“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another”
Education system saw remarkable changes in the year 2010. Many reforms were sought, formulated, implemented, reviewed and deliberated upon. Broadly, the changes happened with Right to Education, grading system and introduction of continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) coming into effect; welcoming technology, research, innovation and raising concerns over issues such as shortage of teachers, teacher training; and so on.
Right to Education
The Right to Education Act finally came into effect on April 1, 2010, with the aim of improving the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) across the country. With this enactment government has promised to provide all children between the age of six and 14 the right to school education and making it imperative for every school in the country to allocate 25% seats for students from disadvantaged section of the society. The implementation has begun at many schools. Rajini Jain, Principal, MCD School, Andrews Ganj says, “RTE is effectively being implemented at our school. Many NGOs have also joined hands with us as a support for the same, like Times of India and so on. It is during the summer vacations that we use their help and mobilise children from disadvantaged areas through play-way method and share with them the value of education, followed by their enrollment in the schools after the vacations.”
CCE and the Grading system
This year Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) took some vital steps in the area of school education. They introduced and executed a new examination system, changing the basis of the same from a marks-based evaluation system to a grading system, making 10th standard board examination as another option. Continuous and Comprehensive Examination (CCE) was rolled-out that has introduced a range of activities and non conventional methods as against the regular yearly or half yearly pencil- aper tests. To support this, Bandana R P Lazarus, Head – Dept. of Biology, Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj said, “I think CCE is a very good scheme as the students to be monitored and observed everyday giving us a holistic picture of their development. We get an idea of not only the academic but also their scholastic aptitude. This has also led to mass participation of children in extra-curricular activities.” Additionally, talks are on for making unified Common Entrance Exam (CEE) for different streams. For instance, 14 new central universities had a CEE for enrolling students in various graduate courses for students who had passed 12th standard exam. On the basis of respective scores, they could then seek admission.
Training for Teachers
There have been numerous deliberations of teacher shortage, lack of quality teaching and access of teachers to the right kind of material for making teaching learning process more interactive and effective. Additionally, efforts are being made not only by government but private institutions also to go beyond the above mentioned lacunae and provide for the best education system. To elaborate, TeacherSITY is an organisation that works for teacher empowerment and has partnered with associations such as Army Welfare Education Society, KVS, NVS and some private CBSE affiliated schools. The work of the organisation reflects through the words of Shabda Birfani Bedi, Director Research, Educational Research and Deisgn, TeacherSITY. She shared that TeacherSITY runs “a technology intergrated 215 days prorgamme, by way of a pre-programme and a post programme. So any teacher who registers for the prorgamme for it has to register online, has to go through a five day residential programme and do a pre-proragmme assignment that is web based. The reach of the programme has been close to 2800 teachers, which has been so because of the use of technology. Even for the post programme, which is for 180 days has a technology interface. Partnership with management has been observed to be very useful in running prorgammes because they help in some kind of regulation to ensure that all three parts of the prorgamme are taken seriously by the teachers. Teachers need a forum where teachers can display their innovations. And that becomes a critical component for them to enhance their self esteem.”
Technology, Partnerships for Education
CBSE turned international by collaborating with 25 schools across Gulf countries, bring forth CBSE International wing. Private partnerships have been
on a roll with increased investments from companies such as CORE Projects and Technologies Ltd. The firm is bidding to set up 50 schools in partnership with the Rajasthan government, and wants to partner the Central government to establish more schools across India. In an announcement made by NComputing, earlier this year it was mentioned that it was selected to provide desktop computer access to 600 government schools as part of a computer literacy initiative launched by the Bihar government. Rolta signed a formal MOU with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as the Resource Partner, for providing Geospatial Technology Vocation Course, for XI & XII standard students. An agreement was signed between Everonn Education worth `47 crore with the Director, Secondary Education, government of Haryana for implementing Comprehensive Computer Education Project (CCEP) in 213 schools in 20 districts across the state. Signs of innovations were again displayed across a huge spectrum in school education. NIIT, for instance, in association with Fourier Systems, a worldwide leader in science education, launched Mobile Science Lab for schools – an innovative learning solution, which integrates Science Lab with classrooms.
Investments @ Education
The education sector across Indian markets saw a lot of corporate investments.
Additionally, more and more schools are also adapting technology, especially, in the form of interactive whiteboards to catch up with the private schools. Reportedly, companies such Everonn, Educomp, NIIT Ltd, Edserv, and so on, have made an investment in education sector in a manner that could not go unnoticed. CORE Projects and Technologies Ltd, a technology provider to educational institutions, recently disclosed that it is planning to open 30 schools, with an initial investment of `450 crore. S Giridharan, EdServ Chairman and CEO mentioned that `130 crore fund has been raised for business expansion. With the funds raised, he said they were well funded for the Pan-India expansion, and confident of achieving revenues worth `150 crore and a net profit of `40 crore for the financial year 2011. Around `325 crore will be reportedly invested by the private equity $1.4 billion New Silk Route (NSR) in
Hyderabad-based Sri Chaitanya Education l Group, known to be one of the
country’s largest network of private schools and junior colleges. This has been noticed as the biggest foreign investment in India’s education section. . Everonn Education planned and decided to setup around 300 schools across India over a period of five years. What 2011 should focus on, is a powerful combination of relevant initiatives, aligned with idustrial partnership and life long learning. \\
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