Recent Changes in Education

With a spate of new reforms taking place in the education sector of our country, I have been compelled to take up the pen and put to paper all the recent changes and developments that are affecting us all. Recently with CCE- Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation being implemented in Class IX and above classes, the students will be evaluated for their scholastic as well as co-scholastic performance from next month, resulting in grades instead of marks. This means that schools following CBSE pattern, will henceforth conduct formative and summative assessment of Class IX students in their second term. With two formative and one summative assessment in each term, the weightage of these two assessments in a year will be 40% and 60%, respectively. These formative assessments will be gauged through quizzes, conversations, interviews, oral testing, visual testing, projects, practicals and assignments.

Many schools like DPS Pinjore have since its inception laid stress on co-curricular activities and formative assessments of their students but the other schools which have till date only restricted a child’s assessment to only the paper-pencil test, will face difficulty in adapting themselves to the new pattern laid down by the Board.  Aiming at “holistic assessment of a learner”, the circular issued by the Board stresses that CCE “will motivate learning in a friendly environment rather than in a fearful situation.” With a greater focus on learning rather than teaching to test, DPS Pinjore and a handful of other schools like Shemford Group Of Schools score a point over the others, as they are already following a similar education pattern.

The CBSE Board has also woken up to the need to train its teachers and impart the required teaching practices to its teachers but in private schools like DPS Pinjore, it is mandatory for teachers to complete a set of training modules before joining the school. The basic aim behind this is to ensure that the teachers inculcate the same set of values in their own selves before stepping into the student’s realm and guiding them.

When talking about the latest reforms, why leave behind ICT usage? Use of videogames to make learning more interesting, computer aided teaching and active graphics are rigorously being used these days to grab and sustain the child’s attention. With modern technology getting more advanced day by day, there is an even greater need to introduce the child early on, to this new dimension of education and try and build his interest in the same.

Especially the way in which mathematics is presented to school children, many of them find it a difficult and dry subject. Many national bodies like NCERT and teacher associations like AMTI are making efforts to make mathematics teaching more alluring by organising trainings, workshops, seminars, bringing out journals, producing resource material, conducting Mathematical Olympiads, etc. But all said and done, in the end, the onus of improving the quality of teaching mathematics lies on the individual teacher.

I personally believe that all children are a Goldmine- a goldmine of hidden talents! And the onus of discovering their talents rests not only on the parents but also on the schools. These talents have to be discovered at an early age, when the little buds are still blossoming into flowers. Keeping this in view, the Government has proposed to introduce new courses in the current curriculum being followed at schools all over the country.

With the HRD Ministry all set to introduce new courses in areas like Fine Arts, Music, Carpentry and other skills at the school level, schools are all geared up to cater to the new tidal wave of interests shown in their curriculum by the governing bodies. It is a well known fact that for any industry or sector to flourish, it is very important to have Government support and the reform policies to be actively implemented. With the new Education Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, taking an active interest in the Educational Reforms of the country, India’s Education Sector is set for major reforms that were long pending. The government’s intervention in major issues has sparked a series of intellectual debates among all classes of the society and finally, it seems that unheard pleas are being heard!

After having made Board Exams optional in Grade X, the schools are further rejoicing in the knowledge that CBSE will now be internationally recognized and will cater to a much wider audience in terms of outreach. Just like the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Cambridge International Examinations, the ‘International CBSE’ would reach out to students across the world as an alternate system of learning and evaluation – Definitely news worth rejoicing!

With US Secretary Of Education, Arne Duncan’s ample praise for India’s secondary education system, the idea of taking our CBSE Board which is already recognized globally, to an international level, has streamed forth. But first, the current CBSE curriculum would have to be revamped totally in order to customize and tailor it to the requirements of the global student community and this would definitely take some time and ample research.

In the meanwhile, the results of the recent reforms implemented, are visible from this term itself, with schools all over Delhi agreeing to open the registrations from Dec 15. With de-bureaucratisation in the Admissions Procedure of schools, the parents of children seeking admissions have a little less to worry about this term. With the annual admission time being one of the most harrowing times of all, parents have literally breathed a sigh of relief on the Government’s timely intervention and lauded the efforts of Sibal.

