An ambitious project by the state education department — the Open School Board — is all set to turn into a reality soon. The state board started work on the project a few months ago and is close to completing it, said sources.
In July last year, the state education department had issued a Government Resolution about setting up the Open School Board (OSB), which will be headed by the chairman of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). The main beneficiaries of the OSB will be those people who had to drop out of school and wished to complete their education, as well as students who are pursuing sports professionally and find it difficult to attend classes regularly, and students with special needs.
Under the OSB, being set up by the Maharashtra education department, any candidate will be able to enroll for Class V, VIII, X or XII exams, irrespective of his/her age. The candidates don’t have to be registered with any school or be part of the formal schooling system. They will still be able to take exams and get certificates for these classes.
In the last few months, the education department has been finalising the structure and syllabus of the open board, which is envisaged to be significantly different from the syllabus of the Secondary Education Board. Besides subjects such as English, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Science, Mathematics and Social Sciences, Class X students of OSB will also have skill development subjects like bakery production, screen printing, information technology and so on.
While sources said the OSB is expected to be set up by July 2018, state education board officials refused to commit to a date. “I can’t give you a date till the work is complete. All I can say is that right now, we are working on a war footing for this new initiative… we hope to complete it soon,” said Shakuntala Kale, chairperson, MSBSHSE.
Sources said the OSB will have exams twice in a year, during March-April and September-October. Candidates will be expected to register their names at least six months prior to the examination and all admissions/registrations are expected to take place online.
The open schooling system, proposed by MSBSHSE a few years ago, will be aimed at giving students the freedom to choose subjects depending on their future goals, as well as a certain amount of flexibility in taking exams.