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International Forum on adopting ICT Perspective to Education and Learning

The International Forum on adopting ICT Perspective to Education and Learning is being held in Delhi from 31th October to 4th November 2016.

Organizers: International Bureau of Education (IBE), UNESCO in partnership with Google and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development & NCERT

The forum targets countries which are implementing the UNESCO developed General Education Quality Analysis Framework (GEQAF). Best practice cases from countries will be presented.

About International Bureau of Education (IBE), UNESCO

Its mandate is to strengthen the capacities of member states to design, develop, and implement curricula that ensure the equity, quality, development-relevance, and resource-efficiency of education and learning systems.
The mandate positions it to support member states’ efforts to implement Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4): Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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Degrees in digital format- II

  1. Advantages: Expected to curb the problem of fake academic degrees
  2. Also, enable recruiters to ensure that the degrees of a candidate are genuine
  3. The practice of attested copies may be a thing of the past, as the database would be an authentic source of secure information about a person’s academic claims
  4. This would also help the degree-holders themselves, as the data would be secure in the depository
  5. At present, loss of documents and damage to these make their re-issue a cumbersome bureaucratic process
  6. In some universities, the issue of degrees takes a lot of time and some students do not collect their degrees for years as they shift from the place
  7. NAD would make these degrees easily accessible

Degrees in digital format

  1. News: The government has set the ball rolling for the creation of National Academic Depository (NAD)
  2. NAD: An online database where all academic certificates will be available in digital format by the end of 2017
  3. Here, the institutions can upload all the degrees for authentication
  4. Purpose: To make available information on any award to any person other than the student, only with the explicit consent of the student
  5. It is a step towards the Digitial India vision

IITs to increase student intake by nearly 40% to 1 lakh

  1. Also, a scheme will be launched to allow meritorious graduating B.Tech students of IITs to enrol for research and be paid a monthly fellowship of nearly Rs.60,000
  2. It would foster research and will help in reducing brain drain from these premier schools
  3. Context: These decisions were approved by the IIT council, the apex decision-making body of the IITs headed by the HRD minister

Centre agrees to most of IIMs’ demands on autonomy

  1. News: The Union human resources development (HRD) ministry has agreed to most of the demands on autonomy made by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the proposed IIM Bill
  2. Context: IIMs had been on a confrontation course with the HRD ministry for over a year over the IIM bill provisions
  3. The HRD ministry will have negligible or no say in matters such as key recruitments except director, composition of the board of governors, the number of government nominees on the board and the powers of a coordination forum
  4. Fee determination: Now it completely rests with the IIMs and the ministry will have no say
  5. Earlier, the bill had proposed to give the HRD ministry the final say on such matters

Indian research skewed towards engineering, sciences

  1. News: India’s output of scientific publications may be increasing but their quality is skewed, according to Current Science journal
  2. Skew: Towards physical sciences and engineering with very little for biological sciences and medicine, and virtually none in social sciences, arts and humanities when excellence at the highest level is considered
  3. India annually publishes about 1,00,000 research papers but its top research institutions appear to be focussed on engineering and physical sciences
  4. Indian institutions did not make the quality cut or were too few in the arts and humanities, business, management and accounting, neuroscience, nursing, psychology and social sciences

Panel submits report on new education policy

  1. Context: Report on new educational policy submitted to the Human Resource Development Ministry
  2. The committee is headed by the former Cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian
  3. Committee made the report by examining the large body of outcome documents, recommendations and suggestions received from the various consultations
  4. It had also undertaken consultation with the educational institutions

Learn about Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

  1. About: Non-govt, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process
  2. Founded in: 1895
  3. Members: Around 8000 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs
  4. Purpose: To create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes

Study calls for better collaboration between academia and industry

  1. News: Fourth edition of annual analysis of the impact of industry on technical institutes, conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII)
  2. Grade system: Participating institutes were graded as platinum (over 35%), gold (10-35%) and silver (less than 10%)
  3. Context: Around 21 per cent of institutions in the southern region were rated as platinum, while 61 per cent were given the gold grade, topping all regions
  4. Relevance: Established engineering institutions (over 10 yrs old) and emerging institutions had performed well in governance and placements
  5. Survey concludes: 2-way communication between industry and institutions would benefit both.
  6. Academia should know what the industry needs, the industry should invest in long-term relationship with the academia

Committee on Yoga Education in Universities

  1. Why? To identify the courses and programs in Yogic Arts and Science and the levels at which they can be offered
  2. To spell out the scope of programs offered at Certificate, Diploma, Degree, Post Graduate Degree and research levels
  3. To prescribe the syllabus: for conducting National Eligibility Test (NET) in Yogic Arts and Science
  4. Determine eligibility qualifications: for students for joining Yoga education programs at different levels
  5. To suggest the names: of national level Yoga centers whose expertise can be networked with universities where Departments of Yogic Arts and Science will be established
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Learn about Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)

  1. ITIs were started in 1950s
  2. India has 13,000 ITIs
  3. Aim: To produce skilled workers for India’s manufacturing sector
  4. Issue: They have suffered from quality concerns over the past several years
  5. Upgrading these institutes is key to the success of Skill India mission

World Bank to help skill development

  1. Context: India is in the process of borrowing over $1.5 billion from the World Bank
  2. Why? To revamp government-run vocational education schools ITIs and address quality concerns by implementing ISO certification, audits and ratings
  3. It will also ensure global best practices at schools

