Open Schooling


Across the globe, life skills education has been usually developed as part of a school initiative designed to support the healthy psychosocial development of children and adolescents. In other side, formal education system not always provides young people with good opportunities to become confident and realize their potentials. In this back drop, the biggest challenge is to identify the best strategies for providing effective life skills education to those many children who never attend secondary school or reach an age of high vulnerability and risk taking behaviour in the years immediately before reaching secondary school. Considering the situation that in different parts of the world, majority of the youths is having a mobile or will have a mobile soon, the researcher is of the view that mobile phones can be a viable option to offer life skills education to open schooling students coming from different cultural and social settings and backgrounds. Following this approach, present paper mainly discusses about: promises offered by mobile phones for life skills education; possibilities for using mobile phones as an effective, efficient and economical option for offering life skills education; and potential strategies to offer mobile phones supported life skills education to open schooling students.
Keywords: Mobile phones, open schooling students, life skills education, M-learning Strategies


The EDU-Factory – Learning Factories Alliance to Enhance Teaching in the field of Electronics Technology – project proposal was submitted to the Call: H2020-SEAC-2015-1, Topic: Innovative ways to make science education and scientific careers attractive to young people, as a Research and Innovation action, by the deadline of 16th Sep 2015. UPB-CETTI, the proposed coordinator brought together eleven partners from higher education institutions (HEIs) and industrial enterprises to plan research and innovative actions and to develop – based on the existing learning factories of the consortium members – forward-looking education methods in order to achieve the objectives of the Call. Although the evaluation scores of the proposal reached or surpassed the
thresholds of all the different criteria, the European Commission informed the coordinator that the project could not be funded because the score obtained did not suffice for funding, given the budgetary resources available for the Call. Despite of the rejection, a few very positive comments of the evaluators encourage the authors to consider the preparation of a proposal for the H2020 Science with and for Society programme, for the Call: SwafS-15-2016: Open Schooling and collaboration on science education.


All public schools are open systems, although the degree of interaction with their environment may vary. Open systems contain five basic elements: inputs, transformation process, outputs, feedback, and the environment. In this article, I discuss each of these five elements of social systems. The open systems view of schools provides an excellent framework for analyzing the process of education and the role the school administrator plays in that process.

 Making Real the Dream of Education for All Through Open Schooling and Open Universities in Ghana  

Although the last three decades have witnessed astronomical increases in enrollment in basic education, the challenges of access, equity, and quality continue to confront countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, education sector policies and reforms have been unable to deal with low transition rates from primary to junior high schools, from junior high schools to senior high schools, and from senior high schools to tertiary level. Children and young students who areunable to continue fail to reenter because of the absence of complementary or alternative pathways. The old paradigm of physical expansion continues to dominate policies of access. Although several developed and developing countries have used open schooling and open universities to widen access, the success of these programs has been found on strong policies, commitment of government, and huge investment in technology. Indeed, the future lies with open schooling and open universities.
Education for All, open schooling, open universities, out-of-school youth, education reforms

Student support services in open schooling: a case study of students’ needs and satisfaction in India


This paper identifies the key factors that contribute to the Open School in India students’ satisfaction, considering student support elements at pre-entry, start up,learning, evaluation and certification and after certification phases. The study adapted Rekkedal and Eriksen’s importance-satisfaction model to recognise areas that are important to students as well as their degree of satisfaction with each attribute. It is found that the student group considered is generally satisfied with the support elements that they perceive to be important and there is a strong positive linear relationship (r =0.83) between importance and satisfaction.
However, according to the group, priority needs to be given to personal contact programmes in the study centres, online tutorials and feedback on assignments, which are three prime support elements in the learning phase.
Keywords: open schooling; accredited institutions; support elements; students


In a developing country like India where education is a fundamental right, National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), world’s largest open schooling, is serving the educational needs of a large segment of the Indian population. With enrolment of over 27.1 lakhs (2.71 million) learners on its rolls across the country covered through 20 regional centers it has more than 6400 Accredited Institutions (Study Centres) in India and abroad.
Growth of any organization depends mostly on the results and recommendations of constant research, which are being taken up for the upliftment of the organization and as far as open and distance learning is concerned, research is an important component. Since, it decides its future course of action in terms of effectiveness, flexibility and openness. Moreover, at NIOS research allows other stake holders and individuals to do research on the open and distance learning as a whole to identify the loop-holes and challenges to improve the existing open and distance learning system.
Research plays an important role in strengthening any institution. Since last three decades the role of research has been deeply broadened. Now, it is an important component for open and distance learning system. NIOS has now entered in 28 years of its existence and to continue successful operations for future growth, establishing its credibility and monitoring the progress it has to constantly develop, innovate and improve its services and courses through the insights provided by in depth research. With these objectives, Research and Development Cell of NIOS promotes research that promises to augment past knowledge and craft a vivid future in the field of Open Schooling.
Under its Scheme of Grant-in-Aid for Research Projects in Open Schooling (GRPOS), grant-in-aid are being provided to organizations/institutions which desire to conduct research in the prioritized areas identified by NIOS.




