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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Girls out of school: Utter Pradesh tops all India figures

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LUCKNOW: Although so many strategies are enhanced to promote girls child education in Uttar Pradesh but the percentage of girls child education is still very low. The percentage of girls education under the age of 11-14 in Uttar Pradesh is 9.9%, the highest in the country.

In India, it is found that there is a large disparity between female literacy rates in different states. For example Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have female literacy rates around 55-60%.The Annual States of Education Report (ASER) describes the ratio of girls out of school in Uttar Pradesh is 9.7%.

When the survey was done, it is concluded that 94.7% of children are enrolled in schools. Under the age of 6-14 years, the ratio is increased 93% of children in eight years.

School attendance is itself very essential. It is not be done just to enroll the child in the register, it is very necessary to make sure either he\she is present in school or not. As the volunteer of ASER, Rukmini Banerji said about the school attendance that it is most important factor in children learning. School attendance in primary school is very below showing 60% in Uttar Pradesh.

According to the survey it can be clearly identified that the performance of private school children are much more better then the children of government schools. Dropout rates in government school is very high and education is also very poor .In Uttar Pradesh, after finishing 5 years of their academic years, children are not able to read texts in English and solve the sums at the level of class 2.It is very shameful condition that only 35.4% children in class 8 can read English sentences in Uttar Pradesh.

To grasp this poor condition, the report suggests that it is the time to enhance the capability of children in schools. Every child should be provided free books, uniforms and extracurricular materials. Their attendance should be compulsory. Children needs to motivate in schools to improve their listening, reading and writing skills. Asking questions related to their subject will improve their confidence level. Basic skills are given to them so that they can easily use their mental ability to grasp all over basic concepts which are the need of the time. They are capable to perform mathematical operations on number and solving sums.

For the classes 3-5,it is compulsory to focus on achievable learning of children. Valuable syllabus should be organized for them. The contents of whole syllabus should be according to the mental level of the children. if we want to achieve high targets in it, the whole system should be checked and organized from the bottom roots.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

West Bengal prolonged vacation and concerns

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The heat wave in some past weeks compels the state governments to re visit the policy of the vacations and due to the health concern especially for the students till class 5, many state governments ordered to close the school in the second week of April to counter the situation.

Students are enjoying the holiday much before the designated time and got the cover against the heat wave. However, there is a concern in some sections of education especially the teachers, about the effect of these prolonged holidays on the syllabus and study of the children. The schools are closed in west Bengal state (including state run and aided schools) from April 11, when the mercury hit the figure of 45 degree Celsius.

In west Bengal, the department of schools has decided to open the schools on May 16 but hey will again be closed on May 19 as the official vacation period will start then. The Bengal board of secondary education has given the direction to schools to cancel the summer evaluation.

A students of class 10 from an aided schools said that these holidays have become the common trend in the state and the classes are becoming rare. The student said that we have to sit in the exams just after the opening that will create a lot of pressure on us. According to a teacher from a government aided schools in Howrah district, students of the rural area in Bengal will be affected most in this whole process of vacations.

There are two issues raised after this situation; one is the shortage of time due to vacation as the syllabus can’t be covered in short span of time after the vacations) and second is the availability and affordability of the private tutors. The teacher told the media that due to this situation, the rural students who depend on the school curriculum will have to face the trouble.

The students from the less privileged families have been further unconvinced as they are not getting their mid day meal which was the prime reason for their attendance in schools. The teacher further said that from the parents point of view, this situation might cause negative impact and the parents can opt for other educational boards to avoid the vacation culture of this board.

A teacher of the chemistry from a state run schools said that class 9 and 10 would suffer the most. The timing of the class that have to be used for the teaching, has been short now and as a counter strategy we will have to take the short cuts that would eventually result in the weak basic knowledge.

On the situation, the headmistress of the Duff schools for girls said that schools are closed to project the children from the severe heat wave and extra classes will be arranged if we consider necessary. The education minister Pratha Chatterjee’s statement caused the anger in circles, the minister said that these holidays will not impact the students as they can study at home always.