Modernization of Madarsas’ Education

  1. Context: Scheme for Providing Quality Education to Madarsas (SPQEM) is being implemented all over the country through the State/UT Governments.
  2. Objective: SPQEM provides financial assistance to encourage traditional institutions like Madarsas and Maktabs
  3. To introduce modern education through subjects as Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Hindi and English in their curriculum
  4. How? Through support for a maximum of 3 teachers, books, Teaching Learning Materials and Computer Labs
  5. Way ahead: Providing the students education comparable with national standards, for which affiliation with the National Institute of Open schooling (NIOS) is integral
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Kerala jobless rate 3 times the national average

  1. Context: At 7.4 per cent, Kerala has the highest rate of unemployment among the major States in the country
  2. It puts Kerala’s unemployment rate at three times the national level (2.3 per cent)
  3. Other States: only tiny Nagaland and Tripura have a higher unemployment rate
  4. Scope: Rate is higher in rural areas as compared to urban areas
  5. What about Women? Feminisation of joblessness is evident with females accounting for a much higher rate of joblessness as compared to males
  6. The situation is worse in the case of Kerala women, who log an unemployment rate of 47.4 per cent, as compared to 9.7 per cent of men

Structured teacher recruitment plan needed

India is faced with a shortage of 1.2 million school teachers

  1. Centre asked states to put in place a structured recruitment plan to reduce backlog and attract quality graduates to the profession
  2. It will be key to improving the quality of schooling in the country
  3. The shortage of teachers becomes all the more acute with absenteeism — at around 35%
  4. India has at least 1.4 million schools catering to over 270 million children.
  5. Education in India falls under the Concurrent List, which means both the Union and state governments can legislate on the subject.

‘SEEMA DARSHAN’ – An initiative by the Ministry of HRD

To provide an opportunity for the children to experience the border environment and to foster patriotism and nationalism among the students .

  1. In which school children are visiting the border areas and present before our soldiers and troops an array of performances showcasing the tradition and culture of India.
  2. This kind of programme will not only inspire children but also boost the morale of our soldiers on this Republic Day.
  3. The Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home affairs is organizing programme.
  4. The main objective of the programme is to provide the students with a first-hand experience of the prevailing security environment in the border areas.
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SSA to develop ‘model’ schools

  1. A total of 3,843 elementary schools in AP will be developed as model schools by upgrading the facilities in the institutions.
  2. The initiatives to be taken up in the model schools include additional classrooms, toilets, drinking water, computers, and maintaining healthy teacher- student ratio.
  3. The objective of the SSA is to provide free education in the 6-14 age group.
  4. One of the focus areas of the SSA was ensuring education of girls and bringing down the dropout rate.
  5. Girls education is being taken care by the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, which are residential schools.

Redefining education

Make it creative, encourage risk-taking and expand the idea of success.

  1. We put starting salaries and entrance exams on a pedestal and force a singular definition of success down our collective throats.
  2. It skews our incentives and priorities in unhealthy ways.
  3. Education should be about a holistic exposure to all facets of life .
  4. It should be a force for peace, a means to overcoming prejudice?
  5. We need to build an education system that values creativity, makes a deliberate effort to spark thoughtfulness and independent thinking, teaches students how to learn, guides the development of a strong moral compass.
  6. Creativity in education has to do with a constructivist approach to education, where learning is an active rather than the passive receiving of information.
  7. A society that values multiple intelligences, encourages exploration, accepts failure, prizes environmental conscientiousness, and allows people to define success on their terms.

Let’s know about Athulyam programme?

The programme aimed at attaining 100 per cent literacy in the district.

  1. The Athulyam comprehensive continuing education scheme, jointly organised by the district panchayat and the District Literacy Mission, on March 8, 2013.
  2. The district had an illiterate population of 1,03,786, who identified through a survey in the first phase of the programme.
  3. In the second phase, dropouts and those who have not received primary education will be identified and provided equivalency classes.
  4. Special programmes for the mentally and physically challenged, the SC, the ST, and slum and coastal area dwellers are the other programmes as part of the scheme.

Kerala first State to attain total primary education

This showed that civil society and local governance structure could deliver remarkable results at the grassroots level.

  1. Vice President Ansari declared Kerala as the first State in the country to achieve total primary education.
  2. Speaking at the function, he said was as historic for Kerala as April 18, 1991, when it was declared a fully literate State.
  3. The day also marked the culmination of the Athulyam programme aimed at ensuring total primary education, equivalent to Standard IV of formal education.
  4. He said the remarkable socio-economic indicators of the State were testimony to the transformative nature of mass education.
  5. The programmes undertaken at the 4,000 continuing education centres started by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA).

What are recommendations of Devnani Committee?

  1. The committee, formed by the Central government, stated that a ‘learning level’ must be fixed for each class to check whether a student is eligible for the class that he or she is in.
  2. The committee notes, Students must not be detained in Classes VI and VII. However, they must meet the required ‘learning levels’.
  3. A month’s time would be given to students to retake tests and attain the required learning levels, failing which the students would have to be detained.

Then, What’s next?

  1. Now, for this to happen, the Centre will have to amend the Right To Education law — which prescribes the no-detention policy for students till Class 8.
  2. A key component of the RTE Act, the no-detention policy was enforced on April 1, 2010.
  3. With the intention of ensuring that every child between the age of six and 14 gets a school education.

18 States agree to revoke ‘no detention policy’ in RTE

  1. A committee headed by Rajasthan Education Minister Vasudev Devnani has sent recommendations to the Central government.
  2. Stating that the ‘no detention policy’ under the Right to Education (RTE) Act should be revoked.
  3. The committee had received the consent of 18 States for required amendments in the ‘no detention policy’ under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
  4. Under the no detention policy, no student can be failed or expelled till Class VIII.
  5. However, States, including Rajasthan, have already done away with the policy.


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