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The Results Aftermath


After the announcement of the CBSE board results, we all have experienced a huge leap in the marks that students are scoring these days and leave their foot-marks in the society. The parents feel proud and happy about their children living up to their expectations and gloat of their marks among their peers.

But then there is the other lot. These do not supposedly reach he expectations of their parents and score low marks. They are considered not that competent enough to stand out among their peers. These children are looked down upon by their friends, family and are scolded for not being able to gain good family reputation and being a spoilt brat. They are subjected to humiliation from neighbors, peers, their own family and treated as outcasts. In some extreme cases many of these young little minds to give up since they cannot bear the brunt at the hands of the insolent society and end their lives.

But do we all ever come to realize what pressure these low grades and the consequent parental and societal behavior poses on the psyches of those children?

I think most of us will say yes. But have we changed our mindset? Have we, instead of looking at the not so good scoring child with eyes full of disgust and pity, encouraged him? Motivated him?

Why?

It’s not only the education system that demands HIGH MARKS from students to get admissions in the prestigious institutions and fulfill their dreams and end up rather adding to the pressure but also the ever so boor society. We all have left our feelings and emotions behind and materialistic things have become more important to all of us.We do not ponder about the reasons behind the children not being able to cope up and perform well but we start blaming and taunting them just because of the social status and reputation which we may lose as the kids were not able to score high marks and every near and dear one forgets to congratulate them on what they have attained (we may talk about 70-80% marks, about which parents feel ashamed to even mention it socially).

Have we all actually become so materialistic that the emotions and care for children is dead and what matters is precisely what they have scored and nothing else?

So I leave you all with a question of what is more important to us.

The innocent children, their everlasting happiness in what they like to do or the materialistic marks and the ephemeral happiness that they bring with them during the results.

 I think it’s so well said.

The true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.

-William Deresiewicz

 BY-

Neha Arora

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Neha Arora has done her bachelor’s in biotechnology from DAV College, Amritsar and is currently pursuing her MBA from JAYPEE BUSINESS SCHOOL, NOIDA. She is associated with various NGOs and likes working with kids. She likes keeping people happy around her, reading and making greeting cards.

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CONFUSED ABOUT A CAREER MOVE? FIRST, KNOW YOURSELF.


Decisions. You either make the wise ones, the not-so-wise ones or the bad ones. The worst case scenario? You cannot make one at all.

Not all of us are blessed with the virtue of making the best decisions.

The world that we live in today, or let us say strive every day to survive in, runs at a break neck pace. You cannot but run and keep running. The only thing that remains consequential is that though not everyone is going to win this relay, but it depends on us if we are able to make that one lap worthwhile which will decide the entire course of the remaining race.

Your career is one such lap in the relay of your life. Standing at the crossroads today having cleared your boards many of you must be confused as to what choice to make that won’t leave you in regrets.

Here are a few people who will not cease to drop their generous word of advice and play every role they can in shaping your career. These are your parents, your aunts, your distant aunts, their husbands, their children, your milkman, your domestic help, your neighbour, their watchman and every possible person on earth who has or had anything to do with you. Go to them for advice and they will dump their bias and fears on you. They will try their best in making you feel bad about your decision if any. Because what they decide for you should be written in stone.

Understand, the more you ask, the more you get confused and the more you deviate from what you want to do in life. It is ok to not know, but it is not ok to not explore.

Find out the following and you’re ready to go:

  1. Unmask your true intellect.
  2. Pen down your skills and see where you can align them such that they are put to best use.
  3. Gather information about the various options and not about what options should essentially be laid.
  4. Always weigh your decisions before you make them. Find out the alternatives, weigh them and then take one.
  5. After all this, stop thinking and just dive.

No wonder your parents will always think the best for you but it is you who will finally live that one decision through your life. Let it be yours so that you have none to blame and evolves you such that you can take responsibility for your actions.

While it cannot necessarily be a perfect decision but it will be your own, it will be well informed and will provide an insight into self.

The word that should guide you through all this thus remains, EXPLORE.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” 
― Aristotle

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BOARDS SYSTEM : Second thoughts anyone?


