Education As A Basic Necessity

As per our knowledge the basic necessity of any human being is food, shelter and clothing. And in this raw new element has been added and that is ‘Education’. Not every other man in India is educated and that’s the drawback of this country. As to survive in this hugely populated country one need to have proper education to be in a good post.

Before the companies used to call the people to join them and now it’s totally upside down. As, for a single post 1000s of people apply. It has become a hunky dowry situation in which not everyone get a chance. When there is the availability of the various jobs in the field that we like, the problem here is the number of applicants applying for the same.

When it’s the situation of inflation the economy takes a different turn and only the eligible one is able to survive. There are many B. Tech graduates or MBA graduates, many people go for Masters in some foreign countries and also few opt for PHD’s. The number of highly educated person is increasing day by day and the people who are illiterate have no chance to fit in this changing world.
It’s been said that after few years the number of the people below 31 years will be more than the rest. That is there will be more number of youth which means that the competition will be more and thus, everyone needs to be the best in what they do in order to survive.

In India the family depends on the males but as of now even though the female is contributing to the family it’s not enough and so here the question arises as to where have we gone wrong.

A New Industry: Education

From the past few decades India has gone through several changes. Many new companies came into existence and many industries were tapped, compared to the previous ones. It is true, that the companies have been an asset for the country but, till which extent? It’s not that they are not contributing to the GDP of the nation. But, the question here is that by how much percent.
In the present scenario when the world is facing different economic changes it’s hard to define which company is more beneficial as, at one point of time you are in the top and at the very moment somebody else has taken your place
Education has also evolved as the part of this world. Where, there are many competitors trying to win over the other. Before there used to be only few institutes for which common people had to struggle to get admissions. Now there are plenty of it and now, people needs to select where they want to get admission. Options are available but the thing is which one is good for you. The institutes offer different courses in every field that you can think of. And every institute promises that they are offering the best.

The matter of fact is that education has become a new trend now, and every Tom, Dick and Harry is running their own institutes. It’s really hard to find out which one is fake. Every now and then there are advertisements showcasing the facilities that they provide and what all benefits that others can get. Primary motive is not what kind of quality education that they are providing but, what profit that they are going to earn.

We need to be alert in choosing the best for us.

Should we consolidate the different boards in education?

India having a population of approx. 1.27 bn with 29 states and 7 union teritorries is currently having 30+ examination boards across the country. This gives rise to a lot of advantage and disadvantage of having different examination boards. A student studying in a different board might have to change to some other board for his/her higher studies which might be beneficial or harmful for him/her. The consolidation of different boards into one single board has always been a big discussion in our country. Some of the following points is to be noted before jumping into a decision of consolidation of boards:

  • The single board option is appealing because it provides a tidy bureaucratic solution to what appears to be a messy problem.
  • Consolidation would concentrate expertise and investment in research and development in a single institution, be more conductive of sharing of best practices, avoid the unnecessary replication of functions across multiple boards and allow for greater economies of scale. 
  • Differences are bound to happen if we operate too many boards at the same time. Certainly there are some drawbacks. But if it is introduced universally in all sections of the country, it will work well. We can get the whole nation, Kashmir to Kanyakumari, together using this system. Addition taught in Kanyakumari will be the same as addition taught in Kashmir. 
  • The stress levels that parents have when their children are really small, about whether to put them in SSC or ICSE or IGCSE or any other board, are really high. Young parents are very confused. So having a universal board will be good.
  • One board is a great idea because if we look into it, every board deals with the same topics and concepts, only the approaches are different, so in that case we are wasting a lot of resources and time. Today, if a student wants to join a certain course, they have to go through a competitive exam because they all come from different boards. Once we have one board, a lot of issues such as college admissions will be solved and everybody will be on one level.
  • Every school has its own idea of judging or assessing a child. So when we are consolidating the exam board on what basis will be the child assessed. Will it be by his own school’s result and how could we actually assess the results of the school.And if assessed who is going to judge it and on what scale, so a lot of things comes into picture when we think of consolidation of different boards. 
  • If we try to make one single board, one big question is to bridge the gap between rural and urban population standards. We cannot lower the standards of the urban lot and we cannot raise the standards of the rural lot. At the same time, finding teachers for both the urban and rural areas will be a big problem.

