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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Education in India

 

Education in India is primarily managed by the state-run public education system, which falls under the command of the government at three levels: federal, state, and local. Under various articles of the Indian Constitution and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, free and compulsory education is provided as a fundamental right to children aged 6 to 14. The approximate ratio of public schools to private schools in India is 7:5. Major policy initiatives in Indian education are numerous. Up until 1976, education policies and implementation were determined legally by each of India’s constitutional states. The 42nd amendment to the constitution in 1976 made education a ‘concurrent subject’. From this point on the central and state governments shared formal responsibility for funding and administration of education. In a country as large as India, now with 28 states and eight union territories, this means that the potential for variations between states in the policies, plans, programs, and initiatives for elementary education is vast. Periodically, national policy frameworks are created to guide states in their creation of state-level programs and policies. State governments and local government bodies manage the majority of primary and upper primary schools and the number of government-managed elementary schools is growing. Simultaneously the number and proportion managed by private bodies are growing. In 2005-6 83.13% of schools offering elementary education (Grades 1-8) were managed by the government and 16.86% of schools were under private management (excluding children in unrecognized schools, schools established under the Education Guarantee Scheme, and an alternative learning centers). Of those schools managed privately, one-third are ‘aided’ and two-thirds are ‘unaided’. Enrolment in Grades 1-8 is shared between government and privately managed schools in the ratio 73:27. However, in rural areas this ratio is higher (80:20) and in urban areas much lower (36:66).

In the 2011 Census, about 73% of the population was literate, with 81% for males and 65% for females. National Statistical Commission surveyed literacy to be 77.7% in 2017–18, 84.7% for males, and 70.3% for females. This compares to 1981 when the respective rates were 41%, 53%, and 29%. In 1951 the rates were 18%, 27%, and 9%. India's improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to its economic development. Much of the progress, especially in higher education and scientific research, has been credited to various public institutions. While enrolment in higher education has increased steadily over the past decade, reaching a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 26.3% in 2019, there still remains a significant distance to catch up with tertiary education enrolment levels of developed nations, a challenge that will be necessary to overcome in order to continue to reap a demographic dividend from India's comparatively young population.

Teaching for Global Competence in Rapidly Changing World


Educators and education systems worldwide are reassessing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need for success in today's rapidly changing and complex world. In a remarkable moment of global consensus, the member states of both the United Nations (UN), through its adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), through its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018, prioritized education for global citizenship and global competence.

The OECD and the Center for Global Education at Asia Society have worked with academics, educators, and stakeholders in the global education field over several years to define global competence for primary and secondary education. The Center also has extensive experience supporting educators to integrate global competence into their teaching.

A new publication from both organizations, entitled Teaching for Global Competence in a Rapidly Changing World, sets forward a new framework for global competence developed by OECD, which aligns closely with the definition developed by the Center for Global Education, and provides practical guidance and examples of how educators can embed global competence into their existing curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

More Powers will be granted to Autonomous Colleges of the State


More powers should be granted to the three autonomous colleges in Assam to allow them to award degrees on their own, Assam Governor and Chancellor of State Universities Prof. Jagdish Mukhi said on Tuesday. At a meeting convened at the Raj Bhawan here, a detailed discussion was held on the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in the state.

As an initial step, more powers will be granted to the three autonomous colleges of the state - North Lakhimpur College, Lakhimpur, Jagannath Barooah College, Jorhat, and Nowgong College, Nagaon - the meeting decided.

The Governor asked Education Minister Ranoj Pegu and the Education department to ensure that secondary education sections in all three autonomous colleges are transferred to nearby senior secondary schools to enable them to concentrate exclusively on quality degree courses.

He also said all vacant faculty positions should be filled up at the earliest to ensure no contractual teachers remain on the roll. It was also decided to appoint a committee to study and suggest ways and means for these autonomous colleges to start implementing NEP 2020.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Learning Teachers


Blending learning is becoming a popular teaching method in the classroom, and teachers are curious to see what students think about the practice. Peter West, director of eLearning at Saint Stephen's College in Australia, recently conducted a survey at his school to see what his students thought about blended learning and shares his results in an article on eschoolnews.com. With blended learning, the computer may provide much of the learning fundamentals and students must be more self-regulated than in a traditional industrial model classroom, but the teacher still plays a vital (albeit different) role," West wrote. "School leaders need to be aware of this and need to have pathways developed to transition teachers to this new environment. Thus, teachers must be trained in the different pedagogy, and this should impact the way professional development is delivered."West conducted the survey on his students who were in a self-paced blended learning course. West wrote that "all students used the same learning resources in 'lessons' of the same duration and were in the same physical environment.


Here were the questions:


How do you rate (overall) the way that we “do” this subject

How do you find the online tutorial approach affects your learning in class

How do you find the tutorial approach affects the speed of your learning

Do you find the online approach better for reviewing information?

How easy is it to get help when you get “stuck” with a problem and you are not sure what to do?

Your teacher talks less often in this subject than in a “normal” class. Is this better for your learning?

Most of your time in class is spent “doing things”, with explanations from the teacher on occasion. Is this better for your learning?

When asked to rate the class using these questions, students were generally positive in their assessments," he wrote. "Students in both classes were overall reluctant 

to give either teacher poor marks, but the class taught by the teacher comfortable with blended learning topped the “anomalous” class—significantly—in every question. 

The students in the comfortable blended class averaged mainly 1s and 2s in their assessments, while students in the other class averaged responses that crept closer to “neutral” in many cases."

