Maharashtra has seen a number of educational reforms in recent years to encourage quality education for all, not restricted by age and status in society. Home-schooling, a rather unexplored alternative in India, is another step in this direction.

The State Education and Sports Minister, Vinod Tawde, announced “Open SSC”. This initiative gives a platform to students, who not able to attend regular school, to complete their education. On the 10th of January, 2019, an Open School Secondary Certificate (SSC) was launched. This board will conduct examinations for the V, VIII, X, and XII classes biyearly, scheduled to be held in June and December. “At the age of 10, you can appear for class 5 exam, at the age of 13 for class 8 exam, and as a 15-year-old for class 10 (SSC) exam,” said Mr. Vinod Tawde, in a report published by The Indian Express.

This reform brings a welcome reprieve for dropouts, adults, sports-people, housewives, and anyone who cannot attend regular school, a chance to complete education. It can now be availed by students wishing to pursue their talents in sports, arts, music and other activities or indeed anyone wishing to pursue their studies, notwithstanding their age or disabilities.

Home-schooling allows a flexible schedule for the students providing them with a lot of room to pursue their desired aspirations. It also endorses one-on-one tutoring yielding the best teacher to student ratio. This allows teachers to have complete focus on their student, effectively creating an environment that is designed to fit a child’s capabilities and personality.

More exposure to the same student facilitates teachers with an opportunity to tailor their teaching style to boost independent learning process. This will lead to a better connection between them, and more productive outcome which will help them to enhance their confidence. Furthermore, teachers do not have to deal with the pressure of handling multiple students simultaneously.

The application process started on the 10th of January will be open till January 31st. Students who register now will be able to appear for the exam in six months. For registration, students will have to submit identity proof and school leaving certificate in any of the 543 help centres, including 97 in Mumbai, that have been set up across the state by the department. Marks secured under the Open SSC platform will have the same weight as the regular SSC, CBSE and ICSE examinations, said Tawde. Further information on the application process can be obtained from the official Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education website.

Regarding the application process, an official remarked, “A few minor changes need to be made to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education website. It will open for applications in another week. The first exam will be held in June.”