The most pivotal part of our pre-graduation, the boards, that might simply act as the career-defining stage of all those millions of students giving it, is in itself flawed in many ways. Why would I feel that way? ‘Cause I just got my rear burnt, Capone. The fresh feel of injustice is propelling me to ramble on over here via this article, I’ll just be discussing and dissecting just two of those gaping flaws and see if anything could be done to cover those road-tracks with some sand before the real repair guys realize something’s amiss.

1. The Examiner:

The first and foremost variable in this equation. In fact, not just a variable, he might just be the limiting reagent in a student’s chemical reaction. Why do I call him a variable? You’ll see as you read.

According to the latest guidelines by the big-daddy CBSE, an examiner can evaluate only a certain number of answer sheets daily. Because I love equations so much, let’s just call it ‘x’. If the examiner asks for even ‘x+1’ sheets to evaluate, by law he should be denied. But then, this is India, and yeah right.

As per many learned sources, an examiner usually demands for ‘2x’ or ‘3x’ number of answer sheets to evaluate per day. That way, they get to work a half or a third of the days they are contractually obliged to. Well then, this is India. The prevalent ‘Babudom’ does nothing to eradicate or at least halt the momentum of such career-threatening variables.

What could possibly be done? Maybe introduce a less porous and stricter system, that values the involved students at least a bit. An examiner could have just had a fight with his wife the other day (a common student pun) and would surely vent his frustration on the answer sheets unless he’s a man of firm beliefs and ethics, as schadenfreude is an opportunity too good to pass up.

2. Subjects:

Let’s assume a person wishes to do a graduation course in a good college in Computer Science because he’s in love with the subject. And he’s getting over 95 in Computer Science in the Board exams and pretty low in PCM. Another person, wishing for CS purely for the sake of the moolah involved scores 95 aggregate in PCM and another impressive 95 in Physical Education. Yes, the student hasn’t even bothered to slug with CS in school. Who gets the preference for a CS seat? Person 2, of course. And I firmly believe a person of the IQ of my neighbour’s cat’s new-born kitten can see what is the fault here I’m discussing. Same goes for other specialized courses like History Hons. or such.

What could possibly be done? Introduce a system where skill sets are gauged rather than purely numbers while granting admission to colleges. For e.g. – a Physical Education or Economics student should never get a look in at a CS seat. It would lead to India producing most true professionals than the underpaid workhorses we supply the West. Subject-centric evaluation is a must.

Lastly, but not the least, I highly commend this Write For Education campaign, as it brings in a plethora of ideas from a wide range of professionals, scholars and other campaigners and more the number of such great ideas one acquires, the better.

By-

Rama Chandran

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Rama Chandran is an emerging sports-blogger who has just completed his schooling. A firm believer in the necessity of a radical change in our India’s system, he claims to be a victim of the aforementioned shortcomings in the Indian Education system.

Interactive Learning : An innovative way to revamp the education system


“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only true guardian of liberty”

-James Madison

We did indeed mark a long journey from stones to phones and from scripts to e-books. It’s also been a journey from a teacher with a stick in his hand, to a teacher with… well, not a stick in her hand. And so, sitting in the 21st century with a multitude of changes around us, we still stick to the mundane methods of teaching. A teacher walks in, talks, walks out, while the back-benchers doodle over their notebooks, and the front ones tediously note every word that pops out of her mouth.  In the end, it all comes down to one exam, which decides what you will end up doing. And all the students learn not for the sake of knowledge, but for the sake of scoring good marks. It’s come to a level where we are told to write answers in English in a manner where we can get marks. Imagination has no consequence.

But then, what we don’t see is that there is advancement. This one ray of hope could possibly save the students all the rote learning and mugging up; Interactive Digital Learning. It’s true that what you learn through your senses is what you UNDERSTAND and REMEMBER. To fully understand something, we need to more than just listen to and learn the theory. When you teach a child the alphabets, you try to relate with things around you, and SHOW the child through pictures what you mean by “A for Apple”. And that remains with the child for the rest of his life. And surprisingly enough, we tend to forget what we learnt the previous term. When someone talks to me about the World War, the first thing that strikes me is “Pearl Harbour”. Why? Because that’s something I’ve seen, and heard, and I already have a picture in my head of the entire scenario.  And that’s only one way communication. Imagine how much better students will be able to understand and analyze things when they can explore education for themselves. It’ll be a U-turn from instruction to construction and discovery. It won’t just be schooling, but an opportunity for lifetime learning, and the teacher will only be a facilitator and a mentor. With this radical change, from absorbing material to thoughtful analysis and innovation, students will only feel more connected and aware of what they are being taught.  And after all, as Leonardo Da Vinci said, “study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing of what it takes”

