The unorganized Indian Education System

Recommended: Changes to Indian Education System

Indian Education system needs improvement

As an education reformer, American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey was one of the 20th Century’s leading intellectuals preaching democracy and advocating its inclusion in education, in which both education and learning being socially inclusive developments. His ideas, if implemented, can reap huge benefits for Indian education system. A fully formed public opinion needed to exist in schools as well that enabled students to make decisions regarding both their own lives and their learning. Dewey argued that if emphasis was placed on children and their ability to both experience and interact with the curriculum, then the subject matter is not the only determining factor in the learning quality and quantity. Among his other influences, “Problem-based learning”, a commonly used concept, stems from learning through investigation. Moreover, he was a firm believer that the purpose of education should not be to provide students with a limited skill set for a particular job in the future. It should rather be concerned with equipping students with the abilities to be “reflective, autonomous, and ethical beings capable of … critical … discourse” (Dewey, 1902).

Additionally, considering teachers as highly regarded and trusted professionals who serve a public function was essential in a good-quality education system, although this has not yet caught on in the Indian education system. Essentially, Dewey promoted teaching as a profession and the direct impact it has upon moulding the mental, moral, and spiritual lives of children in their seminal years.

Modifications in Indian Education System

Cooperative Learning

Rarely seen in Indian education system, this pedagogical approach arranges classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. Here, students work collectively to complete academic tasks and the pedagogy encourages children to utilise the collective knowledge and resources, this includes requesting fellow students for information, evaluating each other’s ideas, monitoring the work of others, and so on. Ross & Smyth (1995) suggest five elements central to thriving cooperation within classrooms: positive interdependence, individual and group accountability, personal interaction, teaching of interpersonal and small group interactive skills, and group processing. Highly qualified teachers have included several of these elements, which require higher-order thinking skills.

Multiple Intelligences

This focuses on the development of the whole child. Howard Gardener’s theory that the child is talented in more than one way has led to the rethinking of curricula in the schools of most countries. To balance the curriculum, emphasis is placed on blending the traditional academic subjects with arts, crafts, music, and physical education. The majority of children can succeed in environment where they feel that they have an opportunity to evolve holistically. Click here to read more about multiple intelligences theory and its impact on Indian education system.

Alternative Assessments for Classrooms

Ridding schools of their obsessions with standardised testing is an enormous challenge, one to which bureaucrats would never agree; standardised testing marginalises those who think differently and encourages a herd mentality. Alternative assessment formats, however, cannot function without a high level of trust placed on teachers. Local school and teacher monitoring of the pupils’ progress, as well as the teacher’s own assessments are needed for a child-centric approach that seeks to enrich the learning experience through interaction. Examples of these include portfolio, performance, self-assessment, and self-reflection evaluations. An understanding of these methods is fundamental during teacher training and the explanation to the children of the methods equally so. The correct implementation of the policy can lead to a strong Indian education system.

Colleague teaching

The notion of one colleague collaborating or exchanging ideas of the best teaching practices based upon experience seems reasonable but not possible in all academic environments because of the workload placed on teachers. This idea is essentially a private process where teachers collaborate in critically evaluating current practices, as well as develop and study new skills. The free exchange of ideas to resolve teaching issues is precisely what fosters overall development of teachers, just as cooperative learning improves the children.

Ultimately, the key is to implement the policies in an effective manner and the goal is the strengthening of the Indian education system.

High School Vs College

high_school_student_studying_

Seriously, forget everything you know. Making the transition from school to college is one of the biggest, nerve-wrecking transformations a student has to face.  It is, in many ways, the end of things they hold dear and the beginning of the growth that marks these students as adults in the end. However, while gearing up for college, most students see this phase merely as an extension of their high school years, expecting similar experiences with the kinds of people they’ve interacted with their whole lives.

So, here is a list of all the things that are going to change once you step through those huge gates and gaze at your schedule for the first time.

 

Your social clique doesn’t exist anymore.

