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Open school is less rigid, provides flexibility

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A section of parents were taken aback when a CBSE school in the city asked them to consider their children for distance education by taking them out of regular schooling, citing low learning tendencies of their wards while predicting their failure in the upcoming board examination.
However, none of the parents considered the option, raising apprehensions about their children's future if pulled out of regular school system. According to the school, NIOS would have helped their children learn better without affecting their main stream education.
NIOS is an alternate board under the the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) like CBSE. However, CBSE is for the regular school system and NIOS is for students in the open and distance mode. Public exams are conducted twice in a year by the NIOS. But not many are aware of the system and children are forced to continue regular schooling irrespective of whether they like it or learn out of it.
"There are students with learning issues and some are interested in sports, music. Some don't like rigidity of particular subjects. NIOS is for them," says P Ravi, regional director of NIOS, Chennai, adding that the curriculum is designed in a self-learning mode which completely removes stress from the students' mind.
He says that there is a certain percent of students who develop rigidity towards a particular subject. It may have started during their early schooling after being branded as slow learners and eventually develop withdrawal symptoms.
Ravi stressed that NIOS is however not a dump yard for slow learners but for highly focused students, providing them flexibility of choosing subjects as per their interest.
He added that NIOS removes stress among the students as they can chose subjects of their choice. "The topper of JEE advanced in the state who was ranked 26 at the national level was actually from NIOS. Even students from CBSE could not match his performance," he said.

There are all possibilities that some students may find it difficult to cope up with the pressure of appearing for board exam while having the burden of the entire year's curriculum and cope with the changeover, said K Bhanumathi, principal of Sivananda Balalaya school.
She says many of the students who aspire to join IIT's and other elite institutions opt for NIOS as they need attend daily classes and can prepare for the entrance tests.
"They join NIOS in their class 11 and concentrate the whole year on the preparation of the entrance examination, she said.
Ravi said that many of the states including Tamil Nadu never adopted NIOS assuming their own curriculum to be superior.

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