Displaced Teachers Are Picking


It’s been over 40 days since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico and in that time, swaths of people have fled the island  70 percent which is still without power. New York, Texas, and Florida have all seen hundreds of families pour in, swelling school districts. Orlando, for example, has seen 58,000 people from Puerto Rico come into the city and 4,300 children from the



island have enrolled in Miami’s schools since the hurricane, reports PBS. All of this means a teacher shortage with the growing number of students and school districts are eager to hire Puerto Rican educators who have left the island.

So far, 119 of Puerto Rico’s schools have reopened, but it could be months more before the island’s remaining schools open if some even reopen at all. For Puerto Rican teachers like Sylvia Mejias, an expectant mother, putting her life back together means getting back to teaching, even if that means leaving Puerto Rico behind. “I told my husband, ‘We have to move because I’m pregnant,’” Mejias told WTSP. Mejias and her husband moved to Lakeland, Florida where they have family and she recently took a position teaching special education at an elementary school. “I think that things are getting better,” she said. The school district was quick to hire Mejias to help fill its 48 teaching positions and because some Puerto Rican teaching certificates transfer over to Florida.

 

RESEARCH FINDINGS

Better state-district policy coordination has important payoffs. Where district and state policies are closely aligned, school principals report relatively strong authority over hiring teachers, determining school schedules, and defining student achievement goals and, they are able to devote more of their time on average to the improvement of classroom instruction.

Principals in less coordinated states report greater frustration over time spent in improving instruction and also report that they had less authority over evaluating and removing teachers and administrators.

Effectively connecting state and district policies, while rare, can be a promising path to statewide school improvement. Places making the most progress in creating and sustaining more cohesive education leadership policies had the following in common: Strong political support and the engagement of top leaders (state, city, district) Comparatively little staff turnover at key policy positions Common state-level policies such as academic standards and graduation requirements

Pre-existing social networks and collaboration among governmental and non-governmental organizations Shared vision and goals among school boards and superintendents – essential if districts are to translate state policies into local practice.

Top leadership commitment is also essential in coordinated efforts to expand learning opportunities outside the school day and year. Committed public and private leadership is “the price of admission” for achieving large-scale improvements in out-of-school time learning opportunities. Similarly, committed and inclusive leadership has been crucial to recent efforts to expand access to and quality of arts education in New York City, Los Angeles, Alameda County, CA, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas.


 

We Library & Digital Learning.

We have created a print-rich school environment and opened a school library. The library provides children with access to a range of reading materials in Hindi and in English. All classes have regular reading sessions with our reading specialist. 

The children enjoy the opportunity to hear stories and to develop their own reading skills. The children don’t have books at home and take great pleasure in exploring the books in the library.


We are also introducing digital learning materials as new learning resources, to make classroom learning even more interactive while developing children’s awareness of technology and broadening their horizons. ensure the provision of holistic education to first-generation learners through Hunar Ghar primary school. The learning environment is welcoming, inspiring, and nurturing. 

Daily attendance is high. There is a big emphasis on the importance of building foundational skills in literacy and numeracy. Teaching is tailored to children’s needs, with extra study classes to help students who are struggling.

A dedicated sports teacher at Hunar Ghar provides regular PE lessons to all classes. Sports activities help children develop their confidence, perseverance, and teamwork skills while having fun. Every year, Hunar Ghar hosts an inter-school sports event, inviting other schools in the area to take part in games and races. Over 1,000 participants and spectators attend this annual event

Friday, June 25, 2021

Quality Education

 


Quality education is not an easy concept to qualify. At a time when we are discussing a quality education for all our learners it is important to take time to understand this concept.

The document Tomorrow's Schools (1995) had asked the following question: "What are considered to be the basic requirements of a quality education - one that is meaningful, worthwhile, responsive to individuals and social needs - and does each and every student, without fail get those requirements, regulated as these are by the principle of entitlement?"

According to the Education For All: Global Monitoring Report 2005 - The Quality Imperative (EFA: GMR), two principles characterise most attempts to define quality in education: the first identifies learners' cognitive development as the major explicit objective of all education systems. The second emphasises education's role in promoting values and attitudes of responsible citizenship and in nurturing creative and emotional development."

Quality determines how much and how well children learn and the extent to which their education translates into a range of personal, social and developmental benefits. Goal 6 of the Dakar Framework for Action (2000) emphasises the need of a stimulating pedagogy. It is the teaching and learning process that brings the curriculum to life, that determines what happens in the classroom and subsequently the quality of the learning outcomes.



The GMR emphasises six policy issues which directly impact on teaching and learning:

1. Relevant aims. Policy dialogue must arrive at a relevant balanced set of aims describing what learners should learn and why; the development of cognitive, creative and social skills and values; respect for human rights, the environment, peace and tolerance and cultural diversity. These put citizenship, democracy and human rights at the fore.

2. Subject balance - how subjects are defined, how many are taught and the time allocated to each.

3. Good use of time. Positive correlations are noted between instruction time and student achievement at both primary and secondary levels. Between 850 and 1,000 effective hours (not necessarily official hours) of schooling per year is broadly agreed as a benchmark.1

4. Pedagogic approaches for better learning. Child-centred active pedagogy, cooperative learning and the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills need to be present.

5. Language policy. Language of instruction is a policy choice affecting curriculum, content and pedagogy. A balance needs to be struck between enabling people to use local languages in learning and ensuring that they have access to global languages.

6. Learning from assessment. Regular, reliable, timely assessment is a key to improving learning achievement. The goals are to give learners feedback and improve learning and teaching practices. Formative assessment is needed as a complement to formal examinations.

Given our Maltese educational context, how can we provide quality education? A detailed answer to this question is beyond the brief of this short article, however, the following observations elicited from the review report give direction for quality primary education in our schools.

School Students Showcase Innovative Ideas at National Meet

  A total of 581 school students from across the country showcased their innovations at the 8th National Level Exhibition and Project Compet...