If we have advanced so far, why not take another step towards something that helps build the nation? Because education, after all, is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

By-

Nemisha Kawaatra

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Nemisha Kawaatra has just passed senior secondary boards with flying colors. With a score of 91%, Nemisha now is on a crossroads to choose a career path and is determined to make it big. With a flair for writing, Nemisha is fond of animals.

FROM LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS TO DISTANCE-LEARNING- How Far Have We Traveled?


From the trend of long distance relationships to distance learning, the world has truly revolutionized itself into a globalized village. After the LPG phenomenon spread especially in the Third-world countries, the education sector received the greatest impact of it, with the synthesis of what earlier constituted the ‘modern’ with the ‘traditional’. This also demanded greater recognition of the indigenous education systems in these nations and challenged the terms ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ for the first time.  Education has always been used as a significant repertoire to advance conflicts or resolve them. The best medium of influence is education, after all.

However, in the past decade or so, we find a spurt of growth in distance learning, especially in India. Distance learning is a much-needed feature in the education sector which enables the youth to study and enrich their knowledge base more without having to travel. Though there are many obstacles when it comes to reaching out to the masses in general, such as need for internet connections or language and communication barriers, such forms of learning can be accommodated within the ambit of distance learning.

Some of the benefits of distance learning are as follows:

  • Medium : While most of the international distance learning institutions function on on-line teaching, many distance learning schools send in the prospectus, syllabus online while the reading materials and worksheets can be transacted online as well as offline.
  • Place of Study: This is one of the most effective features of Distance learning that one does not need to travel at all as many of such courses need the student to travel to that particular destination. But with the ease of distance learning one can easily join the courses, whether at work or home or in a different country.
  • Structure of course: While some courses are pre-structured and defined, a host of the institutes offer unstructured and either fast-paced or slow-paced structures for their courses, personalizing them according to the student and his/her timings and schedule.
  • Mechanisms: Along with the personalized support, further services such as online chat and/or assistance, online classrooms and teachers on demand immensely help the student to study effectively.

People often flinch from distance learning fearing of the University accredits and are in two minds as to how useful these courses would be finding them jobs or enhancing their Curriculum Vitae. But recent spurts in this field have led to many recognized institutions such as IITs, IIMs and even Delhi University offering distance learning and open learning facilities which are sometimes even more common than the regular courses available. Also the availability of the reading material and worksheets over various media helps it reach to a greater audience. These courses are not just designed to enhance one’s knowledge but they also keep in mind the market and industry and plan their courses to suit the job profiles and required skills in these sectors.

The idea of an open university is said to be popularized by Rabindranath Tagore himself who was always fond of education at home. The idea of a school and its geographical fixture wasn’t appreciated by him. There are over 90 Open Universities in the world, 15 being in India alone. The first Indian Open University was started in the 1980s.

However, certain negatives are there in the back of a mind when one considers Open Learning courses due to the way they are positioned apart from the mainstream education structure in India. Apart from such attitudinal bias, the lack of infrastructure and trained officials do weaken the process. But nonetheless, it is one sector that has immense potential and will revolutionize India’s pathway to being a developed nation, considering we are home to the world’s largest youth population.

By-

Priyanka Dey

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A Hindu College graduate, Priyanka is pursuing her Masters in History from the University of Delhi. She is a co-author of the book ‘Uff ye Emotions’. Priyanka is a voracious writer and has her poems and stories published in various magazines and anthologies. She is the head analyst at the Butterfly & The Bee, a literary agency. Her blog, priyankazneverland.blogspot.in is one of the acclaimed blogs at indiblogger.in.

