A five-member delegation from the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), India visited the WOU main campus today to explore cooperation in organising training programmes.
The team met up with Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Deputy Vice Chancellors (Academic) Prof Madhulika Kaushik and Prof Mohandas Menon, QA and External Relations Director Dr Andy Liew, and faculty deans of WOU. The meeting was also attended by Head of Centre for Continuing Professional Development, Paul Seah Chin Hua, and Director of Academic Support & Continuing Professional Development, Ahmad Taiff Isahak, of DISTED College.
NIOS Director (Academic) Dr Kuldeep Agarwal shared about the function and programmes offered by his organisation. NIOS is the largest open schooling system in the world, with a cumulative enrolment of 2.71million students, comprising 46% secondary, 49% senior secondary, and 5% vocational. Its admission is 100% online.
He said that “the open schooling system is meant to supplement and complement the formal system to provide ‘education for all’ especially for the educational development of disadvantaged groups”.
Dr Kuldeep added, “The Open schools in the country, that is NIOS and the State Open Schools, would have to take up this agenda vigorously so that vulnerable sections of the society and those living in difficult contexts may also reap the benefits of education. The basic philosophy of such approach is to reach the unreached and unreachable.”
NIOS is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. NIOS offers a wide spectrum of courses for general vocational and continuing education, leading to certification at school level up to undergraduate level, or for life and job enrichment.
According to Prof Mohan, who is also Acting Director of WOU’s Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE), NIOS is exploring collaboration with WOU and the newly-established Wawasan Training Academy (WTA).
“Areas of possible cooperation include exchange of course materials, adoption of on-demand examination by WOU, and the offer of joint short courses by NIOS and WTA,” he said.
Prof Mohan will be further coordinating with the Chairman of NIOS to identify areas of cooperation, after which they expect to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.