Dr. Subhas Sarkar,  MoS Education, Govt. of India, addressed the First Foundation Day of Board of Open Schooling & Skill Education (BOSSE)

· The open school board Organised National conference on the theme “NEP 2020! Towards India Centred Holistic Inclusive Quality School Education” · Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Hon’ble MoS Education, Govt. of India and Sh. Kunga Nima Lepcha, Hon’ble Education Minister, Govt. of Sikkim were the chief guest and guest of honour respectively for the event

 Gangtok: Board of Open Schooling and Skill Education, Sikkim (BOSSE), celebrated its first foundation day in Gangtok today. To mark this occasion, the open school held a National Conference on the theme “NEP 2020! Towards India Centred Holistic Inclusive Quality School Education”. BOSSE was founded in September 2020, with the objective to impart universal school education along with skill and vocational education for strengthening the social fabric of democracy through the provision of quality education.

The event was inaugurated with a welcome address by Dr. Kuldeep Agarwal, Vice Chairperson, BOSSE, Sikkim. This was followed by an inaugural address by Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Hon’ble MoS Education, Govt. of India, who was the Chief Guest at the event.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Sarkar said, “I must congratulate the Board of Open Schooling and Skill Education, Sikkim for successfully completing one year of their existence. And also happy to know that they have organised a national conference on the theme of great national importance on their foundation day. The initiative of Sikkim government is praiseworthy as BOSSE lays greater focus in imparting quality, affordable and flexible education so that our students will meet the aspirational needs of the 21st century. I wish the team should reach out to more students nationwide in the coming years, who have missed out school education due to some reason and help them complete their secondary, senior secondary education and provide them career opportunities through job-oriented vocational and skill education courses”.

Addressing the conference Sh. Kunga Nima Lepcha, Hon’ble Education Minister, Govt. of Sikkim, said, “I am extremely delighted to be part of the conference to celebrate the success of BOSSE. I congratulate BOSSE for successfully completing a year of functioning in the state of Sikkim. With flexible education system, combining academic and vocational subjects, BOSSE has succeeded in uplifting and strengthening school education and creating pathways to higher studies through various modes of learning. I wish BOSSE team to continue with the great work towards establishing equality and justice in society and to provide opportunities to dropped out students to continue their studies and become job- ready. I appreciate the hard work and dedication with which each member of BOSSE has taken the responsibility to make it a success”.

Sh. G.P. Upadhyaya (IAS), Additional Chief Secretary (Education), Government of Sikkim said, “I am extremely happy to celebrate the first foundation day of BOSSE. The constitution of BOSSE happened just after two months of the announcement of NEP 2020. So, BOSSE itself is a first step in the direction of implementation of NEP 2020. Sikkim, Perhaps the very first state to implement NEP 2020. Apart from this board, we have also taken various steps to implement NEP to transform the education scenario in the state and look forward to more initiatives in the near future. Highlighting the important features of NEP 2020, he insisted upon the fact that everyone should read the policy properly and implement the things that seems important pertaining to their state/area, in order to completely change the future of education of the country”.

Since its inception, the open school has catered to more than 2000 students from Sikkim, Bihar and West Bengal in Secondary, Senior Secondary and Skill and Vocational education. BOSSE aims to cater to more and more students across the nation who have dropped out of school and encourage them to enroll with BOSSE to complete their schooling and bring them back to mainstream education. Alumni of BOSSE can apply to any of the recognized national and international higher education institutes for further higher studies.

Speaking about the board, Sh. Hemant Goyal, Chairman, BOSSE, said, “The board was set up last year through an act passed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly. This is the first board to be set up on the lines of the reforms proposed in NEP. At present, we are offering skill education in 11 trades and are looking forward to adding eight more trades,” said Hemant Goyal, Chairman, BOSSE, Sikkim.

Hon’ble speakers and delegates discussed the various aspects of NEP 2020 and the importance of implementing the policy to transform the education sector.

The conference witnessed an insightful Panel discussion on “NEP 2020 and School Education”, Chaired by Ms. Hondala Gyaltsen, Director (Secondary Education), Speakers, Dr. Kuldeep Agarwal, Vice Chairperson, BOSSE; Prof. C.K. Saluja (retd.), Dept. of Education, Delhi University: Prof. M.K. Das,(retd.), Dept. of Education, Kashi Vidyapeeth & Member AAC, BOSSE; Prof. M.C. Sharma (retd.), School of Education, IGNOU & Member AAC, BOSSE: discussed various facets of NEP 2020 and School education i.e., Philosophy and Spirit of NEP, India-Centred School Education, Value-oriented Holistic School Education, Teacher Preparation for Quality School Education.

In another Panel Discussion, chaired by Prof. Saroj Sharma, Chairperson, NIOS, Chairman of various school boards from, MP, Mizoram and Maharashtra discussed the NEP 2020 and School Education Boards.

The event was concluded with vote of thanks by Sh. Hemant Goyal, Chairman, BOSSE