How “Open” is Open School in India? : A Learners’ Perspective
Opportunities for education in India, especially in the post-elementary stage, continue to be a challenge. Transition rates from elementary to secondary levels are critically low, numbers of secondary schools are sparse and opportunity cost for continuing secondary education is high. Open and distance learning (ODL) education systems are designed to overcome all of these hurdles that inhibit universalisation of secondary education. In India, both national and state governments, provide opportunities for ODL through National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and State Open Schools (SOS). These have been designed as affordable, flexible and accessible systems, keeping in mind, those from disadvantaged sections. In this paper, the relationship between the intended flexibility and accessibility of the ODL systems within India and currently enrolled learners’ use of these facilities is being examined. Through this analysis, we compare the national and state level systems across two Indian states so as to compare their functioning within each state and across both states. Through a socio-demographic profile of learners, it is also assessed whether these systems overcome barriers of accessibility and resource constraints or not. // Paper ID 201
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