Friday, 24 February 2017

AICTE cancelled affiliations in Telangana

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The quality of the higher education is demanding firm action from government agencies but the government doesn’t have time to act. The rankings of the institution are falling each year and instead of rise with the rise of funding, the quality is declining.

The AICTE ( all India council for technical education)has decided to act on its part and cancels the the approval for the 73 engineering, management, pharmacy and poly technique institutes for offering admissions in the year 2016-17. The approval is cancelled due to the poor academic record and below standard infrastructure and faculty.

The colleges have to now re apply for the affiliation and have to defend their case to get the approval. With this cancellation of affiliation, the current students in these institutions will not be affected. The students who are passing out this year are arguing that this decision will affect them as the degree issueed now issued by these institutions would not be recognized.

The technical institutions all over the country have to apply to the AICTE and every year, they have to verify their affiliation from the council. For the re verification, the institutes have to update their info like infrastructure, faculty and academic record on the website AICTE and after which the board officials verify the information either it is correct or not, after the verification of the information, re affiliation is been sanctioned.

The colleges from Telangana did not fulfill the requirement and standard as set by the council after that the council acted against them. AICTE senior officer said that this is the routine process and when the colleges fail to provide the relevant details, the applications for re verification get rejected.

Not just these 73, AICTE also shut down 10 institutions in the country for good because management had not wanted to rum them anymore. 55 courses offered by various colleges of technical education in India have also been closed due to the fewer takers for the courses.

The council, as per resources has also reduced the land requirement for the engineering colleges and for the closure; the norms have also been reduced. This process is the attempt by the board to better the situation of technical education in the country.

The educationalists are considering it as a good step for the education. However, the board should also re define its policy for the verification, the existing policy have flaws where the research and innovation don’t have space in the institutions. The colleges some time use the information from outside resources and mentioned it as their own to get the registration.

The annual evaluation based on the market view of the graduates should be included in the assessment for re verifying the registration. The communication skills training must be made essential to get the degree from the technical institutes. As in today’s world, the requirements of the job have been changed and students have to be groomed in universities.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Politicization of NEET in Maharashtra

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The state governments still don’t know the way, to swallow the pill of NEET (national eligibility entrance test) that the Supreme Court gives them some weeks before. The states where the BJP is in government especially in Maharashtra facing severe pressure from the public due the central government takes to favor the central test for admission in medical colleges.

In Maharashtra, millions of students will try their luck in 24th July test, for which they don’t know how to prepare as there is wide difference between the syllabus of central education board and different states education curriculum.

In Maharashtra, the state government has filed a review petition to exempt the state just for this year as students can’t prepare according to the central board syllabus in short span of time. However, the lawmen have an opinion that Maharashtra government is fighting the loosed battle in the field. The Supreme Court will likely to give decision again in the side of central government because after the decision of proper bench of Supreme Court, the petition did not seem possible to hold.

In Maharashtra, the issue has taken the political color and regional parties are trying to take benefit from the situation. The hardcore Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has asked the prime minister to intervene and look into the demands of students otherwise they have to do suicides.

He asked the government to issue an ordinance to stop the implementation of the Supreme Court order in the state. He said that otherwise the students who aspire to get admission in medical colleges would have no way except to kill themselves just like the farmers did. He requested the PM Modi to intervene immediately in the situation and solve this. He also called this NEET exam as a step to make educational boards redundant.

After the ruling by the top court, the regional political parties are arguing that students who pass out from state boards in vernacular languages and especially those belong to remote areas can’t perform well in the central entrance test despite if they are competitive enough to do so. Some members of parliaments have also asked the government to issue the ordinance to halt the NEET in states.

On the issue, the union health minister JP Nadda will also hold the meeting with the education minister of the states that are protesting against the test. The Maharashtra education minister said that in the meeting, the difficulty of the test and the aspect to take the test in regional languages will be taken into account.

The centre government is also thinking to issue a notification of NEET after the decision by the Supreme Court. The state government is going to start helping coaching classes’ for the students and lectures will be telecast in the Doordarshan and private channel along with YouTube and mobile applications, from May 19, 2017. This is short term solution and cannot help the students on the real grounds.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Smriti Irani visit of IIT

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Last year, the weather forecast has gone wrong and the summer season started in the month of April. The public was not ready for this and the children who are going to schools and colleges don’t know how to face this situation as this is the study days.