Activity Based Learning for Kids

For children to learn new things is a bit difficult and when we talk about studies it becomes even harder for them, as it requires more concentration and at the same time the kids mind diverts very easily. Because of which the curriculum taught in schools needs to have repetition to let them recall everything.

If the kid doesn't find the subject interesting obviously he would divert to the other things as he doesn't find the fun factor in it. Concentration is the main factor to learn anything because of which we remember even the things taught in childhood after we grow up.
When the same learning or the things being taught is converted in the interest of the kids, it helps him get more and more involved in it. Like when we try to teach the alphabets by playing a game, it makes the task easier and also the kid gets a chance to mingle with others with the learning going side by side. When the kid starts learning things in this manner not only he grasps everything easily but also opens up.

Overall, Activities has only positive effects in the learning process. So, rather than focusing on the books more number of activities should be added to the school curriculum.

What is CCE?

Globalization has made a tremendous impact on all spheres of our life and education is no exception. It has given rise to a lot of challenges in education especially on the quality of education. To meet these growing demands a lot of changes are being made in the field of education and one such change is in the field of learner evaluation. Evaluation is widely acknowledged as a powerful means of improving the quality of education. It plays a key role in deciding what the learners learn and what the teachers teach in schools. Effectively planned evaluation can promote learning, build confidence and develop students' understanding of themselves as active learners. The introduction of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is considered as one of the major steps taken in this regard to improve and strengthen the quality of learner evaluation. Continuous evaluation is an approach that would capture the full range of learners' performance. CCE will lead to diagnosis, remediation and enhancement of learning.

 CCE refers Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation, a system of school based assessment that covers all the aspects of a student’s development. It was designed to reduce the student stress related to board exams, and to introduce a uniform and comprehensive pattern for student evaluation across the country. It emphasizes on two broad objectives: (a) Continuity in Evaluation and (b) Assessment of broad based learning. Clearly, it attempts to shift emphasis from ‘testing’ to ‘holistic learning’ with an aim of creating young adults, possessing appropriate skills and desirable qualities in addition to academic excellence.

Teachers and administrators would thus be able to assess learners' progress and would have time to correct the problems. According to National Curriculum Framework (NCF, 2005) CCE has frequently been cited as the only meaningful kind of evaluation and it also requires much more careful thinking through about when it is to be employed in a system effectively. Such evaluation places a lot of demand on teachers' time and ability to maintain meticulous records if it is to be meaningfully executed and if it is to have any reliability as an assessment.

Objectives of CCE -
1.      Encourage development of cognitive skills and de-emphasize rote learning
2.      Make the entire education process a student-centric activity
3.      Help develop cognitive, psychomotor and interpersonal skills
4.      Make holistic evaluation an integral part of entire education process
5.      Improve student's accomplishments through regular diagnostics and remedial instructions
6.      Use evaluation to control quality and maintain desired performance
7.      Take decisions about the learner, learning process and learning environment by determining social utility, desirability & effectiveness of the program

 Comprehensive Evaluation

1. Scholastic Evaluation
2. Co- Scholastic Evaluation

The ‘comprehensive’ component of CCE takes care of assessment of all round development of the child’s personality. It includes assessment in Scholastic as well as Co-Scholastic aspects of the pupil’s growth.

Assessment in Scholastic areas is done informally and formally using multiple techniques of evaluation continually and periodically. There are 2 types of Assessments, in an academic year, to test the Scholastic areas: Formative Assessment (FA) and Summative Assessment (SA)

Formative Assessment: FA is carried out as a part of the instruction methodology and provides continuous feedback to both the teachers and the learners. It comprises of Class work, Homework, Oral questions, Quizzes, Projects, and Assignments/Tests etc.

Summative Assessment: Summative assessment is carried out at the end of a term. It measures how much a student has learnt from the course and is usually a graded test i.e. Examination.

Evaluation of Scholastic Areas (2) An academic year is divided into 2 terms and in each term there will be 2 FAs & 1 SA and weightage is allotted to each in the following manner

Formative Assessment totals to 40% and Summative Assessment totals to 60% and grades are given on a 9 point grading scale.