Starting with the Grading system to Introduction of new diverse courses in schools, from the Right to Education Bill being passed to the Teacher Training Program being implemented at a nation wide scale, Mr Sibal has been doing a commendable work since day one of his term and I wish him all the best for his future endeavors.

Right to Education Bill

The Union Cabinet has finally passed the Right to Education Bill. This controversial Bill had been deferred twice before. It had earlier faced opposition from the Law, Finance ministries where the major issue was the financial contribution of each state. The Right to Education Bill essentially means that every child in the age group of 6-to-14 has a right to elementary education that is provided free and compulsory and is of equitable quality and available in an accessible area.

This Bill is aimed at setting up certain minimum standards for public and private schools. This would eventually mean raising the worth of educational facilities across the nation. The government is very positive as it realises that the Bill would also help to restrict the problems of child labour and malnutrition. However, the Bill might still face hurdles as it has a clause that makes it compulsory for the private schools to reserve nearly 25% of the seats for the unprivileged and poor children.

IT Training Institutes Diversifying

Over the last few years, some known education providers in India have diversified their operations and are now indulging in education related services. NIIT is a great example, which has come successfully to take on the education market as it evolves. For last five or six years, this insitute has been involved in different projects, apart from imparting the computer education.

The focus has shifted from conventional methods of teaching to developing new methods and tools of learning. With the help of technology and interactive systems, many education providers have developed their own models of teaching and pedagogies. Very soon students may find an altogether different learning experience as these new ystems would be made operational.

The exploration has bugled great news for many as jobs are being created in the newly found segments and niches. Like NIIT, there are many other small players that have taken up very specialised realm to chip in. Some are developing online support services, some are producing interactive media and yet others are looking out for more diverse avenues.


Venture Capitalists Invest in Education Sector

The focus of foreign investors and venture capitalists has shifted from technology to service based industry, including education. One story appeared in Business Standard which revealed the trend of VCs (Venture Capitalists) investing in education, media and entertainment and beverages.

The recent contribution was made by Matrix Partners India, which invested $7 millions in preschool segment, as reoprted by Business Standard. So far, preschools have been the best choice as government control is minimum for preschools in India. However, investors and VCs are also considering the options to invest in primary and secondary schools. When will the big change come, nobody knows.

Education market in India is segmented and allows particpation at various levels. Secondary schools, high schools, colleges and universities are ideal places to start a new revolution in the education market. For such a thing to happen, the government may have to make laws pertaining to the ownership and control of the institutions very easy.

Tips to prepare for Exams

Examination phobia haunts many children and they struggle to grasp things as examination date comes near. Children who are weak in studies often find it very difficult to quickly revise the complete syllabus of all the subjects in a short period of time. Is there any way to make things easier for them? Let us see how by implementing some very useful techniques, students can score better in their examinations.

Examination preprations
Image Credit: Ikhlasul Amal


Make a daily routine of your activities and follow it strictly. Make sure you arrange 1 hour early in the morning for studies. Reserve noon time for playing and other leisure activities. Never make late night studying schedules.

Daily Revision

Whatever you have learned in the class today, make sure you revise it that same day in evening. Go through the chapters and read fast. Grab important points and make clear notes of the same. If you follow this system, half of your burden is already gone and preparation in exam days will be very easy.

Use Unconventional Methods

Using internet for study material, visiting local public library and having group discussion with neighbourhood friends will help you learn things quickly.

Take Mock Tests

Prepare mock tests by yourself, which you can easily get from different sources (Sample papers, downloads from Internet). Giving mock tests builds confidence and strengthen problem solving skills.

Do Not Overdo

Sometimes students set unrealistic targets in enthusiasm. Every student knows his capacity and limitations & targets should be set accordingly. Set small goals and proceed to your final goal gradually.


Good Luck…..!!!!!

Private or Municipal Schools: The Choice is Clear

Lower middle class of the Indian society often face the dilemma of choosing the right school for their child. They have to choose between municipal corporation schools and private schools run by various groups, communities and similar institutions.