The human resource minister, Smriti Irani has found the missing arrangement in the hostel of the IIT Delhi, many proper measures were not been taken even as the heat wave was continuing. The administration after the union minister’s notice has allowed the coolers in the hostel rooms and the management is also decided to install air conditioners in the common areas.

Actually, the HRD minister went to IIT for the inauguration of a new teaching learning complex and there she decided at the spot to meet the students in the boys’ hostel and also in the girl’s one.

According to the officials of the institute, the ministers met with the students and also interact with them. The minister also took a look at the facilities in the hostel for the heat wave season and there she found that the facilities were not up to date and many were missing. After which, the director of the IIT announced the package for the hostel in the meeting with concerned officials.

The management has decided that with the package, air cooler will be allowed in the hostel rules and arrangement would also be taken to provide cool and safe drinking water in all blocks.

The administration also decided to centrally air condition all the common areas and in the future, the hostels will be constructed with central air condition facility.

The students during interaction also complained about the condition of the dining halls and mess of the hostel. On this, the administration has allocated funds in the package for the modernization of the kitchen and dining halls.  These measure will first be implemented in IIT Delhi and then to all IIT’s of the country.

The minister visited the girl’s hostel after inspecting the boy’s ones, and found many irregularities there also. She said that the hostels are not up to the mark and need to be improved.

The steps taken by the director of the IIT are just the face saving after the minister’s visit. It is very kind gesture of Smriti Irani to visit personally and criticizing the situation. These measures have to be taken much time before and the HRD should take the action now and conduct a survey in all federal universities in the first step to check the facilities in the hostels.

In mostly universities, the situation is bad even from that shown in IIT. How can you aspect that students will perform better if they have to face the difficulties of living and studying peacefully in the hostels.
The government through a circular must sent notices to all universities to update the measures in hostel and some checks must be made to better the situation.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

NCPUL and Yoga Issue

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Some weeks before, the government had given the direction to all the education institutes of India to hold Yoga classes in their day schedule. Yoga was an option before this but now the ministry of Ayush and ministry of human resource development are striving hard to fulfill the dream of prime minister and even the institution of the minorities have not been spared in this battle of enforcement.

NCPUL (national council for promotion of Urdu language) works under ministry of HRD and they also receive circular to ensure the yoga classes in all their centers. They have also gotten the instructions to do arrangements for the international Yoga day on 21st June.

However, within the NCPUL, the opinion has been divided between various members. The ministry has asked the council to conduct Yoga classes in its 500 centers across India. Now! The issue has become the bone of contention between the MHRD and some executive board members of the council. The members are of the view that the yoga classes would cause unnecessary disturbance in centres of the council, mostly of which are establish in Madarssa or minority institutions.

The assistant director of academic NCPUL, Shama K. Yazdani said that yes! We have issued the circular to all 500 centres after the direction of MHRD and also about the celebrating the Yoga day on 21st June 2016. When asked by media that is this compulsory requirement for the council to hold classes, she said there is nothing like compulsory but she refused to comment further.

A NCPUL employee with the promise to remain unnamed said that MHRD order to comply with the earlier directive by the ministry of Ayush to introduce Yoga classes in all centres. The person said that MHRD order also contained advisory note about the health benefits of Yoga. The autonomous body NCPUL under the MHRD established in 1996 to promote Urdu. With the passage of time, the sphere extended and technical and vocational course were also introduced in the system including computer application and business accounting etc.

An employee of the NCPUL said that the order of the MHRD requires the council to work outside the sphere of its mandate. Another NCPUL person said that last years, order was come to hold the Yoga classes but this year order contains clear and detailed instruction so how can we disobey the order. Tariq Anwar, the member of the board said that he is not against Yoga but against its imposition on council’s centres. He said that ministry should try first to develop interest in students and after the student should be given choice either to join the classes or it.

The opinion has also been polarized as clearly seen by the comments of the council staff. The government should not interfere with the institution of the minorities to induce the party policies; it will create space between masses of opposite religions. Religious institutes must not be forced to obey such orders.

