News and Events

Defiance, Information Glut and Transparency in Schools

September 18 in News  No Comments

CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) the leading school board in India, is facing defiance from schools reluctant to share information about various aspects of their services and operations. Despite clear guidelines and directions the reluctance on behalf of schools is clearly the indication that schools have been operating by obfuscating and holding back key information that is relevant to parents and other stakeholders. A key reason for lack of real information and transparency across various aspects of education and other administrative areas is lack of will and focus from the authorities to validate and enforce such guidelines. We hope that with greater consumer awareness and initiative those who do not comply whether in absolute terms or in spirit are highlighted, and accountability will be demanded both from schools and the administrators responsible for ensuring such compliance. We are ushering in a new consumer driven culture where the consumers will bear pressure through their observations, actions and use of media to bring in greater accountability. Hopefully one day this will amplify and intensify to hold to account the ‘high and mighty’ in this country and around the world. Read the related Times of India report here

Higher education – factor for deciding the world’s most educated country?

September 14 in News  No Comments

Based on an OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) study, a compilation of top 10 countries with highest proportion of college educated residents was prepared by the Wall St. A report on the same is provided through the link below through Time, titled “And the world’s most educated country is…”. It is an interesting debate to be had as a compilation like this pays no heed to quality. Examples around the world are rife where students come away from college with questionable qualifications and degrees, providing no real skills, knowledge or citizenship and social-moral values. It is also interesting to note that this is not limited to developing and poor countries alone, but even the most developed ones. Post recession with wide spread failure in the developed economy, even the value of qualifications such as the erstwhile MBA degree is under scrutiny.

Read a related report on the further relegation of leading Indian Technology Institutes (IITs) in global rankings. Now where is the point in increasing throughput to achieve higher ratings on the world’s most educated country list.

Read a Times of India report here

New models required to up capacity for medical education

September 13 in News  1 Comment

For education seats to be auctioned blatantly and then blaming it on the educational institutes being “not-for-profit” has to be a new low. Capitation fee and underhanded dealing were rife, but sitting in formal auditoriums and auctioning medical education seats a’la IPL that’s a new one. We need to up capacity of educational institutions and make it attractive for talented people to teach in these institutions. Medical institutes require an upfront sizable investment for it to be suitable to deliver the requisite quality of education, in addition ongoing operational costs are also high. Any private sector entity will require a return on investment that will make sense for making that kind of investment. To get that return one will require margins one will push for higher volumes and higher price points, thereby making education un-affordable for large number of people. This model does not give hope for it to work. New models of delivery are required to up capacity, this may include government supported institutes in Private Public Partnership models, or students coming through a scholarship scheme that is transparent and supported by various bodies, or philanthropic and development agencies supporting building of such capacity. I can’t see that day far off where the government will levy a cess for creating higher education institutes in critical disciplines such as healthcare. Read the Times of India report on seat auctions here 

The contradictions of quality and scale

September 13 in News  No Comments

Top universities around the world have declined the opportunity opened up by the UGC (Establishment & Operation of Campuses of of Foreign Educational Institutions) rules, to set-up campuses in India. Can the quality of an institution be replicated and scaled up by opening new campuses, that is a question we need to think about very deeply. While we pay regard to the curriculum, underlying methodologies and processes and expertise of incumbents by assuming this is possible, do we not disregard the availability of expertise, the relationships in their environment, the nature of the surrounding ecosystem in doing so. Good quality education requires a great deal of contextual factors to work together and generally is an outcome of time and committed effort. Ofcourse it also requires an economically conducive ecosystem as much as it requires other supportive mechanisms, which provide opportunities for it to take root and thrive. How long will we continue to look westwards and hope for improved outcomes, for others to come and teach us; maybe we need to become students ourselves, learn and evolve to be at the pushing edge of best and next practices. Read a related Times of India report here

CBSE moving full STEAM ahead…

April 26 in News  No Comments

A number of people interested in education have moved to support the view that instead of focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to reinvigorate sagging economies and provide meaningful skills to young people we need to consider STEAM with the addition of Arts. They believe Arts add value by structuring innovative and creative thinking and helps people develop 21st century skills better. CBSE, India’s leading school board has in the spirit of the idea introduced Theatre Studies at in Class XI, with a 70% theory and 30% case study and viva voce assessment system, the course is expected to cover theatre as an art form, different dramatic forms and styles, etc. Access a news report on the same from Times of India at the following link

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