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West Bengal forms panel for better education

Curriculum Development


Times of India

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to set up the education commission with four or five eminent educationists to draw up a plan for 2020 and also for 2030 which will be a vision document guiding the education department and the state government.
Mamata said that the document would help impart best education to the students of Bengal in the days ahead.
According to sources in the school education department, the commission will be set up to find out the fallacies existing in the current academic system. “It will try and give suggestions to make improvement in the existing syllabus, teaching and learning methods, examination system and anything related to education,” said a school education department official. According to him, the He added, “after CM’s announcement on Thursday, next step will be to decide on the names who will be on the panel and bring out a government order.
Speaking to the teachers and students on the Teachers’ Day on Thursday, the CM said, “Students need to know how to outperform others in the competitions, how to be good in art, music, dance as well as studies. The brain needs oxygen and it will not come from studies alone. One should not feel miserable if he or she does not score 100. Of course, one should aim to achieve 100 but that is not the end. During our childhood days, there were more co-curricular activities.”
Mamata also made it clear that she wanted the burden of syllabus to be reduced off the children. “Syllabus needs to be reduced.
Students cannot be left to suffer from Spondylitis even before they reach 18 just by carrying huge load of books on their shoulders. Stress and tension must be removed,” the CM said. She added that Bengal has been promoted to rank 3 among all states from rank 17 in an education survey. “We shall now aim to reach the top,” CM said.
Education minister Bratya Basu said that after releasing new books for the students of classes I, III and V last year, the syllabus reform committee, headed by Aveek Mazumdar, has drawn up the list of new books which were released by the chief minister for students of classes II, IV, VI and VIII.


Student Entrepreneurship Policy for Kerala schools

Curriculum Development, Secondary Education

20-Aug-2013 :

Business Line

The State government has announced the rollout of its flagship Student Entrepreneurship Policy for schools.
This was mentioned by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in his Independence Day speech by citing the example of Startup Village, India’s first telecom technology business incubator, as a testament to the success of the policy.
The State Government, during the Emerging Kerala Global Connect in September last year, had offered a number of incentives for college students wanting to set up business start-ups.
In its second phase, the Student Entrepreneurship Policy, which is designed to encourage innovations by youngsters, will be offered to school-going children.
Around 10,000 bright school students from classes VIII to XII will be chosen through an online examination and provided computers and other learning material to improve their technology skills as part of the new project.
“Young people are going to provide the strength for Kerala’s forward march, and our duty is to provide them the opportunities here at home,” the Chief Minister said.
It is very clear that employment and growth opportunities around the world in the next 50 years are going to be based on technology, he added.
The State government will also be launching a new project that offers 100 teams of five college students each a Startup Tool Box, which will have high-end computers, smartphones and other technology items required to create a startup company.
By extending the Student Entrepreneurship Policy to school level, Kerala will seamlessly have a programme where young minds from 8th standard have opportunity to explore original thinking and learn computer programming languages in depth which will give them a great foundation to begin a startup from first year in college and have a successful company by their fourth year in college, said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Board of Governors, Startup Village.
Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO, Startup Village, said, “Kerala is fast achieving the critical mass for startups. The State is at the cusp of a startup revolution as evidenced by the excitement in college campuses.”


New ICT curriculum to make students, teachers tech savvy

Curriculum Development, ICT


Hindustan Times

In line with the national policy to create tech savvy students and teachers, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has developed a curriculum framework for a course in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that will be adopted by all Indian secondary education boards.

The curriculum has been drafted for two special courses on ICT education, one for students and the other for teachers.

The NCERT has also proposed teaching students ICT from a younger age, therefore, the curriculum has been prepared for three year courses spread across Classes 6 to 12.

Currently, the state board’s new syllabus had made ICT mandatory for students of Classes 9 to 12.

The bases of the ICT curricula are the goals set in the National Curriculum Framework (2005) and the National Policy.

“Recent research has shown that Indians are better-equipped in ICT than other countries in ICT. But such a curriculum aims at gearing students and teachers for global competitiveness,” said NK Jarag, director of MSCERT.

Secondary education boards across the country can offer the course spread over three years, with three sessions held per week.

The curriculum also plans to assess students through a continuous comprehensive assessment throughout the course, while summative evaluations will be conducted at the end of every year.

Students will be evaluated based on an exhibition and a peer review of the work done through the year.

The curriculum also requires students to create an e-portfolio of their work.

NCERT has proposed that until the infrastructure for course is ready at all schools, the state boards should hold separate examinations for the course and award certificates after exams.

“Once all schools are equipped, this could become a part of the school leaving certificate,” the framework states.

A similar programme has been introduced for teachers, to use ICT in classrooms, designed through a two year diploma.

