The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has initiated Open Educational Resources (OER), specifically to support vocational programmes offered at the tertiary education level. The OER movement is a new phenomenon in the field of education made possible largely by the development in ICT.
The NIOS is making concerted efforts for development of ODL system, particularly at the school level, by establishing a network of open schools to further strengthen the open schooling movement in the country. At this juncture the present OER will not only be beneficial for the school students pursuing their studies through Open and Distance Learning (ODL), but also will be accessible to millions of learners interested in development of their skills in various vocations. This will also help in vocationalisation of the curriculum at Secondary and Senior Secondary levels across the board.
OER has the advantage of making learning enjoyable, opens up possibility of accessibility to quality education by all, and subject to continuous up-gradation of contents by subject experts. Because of its accessibility by all, it will benefit students not only of NIOS but also from remote areas and marginalized sections of society. To start with, three areas have been identified for creation of OER, viz., ICT Applications, Rural Technology, and Tourism & Hospitality Management. The OERs have been presented in the form of role based small modules at different levels those are useful for students, and those could be adopted or adapted by the learners in their own context. This has been made possible due to dedication and unstinting support from internal faculty of NIOS, subject experts and learning community.
The present venture marks a small beginning and I hope it will encourage us to put in more efforts towards creation of OER in many other areas of school education. I am confident, these OERs as a strategy will support widen access to education and facilitate lifelong learning.