The state education department went a step closer to its long pending dream of starting an open schooling system on the lines of the National Institute of Open Schooling. The initial proposal which was submitted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has undergone some changes after several queries were raised post discussions with senior bureaucrats, and a revised proposal was submitted recently, confirmed MSBSHSE chairman Gangadhar Mhamane.
“There were some queries that needed to be resolved and some good suggestions that were incorporated. The revised proposal has been submitted and we are now awaiting the nod from the state government,” Mhamane said.
The open schooling system as proposed by MSBSHSE envisages academic freedom to students allowing them to choose subjects that they wish to study depending on their future goals. It also allows flexibility in taking exams. The idea that has been mooted for a long time and was earlier reported by The Indian Express, is taking concrete shape now.
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Mhamane explained that the main beneficiaries of the open schooling system are external students who appear for the board exams as private candidates instead of regular students attached to schools. Many of these students have dropped out of school and then appear for SSC or HSC board exams externally.
“Such students have to fill their forms through a school only and they appear for the same subjects as any regular student. In the open schooling system though, a student who wishes to appear externally would get a choice in subjects,” Mhamane said.
“A few basic subjects like first language would be mandatory but supposing if students don’t want to study Mathematics as they want to get into a humanities field later, they can choose to drop it. Or if a student is interested in a specialised skill development subject, they can choose that and drop one of the regular subjects. The idea is to keep the pattern as flexible as possible to suit the student,” Mhamane added.
Mhamane said that it is for his seniors to decide on finalising the proposal, even as sources in MSBSHSE said that it might only get implemented in the next academic year. “This year, the SSC results will be out early and even supplementary exams would be conducted by July. Usually it takes more time to finalise these proposals and that’s why the open schooling might take effect only in the next academic year,” he said.