Our Education System

Recently, we held a symposium at our learning centre. The subject was our Education System and the changes that are urgently required. A number of participants gave their views and the subject was discussed at length.

I have chosen one of the essays submitted on the occasion by Mr. Niraj Kushawa – one of the participants. I find it very interesting and thought provoking; so I thought of sharing the essay with you.

Education System in India

Education system in India – by Niraj Kushawa

Indian education system is one of the oldest education system in the world. In ancient times, India had the Gurukula system of education. In Gurukula system anyone who wished to study went to a teacher’s (Guru) house and requested to be taught. If accepted as a student by the guru, he would then stay at the guru’s place and help in all activities at home. This not only created a strong tie between the teacher and the student, but also taught the student everything about running a house. The guru taught everything the child wanted to learn, from Sanskrit to Mathematics. The student stayed as long as he/she wished or until the guru felt that he had taught everything he could teach. All learning was closely linked to nature and to life, and not confined to memorizing some information.

The modern school system was brought to India, including the English language, originally by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the 1830s. The curriculum was confined to “modern” subjects such as science and mathematics, and subjects like metaphysics and philosophy were considered unnecessary. Teaching was confined to classrooms and the link with nature was broken, as also the close relationship between the teacher and the student.

Indian Education System

The Uttar Pradesh (a state in India) Board of High School and Intermediate Education was the first Board set up in India in the year 1921 with jurisdiction over Rajputana, Central India and Gwalior. In 1929, the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Rajputana, was established. Later, boards were established in some of the states. But eventually, in 1952, the constitution of the board was amended and it was renamed Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Indian Higher Education

Reason Behind Sharp Decline in Quality in Education System:

(1)     Privatisation of Education: The government cannot afford to provide higher education to all the people in the country. It is too costly for the government to do so. The central government spends about 4% of budget expenditure on education, compared to 40% on defence. There are crooks, money launderers and politicians opening “private” educational institutions which extract money from the educational institution through creative structuring. The focus is on marketing rather than innovation or providing great educational service.

(2)     Education System Needs Reform:  Our education system is still a colonial education system generating babus and pen-pushers. We may have the most number of engineering graduates in the world, but that certainly has not translated into much technological innovation here. Rather, we are busy running the call centres of the rest of the world – that is where our engineering skills end. The goal of our new education system should be to create entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, scientists, thinkers and writers who can establish the foundation of a knowledge based economy rather than the low-quality service provider nation that we are turning into.

(3)     Reservation in Education System : We have reservation in education today because education is not available universally. Education has to be rationed. Reservation has badly ruined the moral of the bright students those who do not fall in reservation criteria. Even though, if a bright student got good marks in entrance examination, he did not get admission due to reservation system. Further it is pertinent to mentioned that its affects the quality of teaching and subsequently education system as a whole.

(4)     No Common Syllabus and Markings: India is comprises of 29 states and 7 union tarritoties. Practically we have more number of board than number of states. Various board have their own syllabus and their own grading system. When a student come out from a state and start participating in national level competition then he realise the disadvantages of such type of system. Not even at the state level but also the central government has different syllabus for different exams based on same educational qualification. For example: GATE and Indian Engineering Services has different syllabus.

(5)     Imbalance of Infrastructure and Resources: There is an imbalance in education system region-wise namely rural and urban region. On the other hand sector-wise namely government and private colleges. In cities situation is satisfactory  and all the facility is available but when you look towards actual India that is rural part of it, situation is even worst Entrepreneur construct building and got approval by offering bribes. In such institution no lab facility is available. Such institutes lacks of basic teaching aids, even qualified teachers.

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Active Listening Skills

listening skills

In today’s fast paced world, communication is extremely important. In fact, in business it is critical. However, communication is equally important at home when interacting with your own near and dear ones. It is also important during social interactions, when you meet people. There is no doubt that your speech should be very articulate. The speech will communicate the ideas that you want to convey. However it is even more important to be an active listener!

