feel One very interesting paradigm relevant to today’s

feel the current educational system is obsolete. It lays far
more emphasis on imparting knowledge than wisdom. The current system worked
very well in the olden days because of the informational asymmetry, where only
few people had access to the knowledge base humanity had amassed. At the
current times with the proliferation of internet, most of the population
has access to internet and can seek information. This doesn’t mean that schools
lose its relevance in today’s setting, but they have to evolve to remain
relevant.

One very interesting paradigm relevant to today’s scenario is flipped classroom
model. In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself,
typically using video lessons created by the instructor or shared by another
educator, such as those provided by the Khan Academy. In the classroom, the
pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical
work.

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Why it works ?

More interaction and less lecturing

      
The problem with today’s education
system is that students feel lectures are insipid and they are not motivating
enough to make them read further, which i think should be the primary aim of
any lecture. We need more conversations rather than monologues to inspire kids
into the habit of learning.

      Teachers open the door but
you must enter by yourself – Zen proverb

Students can learn according to their own pace

     
Today’s classroom places every student at the same level by demanding students
to understand the lecture as soon as it is delivered.  But like any
distribution, IQ also follows a bell curve. There are slow learners, fast learners
and average students. The current model is very inefficient especially when a
student fails to understand a very basic concept at the beginning of the
lecture, and the whole of the remaining lecture is based on that concept. In
flipped teaching model, every student gets ample time at home to understand the
contents before the class. Also since the only job of the tutor is to engage
the students, he/she will have more time in clearing the doubts of the
students. The tutor also can give differential and special treatment to the
outliers.

Fosters creativity

      The present educational system hampers the creativity of the
students by exposing the students to the contents of the lecture and ideas of
the other students without giving them any time to think about the topic.
Psychology has shown that this produces a bunch of conformists and less number
of innovative ideas ; the same reason why brainstorming has been proved to be
ineffective.

Introverted students are given their space

      
Susan Cain: The power of
introverts | Video on TED.com
   
        The above is an interesting talk on
introversion and how today’s education system views introversion as something
bad. Most of today’s classroom learning revolves on group activities, which
restricts the space the introverts need to grow as an individual. Flipped model
gives introverts the much needed space to go berserk with their ideation and
thoughts.

Is it feasible in India ?

Being a developing country, there will be skepticism on this model as many
students still don’t have the privilege of access to technology. If not in all
schools, this model can be tested out in a few elite schools first, where
students have access to technology. I believe this will bring a lot of change
the way a middle class student receives education. I firmly believe if we at
least inspire the middle class and upper class students, they will become
catalysts for social change , and the effects will trickle down.

Source :
1. Let’s use video to
reinvent education: Salman Khan on TED.com

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Margaret Weiss,
India, the land of contrasts

Written Apr 21, 2014 · Upvoted by Anne W Zahra,
M.Ed. Language Teaching

Originally Answered: What is the most
depressing thing about the Indian education system? How can it be modified?

My favorite speech outlines the
exact ailments plaguing the education system – it is by Ken Robinson and though
it was made in 2006, it is as relevant as it can possibly be.
Full speech available here: How schools kill
creativity

The bottom line is that the standardization of the educational model – the
conveyor of sorts – which shifts kids from the 1st to the highest grade, was
initiated during the industrial revolution and has accomplished a lot in terms
of lifting many out of eneducated pool and into the educated masses.
It has achieved its goals of increasing the number of educated kids and adults.

This is when it started to fail.
There are many educated people now – the ones who can read and write – and
compared to the situation before the education standardization, we are ahead of
where we used to be as a society.

However, what got us here won’t get us there – we need to modify the
approach and come up with a more customized model based on kids’ needs and not
what politicians think is the best teaching approach.
Kids have different learning capacity, varying learning abilities, and require
different things to succeed – the current educational model allows for nothing
of that sort and instead we use the most reliable way of grouping kids,
by birth date.
Brilliant!

EDIT
(I have recently had a discussion with one of my coworkers. His child, a girl
in the 1st grade, has been lagging in sports – to the point of having to go
through a rather invasive and extensive series of medical tests to figure out
what’s wrong with her.
While talking to this parent, I was asking about the details, and this is when
I hit the jackpot: this girl was the youngest one in the class.
Let me explain.

In many countries, mothers are actually engaging in a questionable buthighly
effective practice of red-shirting: either planning their pregnancy, so that
the child is born in winter and is the oldest of the group, or holding the
child back a year in a kindergarten, so that the child becomes the oldest one
in the first grade.

Now, the older and more stronger (physically and emotionally) kids stand out,
achieve higher compared to their peers, and otherwise are favorited by teachers
since they are, well, older and therefore, more capable than a regular
non-red-shirted child).