Assessment in Co-Scholastic areas is done using multiple techniques on the basis of identified criteria. Assessment of Co-scholastic areas is done at the end of the year on a 5 point grading scale. Co-Scholastic areas of evaluation include

1.      Life Skills i.e. Thinking, Social & Emotional Skills
2.      Attitude & Values i.e. towards Teachers, School-mates, School Programs, Environment and the Value System
3.      Co-curricular Activities which are further divided into

Activities - Literary & Creative Skills, Scientific Skills, Visual & Performing Arts, Leadership & Organization Skills and other Co-curricular activities,

Health and Physical Education, that includes areas like Sports, NCC, and Gardening etc.

The role and importance of Co-scholastic areas of evaluation has been further emphasized by an up-gradation policy of CBSE that allows students to upgrade their Scholastic grades depending on performance in co-scholastic areas.

 Challenges Faced

1.      CCE implemented in a hurry, thus teachers are still very much on the starting block in terms of comprehension and adoption of CCE

2.      The success of CCE is largely hinged on the adoption of the model by the teachers

3.      So far, our teachers have been conditioned to the traditional system of evaluation and will take time to understand, apply and realize the value of the CCE

4.      It is an evolving methodology which implies teachers need to be continually educated to ensure that they are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills

5.      Due to hasty implementation of CCE students are facing increased stress and pressure in the form of project work

6.      Implementation ambiguity at teacher’s level has resulted into an overdose of project work for students, resulting in lesser time for self-study

7.      A typical report card runs into 6-7 pages

8.      Manual generation of report cards can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a month

9.      Although the entire process of student evaluation is decentralized, CBSE holds control on issuing the final certificate of assessment to Class X students which requires schools to send student’s performance data for Classes IX & X electronically to the board at the end of the academic session that further calls for maintenance of performance data in different formats by the school, resulting in duplication of effort

10.  Result is increased stress for teachers

11.  No uniform model of recording the assessment has been followed anywhere so far

12.  Personal attention for the students by the teachers, which is important for the success of CCE, is not possible in many schools as the student-teacher ratio is widely skewed, ranging from 40 to 60, thus resulting in ‘efficiency and effectiveness’ related issues

What Paryanta has implemented so far in partnered schools:

What Paryanta has implemented so far in partnered schools:

JP Vidhya Kendra – A school following traditional teaching methods and had the perception of a government school, both in appearance and processes followed, took a right step towards prosperity by partnering with Paryanta management consultancy.

How was it before?
The school was out dated in its way of teaching and could not compete with new entrants due to the following reasons:
1.       Poor infrastructure and perception as low grade school
2.       Old teaching methods
3.       Person driven organization
4.       No effective marketing

What are the changes?
Several steps were taken to improvise the school both in appearance as well as in their processes. Few that are worthy of mention are as follows:
1.       Infrastructure development including kids play area, garden, front view upgrade, etc.
2.       Implementation of activity based learning.
3.       Mixture of Montessori curriculum, role play for active learning for kids.
4.       Process driven organization
5.       Marketing activities such as advertising, relationship management.

What is ISO-9001?

What is ISO-9001?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards.
ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.
ISO 9001 is the standard that provides a set of standardized requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what the user organization does, its size, or whether it is in the private, or public sector. It is the only standard in the family against which organizations can be certified – although certification is not a compulsory requirement of the standard.The other standards in the family cover specific aspects such as fundamentals and vocabulary, performance improvements, documentation, training, and financial and economic aspects.
Why an organization should implement ISO 9001?
Without satisfied customers, an organization is in peril! To keep customers satisfied, the organization needs to meet their requirements. The ISO 9001:2008 standard provides a tried and tested framework for taking a systematic approach to managing the organization’s processes so that they consistently turn out product that satisfies customers’ expectations.

Where Do We Stand?????

We are in the 21st century but still we are lagging behind. We have access to technology, have lots of resources, government is providing with all the helps required but still the conditions haven't changed much.