Communication is always is a two way process. Your articulate speech will go in vain if you are not listening to the person you are speaking to. You can even listen to the person with your eyes. Body language tells all. Facial expressions clearly denote whether the opposite person is listening to you or not. This means that the best vocal capabilities will not be effective until these are matched with equally attentive listening abilities.

good listener

Now let us examine how to be a good listener. Some of the qualities of a good listener are as under:

  1. You should listen as a friend. Often your opinion will be different from the person who is speaking. We are all individuals and therefore no two persons think alike. Listening as a friend enables reconciliation of contradicting opinions.
  2. Further more, it is necessary for the listener to make the speaker appreciate that you are an attentive listener. When somebody is speaking try not to fidget with anything on your table. You should not gaze at the news paper / magazine on your table. Even looking at the speaker with a lost expression, will convey an impression that you are brooding over something else and not listening to what is being said. Thus you should not only listen actively but you should also show to speaker that you’re listening actively.
  3. Encourage the speaker to join you in the comfort zone. When you have removed all distractions and you make the speaker aware that you are listening to them, you must encourage him to open up by your friendly nodding of the head smile wherever desirable and maintain a comfortable eye contact. While speaking on telephone you can use words and expressions like – ‘yes’,‘go ahead’, ‘hmmm’… etc. These are the voice symbols which tell the other person that you are actively listening during the phone conversation.
  4. Act but never react. Whenever the discussion is held around heavy states one as to be extra careful. If the speaker raises the voice it is necessary for you to maintain calm. However you must never give an impression that anybody can take you for granted. This can be achieved by not reacting to any unsavory remarks by the speaker. Instead you should use such words and expressions which will make it explicit to the intruder that you are unshakable. It is this state of calmness which will unnerve your opponent. The expression with ‘Act never react’ simply means to use your mind and reply appropriately, firmly but without raising your voice if the opponent has raised his.
  5. You need to comprehend whatever you have listened. It is always a good idea to summarize and repeat briefly the points you have just heard. It will help you to understand all the points clearly; and in case there is any confusion the same will be clarified there and them.
  6. As a good listener you have a right to ask questions to the speaker. The speaker will never object to relevant questions which are briefly asked.

To conclude, good listening skills is not a rocket science. It just requires an empathetic attitude and an attentive mind, and forms that basis for long lasting relationships.

listening-skills

Maintaining A Positive Attitude!

In the age of Information Technology and extensive use of computers, one way consider the human brain as a unique operating system capable of producing excellent solutions to all your problems all that you have to do is to keep on updating the system i.e. your brain with the lessons life teaches from day-to-day because

You come to this world with the balance sheet of the previous birth. A programmed of possibilities you call it ‘Samskara’.

You study the features of the program or you don’t.

You learn to use it or you don’t.

You strive to enhance it to bring out the newer better utilities or you don’t.

You are places in certain circumstances: you have a duty to perform. You carry out your duty or you don’t.

You crave out a life for yourself or you don’t.

If you decide your profession you define your duties, or you don’t. Own turn.  Even then, either you define your duties, or you don’t.

Whichever way you define your own duty, you perform your duty or you don’t.

If you perform your duty, utilize fully your operating systems inbuilt software – your ‘Sanskara’, keep on enhancing it, brining out new, better versions and keep on utilizing your own operating systems; you are a yogi. Or the great Bill.

The important message is to keep on updating your wisdom the human ‘operating system’ for better decisions. And also to take good care of your thoughts because they have an important bearing on your life.

Think big, and think great School your thoughts, it is never late.

Thoughts are like the Seeds in earth; These condition the fruits before their birth. Good thoughts Make your decisions good Bring out the best As they should.

Thoughts of jealousy, malice and similar kind Enter your mind, make you mad, and blind!

While your thoughts and a constant desire to develop a positive attitude will take care of your mental health, it is equally necessary if not more, to take good care of your body your physical health. A software engineer ensures that his computer is not only updated with latest technology in the field off his operation but also is free from any viruses and is technically sound. Likewise to get the best out of human life, it is essential to maintain excellent health both physical and mental. Human body is much more than a machine. So it requires much greater care as it is…

A unique body with priceless mind comprises Creator’s greatest gift to mankind incalculate good health Not for body alone

Money mends many things can surely contribute to good health money for its own sake is a wasteful wealth.

Your good health alone can give you a store house of energy that you always need. Besides, one must understand that to lead a meaningful and healthy life, abundant energy is a pre-requisite.

Energy is a life force your activity’s chief resources mind gives you direction Energy helps implementation action choose appropriate combination of the two according to your profession whatever you do

A rigorous regime need not be imposed regulate thought process Devoid of stress get abundant energy, and bee composed.

With a sound mind, a healthy body and a wonderful storehouse of energy good decision come easy. And you know.

When to act or to desist it’s a quality essential top on the list of people desiring success and they persist pursuing their goals with decision fast there’s little doubt that their success will last

Whenever you have decided to launch an important project some opposition from known or unknown quarters can always come. Often opposition comes from close quarters. Colleagues, friends and even relatives may criticize only for the sake of criticism. There may even be some latent motive. So be prepared and have conviction in what you do.