President on Research Culture

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In India, we are still fighting for the basic education needs and they way the higher education sector is losing its credibility and importance; it must be given the status of “Alarming”. The universities direly need investment in their infrastructure and faculty, otherwise, same like these years, graduates would be produced with only a piece of paper in their hands not the knowledge for which they went to universities.

On the issue, the president of India spoke at the occasion of Banaras Hindu University’s centennial year celebrations at Swatantrata Bhavan. He said that we need to emphasize on the investment on research and higher education – so that the Indian universities could make their place in top rankings.

The president said that we have to gradually improve the research quality in our education system for that we need investment. He added that in the area of higher education research Indian allocates 0.26 % of its GDP while Japan gives 3 %, USA 2.8 % and China 2.2 %.

He advised the government to take necessary steps on this issue. President said that India has 729 universities and 36,000 colleges but how many of them giving the quality education according to the international standards. He congratulated two Indian universities who make place in world top 200 by international rating agencies.

He said that this all situation does not depict that we have any deficiency of talent in our country. He added that India have seen such talent, who won Nobel Prize. He also mentioned Subramanyan Chandrasekhar and Hargovind Khurana, who were awarded the prize for their work. He said that in 1930 after CV Raman not even a single scholar for any Indian university got prize.

On the bright past of Indian education, he said that there was a time when Indian dominated in the field of higher education with renowned learning centres of Vikramshila, Taxila and Nalanda. He added that after them, Indian universities till now did not get the place as dignified by their size, culture and civilization.

He praised Madan Mohan Malaviya for founding BHU and said that the main aim of his was to develop a scientific sense among students and making them aware with the outer world and core civilization values. He added that he (madan mohan) did want the students to be like robot.

He emphasized to work to regain the past glory and said that I have visited 114 institutions of higher education and regularly stressed there to improve the ranking. He said that he refuses to believe that none of the universities can match the standards for being in world top 200.

He added that there are many such education institutions in India that have the potential to get the place in world top rankings. The president on the visit also garlanded the statue of Mahanama Malaviya. The governor Ram Naik on the occasion released Rs10 and Rs 100 commemorative coins on BHU.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

India-Australia education

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One of the leading, Australia’s top Indian expert has said that providing education and creating the adequate jobs for the large population of the south Asia is a global challenge like that of climate change. He said that Australia has a role in developing the talent in the crucial demographics. The director of Australia India institute, Prof. Craig Jeffery said that Indian leaders have a sharp focus on providing skills to young Indian and see Australia, one of the key contributors for this.

The Prof. said that one in every ten people in world is Indian and the size of this demography is very large.
Prof. Jeffery will chair “engaging with India 2016” – an annual trade and investment forum in Sydney. On the goal of PM Modi to provide skill to 500 million people by 2022, he said that PM is looking actively towards Australia to assist in achieving this goal.He added that Mr. Modi especially mentioned Australia and U.K. as a source of information and experience for vocational training.

In the last fiscal year, the export of Australia education related services to India worth 2.1 billion $. There are more than 50,000 students from India in education institutes of Australia that becomes 10% of the total international students there. He said that universities are looking for next wave of students and a lot of smart money is on India.

The professor said that there is a stage of transition and after the influx of Chinese students – the universities are now looking of possibilities for attracting Indian students especially in the areas of science and technology.However, the Prof. Jeffery is optimistic about the education cooperation and sees it much beyond the Indian students in Australia including the delivery of courses to India and collaborated research network. He said that no doubt! Australia can work to help India in establishing world class universities.

The number of Indian students’ dropped sharply after the attacks on Indian in 2009 and also by the policy reform and destabilized condition of Australian dollar between2010-12. The situation is much better now and the number is constantly growing since 2013. The tendency of the Australian universities to link up with China is very clear, as according to the University of Sydney’s latest strategic plan, 13 references are to china and only one to south Asia, none of these references pointed out towards India.

Prof. Jeffery, there is a growing mismatch between the aspirants of the youth of India and their capacity to find the work. Prof. also said that there is a question that how will you use the energy of thee millions of population across south Asia.

