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Under the Open and Distance Learning System, learner support is of paramount importance. Such support is provided through various services to:
• help learners to learn well by providing timely and proper academic
• facilitate learners in solving their problems through the study centres/learning centres
• coordinate and monitor establishment, working and management of the study centres.
The main functions of the Student Support Services (SSS) Department of NIOS are as follows:
NIOS as an open and distance learning institute provides planned human support in different ways from the time a learner joins the system till the end of his/ her successful completion. To provide this support along with the issue of easy access, NIOS considered utilization of existing available resources to provideservices by accrediting institutions as partners. Such partner institutions are called Accredited Institutions (AIs) and are spread all over the country. These AIs which function as Study Centres are usually formal schools that are recognized and affiliated to CBSE, ICSCE and State Broads or reputed agencies involved in social and educational activities of disadvantaged and differently abled learners. The AIs assist NIOS in its various functions to reach out and to reach all. Based on available infrastructure facilities and nature of the existing institutions, the AIs for Academic courses are categorized into three categories.
Category-A having very good infrastructure and can enroll upto
500 students. Category-B AIs can enroll upto 300 students.
Category-C AIs are allowed toenroll only upto 150 students.
NIOS has Accredited Institutions for Regional mediums also like Marathi, Telugu,
Gujarati, Malayalam, Oriya and Urdu. The types of Schools/Institutions that
have become partners to function as AIs of NIOS include Government Schools,
Government Aided Schools, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, Public and
Private Schools and Schools for children with special needs.
Accreditation of the Study Centres is done through rigorous process of screening of applications on the basis of prescribed criteria and inspection of the institutions by teams of Experts. The Principal/Vice- Principal of the School acts as the Coordinator of the AI functioning as the Study Centre of NIOS. The core staff and teachers of the AIs work for NIOS programmes at the Study Centres in addition to their normal duties there.
NIOS students study at their own using self instructional material. However, while learning they do confront certain problems and need various types of help and guidance. For clarification of their doubts, NIOS conducts 30 Personal Contact Programme (PCPs) for theory subjects out of which 15 are compulsory. Five additional PCPs are allotted for subjects having practicals. These are conducted at the Study Centre on Saturdays, Sundays/other holidays or at any convenient time during weekdays.