The course is divided into two ? refresher courses and induction courses.

Any teacher who has completed three induction and 14 refresher courses is eligible to take an examination and will be given a diploma in ICT in education, by NCERT.

The curriculum has been uploaded on NCERT’s website.

Parents, students and academicians can submit their suggestions within 15 days.


Michael Gove brings back 12 times tables in new curriculum

Curriculum Development, Global news, UK


The Independent

Children will be taught fractions from the age of five and will once again have to learn the 12 times tables under a controversial new national curriculum to be announced today by the Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The emphasis on a more traditional academic curriculum has already provoked critics to warn that it will damage children’s education.

At present, pupils have to learn times tables up to 10 by the age of 11, but Mr Gove wants them to learn multiplication sums up to 12 by heart by the age of nine.

In English, he is expected to press for pupils to have to study a pre-20th century novel from the likes of Dickens, Austen or Thackeray, after research showed most pupils were shunning the great authors of the past.

In history, Mr Gove will stick to his guns, insisting that pupils learn their UK history chronologically – rather than focus on topics such as the Nazis or the Tudors, the most popular option in recent years. The curriculum will concentrate on key characters from history such as Queen Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell,  Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill.

However, in a concession to his critics, he will insist that – while the emphasis will be on British history – every pupil will have to study events in world history, too. History teachers criticised both Mr Gove and Prime Minister David Cameron’s original “gung ho” attitude that they should be teaching about British history “in all its glory”.

Mr Gove came under fire again last night. Professor Terry Wrigley of Leeds Metropolitan University, one of the organisers of a letter to The Independent signed by 100 academics opposing the plans, said: “My own feeling is that Mr Gove is simply not listening to anyone.

“To think you rely on memorisation is simply a delusion,” he said. “It strikes me the way that Gove’s mind works is he thinks you raise standards by getting nine-year-olds to remember their 12 times tables and five-year-olds to do fractions. It is not the direction other high-performing countries have taken.”

Kevin Courtney, the deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, added that the proposals “are being rushed through with little thought given to the practicalities of implementation – never mind the content”. They were confronting schools with “an unprecedented amount of change”, coming as they did on top of GCSE and A-level reforms.

Stephen Twigg, Labour’s education spokesman, said they represented Mr Gove’s third attempt to rewrite the curriculum. “He should listen to the experts and not try to write it himself based on his personal prejudices,” he said.

The Department for Education said last night it would concentrate on “getting basics right”. Mr Gove added: “This curriculum is a foundation for learning the vital advanced skills that universities and businesses desperately need – skills such as essay writing, problem-solving, mathematical knowledge and computer programming.” He said it would aim to halt what he called England’s “disastrous” slide down international league tables from 24th to 28th in maths, 17th to 25th in reading and 14th to 16th in science between 2006 and 2009.

Computer programming and electronics will be given more emphasis, while evolution will be taught to primary school pupils for the first time.

Mr Cameron said: “This curriculum marks a new chapter in British education… This is a curriculum to inspire a generation – and it will educate the great British engineers, scientists, writers and thinkers of the future.”

The new curriculum will be taught in schools from September 2014.


Delhi University names colleges offering BMS

Curriculum Development, Higher Education

Education News



Delhi University has finally come clear on the colleges that will offer the Bachelor’s with honours course in management studies. In all, six colleges — Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, College of Vocational Studies, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Bhim Rao Ambedkar College and Deen Dayal Upadhyay College — will offer the course.

The number of seats on offer is 840.

The new course was brought in after BBE, BBS and BFIF courses were discontinued. These courses were immensely popular and nearly 100% of the students were got placements. The total number of seats in all three courses was 891. With the introduction of the BMS course, the number has come down by 51, a move that has angered many applicants.

“At a time students are struggling to get admissions in good colleges and courses, Delhi University is cutting the number of its seats. This move will have a detrimental effect on the interests of students and the number of seats should be restored to 891. This reduction will not help anyone,” said Tanmay Thakur, a DU aspirant.

It was earlier believed that BMS will be started in colleges where either one of the three discontinued courses were being taught. However, the university constituted a committee to look into the infrastructure and faculty available so that they could ensure that the course will be of high quality. The course will now come under the Faculty of Management Studies.

According to sources, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and the College of Vocational Studies have the most number of seats.

“The College of Vocational Studies was running a number of courses related to business and management such as office administration and secretarial practice, managing and marketing of insurance and human resource management,” sources said.

“In all, there were six vocational courses with 77 seats each that were related to business and management. A large number of these 462 seats may now be converted into BMS seats as the other courses are not being offered as Discipline I,” the sources added.