While this may be the most obvious change to strike anyone, its true repercussions run a little deeper than just hanging out with people you haven’t know all your life. The biggest change here comes in the form of meeting new types of people and, as a result, possibly being friends with people you probably would’ve overlooked in high school. One of the greatest plus points of this is that you are more likely to learn more about people around you and yourself, which will be quite instrumental in shaping your perspective. With the budding curiosity that comes with meeting new people, you will also start exploring more creative and intellectual outlets than you did in school. So, don’t be surprised when you run into the math whiz from school who can suddenly rock the bass guitar.

 

Self-expression and identity become pivotal issues.

Now that you’ve been thrown into the deep end of the pool without a life jacket, you’re going want to learn a few skills to stay afloat. One of the first things that you’ll notice is that no one actually cares about who you were in school. Now, pause and let that sink in. For those of you who have had a less-than-fortunate high school experience, this is a great chance for reinvention. Of course the idea behind this isn’t to change who you are but to give yourself a chance to be the version of yourself that you’ve always been too shy or too repressed to be. The same goes for people who don’t feel the need for a second chance. No one actually knows the right way to interpret your humor or mood swings or how well you can draw. This is great for you because, let’s face it, while you were surrounded by everyone who knew you since nursery, how much did you have to prove, anyway? Expression leads to better communication, which is a skill that comes in handy no matter what sphere you’re planning to work in.

 

Best teachers don’t give you notes.

This may sound like a dream but there’s a catch – the best teachers don’t give you notes, they talk. Teachers who can teach from experience are the ones you’re going to learn from the most. On the other hand, teachers who throw highlighted notes and excerpts in your face usually don’t have much of an opinion on the subject. Another major change in college is that your teachers will behave a little less like authority figures and a little more like people who are willing to guide you if you need the guidance. Teachers in college are more open to discussions outside the classroom, whether you’re looking for advice on the subject they teach or just want to discuss the latest dystopian universe trilogy out there in the market.

 

Your opinion counts more than the facts.

Well, to be honest, this really depends on what you’re studying but in most cases, teachers don’t really want to know how well you can memorize and recite a textbook without glancing down. They’re more interested in the perspective you’re willing to bring to the classroom and whether you can stand up for your opinion. When you go to college, you’re going to notice that your grades are split up into your tests, exams, projects and participation and while the last is given a lesser percentage in terms of relevance to your final grade (it’s usually around 10-15%), it happens to be one of the most important ways to show you’re learning something in the classroom. The best part about opinionated answers is that there isn’t any right or wrong answer because, as it suggests, it’s your opinion. So, don’t be shy to raise your hand and tell your teacher why you think an idea is wrong.

 

Extra-curricular activities teach you the most.

Here’s one of the best things about college – your extra-curricular activities count. At the end of three years (or four, depending on the college you’re attending), you’ll be surprised when you realize that you’ve picked up managerial skills from the time you directed the annual play, have learnt how to communicate ideas more effectively during your stint in the debate club, have a better understanding of organizational behavior because you joined the student union, are more honest after that long lecture on plagiarism and are more self assured and confident because of all the time you’ve spent meeting deadlines. So, at the end of the day, if you go to your college of choice with an openness towards new experiences and a positive attitude, your college years could very well be the best of your life. However, if you’re expecting your college scene to be exactly like high school, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening.

Hate your college course?

Untitled-1

Thoughts like: “I should have switched after the first week, but didn’t” or “I was young and my university choices weren’t as well thought out as they should have been” or “I hate my college course”, are quite common amongst many students struggling through the mid-course period. Halfway through a course at the college and the thought of being pigeonholed by the degree subject for the rest of one’s life fills a person with fear and hopelessness. Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s often impossible to know whether you will like or not like the course that you have subscribed to. If you are finding it hard midway through the course period, the key is not to keep feelings like these to oneself but to share it with family or friends. A possible explanation for many students hating their course might be the pressure to go to university straight after they finish school, at a time when many are still clueless about their careers.

Often, students lose interest and motivation to continue, after going through the initial thrills of their course and on the contrary, their focus is more on the bits they don’t like about the course. However, such feelings are temporary most of the time and it would seem immature and fussy to not do a course just because it wasn’t perfect. It is absolutely normal to motivate oneself when one is running behind deadlines or if the pressure intensifies. The trick lies in looking for positivity in your course and to find that one thing that actually motivates you. Many students, under constant family pressure, are compelled to make certain career choices and the side-effects of such choices show after a period, with students losing interest or in worst case scenarios many often end up suffering from depression.