One of the concerns that led to the emergence of the Open Schooling System in various countries was their endeavour to provide education to those who could not attend conventional schools for a variety of socio-economic reasons, as well as to those who missed opportunities to complete school education and developmental education. Gradually the open schooling system with inherent flexibilities about the choice of subjects, place and pace of studies and the paradigm shift from “you learn what we offer” to “we offer what you want to learn” has gained ground and attained the status of an independent subsystem of education. The shift being emphasized by this system is from ‘education as one time activity’ to ‘education as life long activity’. The open and distance learning (ODL) mode of education is now being preferred not only by the disadvantaged and drop-outs but also by those who need an easy access to school education. Formal education systems suffer from limitations with regard to expansion, access, equity and cost-effectiveness. As a result, it is not able to cater to the needs of large numbers of individuals, who would like to go in for education. It is well known that NIOS is presently the largest open schooling system in the world. In this Module we discuss a few basic aspects of the historical and the philosophical bases of ODL as well as NIOS.
Objectives of this Module
After going through this Module, you should be able to:
1. Explain the principles of open and distance learning;
2. State the importance and benefits of education through open schooling;
3. Explain the ways in which the formal education system differs from open schooling;
4. Describe the contribution of open learning as an alternative to formal learning;
5. Compare the various models of Open Schooling; and
6. Outline the NIOS system in the light of the above five objectives.

Perceptions of Open Schooling

Responsible Research and Innovation

Responsible research and innovation: From science in society to science for society, with society

The term responsible (research and) innovation has gained increasing EU policy relevance in the last two years, in particular within the European Commission’s Science in Society programme, in the context of the Horizon 2020 Strategy. We provide a brief historical overview of the concept, and identify three distinct features that are emerging from associated discourses. The first is an emphasis on the democratic governance of the purposes of research and innovation and their orientation towards the ‘right impacts’. The second is responsiveness, emphasising the integration and institutionalisation of established approaches of anticipation, reflection and deliberation in and around research and innovation, influencing the direction of these and associated policy. The third concerns the framing of responsibility itself in the context of research and innovation as collective activities with uncertain and unpredictable consequences. Finally, we reflect on possible motivations for responsible innovation itself.

Innovation and research policy in France (1980;2000) or the disappearance of the Colbertist state

This paper is concerned with the dynamic of intervention by public authorities in the domain of research and innovation. It has a dual objective. On the one hand, it seeks to challenge the stereotyped image of the French system, presented in the literature as completely characterised by the dominant role of a Colbertist state (that is to say an interventionist model which places emphasis on the dominant weight of large civil and defence programmes, on the division between the universities and the CNRS, on the congenital separation between research and firms, on the monopolisation of public support by certain large industrial groups). Evolutionary changes are described, which prove that this classic image is no longer relevant in capturing the current dynamic of the French research and innovation system. On the other hand, this paper seeks to show that this challenge is a consequence of close examination of the relevance of the notion of “national policy for research and technology” itself. Alongside national policy, regional and European policies are emerging, the effects of which are so important that public intervention can no longer be seen only in terms of national policy.

Definitions and Conceptual Dimensions of Responsible Research and Innovation: A Literature Review

The aim of this study is to provide a discussion on the definitions and conceptual dimensions of Responsible Research and Innovation based on findings from the literature. In the study, the outcomes of a literature review of 235 RRIrelated articles were presented. The articles were selected from the EBSCO and Google Scholar databases regarding the definitions and dimensions of RRI. The results of the study indicated that while administrative definitions were widely quoted in the reviewed literature, they were not substantially further elaborated. Academic definitions were mostly derived from the institutional definitions; however, more empirical studies should be conducted in order to give a broader empirical basis to the development of the concept. In the current study, four distinct conceptual dimensions of RRI that appeared in the reviewed literature were brought out: inclusion, anticipation, responsiveness and reflexivity. Two emerging conceptual dimensions were also added: sustainability and care.

The empathic care robot: A prototype of responsible research and innovation

Science fiction prototypes are often used to visualise or represent novel technologies or other techno-scientific innovations. The present paper follows this tradition and describes a prototype of a care robot that is endowed with affective capabilities. The paper describes some of the potential ethical problems arising from such a technology. This aspect of the paper is based on prior research in a European-funded technology foresight project that explored the ethical issues of emerging ICTs. The paper goes beyond the description of technical innovation and its ethical consequences. The recognition of the ethical relevance of research and innovation has spawned a discourse around responsible research and innovation. The paper draws on this discourse, which aims at anticipatory technology governance to ensure the social acceptability and desirability of technologies. The prototype vignette of the paper explores how responsible research and innovation could be realised in practice and howit could be used to address ethical issues such as those of affective care robots. The paper reflects the likely controversies that responsible research and innovation is likely to create and it uses the ethical dilemma of the care robot to draw the reader's attention to possible theoretical and practical conclusions.

