The school of second chance

HYDERABAD: Not known to many, the open schooling system is proving to be a boon to those deprived of basic education due to social, economic and cultural issues It was a dream-come-true for 45-year-old T Anand who was recently promoted as a record assistant (RA) after working as attender for over 18 years in the Public Service Commission (PSC), all thanks to the open school education system. The system has helped him complete his secondary school education, the minimum qualification for RA’s position, while attending his duty.

“I always wanted to study when I was young , but was not able to continue my studies after fourth class as I had to work to support my family. As I had not completed even SSC, I had to miss many promotional opportunities,” said Anand adding that at this juncture, the open school education had come as a blessing.

“Now I am a non-gazetted officer,” Anand declared proudly. He was promoted after passing the SSC examinations.

The AP Open School Society (APOSS), which initially used to impart education only up to the upper primary level (7th class) started offering SSC from 2008- 2009 and Intermediate course from 2010-2011.

The flexible OSS has helped many people realise their dream of getting educated, who were otherwise deprived of pursuing the regular courses either due to financial problems or other social restrictions.

“Most of the enrolled students had to discontinue their studies in regular schools as they had to work and support their families,” said Prof. Williams, regional coordinator APOSS. “The families which do not send girls to regular schools due to some family restrictions are comfortable sending them for two classes in a week in the OS system,” Williams said. “I was sent for Quran taleem (education) at the mosque as my parents did not allow me to go to a regular school. But when I came to know about the open school system they immediately agreed.” said a delighted Salma Sultana, who is pursuing her secondary education in Yakuthpura in the Old City.

Those who discontinued their studies fearing few mandatory subjects like maths, English, Telugu are now coming forward to pursue their secondary education without those subjects.

“A person whose father runs a petty business can opt for business studies and one who fears maths or any other language as a subject can opt for the subject which he feels confident in and can still pass SSC exams,” Williams said.

Contrary to the fixed academic subjects as in regular schools, the APOSS offers SSC and Intermediate courses in four languages - English, Urdu, Hindi and Telugu besides providing a wide range of optional subjects that even regular schools do not offer.
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