sscFor students unable to continue with mainstream schooling, and who face the daunting task of answering the SSC exams, the state has a solution. Under the proposed open schooling scheme, such students can appear for the SSC exam under a pattern and curriculum specific to their needs. The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education will set up the State Open School (SOS) on the lines of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Exam-on-call, a feature of NIOS, is also under consideration. Under this, students can answer the SSC exams whenever they want to. The move will benefit school dropouts and even handicapped students. The current option for students unable to continue with their classroom education is to appear for the SSC exams as private candidates. There are more than 50,000 such students appearing every year. However, they have to study the mainstream curriculum. Such students, therefore, find it difficult to pass the Std X exam as they lose touch with the classroom system of education. With SOS, students will have a curriculum designed especially for them. It will also have separate textbooks. The board will be setting up a core group which will submit a study on the project soon. According to an official, the implementation might take about two years.

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