Concerning FYUP: A Calamitous Project


Like everyone else I am also disgruntled and dissatisfied with the current trend that our Education System is picking on. As if the hitherto underlying deficiencies were not enough in our learning system (getting Scores/Marks oriented and Rote learning practice, bad infrastructure and poor commitment on the part of teachers and students at school and college level) that the current FYUP in Delhi University came as the top head to complete this “paper mache machinery”. And this ever growing discontent amongst students, parents and teachers is contingent upon such numerous causes that led to the ever inefficient working of the institution of learning. Not disregarding the efforts of several NGOs’ initiatives and the constant innovation that some educational institutions seek to achieve, what is more disheartening in the light of recent events is the fact that one of the top most university of our country is failing by turning into an pseudo-transgressive regime. The University which epitomizes a liberal and interdependent space, where easy and free interaction amongst teachers, professors, students, officials and administrative staff must form the crux of a system, the VC’s move in the current scenario negates such ideology. The FYUP which apparently seeks to fulfill the target of increasing employability for the students of DU has incorporated some very radical changes of which we all are aware by now. But the underbelly of this system is not without its loopholes, and in such a case those have to be overcome. Whether the compulsory Foundation Course justifies to meet the requirements for the enhancement of basic knowledge and awareness of students that relate to the global, economic, political and environmental issues and whether the multiple exit points do actually facilitate the move that would ensure the employment agenda, has been assessed, reassessed, debated, criticized and revolted an umpteen number of time by now. All these issues concern me too, someone who shares a bond of five years with the university and is eager to pursue research. Many exhortations on the part of the university’s VC in defending the move remains ineffectual, dissatisfying and full of apprehensions when only a week or two is left before the admissions begin.

What astounds me more is the dictatorial attitude of the members of the council who were being instrumental in bringing these new norms who so far have not or are not willing to understand the viewpoint of the teachers and professors. The forced incorporation in a haphazard manner has marred the “good intentions” which promote and support this new system i.e. to establish a much more radical, dynamic and global network of the University. But what I fail to understand is the urgency with which such implementation is taking place. The overhauling of an entire system must not be dealt hastily and every member who constitutes the body of University including Administration, Professors, Teachers and Students must play a fruitful role, but apparently which does not seem to be the case right now. The changes that have occurred in the syllabi is one of the pressing issues which thoroughly disregard the teachers view as with the scrapping off some of  the texts it plays foul with the essentiality of the course itself and the target that this FYUP wants to achieve. I myself was at a shock when I learnt that how callously those wonderful and valuable texts that I studied in my graduation were being removed from the course of English Literature and the same trend stands for other departments as well. This precisely is one the major issues that teachers and professors are struggling with, who want to uphold the qualitative aspect of pursuing any course. The abruptness with which the courses have been restructured was nothing but a mocking of an entire system when the teachers were forced to finalize the entire syllabi for respective departments in a few minutes. Instead of employing such elementary courses (which comprise the Foundation Course) which are suitable to teach at the secondary school level, what we can have is a norm that would enable students to choose for themselves the courses from various other departments under inter-disciplinary studies and which would eventually open an expansive reading outlook outside the prescribed syllabi. We can work more seriously towards organizing seminars and workshops for every department that would not only help in effective interaction amongst students and teachers but where we can widely talk and learn about areas relating to social, political, economic environmental, and global issues. The University can work in collaboration with other learning institutions and can organize workshops that will help students lacking in social skills and that would profoundly be progressive in personality development skills.

The consequences of such reformulation might prove detrimental to the PG and Research courses as well when M.Phil has already been anticipated to be scrapped off. The workshop I attended two months back brought us to assess certain eventualities as with letting off the M.phil courses might seriously affect the nature and quality of research. With the graduation course already damaging the qualitative aspect of learning by removing the essential texts which were extremely necessary to develop the core understanding it would then inevitably hamper the research studies which is a demanding and ambitious project. The anticipated changes in the PG program and scrapping off the M.phil courses is disillusioning as this extensive framework pays emphasis on the analytical and in depth understanding on certain academic areas that would prepare scholars to adopt an efficient and analytical attitude during independent research programs. Last year one of our professors undertook solely a collaborative research program with the University of Virginia which was an interesting move that enabled students to reach out globally and share a view or two with the students and professors of foreign university and to develop the essential skills in terms of study, analysis and develop an overarching outlook that would be fruitful in research program. Such an initiative was not sponsored by the University but was an effort of enthusiastic professors and scholars. This dynamic and flexible approach should be encouraged by the university at the M.A and M.phil level. But ironically the norms that are being implemented will/will not facilitate and open up new ventures in Research remains a question of utter concern and does not create any hope either.

