What About Future Education ??

A World Economic Forum article recently said that 65% of all kids who are entering primary school today will have jobs that do not exist today.

That statement, in itself, is massively inspiring as well as deeply scary at the same time. Imagine today’s education system being entrusted with the task of preparing these young, primary school attending kids for the future world and future work. Yeah right, it is absolutely incapable – most of us know that already.

A system, a process and a curriculum that is itself not innovative, creative or adaptive cannot instil the spirit of innovation, creativity and adaptability. Today, more than the need for academic rigour, there is a need to identify that helping our kids learn and understand the process of being adaptive in nature so that they can adapt to any situation they face in the future that is going to be visibly different from today.

There are over 25 Crore (250 million) school going kids in India today. That is larger than any other country by a mile. And, given the social setup of the country, the dropout ratio is very high among those belonging to the base of pyramid space. And, one cannot blame it on them. Their family conditions, desire of parents / relatives to have an additional hand in earning for the family coupled with untimely deaths, marriages puts out their desire to learn more. The education system itself, in its current avatar, does not help much. Had it been a tad bit more interesting and oriented towards helping these kids relate to it based on their social setup and future desires, or in short been adaptive to their needs, they might have had the courage to stick it out.

The same WEF article also says that we have about 5 years to change how we learn, earn and care. This means in the straightest possible words that education systems need to support all these changes. There needs to be a paradigm shift on what is taught in schools and how it is taught. Early education, future oriented curriculum, digital education and a change defining habit of lifelong learning are all going to play a very critical role in preparing students for the un-anticipated future.

I wrote in a status yesterday something that I deeply believe in:

Learning = Function(capacity to learn)(intent to learn)

By this, I mean that for every student, for a classroom, for an entire school or university, while the capacity is a nearly defined value that does not change much throughout a learner’s lifetime, intent plays a very important role on how the learners learn. Unfortunately, the current curricula, processes, educators and systems don’t help much with enhancing or improving the intent of a student. More often than not, it all ends up demotivating a student.

Now, the change that we desperately need can come at three levels:

  • Policy level
  • Core academic level
  • Co-curricular & extra-curricular education level

Changes at policy level are the hardest to make. These involve multiple large juggernaut sized bodies including governments and education ministries. While the final gravity defining change MUST come from this level to actually move forward, it is extremely slow and waiting for this is only futile for education systems that have not changed much over centuries.

Core academic level changes can be brought about by educational institutions. A fairly large number of schools across the world chose to use the Montessori method of teaching as the core curriculum – the fact that it also needs modification given that it is over a century old created for a world that was starkly different is a different story. Some schools across India have adopted J Krishnamurti’s methodologies which takes courage to bring it out to a world that is least interested in growth and more in the numerical values of education among kids. But, these adoptions are scarce in the least and more global experts need to create more dynamic curricula and a vast, vast number of schools need to adopt it to the core to make it even a little impactful.

Changes at the lowest level, co-curricular & extra-curricular levels, can be brought about by us – the ordinary people. Parents, local educators, organisations and education start-ups have all started doing their bits here. The problem, though, is that the focus is completely haywire. Most folks are trying to change content – it is a piece that is least impactful. A child will not start learning better just because the content is more colourful or has games replacing books. It needs to go way deeper than that. This is where we all need to understand the value of understanding the intent of the learner. We need to understand that a more engaging ecosystem is needed to improve the intent to learn of a learner. Education has to have a closer link to what will improve future employment. Organisations working in education need to just stop rolling out of ‘better looking’ content and start bringing out new processes of learning beyond just giving out mobile applications or tablets. They need to re-program and re-wire the way content engages with a learner with the learner at the centre of the learning process.

Everything that a primary school student learns today needs to get them closer to being more creative, more adaptive and more imaginative as they grow up. The window is too small – 5 years, heck even 10 years, is too little a time if we don’t start acting today. One just cannot wait for all change to come at the policy or academic level. All of us, working so passionately in this education space in the 21st century, have a moral and social obligation to every kid who is entering primary school today and will grow up to be in a world that will be so visibly different than ours that our failure to usher the change will push them and their world into mass oblivion.

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Education Is A Not Commodity And Student Is Not Consumer : Consumer Forum

A youth’s plea against an institute for allegedly not providing him with an internship or job as promised at the time of admission, has been rejected by a consumer forum here which observed that “education is not a commodity“.

A Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (West) rejected the plea of the youth who sought refund of the Rs 3.52 lakh fee paid by him to pursue PG Diploma in Event Management and Public Relations at a private institute here.

The complainant, a Noida resident, had also sought compensation of Rs 40,000 on account of mental pain and agony and deficiency in service from the institute and its Executive Director.

