There's good news for students who are not in a position to attend regular school for some reason, but want to pursue their studies further, as the state government has decided to start open schooling board from 2018.
The Maharashtra State Open Schooling Board for standards V, VIII, X and XII will function on the lines of the National Institute of Open Schooling. The government issued a GR (government resolution) to this effect on Friday.
Beside general academic courses, stress will be on vocational education in the separately designed curricula, which will be readied keeping in mind that the students do not have access to formal schooling. In Maharashtra, about 5 lakh students, between Class I and Class X, drop out of school, while the number of students who appear for the Class X exam externally is around 1 lakh to1.5 lakh.
A source from education minister's office said, "The process of forming a governing council for the new board will start now that the GR is out. The plan is to make the board operational from the 2018-19 academic year."
Gangadhar Mhamane, chairman, Maharashtra state board of secondary and higher secondary education, who was out of city, said, "The state board had proposed setting up of an open board for students outside the formal education set up. The government has acted on it, but I cannot comment on anything without going through the GR. I will be able to comment on the specifics of the board after I return to Pune."
As per the GR, the governing council of the board will consist of 22 members with officials from various departments of education, including two experts from universities and five independent experts. The government will recommend names of the independent experts whose term will be for three years.
The open schooling board will function as part of the state education board and will later become autonomous depending on how self-sufficient it becomes.
The study material will be prepared keeping in mind the self-study system. Doordarshan and All India Radio may be asked to provide one hour to educate the students. Subjects based on national skill qualification framework will be made available.