Although municipal schools provide free books, mid-day meals and uniforms, but parents still prefer private schools for their kids for only one reason – “Better Education Quality”. Parents are ready to spend more to get better education for their children. Their only complaint with municipal schools is that the teachers do not teach and have no motivation for teaching.

Parents have also alleged that teachers of municipal schools in Mumbai talk on mobile phones in their classes. At the end of every month municipal schools remains closed, as teachers have to draw their salaries. It has also been noticed that a lot of time of municipal teachers is wasted in distributing books, mid-meals under the “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan”.

Despite a bit heavy on pocket, lower middle class and middle class prefers private schools for their children to build strong foundation of their kids, for better career opportunities in future.

CBSE Merit Scholarship Schemes

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has many scholarship schemes for meritorious students and students belonging to weaker sections of the society.

Following is the list of CBSE Merit Scholarship Schemes:

CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl Child for +2
CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Professional Studies – AIPMT
CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Professional Studies – AIEEE
CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Under Graduate Studies for Single Girl Child

For detailed information about every aspect related to these scholarship schemes, visit CBSE scholarship scheme information site.

Gender Parity In Education:Still a Concern in India

Today India’s economy is booming and we are seen as a strong economic power in the coming years. Despite this fact, some social issues are still of concern and should be given enough importance if we have to sustain ourselves as a strong socio-economic super power. One such issue is ‘Gender Parity In Primary Education’, which needs immediate attention by State and Central Governments.

Indian School girls
Image Credit: RTQ

Let’s see some figures* related to gender distribution in primary and secondary education in India.

Primary Schools (Class I-V) -> Parity Index: 0.94 -> 94 girls for every 100 boys
Higher Secondary (Class IX-XII) -> Parity Index: 0.80 -> 80 girls for every 100 boys

*Source: HRD Ministry, Figures of 2005-2006

The above figures gives a clear picture of wide gap between school going girls and boys. The situation is even more worse in selective areas of the country, especially in west, North West and some parts of North India. The drop out rate of girls is most in primary education, as parents prefer to spend more on their son. Early marriage, security issues also play an important role in further aggravating the situation.

The noticeable difference in gender parity index in urban and rural areas clearly indicates that more attention is needed in rural areas, where drop out rate of girls is much higher than urban areas.

Programmes like Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) launched by government in 2004, does help the cause to some extent, but more action is needed to tackle this situation. Some State Governments are also offering free bicycles to girls to travel to school, resulting in decreased drop out rate of girls in these areas.

Unless, the whole outlook of society will not change on this issue, it would be very difficult to close the gap of gender parity index.

A Man With a Mission: Making Mathematics Learning Easy Through Math Labs

Mathematics Professor, Annaswamy Ranganath Rao is 100 years old and is one of the pioneers in popularizing the concept of Math labs in schools. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), recognized this method of teaching mathematics and made it mandatory to have Math labs in CBSE schools. Since 2006, this concept has been introduced with 80 marks from theory paper and 20 marks from the activities conducted in the Math lab.

Professor Rao introduced Math labs way back in 1974, making it easy for students to understand various Math theorems. He designed new models, gadgets to explain these concepts to students, making these concepts more understandable and at the same time a playful experience too.


40 British Students to Visit India Under Fellowship Programme

About 40 British students aged between 18 and 19 years will visit India under UK Prime Minister’s Global Fellowship Programme. The aim of the project is to give British students an exposure to multi-cultural environment and developments happening in developing countries in the 21st century.

The programme is made up of following three parts:

Cultural and linguistic immersion
Working on a research project in collaboration with their peers in a local school
Time as a guest of a global company, investigating how international business and its social responsibilities impact on the local communities

During their visit, the students will also get taste of the local Indian food as they will be staying with a local family for a week. Apart from exchanging cultural information with the local students, they will also get exposure to some of the popular Indian firms like HSBC, TCS, etc. and will understand their business working environment.

The students will also be invited to 10, Downing Street after their return, to share their experiences with the Prime Minister and people associated with the program.

For more information about this program visit