The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), formerly National Open School, is the board of education under the Union Government of India.
Established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 1989 aspiring to improve literacy and aimed towards flexible learning, the NIOS functions similar to the CBSE and conducts examinations at both Secondary and Senior Secondary levels. The NIOS enrolls about 350,000 students annually, making it the largest open schooling system in the world.
The NIOS offers courses at different levels called the Open Basic Education Programme (equivalent up to class 8), Secondary (equivalent to class 10) and Senior Secondary Courses (equivalent to class 12), most of which have a biennial public exam. It also offers distance learning systems with its resources available through their website, all of which are provided with special emphasis on priority groups such as the poor and the disabled.
Keeping up with the spirit of “Universalisation of school education”, exam fees are all very affordable with some extra charges such as for practicals. The exam facility and all related services are quite easily accessible through their e-portal. Exam results are usually announced within a month or two, which are also accessible via the Internet.
Overall, the NIOS has greatly contributed to literacy rates especially with increasing awareness in recent years, and it will continue to do so as long as it’s core ideals are maintained.
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