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Sarah Thomas,
Insert bio here

Updated Apr 21, 2014

Originally Answered: What is the most
depressing thing about the Indian education system? How can it be modified?

Thanks for the A2A Melissa Stroud!

Two words: standardized testing. It sucks. All it does is waste time and money,
and nothing ever comes out of it except punishment. My kids have a 95% pass
rate, so what? That just says they’re good at taking tests. The 5% who don’t
pass may just be bad test takers. Last year the one eighth grader who didn’t
pass was having a bad day, as she has always scored advanced or proficient. But
I guess on paper, she must be “a child left behind.” What kind of
bull garbage is that?!? Makes me want to jump off a roof.

Edit: my answer probably isn’t relevant to the Indian system. I answered before
the question was revised.

Edit again: it’s relevant now lol.

Edit for the third time: I give up.

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Suraj Srinivas,
Armchair thinker

Written Sep 9, 2014

Originally Answered: Given a chance to design
Indian Education system, How would you do that?

I have a completely different
opinion from most people answering here.

This question reminds me of one of the oft-said things about start-up companies
– ‘It’s not the idea that matters but how well you deliver the product!’.

Suppose I manage to come up with an excellent education system, having all the
good characteristics one can think of – it will sooner or later morph into a
system we will all learn to hate. The system is, after all, managed by people
whose mentality will be to see their children come first in class, be better
than everyone else, etc.

A large scale system like education has to be kept simple in it’s
organisation. A complex system will be incredibly difficult to reliably
implement. Think of all of India’s villages! The question asks to only to design
a system, not assume that it’s execution will be done by magic!

Defense of the current system
The current system provides an inherent gamification. By assigning a number to
the performance of a child, there is an inherent incentive to increase that
number.
Hopefully, for a good system, increasing that number should be tied to
increasing knowledge, or skill sets. This, I agree, is a major flaw of our
system. In fact, I would go ahead and say this is THE major flaw of our
system.

Given this prelude, let’s begin to identify the root cause of the failure.
According to me, it’s the quality of the testing system, along with the lack of
good quality teachers.

Test better
Colleges and schools are accredited taking into account everything else except
the quality of questions being asked in exams. Ask questions which promote use
of reasoning and logic, rather than just facts learnt in school. Ask questions
which encourages students to ask more questions of their own.

Better teachers
Better tests need better teachers who can ask those kinds of questions. A
simple requirement.

Implementation
Redesign the question papers of Class 10, 12 exams. The entire school system at
present is almost like a feeder service for these two exams. If these question
papers are creative, so will the entire feeder service (eventually).
For higher education, rank colleges in accordance to the difficulty, or
creativity of the questions asked. Let this be an important parameter for a
national ranking system. Link some benefits (like funding) to these rankings.
Colleges will automatically try to get better ranked and ask better questions.
Simultaneously increase the minimum pay-able salary substantially for teachers.

In short, get people to be more creative, and more curious, knowledge will
follow. Hopefully, so will wisdom.

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Vishal Kale,
Guest Faculty – Brand Mgmt, International Mktg, Advertising

Written Feb 3, 2013

This answer is predicated upon my
teaching experience in 4 institutes as a guest faculty for Brand Management,
Advertising Management, and International Marketing

Taali Do Haaton Se Bajti Hai… Please keep this Hindi idiom in mind as
you read the answer

Question:  Is there something wrong with the education system?
Answer: Yes

Question: Is only the system to blame?
Answer: No

Question: Who else is to blame?
Answer: Society, its expectations and the prevalent overall system

Question: On what areas are the actionables to set things right?
Answer: Education System, and Students both areas require tuning

Question: What is the timeframe?
Answer: Indeterminate. Cannot be determined; it is a long term affair

So, specifically, what is wrong with the education system?

Learning by roteLack of experiential learning; Lack of focus on
knowledge developmentLack of focus on personality developmentHerd mentality: lack of individualised attention to
studentsLack of quality teachers (supposedly)

These are the real problems in the education system. Of these, some – as we
shall see – will need to be redefined. Others are explicit and accurate. Let us
now consider each of these one-by-one

Learning by rote
This, on the face of it, does seem to be the problem. The emphasis is on marks
and only marks; that appears to be the key to success. The key word here is
“appears”. But wait a minute, and think: is it only the education
system that is a contributory factor? You currently have a situation in society
wherein quite a few good institutes place emphasis on marks and percentage as
entry barriers; corporates also place entry barriers in campus interviews in
terms of minimum marks. This seemingly facile problem is actually fairly complex,
and inter-related with a plethora of factors that have little direct connection
with the education system. As an example, a new type of school has just come up
which focuses on skill development as opposed to marks, How many parents send
their kids to these schools? We are living in a society which values marks;
that is not going to change anytime soon, Hence, this seeming problem is
actually an environmental reality; few education institutes can escape this
trap.