DU’s most sought-after courses:

Bachelor’s with honours in management studies (BMS) This course was introduced after three popular management courses — BBS, BBE and BFIA — were done away with. BMS has been planned with the help of the Faculty of Management Studies, among the most popular MBA institutes in the country.

An aspirant will have to take an entrance test and give an interview for selection to the course. Scores will be calculated using board results (which will carry 30% weightage), the entrance test performance (50% of the weightage) and the outcome of the interview (20% of the weightage). The forms for the entrance test are now available online at www.fms.edu

Bachelor with honours in journalism and mass communication (BJMC) This course replaced Bachelor’s with honours in journalism and Bachelor’s with honours in mass media and mass communication (BMMMC). BJMC will be offered in six colleges: Kamala Nehru College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Kalindi College, Maharaja Agrasen College, Lady Shri Ram College and Indraprastha College for Women. Earlier, only IP College offered the Bachelor’s with honours in mass media and mass communication while the rest of the five colleges had journalism.

The entrance exam has been scrapped and admissions will be on the basis of merit.

BTech in psychological science Till now, Delhi University offered two courses in psychology: honours in psychology and honours in applied psychology, both of which have now been scrapped. The content of the new course will be a combination of both and will be offered in all the colleges that previously offered psychology and applied psychology.

The varsity earlier offered a BA degree in the both the courses but from the new academic session the degree will be a Bachelor’s of technology in psychological sciences. Admission will be based on merit. All students, from arts, commerce and science streams can apply for the course.


Delhi University’s four-year degree programme slammed

Curriculum Development, Higher Education

Education News



NEW DELHI: The four-year degree programme of Delhi University has come under fire from educationists and jurists, who have asked for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to postpone it.

In a letter to the Prime Minister about the university converting its three-year undergraduate degree into a four-year programme, jurist Rajinder Sachar and journalist Kuldeep Nayar, among others, said: “Several educationists and intellectuals all over the country have expressed their apprehensions about the merit of this decision.”

“We believe that such a basic change in the higher education system/policy should first be considered and examined by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and parliament in consultation with prominent educationists of India,” they said.

The letter added: “Delhi University does not exist in isolation. If this change is so valuable, it should be implemented on the national level and there should be a national debate about its merit.”

Delhi University can wait for a couple of years in the best interest of the students all over India, they said.

The four-year format attempts to take an inter-disciplinary approach.


Maharashtra universities to implement Choice Based Credit System

Curriculum Development, Higher Education

03 Jun 2013

Indian Education Review

All the universities in the Maharashtra will now follow Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) at the Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) levels from upcoming academic session. A high powered committee of Vice Chancellors has recommended following a directive from the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Higher Education Minister, Rajesh Tope said, “We have asked all the universities to adopt and implement CBCS from this academic year. Of course, this doesn’t mean that things will change overnight. But this is a step in the right direction.”

From now on all degree courses will have the same credits. “We have fixed the number at 80,” says Dr Vijay Pandharipande, VC, Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (BAMU).

“Earlier the Science stream had more credits – 96 to 100, and the Arts and Social Sciences had only 64 credits. We have proposed that since the degree that is conferred upon students is the same there is no reason why one course should have more credits than the other,” explained Dr Pandharipande.

The committee has also recommended that Arts and Social Sciences courses should include case studies, seminars, projects and more.

Dr Rajan Velukar, VC, Mumbai University said, “In due course of time ‘credit sharing’ will allow students to take some courses from one university and the major part of the courses from another university, which will offer them a degree,” reported Zee News.


CBSE instruction emphasizes on all-encompassing education

Curriculum Development

5 June 2013

Jagran Josh


Mr. UC Bodh, the deputy secretary of CBSE, warns school in his written letter that they are responsible for the textbook being considered. The Indian schools as per Affiliation Bylaw Rule 15.1 (d) can use textbooks of their private publisher for following the syllabus. However, the school has to take care of the matter precisely and completely responsible for the content. If any offensive or  disagreeable content is found in the textbooks then strict action can be taken against the school.

CBSE introduces guidelines for the school that should be considered while recommending the textbooks.

1. According to first guideline schools have to form a committee that authenticates the content being used is activity-based and assist in the better development of the child. It should follow the rules of child-centered education and alongside integrate child experience and socio-cultural languages and context of the child.
2. Another guideline states that the textbooks must be designed according the belief like gender sensitivity, value education and comprehensive education, particularly with the perspective of 1st generation and disadvantaged learners.
3. As per the third guideline the textbooks must be culturally, ethically, environmentally, pedagogically and constitutionally justifiable in a context of pan-India. The textbook should not contain any objectionable content with any respect whether it is gender-based, culturally-based or religion-based.
4. The last guideline says that excess reliability of teachers on the textbooks obstruct the creativity and exploration of the students. Therefore, according to NCF-2005 sufficient number of books should be available according to necessity of the school. Alongside, extra copies should be present in the library.