A Mobilising Concept? Unpacking Academic Representations of Responsible Research and Innovation

This paper makes a plea for more reflexive attempts to develop and anchor the emerging concept of responsible research and innovation (RRI). RRI has recently emerged as a buzzword in science policy, becoming a focus of concerted experimentation in many academic circles. Its performative capacity means that it is able to mobilise resources and spaces despite no common understanding of what it is or should be ‘made of’. In order to support reflection and practice amongst those who are interested in and using the concept, this paper unpacks understandings of RRI across a multi-disciplinary body of peer-reviewed literature. Our analysis focuses on three key dimensions of RRI (motivations, theoretical conceptualisations and translations into practice) that remain particularly opaque. A total of 48 publications were selected through a systematic literature search and their content was qualitatively analysed. Across the literature, RRI is portrayed as a concept that embeds numerous features of existing approaches to govern and assess emerging technologies. Our analysis suggests that its greatest potential may be in its ability to unify and provide political momentum to a wide range of long-articulated ethical and policy issues. At the same time, RRI’s dynamism and resulting complexity may represent its greatest challenge. Further clarification on what RRI has to offer in practice—beyond what has been offered to date—is still needed, as well as more explicit engagement with research and institutional cultures of responsibility. Such work may help to realise the high political expectations that are attached to nascent RRI.


Responsible Research and Innovation Critical reflection into the potential social consequences of ICT

The potential social consequences that may arise as a result of the development and widespread use of ICT are of increasing interest to the general public, policymakers and researchers. Prominent examples include transformations of our concept of privacy when using social networking and otherwebsites, ownership and control of personal data, and the ways crowd-sourced information transform how events arecoordinated and how they unfold in real-time. Although there isbroad acceptance that questions of professional responsibility are relevant to ICT it is often unclear how this could be achieved or how responsibilities should be defined and managed when considering the potential social consequences of ICT. ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ (RRI) has emerged in Europe proposing approaches for researchers to identify and consider the potential social consequences and impact of their research outputs within the entire research and innovation lifecycle. First, it asks researchers to take on a practice of critical reflection considering the potential societal impacts of their research outputs, and second to include the general public in a dialogue around the development of research goals and strategy. We discuss findings from interviews conducted with a broad range of stakeholders regarding challenges to identifying, debating and resolving social and ethical concerns associated with ICT research and practice. We also consider how we might extend existing or develop new approaches that facilitate both critical reflection and wider participation within the entire research and innovation lifecycle.

Horizons of care: from future imaginaries to responsible research and innovation

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has emerged as a response to the problem of the unintended consequences of new technologies, one with an agenda shaped by concerns about the impact of technological innovation on issues of procedural and substantive justice. The role of future imaginaries, manifest in texts and images, in shaping innovation and framing what counts as legitimate topics for social debate on technologies has been documented by science and technology studies (STS) scholars, but has not yet been discussed widely in the literature on RRI. In this paper, I argue that the critique of future imaginaries is important for the procedural and substantive justice concerns of RRI, but that missing from the STS literature on imaginaries is an adequate treatment of their non-representational dimensions, including practice and desire, and the role these play in constructing particular ‘future horizons’, styles of living the future in the present that are constitutive of subjectivity. I suggest that, without an adequate treatment of these aspects, RRI perspectives will face difficulties in understanding the nature and role of ‘organized irresponsibility’ within innovation, before proposing that a ‘political imaginary of care’ offers a possible route to take in thinking about  the ethical and political aspects of innovation that permits these aspects to be adequately addressed.

Ethics of healthcare robotics: Towards responsible research and innovation

How can we best identify, understand, and deal with ethical and societal issues raised by healthcare robotics? This paper argues that next to ethical analysis, classic technology assessment, and philosophical speculation we need forms of reflection, dialogue, and experiment that come, quite literally, much closer to innovation practices and contexts of use. The authors discuss a number of ways how to achieve that. Informed by their experience with ‘‘embedded’’ ethics in technical projects and with various tools and methods of responsible research and innovation, the paper identifies ‘‘internal’’ and ‘‘external’’ forms of dialogical research and innovation, reflections on the possibilities and limitations of these forms of ethical–technological innovation, and explores a number of ways how they can be supported by policy at national and supranational level.