Experiential Learning
Having seen that there is little anyone can do on the learning by rote
objection, let us turn our attention to the other side of the coin.
Experiential Learning, or skill development, or knowledge development, or
conceptual development of students. Call it what you will. While this seems the
same as above, that is, it seems the opposite of the first point; it is in
reality a totally different entity. Both the above can co-exist. Marks will
always be important; the changes required in the entire system as we know it
today are too complex to contemplate. We cannot change each and every
stakeholder – not in a finite definable amount of time at any rate.

When we try to impart concept development to students – we run into 2
difficulties: the system and the students. First, the system. The syllabi are
defined are concrete (for obvious reasons), and leave little time to indulge in
niceties such as skill development et al. There is a case of redefining of
syllabi to include some portion of conceptual testing, which will go a long way
towards alleviating this problem. or increase the number of lectures. Next, the
support material. There is an abysmal paucity of good reference material in
school and college libraries, as well as book stores. This is especially
worrisome for the large majority of students who do not understand English well
enough to be able to follow the complex lines of reasoning and fundamentals
present in the higher courses. The need of the hour is encouragement of top
Indian teachers and researchers to write their own material, or tie up with
world-class researchers to re-write their reference books for the Indi…
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Atul Kulkarni,
Indian Police Service( I.P.S) Officer, TISS-Urban planner, Writer

Written May 23

Primary Education

The Millennium development goals
aims at eradicating poverty and improving the welfare if their people by the
year 2015. The second of its goals is achieving universal Primary Education,
with a specific target of ensuring that by 2015 everyone, boys and girls alike,
will be able to complete a full course of Primary Schooling.

Primary Education develops the
capacity to learn, read and use mathematics to acquire information and to think
critically about the information. Micro-economic research has shown that
education improves individual income. Research also indicates the contribution
of primary Education to better natural resource management and more rapid
technological adaptation and innovation. And the returns to Primary Education
are higher than returns to higher levels of Education. When a large number of
children do not complete primary education, the productivity of the labour
force and the human potential from which the society can draw declines. It has
been found those mothers who have completed Primary Education are 50 percent
more likely to ensure that their infants are immunised than illiterate ones.
But, in several developing countries, average level of schooling is still less
than primary Education.

Compulsory primary Education

Compulsory primary Education is a
Policy Instrument by which state effectively removes children from Labour
force, thereby protecting both against parents and would be employers.

Indian Scenario

Since Independence the country has
witnessed phenomenal educational development both in quantitative and
qualitative terms. But the Nation goals of Universal Elementary Education (UEE)
and the total eradication of illiteracy still remains elusive. Some of the
relevant features are:

Primary Education is still not compulsoryChild Labour is not illegal. Law prohibits employment
of children in factories but not cottage Industries, restaurants,
agriculture or householdsChildren often stay at home to care for cattle, tend
young ones, collect firewood, work in field or are employed elsewhere as
above.Children are economic asset to Poor Families. Thus,
sending them to schools involves explicit opportunity costs

Today India is way behind in
decreasing Illiteracy Rates. It is the single largest producer of Illiterates
in the World. The literacy rate stands at 65.38% (2001 census). Percentage of
Primary Students Enrollment for boys is 63.6% while for girls is 50.3%. Still
startling is the Gross drop-out rates, 38.4% for boys and 39.4% for girls (2001
census).

Is is not surprising then that right
since independence, the government of India, every commission appointed by the
government and every ruling Congress party, all opposition parties have
advocated abolishing child labour and establishing compulsory primary education
for children up to the age of fourteen. This commitment is reflected in
preceding and succeeding efforts by the major parties and then the government.

Some of such developments on Primary
Education in India’s past and present are:

Gopal Hrishna Gokhale,
then president of Indian national congress unsuccessfully urged the
British to establish free and compulsory elementary EducationIn 1930s
Indian National Congress passed Legislation authorising local bodies to
introduce compulsory educationIn 1950,
Indian constitution declared that the state shall endeavour to within a
period of ten years from the commencement of Constitution for free and
compulsory education to all children until they attain the sage of
fourteen years.Thus in the Indian Constitution of, school
education was put in the State list. As such, it was responsibility
of the state to provide universalisation of Primary EducationIn 1964, Kothari Commission was set up to
formulate a coherent education Policy for India. It proposed Indian
Education Policy to aim at free and compulsory education for all children
up to the age of 14.

 

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