“The complainant took admission with the opposite party, an education institution for pursuing PG Diploma in event management and Public Relations on payment of requisite fee.

“The opposite parties (institute and Executive Director) are imparting education. Therefore as held by Supreme Court, National Commission and State Commission of Chandigarh consistently, education is not a commodity and they are not service providers and the complainant is not a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act,” a forum bench headed by Presiding Officer R S Bagri said.

The forum accepted the assertion of the institute and its executive director that the complaint was not maintainable as the complainant “does not fall within the definition of consumer as provided under the Consumer Protection Act.”

 It observed that “education is not a commodity”.
The bench, while deciding the matter, considered various verdicts of the Supreme Court, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and a state commission, all of which had held that students are not consumers.
The youth had approached the consumer forum after he was refused a refund from the institute, which denied the allegations of any unfair trade practice.

Learning Inability In Child For Years Effecting Child Confidence To Do The Work Quickly

Imagine having a learning disability, and for years, never being able to do what other kids are able to do, or do it as well or quickly.

Kids want to please adults, want to be the kind of person adults want them to be. They compare themselves to others kids all the time. These are innate tendencies.

The symbolic self is the person a kid wants to be, and be seen as by others. Not being able to do what other kids do is threatening to their symbolic self, and frustrates their tendencies to want to please. Comparing themselves to others exacerbates the threat and frustration.

Believing you’re not living up to expectations is the formula for shame. It’s easy to imagine you won’t again in the future, and everyday tasks start become threatening – another opportunity to not live up to expectations.

The brain’s primary function is to recognize and protect us from threats. Kids start to react to school activities as they might life threatening events. They adopt the mistaken goal of avoidance of failure, and shut down, stay home, or even drop out eventually. Failing again is simply too threatening. It’s a mistaken goal because in shutting down, staying home or dropping out they’ll never get what they always really wanted.

The anxiety can become so intense that they literally plug into fight or flight. It’s why some run, some suck into their shells, and others coil, rattle and may even strike out with venom.

The shame and anxiety have to be addressed before our efforts to accommodate them academically can work. Otherwise, it’s like putting the cart before the horse.

One approach is to teach and encourage them to have Unconditional Self-Acceptance.

We need to help them see that they SHOULD on themselves, and LABEL and DAMN themselves, and that it just makes things worse.

Teach them to have an internal locus of control so they won’t be at the mercy of past failures, or others comments.

Only national awardee principals can continue after 60 : cbse board

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) may schedule class X and XII board exams in the second week of March this year after the assembly elections in five states. The dates of the exam will, however, be declared early next week by the board. The exam usually commences from March 1st every year.

Last year, the board released the exam dates on January 2. This year, it is yet to announce the dates. Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are scheduled from February 11 to March 8.Many of the teachers will be deployed on election duty in these five states. The board is, therefore, considering scheduling of the exams in the second week to avoid any clash.

An official, however, said that the dates will be announced early next week and students should wait until then.

However, students of class XII are worried that they will have to attempt the board exam and the joint entrance exam simultaneously if the exam commences late. JEE (Main) is scheduled to be held in the first week of April. Class XII exam usually begins on March 1 and ends in April.

Principals, however, said that the board usually avoids any such clashes and a delay of a week will not affect the results and other schedules. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has further clamped down on the way schools recruit principals by making changes to the bylaws governing superannuation.

Now only national awardee principals will be eligible to continue at their post after the age of 60 and that too only with prior approval of CBSE.

Until now, the process was fairly simple with even state and CBSE awardees being allowed to continue as principals till the age of 65, and that too without any intervention from CBSE.

Look At National Commission for Protection of Child Rights guidelines

Once the guidelines are notified by the women and child development ministry, no child below three will be enrolled at a playschool and all such institutions will have to register with the district authorities. Violators will face derecognition and action as per law.

 WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said that the guidelines were an important step towards regulating early childhood care centres operating in the form of playschools in the private sector. “The guidelines also state what kind of play and educational activities the children can be engaged in to ensure that the goal of development is achieved,” Gandhi said.
Since NCPCR’s recommendatory guidelines have been prepared within the framework of early childhood care, a subject that falls under the purview of women and child development, it comes under the concurrent list and cannot be made mandatory for states.
However, the guidelines issued by the Centre will set the course for states to regulate playschools. The states will have the option to adopt these guidelines or even explore the possibility of a legislation.
Himachal Pradesh happens to be the first state that is planning to bring a law to regulate play schools. “The aim is to prevent violation of child rights and any kind of abuse against children in the age group of 3 to 6 years by regulating preschools education,” NCPCR stated.