When you are convinced what you say is right when no other alternative is within your sight and for your right you are prepared to fight your conviction you let speak even strong opponent will act weak

There is so much in life and so much to do. However for anything new even within your existing project you must get used to taking initiative. Besides having ample initiative gives such a great confidence and makes every day more interesting. Pray to your God the Almighty, the way you visualize him saying.

Grant me an unending initiative to further my tasks and be creative indecision clarity may rule throughout

Risks may not, my mind, shatter completing tasks be my only matter Flexibility when required let always come so that my day’s battles are won

Rigidity of ideas must be never display democratic openness must come to play your grace may always shine brighter making me your devotee, a downright fighter

Whatever you my do, doing it well is of utmost importance for…

Aspiration to know even more, delving deep into matter core availing fully faculties of the mind Virtue this is, of a splendid kind let your imagination fly free awakening creativity to a finer degree pondering on the problem in hand solutions come with a magic wand

If you try to pay less heed searching shortcuts to successes you tend to loose you aim and enter another futile game virtue tells not of easy means strengthens your will; goals are easier seen.

Hindu philosophy suggests that life is a continues battle where we have to fight out against the implementing hurdles, difficulties created by others etc. if life is a battle ground, be always prepared to fight your battle well.

Most humans are fond of celebrating their victories without fighting their battles.

Don’t announce your victory without fighting the battle don’t celebrate the success don’t let reason rattle. Success does not always, come with effortless ease, as though you are the only person for her, to please. Hold yourself and give, your own mind, time to think nothing worthwhile is achieved in a fleeting moment, the time, it takes to blink.

Most off the conscious times, you are at your work. So if you can be happy while working you really feel that life worth living.

By following these simple hints and practices, you are well on your way to create a positive attitude and you must.

Row the boat of ‘duty’ sail safely across a sea.

Search through your mind what your duty can be.

Never is there a situation nor any circumstance

that could ever effect your intention of duty;

you want to perform.

Hindrances, hurdles even hurricane may hurt or shake

your resolve. With devotion to your duty; Greater courage will evolve.

Duty first, always in mind

greater joy; you will never find

Unfortunately, sometimes we develop a tendency to complain and even so bitterly about the fallacies that we come across in the system, in the organization we work or among the people we interact with.

But one must move on with life without complaining.

Why should you? Always make a fuss living in your static world rather catch life’s vibrant bus life moves on and so must you time will not wait whatever you may do!

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Making Meetings Work

Meetings

Lots of meetings are conducted by each organization every week. Often the participants are senior/middle level executives. The cost of the time spent by the participants is very high. Besides, if a meeting is a not successful in achieving the objectives, the frustration and interpersonal conflict add to the cost.

However, if meetings can be held effectively, these are invaluable techniques of taking strong decisions after thorough discussion. It’s necessary to understand for the coordinators and even the CEO’s to have adequate knowledge of how to make meetings effective and productive. The chairman of the meeting plays a very important role for the efficacy of the meeting. Besides, meetings must give a satisfaction of openly discussing the ideas which you may have but you may not find an opportunity to express. Thus while on the one side we find that the poor meetings can be waste of expensive time of the executives, on the other these can be very helpful. If the meetings are organized effectively, they can be tools for resolving many managerial issues. These can thus be very helpful for the Management. The first important question, therefore, is the real need for the meeting. The coordinator has to clearly workout the objectives of the meeting. He or she has also to clarify how best the objectives can be achieved.

In order that we make the meetings productive and helpful we should attend to the following points which are often ignored:

1)      Planning and preparation: we should define the objectives of the meeting.

2)      We should select the participants and prepare a list of the proposed attendees. We may also invite their suggestions on the proposed agenda.

3)      The organizer needs to set the ground rules off the meetings in consultation with the chairman. In his brief introduction before the meetings starts the chairman can explain these ground rules. These could be summarized as :–

a)      Participants should speak precisely and avoid verbosity.

b)      Only one person should speak at time.

c)      The point which is already made by one participant should not be repeated by the other and

d)      No one should take the discussion on a personal level.

4)      The organizer must contemplate on what could be the problems. Necessary steps to avoid these problems should be taken.

5)      Getting results and action: minutes of the meeting should be written sooner than later, these should be circulated among the participants with or without a note by the chairman.

6)      There should be follow up action plan and the action need to be monitored.

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