Category: School


With the current trending in the education space, words like exams, fear, depression, nervousness and tension have become synonymic in usage while referring to EXAMS. All this darkness arises during exams because the meaning and purpose of examination has diluted to a pre-requisite for a certification.

Intent to hold exams

The basic intent behind conducting examinations was to allow a student to self appraise and allow the tutor to use it as an evaluation tool. In the ancient time, examination was one of the tools used by a teacher to evaluate the students’ level of knowledge, skill sets and performance. However, in the current era, sadly, examination is the ONLY tool to evaluate a student.

It is time for teachers to expand their ways and means of assessing a student’s ability, skill, knowledge and attitude. With the rising need to approach an exam differently, students also have to re-orient themselves towards exams.

Exam fever at different temperature

The exam fever takes a different avatar depending on the importance of the exam in one’s life, extent of using the results as an evolutionary determinant and impact on one’s persona with a trepidation to disapproval.

For instance competitive exams like CAT, MAT, GATE and so on are screening tests or more of an elimination round for the assessors to pick the best from the crowd. However, each competitive exam will have its hidden criteria to select the right candidates for a given course or job.

Similarly, the main motive behind conducting term-wise exams in schools is to ensure that children and in sync with the pedagogy and are acquiring the necessary knowledge and aptitude required by their age. But now the purpose of conducting is not this anymore. Schools conduct more and more of these exams and tests to check their status of churning out more number of education board toppers.

With this we can infer that the true motive of holding exams is meant for progressive reasons. Hence, it is good to revisit our approach towards writing and preparing for exams.

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Parents in India

After the World War II, we saw that the yester-generation in India was motivated by a government job. A person who had a government job was considered successful and fathers were ready to give their daughters in marriage to young men with government jobs. In those day a private job was seen as a risky affair.
After introduction of LPG and Y2k massacre, the trend changed. Success = to having a private IT job. Children were sent to special coaching classes to become an engineer or doctor. This became an educational bubble a kid’s smartness was determined by the course chosen after 10th standard. Commerce and Arts turned invisible to parents, who themselves were treated as kings sometime back. Now, these commerce and art graduate parents pushed their children towards their glorious future as an engineer or doctor. After a few years, parents were also bit by the MBA sting.

What is the parental attitude now? Parents see their children as future CEOs and entrepreneurs. Now, children are encouraged to be innovative and to create new things. The next bubble is growing towards entrepreneurship.

 

Malnourished education in rural India

Few decades ago good quality of food and grains and nourishment to the children in backward areas of India were the attention seeking topics while planning the budget and five year plans. Government has shown progress in solving these issues and now it has new issues to tackle.

Education provided to children is inadequate. Though the number of rural children attending schools is on a rise, the quality that they receive is disappointing.

Rural education problems in India

Fewer committed teachers: The school’s administration and teacher’s work culture is not good enough for schools to attract committed teachers to rural schools. Multiple classes are consolidated in one room and the teacher teaches the same topic to all classes.

No proper textbooks and learning material: Government is making efforts to provide good material but it is poorly implemented. Children are not receiving enough aids for their intellectual growth.

Difficult choice between earning money and free education: Though government schools are available for free, it is difficult for people to below the poverty line to choose between engaging their children into an occupation for livelihood versus engaging them for futuristic benefits into a school.

What is the solution?

Parent network: Parents who can spare time can come and add to the teaching force. This network has to increase to generate better quality of content and teaching methodologies for the children from the rural areas.

Alumni network: Students who have made it big can contribute back by adopting one of handicapped schools as a visiting teacher. This instills interest in the children to meet this new person periodically. The person’s personal background would add value to their learning.

Teacher network: Teachers form different schools could work on a teacher exchange programme for a couple of months to share ideas, teaching aids, classroom feedback and so on.

Solutions mentioned above have taken the aid of networking. It simply expands the world, which otherwise limits us from exposure.

HAPPY TEACHING

School for life – learn life skills

We read and write everyday.

How much of our time is spent in reading and writing words? This includes watching movies with subtitles, reading books, talking to professionals, watching television with ads in it, glancing bill boards on the road or surfing the products displayed in a retail store. The world has adapted to a system, that advocates – to live a decent life, literacy is indispensable.

How did this happen? At school a child is introduced to science, maths, language, social science. All these subjects are introduced only through reading and writing. Is this the best technique to teach a concept? If not, then why is note making and lecturing given so much importance?

Why can’t a concept be taught using craft, pottery, music, dance, acting or sports? Schools in this era, in India have become uni-dimensional. 6 or 8 hours spent by a student at school is into listening, writing and reading. This provides very little opportunity to know and learn life skills.

With this argument, we can conclude that, now the purpose and objective of current school system is adrift. What does a school actually do? Why should children go to school? What are they becoming after they step out of school? Some students are definitely proving progressive and contributing their efforts to the society. But this proportion is very small. How about the rest of them who are being taught  to follow the herd game without purpose? Who will take onus of this situation?