‘Reform political, educational system to build healthy India’

Curriculum Development

The Pioneer Beta

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR

Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb on Sunday underlined the need for an immediate reform in political order and educational system to build a healthy society and nation imbued with moral and spiritual values.

Expressing concern over the decay in the social value system, growing scams, deterioration of law and order and crime against women etc, first servant of the Lord Jagannath Deb said, “We have to show a new way and a way out of the mess by building our character with moral values and spiritual way of life for ensuring progress and prosperity in society.” He added, “We want to intensify a spiritual revolution.”

Deb was addressing media here on Sunday after presiding over a meeting of the Swami Chidananda Birth Centenary Committee of which he is the chairman. Deb regretted that the objective of serving the people was lost in the present day political system.

“Vote bank politics has become the bane of present political system which lacks moral values,” he said and advocated for basic reforms in the existing election system.

“The election system needs to be reviewed to rectify the defective political process,” he said and suggested that reform in political system should be initiated from “top to bottom”. “We need good people with noble character at the helm of affairs to serve and govern which would percolate to the lowest ebb of the administrative system,” he said.

He asserted that the politicians should learn “Karma yoga”, which means love, serve, purify, meditate and realize. Deb said our educational system needs reform from bottom to top, which is a long term affair, lamenting that the present day education system lacks morality and spirituality that guide the student to lead a noble life and become a useful member of society.

Education should concern practical life and aim at something more than merely the bread and butter problem, he viewed.

The curriculum should be prepared to enable students for building up character and future leaders, he said. “We are product of a system which is defective and needs to be cleansed,” he maintained.


Should Teachers Be Trained Like Doctors and Lawyers?

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, Curriculum Development


Mon, May 20, 2013

It’s no secret that America’s education system needs colossal reform.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle always campaign on the issue, and policy makers push new standards every few years. But what might just be needed is a radical approach to teaching instead of more standards and tests.

That’s what Jal Mehta examines in his new book The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling. While he reflects on the history of school reform movements such as the controversial No Child Left Behind, he also offers innovative solutions to revitalizing public education.

“Each time we get interested in those vehicles to try and improve schooling, we invest high hopes in them and each time they fall short,” Mehta, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, tells TakePart.

Some of those ideas include more standardized testing and revision of standards such as the incoming Common Core State Standards. But Mehta says that there is another way to look at education in this country and it begins with teachers. In fact, he says in all seriousness, that K-12 teachers need training similar to what physicians receive.

“We let doctors operate, pilots fly and engineers build because their fields have developed effective ways of certifying that they can do these things,” he recently wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “Teaching, on the whole, lacks this specialized knowledge base; teachers teach based mostly on what they have picked up from experience and from their colleagues.”

Comparatively, Mehta says teaching is a failed profession compared to that of lawyers and doctors. Yet, we expect just as much out of this country’s education system as we do our medical and legal systems.

Mehta says that in many instances in this country, teaching is a by-the-seat-of-the-pants profession in which young, inexperienced teachers are thrown into the classroom with very little, if any, mentoring. He would like to see more extensive training to teachers and even go so for as to tenure K-12 teachers once they have proven themselves. “Master teachers” with years of experience would be used to train new teachers.

He argues that teaching is skilled work, and, in that regard, teachers need more extensive training.

“You need teachers that know quite a bit about their subject matter,” he says. “For instance, in math, if you’re going to try and get kids to get the underlying concepts, you need to understand those concepts.”

But he says that there is a real problem because teachers lack much prep time for class. He cites countries like Japan and Korea where teachers teach less and have more time to plan. Teachers in the United States teach on average 1100 hours per year compared to 600-700 hours in other countries.

One way to solve this time crunch is team teaching. Mehta says more schools, which are attempting deeper interdisciplinary work, have found great success in teaming teachers from opposite subjects such as math and digital arts.

Mehta also calls for an educational equivalent of the National Institutes of Health. Otherwise he says the system will continue to fail. Commercial curriculum designers will create what districts and states want. Instead, a more uniformed system is needed. Sure, the Common Core Standards might work with key goals. But if teachers aren’t skilled, the standards may go down in the history books as another failed idea.

As for standardized testing, Mehta says that many people want it to serve as a “magical bullet” to solve every education crisis, but that it is far more complicated than that.

“The idea that you could buy and impose these tests to transform the system as a whole is magical thinking, a magical shortcut,” he said. “Rather, if you did all of these other things – strong teachers with training and gave them time to think, prepare and even deal with high-poverty students – the test scores would represent real learning.”

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