Andhra Pradesh Open School Society, which offers non-formal education to school drop-outs, has introduced SSC and Intermediate courses through open schools and distance learning to promote education to the poor students on a large-scale.
Giving the salient features of the programme to media persons at the Secretariat, Minister for Sarva Shiksha Abhyan and Primary Education S Shailajanath said that the school drop-out rate has been on the rise. He added that despite supplying free books and scholarships to the poor, the drop-rate was 34 per cent.
Stating that there were over 9 lakh students in 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th classes, and 13 lakh after 10th, over 2 lakh students remained away from Intermediate, Mr Shailajanath revealed that for completing the 10th exam including lab facility etc, only Rs 100 is charged by the APOSS.
There was need to motivate and educate those poor students under APOSS, which offered government-run classes with less fee for completing their SSC or Intermediate course with full guidance at all levels.
The minimum age is 15 years while there was no upper age limit. Candidates who failed in intermediate are also eligible for admission to complete intermediate course.
Questions are prepared and supplied in the form of CDs in addition to the text books supply for making the education easy for drop-outs. So far only one lakh have come, but the last date which has been fixed at December 31, will be extended by a week or more to attract more admissions, the Minister said.
He also said that there were plans to introduce this system at the mandal level so that more and more poor came under its ambit and utilise the chance to complete their course.
If the students drop out in the middle or have failed in some subjects, special tuition will be provided to them to complete the course.
Admission fee for OC male with up to 5 subjects is Rs 1,100 and for SC, ST, BC and Minorities, Rs 800 has been fixed. A candidate admitted will have 9 chances for writing the exam.
The successful candidates will get Intermediate pass certificate, which is valid for higher education and employment and for appearing EAMCET or any entrance exam or admission to any degree course. This is equal to the regular Intermediate certificate issued by Board of Intermediate Education.
The DEO, Deputy DEO, any junior college, MEO or High School will provide guidance to the candidates, the Minister said.
Special Chief Secretary Chandana Khan and APOSS Director K Ananda Kishore were also present.