institute of Open Schooling.
Why is NIOS different?
NIOS is an alternative format of education that is radically different from other boards collectively termed as mainstream education. Established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), NIOS is a blessing for all those students who are unable to complete their education through the mainstream – or other boards.
NIOS is unique in that there are no rigid rules for moving up to the next grade – in fact, there are no grades in NIOS just levels of achievement. It is also the only board that offers high school dropouts and differently-abled children to complete their high school and secondary school certification with ease. NIOS also offers vocational courses to help students embark on their career journey.
NIOS is the only board that offers on-demand exams to students who have previously failed in SSC or HSC.
While other boards group and compartmentalize subjects based on career goals and streams, NIOS offers a wide spectrum of subjects and languages free from any categorization or compartmentalization. Students are free to choose the language or subject irrespective of their stream of choice. Moreover, students are given multiple chances to clear their papers. The pedagogy under NIOS is also radically different from that of other boards in that the focus is on learner’s ability rather than any pre-determined standards or goals.
Why Opt for NIOS?
Traditionally, students who were unable to complete their secondary school certification (SSC) or High School Certification (HSC) through other educational boards for any reason, usually opt for the open schooling format. NIOS offered these students a chance to study subjects of their choice irrespective of age and capability. Students with learning difficulties, school dropouts, underprivileged students unable to afford mainstream education costs, and other students who dropped out of school at a young age have an opportunity to complete their education in the later years of their life.
Having completed their HSC – called Senior Secondary under NIOS – students are free to pursue a degree, vocational, or diploma course or directly jump into careers of their choice.
Recently, NIOS has also emerged as an option for those aspiring for competitive examinations. Students, who have not scored adequately to qualify for competitive examinations, go the NIOS route in hope of improving their scores. Such students sit only for the subjects in which they hope to improve their score taking a Transfer of Credit (TOC) for other subjects.
Choices after NIOS
Your exit route after completing your Secondary or Sr. Secondary level under the NIOS board is incumbent upon your entry route. That is to say, the reason you decided to opt for NIOS will determine your future options.
If you are seeking to improve your scores and qualify for competitive exams like JEE, CET, and NEET, your future path is pre-determined providing, of course, your NIOS score helps you qualify. If on the other hand, you are a school dropout for reasons other than disability, you are likely holding a job and would be hoping to further your career in the same direction. If you have opted for open schooling to take advantage of the flexible pedagogy due to a learning – or other – disability, your future options will be incumbent upon your capabilities and level of skill development.
You may also opt for skill development courses to prepare you for the corporate world.
The principle underlying the concept of open schooling as well as the pedagogy is now being adopted by other educational boards and universities under the new education policy introduced in 2020.
No matter what your social status, ability, or age, no one can deny your right to education and NIOS is the way to go if you wish to become a literate and responsible citizen of India.
BYN provides timely and useful information to students and their parents to help them make an educated and appropriate choice.
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