To increase literacy and offer flexible learning to the dropouts in the state, the Goa government, as per the XIIth Five-Year Plan (2012-17), was to setup a state open school with the help from the central government. This institution would encourage the dropouts in the state to complete schooling.
The working group report on secondary and vocational education for the XIIth Five-Year Plan 2012-17 had stated, “At the beginning of the XIth Plan 10 states had initiated setting up of state open schools (SOS). NIOS spearheading the mission through the National Consortium of Open Schools (NCOS), provided technical and financial support to the states of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam facilitating the opening of SOS. Efforts have also been made to open SOS in the states of Goa, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, Meghalaya, Manipur and Uttarakhand.” – TNN
Chairperson of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Merwyn D’souza was present during the working group’s meeting. Reportedly the officials from the board said that no proposal to set up an open school was pending with them.
Even the website of the National Institute of Open Schooling does not feature Goa in the list of states that either have or is in the process of setting up a state open school.
The idea of state open schools was conceptualized after realizing that NIOS through its centres alone cannot meet the demand for open schooling.
In Goa, the NIOS has 13 centres operating from various educational institutions. Also, a lot of regional diversity in terms of languages, etc, makes it difficult for NIOS to cover all types of cases and hence the concept of state open schools, to meet the specific needs of students in their region, was realized.
These open schools have been very helpful to school dropouts to complete their school certificate examinations later on in life.
Goa’s active tourism industry, which provides many work opportunities to the youth that require minimum qualifications are a key reason for the states high school dropout numbers. Hence institutions like a state open school are all the more important for the state.
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