Reflections on different governance styles in regulating science: a contribution to ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’

In European science and technology policy, various styles have been developed and institutionalised to govern the ethical challenges of science and technology innovations. In this paper, we give an account of the most dominant styles of the past 30 years, particularly in Europe, seeking to show their specific merits and problems. We focus on three styles of governance: a technocratic style, an applied ethics style, and a public participation style. We discuss their merits and deficits, and use this analysis to assess the potential of the recently established governance approach of ‘ Responsible Research and Innovation’  (RRI). Based on this analysis, we reflect on the current shaping of RRI in terms of ‘ doing governance’ .

Evaluating research and innovation policy: a systems world needs systems evaluations

In the field of R&D policy at least, reality, theory and therefore the needs of evaluation users seem to have moved well ahead of evaluators’ conceptual apparatus. The way we think about both innovation and how knowledge is produced has moved towards a systems perspective, while much of the research and innovation evaluation toolkit has been developed to tackle interventions at the lower levels of projects and programmes. This paper reflects on these changes and what they may mean for the scope and practice of R&D evaluation.

The story of lead: a context for learning about responsible research and innovation (RRI) in the chemistry classroom

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) stands at the center of several EU projects and represents a contemporary view of the connection between science and society. The goal of RRI is to create a shared understanding of the appropriate behaviors of governments, business and NGOs which are central to building trust and confidence of the public and other stakeholders in research and innovation. In this paper we describe a 4.5 hour lesson, ‘‘The Story of Lead,’’ which was developed for teaching RRI to high school chemistry students, based on the historical story of lead. The lesson is part of a larger module. The lesson connects the chemistry curriculum, related to the scientific aspects of lead, to the 6 RRI dimensions. We describe the progression of the lesson, provide relevant links and teaching materials, and present responses of teachers, after they tried out the lesson. The RRI dimensions are compared to prior work done in the field of Socioscientific Issues (SSI). Based on this evidence, we suggest that the lesson can be a good introduction to the topic of RRI in chemistry classrooms.

Towards Research-based Innovation and Reform: Singapore schooling in transition

The challenges facing the Singapore education system in the new millennium are unique and unprecedented in Asia. Demands for new skills, knowledges, and flexible competencies for globalised economies and cosmopolitan cultures will require system-wide innovation and reform. But there is a dearth of international benchmarks and prototypes for such reforms. This paper describes the current Core Research Program underway at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, a multilevel analysis of Singaporean schooling, pedagogy, youth and educational outcomes. It describes student background, performance, classroom practices, student artefacts and outcomes, and student longitudinal life pathways. The case is made that a systematic focus on teachers’ and students’ work in everyday classroom contexts is the necessary starting point for pedagogical innovation and change. This, it is argued, can constitute a rich multidisciplinary evidence base for educational policy

Where are the politics in responsible innovation? European governance, technology assessments, and beyond

Responsible innovation (RI) is founded on the idea that present modes of innovating with science and technology fail because they insufficiently take into account societal needs and values. Hence, proponents of RI solicit societys opinions in an attempt to render science and technology developments, institutions, and policies more socially responsive. This article asks how the RI concept is taken up and elaborated, based on accounts developed on the European Union policy level and on a Flemish, technology assessment level. It finds that, notwithstanding important differences between these two deliberative frameworks, neither one leaves much room for politics, understood as the constitution and contestation of power. Rather, these frameworks largely ignore questions about the politics in and of deliberation, the authoritative allocation of values, and the institutional uptake of deliberative engagements. The articles aim is to provide constructive criticism of the RI paradigm by rendering these political issues explicit and proposing ways of taking them into account.

Evaluation of research and innovation policies: a discussion of trends with examples from Germany

Recent changes in the field of evaluation refer to new demands by politics, economies and society to extend the subject of evaluation processes to cross-sectoral research promotion programs and research institutions, and new developments within the research of evaluation itself. The paper presents an overview of these trends and consequences for the function and methods of evaluation of research and innovation policies against the background of recent German experiences.

Sandstone weathering: a century of research and innovation

A review of sandstone weathering research, particularly in the past 100 years, reveals a trajectory of enquiry from early description and classification of features, to development of process-based explanations, to decreasing scales of investigation, and a disparity between understanding of process(es) and explanations of the genesis of sandstone weathering features. Developments in expositions on mesoscale weathering features on sandstone surfaces are discussed, demonstrating a range of approaches to weathering phenomena—field-based and laboratory-based—that must be linked to provide an explanation of observed features on a landform scale. Throughout the twentieth century, a thematic chronology highlights certain trends in research: description of forms, often in arid and semi-arid environments; single process–form models; an emphasis on experimentation; difficulties in measuring weathering rates; and a persistent emphasis on physical causes of breakdown. A new research agenda is promoted in which biodeterioration and chemical processes gain parity, a holistic approach based on conceptual modeling of weathering systems gains prominence, and scale issues are addressed more rigorously.