Is it the school, parents, government? I would say the system. The current system in which we are all comfortable, oblivious of the weeds in it.

What should the children be taught? Balance, respect, clarity, truth, belief and most of all the art of learning.

A child spends 10 to 12 years in a formal school. Some graduate with laurels and others as mediocre and few others as nobody. While a student stays in school for so long, is it not possible to teach a few basic things to live life. A school’s definition is condensed and narrowed to ‘a  literate generating institution’. When will it change to a life renewing system?

CAT – Common Admission Test for most premier MBA colleges in India has evolved from an unknown exam to the only exam most students are getting coached for. CAT is the most talked about exam among final year students in India. It promises a cozy job and other great career prospects. If you pass through the exam, you will see a white cat and if couldn’t get through you would say I saw the black cat, most Indians believe in this!

Where is all this leading to? You must be thinking we know enough about CAT by now. It has sections like quant, verbal, data interpretation, logical reasoning and so on. Geeks who are good at maths, verbal and reasoning will reach the next round of selection affairs. Most of all, to make our lives miserable and difficult they also have this amazing feature called  “NEGATIVE MARKING”. Hey and there is more to it, CAT exam organizers realized in 2009 that students have got tech savvy and hence they introduced a computer integrated exam. How easy can it get to crack CAT?!!!??

Most of us feel like this. But, some of us feel like this….

Let me dissect CAT and understand it.

You won’t find any thing organic after dissecting this type of CAT. All you will find is YOUR ATTITUDE and YOUR INNER SELF. You must be thinking why did this take the turn of philosophy. From now on, this can be titled as “CAT PHILOSOPHY”.

What exactly happens if you accomplish to pass through all three rounds of the b-schools. You sit in the classrooms of the most premier institutes in India  for two long years. Work your ass offff and realize that you will be placed in a comfortable job. Most of them for who this happens, are treated as a different ilk. How can these few people make it happen? It is their attitude of confronting and solving problems. People like this, just love problems. They don’t run away from problems, they don’t procrastinate to solve  problems. They just do it.

Further dissection and diagnosis

Why are these guys paid so much? Do they have such extraordinary skills that I don’t have? The answer is no. You may have skills better than the guys who graduate out of premier b-schools, but not have the right attitude. This attitude is what the b-schools and companies look for while recruiting them.

QUANT: This section is all about math. You definitely will need to have a decent understanding about numbers and math. The word ‘DECENT’ can be defined as mastering your 10th grade and 11th grade math chapters. Then comes application. So what you have to practice is not when you start preparing for CAT. What you have to start with is, application of these mastered math concepts and hence show your ability to solve problems.

VERBAL:  If you know good literature, grammar and English then you will get through this section. Wrong again.

Test yourself. How well can you communicate or present your thoughts with simple English and with good grammar. Can you comprehend, interpret and analyze a passage in few minutes. If you can then you can crack this section.

DI & DS: With limited data can you draw inferences and understand what the problem is? This is a mindset we have to develop as a prelude to solving Math.

Smart coaching centers advise students to get a feel of this section before any other section.

LOGICAL REASONING: The phrase speaks for itself. You think you have common sense then apply it. If you don’t have it, then develop it, to bypass this section.

A small attempt to give my readers a reality check about one’s self.

My Valentine is my passion

What drives us to do something? PASSION. It is our passion to do it. This article is Valentine’s day special feature presenting ‘how our passion evolves into action’. This statement is not true all the time. Sometimes passion dwindles and the action never comes into reality.

Our childhood is influenced by culture, family, parents and friends. This lays a foundation to our multiplying aspirations. Our surroundings and circumstances drive us to decide our passion. A lot of similar factors also act upon diffusing our flourishing passion. Then rises the herd instinct in us. “Follow the crowd”. However, we rarely stumble upon a fortune of reuniting with our passion.

Favourable circumstances are not a boon to most of us who want to follow our dreams. What really matters here is, how far can we extend ourselves to convert our passion into reality.

How do I realize my passion?

Valentine's day Passion

Rules of Life – by BILL GATES

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your
self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters.. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Google Science Fair 2013

Google and NatGeo have announced Google Science fair on Jan 30th.

The annual Google Science Fair launches today, inviting students around the world ages 13-18 to explore and pursue their interests in science and technology. For the past two years, thousands of students from more than 90 countries worldwide have submitted research projects that address some of the most challenging projects we face today. This being the largest online science fair in the world, prizes are pretty big themselves. The grand prize includes a National Geographic Expedition to the Galápagos Islands. National Geographic Explorers T.H. Culhaneand Enric Sala are among the renowned panel of scientists that will serve as Science Fair judges. Below, T.H. takes us inside being a judge and what it means to him. Follow further here: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/30/google-science-fair-2013-launches-today/