With this chain of events what options are we left with? To comply silently or to revolt and yet with no satisfactory results? Not denying the fact that the new FYUP can affect some satisfactory results (the tremendous target of achieving progress in Employability) but not without compromising the essential features related to the quality of education.

To conclude then is not to come to an easy conclusion “forcibly”, but rather without being forlorn of hope a thoroughly progressive outlook must be adopted within these changing, apprehensive and unsettling times. The Administration and the Council must also give credence to the efficacy of interdependence and what we expect is that any change being implemented for a good must be assessed and reassessed by teachers, students and scholars before its rigorous implementation than afterwards. Transparency should be maintained from step one till we see ourselves completely ready to align ourselves with any new norm or system.

Though this is a personal stance on the issue concerned and the points, measures and recommended steps that I have so far discussed can be done with more precision by those who wield authority, but to an extent it’s an attempt to voice certain concerns that students like me are struggling with at the moment. We must at every step be discontent with any shortcomings that any system breeds undesirably and revolt against any such dictatorial attitude that University Officials propagate.

Written by : Tanu Sharma

Edited by : Abhik Banerjee

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Tanu Sharma has completed her Masters in English from the University of Delhi. She is eager to pursue research in literature.  She has got an interest in literature with a socio-political bend and loves to write.

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Abhik Banerjee has completed his Masters in English from University of Delhi. An aspirant for research in English literature, Abhik has an interest in literature concerned with socio-political and economic aspects. He is also into creative writing.

Learn, Unlearn, Relearn


Over the past, education has been one of the priorities of our nation. During the period, our education system has faced all sorts of qualitative and quantitative changes.  Every step taken was aimed at establishing the education in India the best. Today, education needs to meet and prepare itself for a new horizon i.e. our society. The society is changing every day, so is our way of living, communicating and working. An education given is a waste if it is not able to connect to this ever-changing social context. That’s why, today’s skills require a lifelong learner- someone who can learn, unlearn and relearn.

In this new century, education has surpassed the conventional four-walls of school to a more practical field approach where new possibilities are explored by the way of doing things and not just by reading them on a blackboard or in books. New unconventional and more sustainable ways have emerged. Besides bookish knowledge, schools are encouraged to inculcate good citizenship values, environmental awareness and protection, core values and skills in students. They are encouraged to become familiar with the idea of innovation and to develop a synergy between global & national obligations.

Roughly two years ago, CBSE worked on the curriculum and introduced the CCE (Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation) pattern for class 10th as a major step towards the sustainable growth of education in India. The board took this initiative to rule out the problem of students, suggest a remedial and enhance their performance at a regular interval right from the beginning of academic session rather than accumulating the problems (pattern used before CCE) and ultimately never getting them solved. In other words, students are marked based on how they perform throughout the year and not just on how they do in the final board examination. The system is designed to assess a student’s creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, communication abilities; and to enhance the same.

Another innovative step proposed in this direction is the concept of ‘Open Book System’ wherein the students would be given an open ended text based questions and they would require applying theoretical concepts to real-life situations. The board plans to generate the skill of processing information within students rather than parrot-learning. And this would be done with the help of case studies and class discussions on various real-life situations.

CBSE has adopted a child-centered approach to education and thus has developed a better way of learning and experiencing things. Today, a 10th class pass kid has more practical knowledge than a graduate. Children now-a-days believe in self-reliance, be it regard to money, cooking, laundry, public transportation or even emotional awareness. Getting children out of the classroom and allowing them to experience a different social context is an opportunity towards building a successful career as well as life.  Activities and experiences ranging from music, drama, community service to fashion and technology clubs are all important ways of creating an environment in which young people can learn, unlearn and relearn.

The curriculum so designed by CBSE is playing an immense role in the development of well-educated, socially aware and sensitive future citizens. And if the same persists, it will not be far away when India becomes the supreme power of the world.

By-

Abhinav Agarwal

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Abhinav Agarwal is a commerce graduate from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. His hobbies include exploring different sub-genres of rock & metal music and penning down random self-made poems & songs. He has also been a district level swimming champion for two years in a row. Currently, he is pursuing MBA (finance) from the Jaypee Business School, Noida.