Students, time and again pick courses without giving a considerable thought to the course they actually want to study and what their interests are. In recent years, because of bad career choices, many students have ended up with job profiles categorically different from what they studied in college; ultimately leading to an unwarrantable situation. Experts believe that speaking to a range of professionals within the university can also help the students to deal with mid-course blues and help the students. For instance, talking to your tutor, can help in dealing with the elements of the course that you dislike and the reasoning behind this. Many continuing education programs only require a bachelors to enter and at this point, one could re-evaluate what their options are and see if they want to continue schooling in a different direction.

How not to hate your college course

Always remember that just because you don’t like your course now, doesn’t mean you will always feel the same. Look out for future modules to see if it’s worth enduring the classes and chances are you might luckily get a course on lines of your interest. Academic achievement at university is important but this is also likely to be the single time you’ll have innumerable different groups and events within easy reach. Taking advantage of these events and activities will improve your college experience and help you to deal with mid-course blues. It doesn’t upset that it looks good to companies either.

Dropping out should be the last alternative and before reaching that stage, there are ample opportunities to save your college degree.

You can apply for an ‘authorised’ interruption of studies, where the clock effectively stops on their time at the university. This gives an opportunity to students to pause their studies for rest of the year while applying for a course transfer in the next academic year. Although not everyone who applies for an interruption is granted one, however, if given a valid reason, you may succeed in getting permission. But even if you end up with a degree in an area you don’t like and to study further (higher education) is not an option, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck; the key is to keep looking for positive and motivating factors. Don’t worry that doing a course you don’t enjoy will mean your career prospects will be limited to areas that don’t interest you.

study Abroad

Top Five Places to study Abroad

Since childhood, education and vacation have always been on opposite ends of the spectrum. We go on a vacation to take a break from education, that’s how it has been always. But what if you could combine education with a vacation by studying at one of the top five places to study abroad, in a beautiful city that teeming with culture and visual delights? The following is a list of universities that you should consider if you want to study in a place that will have your peers green with envy. A bit of warning, you may decide to stay there forever.

Top 5 places to study Abroad

Bond University – Gold Coast, Australia

Bond University is located on the beautiful and luxurious Gold Coast of Australia that surrounded by beautiful beaches and the happening night life topped off with that famous Aussie hospitality. The campus itself is known for its landscape and the staff and faculty are extremely knowledgeable. The university is located near the beaches and has local wildlife (including kangaroos) inside the campus.

 

Keio Univerity – Tokyo, Japan

As the first private institution for higher learning in Japan, Keio University understand the importance hiring qualified staff and faculty. The university doesn’t just focus on academics, they also ensure that students build an honourable character and are inculcated with morals and intelligence that will shape the students into citizens worthy of any nation. Once there, do make sure to soak in the Niwa No Yu hot springs and relax after a stressful day of studying. Truly one of the top places to study abroad.

 

Universidad VERITAS – San José, Costa Rica

The VERITAS University is known for its regional focus in art, design as well as architecture. The programs and courses at Universidad VERITAS are quite demanding and makes use of a very unique approach when it comes to education. The University offers excellent opportunities in the field of audiovisual, design as well as architecture. The city itself is surrounded by 3 volcanoes as well as numerous farms and plantations that make for an excellent weekend getaway.

 

Fudan University – Shanghai, China

Located in one of the biggest cities in China, Fudan University offers students a very homely and comfortable campus that they can stay at night while they explore is magnificent city whenever they get time. The university, amongst the top places to study abroad, offers a variety of courses with plenty of options to intern within the city. The students are housed in a fully furnished apartment and there are English speaking students that will help ease you in the university till you pick up the language.

 

University of Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town is well known for its beautiful surroundings and overwhelming beauty thanks to its location at the base of Table Mountain. Each morning, you will be greeted with panoramic views of the entire city. The university’s staff is also quite diverse and hail from all corners of the globe. The university has partnered with leading African as well as International institutions that further enhance the university’s cultural diversity.