He said that this challenge is as important as the climate change for the future of our planet.
Now! It depends on Indian government on how to build relations with Australia and use the Australian expertise in the best way. The questions raised by prof. jefffeyr are genuine and require careful analysis.

Delhi University Digitalization

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Universities are the place where the innovative ideas given the shape of reality and public viability. The world has changed much in the field of education and particularly higher education, now ideas are not just given the shape for research but the commercial aspect is been taken into account so that the product could benefit the masses across continents.

The universities have gone much beyond the normal procedure of administration and in the universities of Europe and U.S. e – governance is very common and on university campuses, green campaigns have been induced. In India, the condition of education is like something that can be seen just with pity. The political interference and lack of transparency has damaged the actual purpose of universities.

The universities’ administration practices are not good even an inch better from the outside country. The universities are the knowledge houses but here we make them just degree given institutions. This is the major setback in the area of employment and millions of graduates from the higher education institutions come in the market without having the adequate knowledge. The Delhi University has taken an initiative in the area of e-governance. The university will provide the mark sheets, degrees and migration certificates online with the help of just a click. From July 1, the students would enjoy this online facility.

The university claims that this is the first university to provide these documents online, getting of which was a tough job before this policy. The university official said that from July 1, the university alumni will be able to get the mark sheets, attestations, migration certificates and transcripts online and Delhi University will deliver the document on the destination of the applicants.

The official further said that students have to enter the enrollment number, examination roll number, after that they have to select the document from the list that would be available on the online catalogue and after selection, they payment could be paid online. Electronic copies of transcripts, attested degree certificates and migrating certificates will be given online via the process. However, the original degree and mark sheet will be given on the personal attendance to the required office due to the security reason.

The official also said that when a applicant will apply for the delivery to service employer, visa agency or the university, after the submission of application, the applicants will get a password- in the form of personal identification number and that application will then share with the agency or institution, who could then access the document online.

The university is also in the process of digitizing the mark sheets of recent years. Last year, online mark sheet were given to the students enrolled in undergraduate students, including the candidates of open learning. The nine departments of post graduates students also provided the marks sheets online. But on the official level and for all, the offer is made for the first time in university and in the country.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Fee regulation for unaided schools (Chandigarh)

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In Chandigarh, some weeks before, complaints were lodged about the commercialization of books and uniform by the schools on which checks had made and education department had warned them. After the parent’s concerns, the education department had decided to made concrete steps in this regard. Now! The draft policy for the regulating of fee in private schools has received the nod from UT administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki.

The education department will now bring the process to take opinions of various stakeholders before finalizing and notifying the policy. The draft says that the expenditure involved for the junior and senior classes are different so the policy exercise would be two sectioned for each school. One category will be made from class 1 to 5 and second from 6 to 10.

The school’s freedom would be respected but the policy will ensure that only such hike in fee should be done – as the level of standards are given. On the profit making issue, the policy says that schools shall not be allowed to make profit from the admissions fee, re admission fee and through the commercialization of books, uniform and stationary. For the uniformity and transparency, the schools expenditures will be checked by the government appointed auditors or charted accountants.

The officials of the education department are saying that the dialogues process will be stated with the private schools heads and with the parents of the children, before the final notification of the policy. It is highly likely that notification for the fee regulation will be given to schools before the start of next academic sessions.

The 5 members committee that was set by the government will now compile the 150 complaints against the schools and the report on the complaints would be submitted to director school education by May 30. The heads of the unaided schools have raised their voices and also protesting on the interfering behavior of the education department in the working of the private schools.

They are arguing that 11 judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has given the cleare judgment that private unaided schools will determine the school fee and other norms themselves and they have the complete autonomy for this.
One official of the education department said that we are aware with fact that schools should have adequate funds to give the quality education but the standards have to reasonable. The official said that schools have to be accountable for the fee and some sort of transparency should be introduced in the private unaided schools.

The policy steps taken by the UT administration will affect thousands of students. Parents had been fed up with the unnecessary demands of the private schools and everyone in the country knows that these schools are been made money making machines. In the schools fee, some charges are included that have nothing to do with the education, its quality or any other thinking that will affect the children’s grooming.