NIOS is a national educational board directly under the Ministry of HRD. It is equivalent to  other national boards like CBSE and ICSE. But then why a lot of employers hesitate before appointing NIOS alumnus into their organisations?

It’s utterly outrageous. How can you play with the future of hundreds of thousands of distance education learners?accomplishment, celebrate, ceremony

The Apathy of Distance Education Learners Continues

The problem is not as simple as that. In other walks of life too, candidates who passed their graduation or PG courses via correspondence (even from valid institutes like IGNOU and other government-approved institutions ) often have to face rejections due to whims and fancies of the companies and organizations including private and public sector.

These firms put out big-big job advertisements clearly mentioning that distance education passed candidates need not apply in bold letters. What sort of Tamasha (spectacle) is this?

It is well known that for any job, a candidate has to appear in the online/ written exam first. And then on the basis of the marks he obtained there, he should either move to second stage or get rejected.

The final stage is interview and medical examinations rounds, only after passing these two successfully, one can get the job. This is the basic recruitment procedure almost universally prevalent.

Now, tell me how does the mode of education through which a candidate obtained his degrees come to the scene as long as it is validated by UGC/AICTE/ AIU/ Central or /and respective State Government?

Why Distance Education is Important?

If a candidate fulfils all other criteria like ‘minimum percentage at qualifying exam, he is within the age limit, he is citizen of India and has the required work experience’ then he can’t be barred from appearing at the nation-wide competitive exams like written test and interview just on the basis of his mode of study.

But these candidates often face such sort of prejudice and discrimination on daily basis at several places.

If distance education is such a taboo here in India, then why did the government create such institutions, and invest such a humongous amount of tax payers’ money and other resources on institutes like NIOS, IGNOU and other state open boards or universities?

We need to understand the sentiments of thousands of students who are pursuing distance education. Honestly, distance education is a compulsion.

Many of the candidates passing out their courses from open schools or university belong to lower strata of the society who can’t afford costly schools or colleges.

They also do some part-time work concurrently with their studies to support their families. Literally, Distance education gives them a second chance to balance their education and life in a more cohesive and dignified manner.

The Conclusion

Institutes of higher education and employers (including big government PSUs and corporate firms) will have to modify their ‘eligibility criteria’.

You can’t arbitrarily deny a candidate’s constitutional right to at least appear at an entrance exam or competitive tests for job or higher education.

Cultural and educational rights are our fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution under Article 29 and 30.

Incessant discrimination of distance education passed students from pursuing higher education of their choice or barring them from appearing at job or any other entrance examinations might throw India into the dark tunnels of ‘Educational Apartheid’.

book, book pages, browse

So, it’s high time the government must come forward, and create awareness of the people regarding the importance of ‘distance education’ in our country.

The nation must treat distance education passed candidates at par with regular candidates in reality, and not mere inscribing the same on the prospectus of open school/ universities only!

Disclaimer: It is an author’s personal opinion and in no way reflects the views of the CheckerNews web portal

(By: Atish Home Chowdhury)

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