When we start counting the best schools, colleges and universities, we can count them on fingers. Government has opened several schools where kids can get their free education. There are several scholarships being provided to the ones who can't afford higher education. We have been given independence to choose our own streams and follow our dreams. But still where exactly is the loop hole??? If we get the answer to this question half of the problem will be solved.
It’s been from a long while that India has been considered to be a developing nation, which needs to be changed. And to bring on this change the roots needs to be strengthened, and then only there will be improvements.

Start thinking, as to how we can bring the changes in the education system. Though it may be a small contribution but still it will have its own impact.

The Significance of Teacher Empowerment

One of the most critical dimensions of the system of education today, is empowerment of students. Empowerment of students, as a phenomenon, is a result of many things, one of which is 'Empowerment of Teachers'. Perhaps, the most central and the strongest catalyst to getting there, if not the only one. Empowerment of teachers, professors and other academic practitioners has been recognised over a few years as a space that needs utmost attention in terms of development, process establishments and holistic approaches towards the system as a whole.

In one of the articles published by Gardner-Webb University, a comprehensive definition of empowerment of teachers read, “teacher empowerment is defined as investing teachers with the right to participate in the determination of school goals and policies and to exercise professional judgment about what and how to teach.” The most significant part of this understanding is the part about the right to be invested in teachers to decide on the content and the method of teaching. And while the administration of any educational institution contemplates the possibilities of acting further on it, the most critical element of observation will be the level of abilities and competencies of the teachers, to be able to make the process stronger to reach the objectives and goals of the institution.  So, empowerment in this case becomes a process with two parallel progressions to it. One, the empowerment of the skill sets and the competency levels through methodically designed programs, second, to investing the rights in them to derive from these skills and competencies to convert them into the preset objectives.

Greater productivity, morale boost, lesser bureaucratic impediments to process reforms are some of the direct results of teacher empowerment. From being a catch-phrase that originated in the late 80’s, to being a integral part of the policymaker’s agenda today, the contemplation has shifted from whether or not to incorporate it, to how its effectiveness can be scaled up. With initiatives from Government and private organisations, the scope for empowerment has broadened and scientific research towards increasing the effectiveness of empowerment of teachers is indeed a good sign of development for our education system.

A View On The Quality of Education in India

The growing need for quality education and the lack of it in India has been a nagging problem for decades. While we can confidently talk of the advancements we've made in the field of education, we continue to ask ourselves – is this enough? The appalling statistics show that close to 90% of the students do not complete their basic education. While family pressure, lack of funds, societal norms and plenty more of such reasons are responsible for the dire situation we face, the most notable cause of poor education is the education system itself. Low quality of education is a stumbling block for the development of our nation. Why are we still called a developing nation and not a developed one? India has been a developing country for decades. Year on year we see articles, we hear experts talking of how India will supercede even America to become the next superpower. Why hasn't that happened yet? I don’t need to be an expert to say it – it’s the lack of quality education. We as a nation are being deprived of the most essential ingredient of success. We have the smarts, we just need the right kind of guidance to get to the developed stage as opposed to the constant tag associated with our country i.e. developing nation.

With the introduction of the RTE Act in 2009, India was one amongst 135 nations to make education a fundamental right of every child between the age of 6 and 14. While this can be seen a huge stride in the long walk to development, we can only hope and pray that it won’t just be on paper and become one of the many ways  for corrupt politicians to count their bundles of black money. While statistics show that the RTE Act has allowed hundreds of thousands of children to go to school, we also see the depressing statistics of lack of qualified teachers, pathetic quality of education and a rising number of dropouts. The main reason for lack of qualified teachers has been the ever present problem of low salaries and pathetic infrastructure along with lack of basic necessities to work with. With the Modi fever catching on in a manner that can only be described as fast and furious, I can only hope as a fellow citizen that NaMo fever catches on the education field too. By allocating appropriate funds for education in the country and also making it a priority, quality of education in India can actually be on par with those of the advanced countries. Providing quality education in India is the single most effective solution to the brain drain we are facing as a nation. More importantly, education can single handedly help reduce the income inequalities that our nation is bogged down with. Education will drastically reduce the dire consequences of the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer.  All this being said I will end with a famous quote by none other than Nelson Mandela – “ Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”.