EducationWorld Rankings
Institution Updates
Teacher-resources (77)
Search
Title :
 
• An English-medium class XII sociology textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education ascribes “ugliness and handicap” as the main reasons why Indian parents have to pay dowry for the marriage of their daughters. “If a girl is ugly and handicapped, it becomes very difficult for her to get married. To marry her, the girl’s bridegroom and his family demand more dowry. The helpless parents of such girls are then forced to pay up,” explains the author.

• A class IV environment science textbook prescribed by Delhi government schools advises students to kill a kitten as part of an experiment. “No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. You can do an experiment. Take two wooden boxes. Make holes on the lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the boxes. After some time, open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten inside the box without holes has died,” reads the text.

• A class IX Hindi textbook of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education compares a housewife to a donkey. “A donkey is like a housewife. It has to toil all day and, like her, may even have to give up food and water. In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents’ home, you’ll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master.” 

• A class X social science textbook, published by the Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, says unemployment has spiraled after independence as more women have started working. “Before Independence, few women were employed. But today, women are employed in all sectors that has increased the proportion of unemployment among men,” it reads.

• A class IV Hindi textbook of the Gujarat State School Textbook Board defines the Urdu word “roza,” which denotes fasting during the holy month of Ramzan, as “an infectious disease that causes diarrhoea.” A class XI Hindi text describes Jesus Christ as a demon. 

• A class X English-medium physical education textbook of the Karnataka state board says badminton ace P.V. Sindhu “wone” bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016 instead of silver, while badminton champion Saina Nehwal’s name is inter-changeable with that of Sania Mirza, the international tennis star.



 
 
“Creativity is dying a slow death as the Indian educational system emphasises rigorously on rote learning rather than critical thinking and problem solving,” says Mitsuyo Tamai, CEO of Japan-based tuition centre Kiwami.

“People must understand that good grades don’t equate to proper learning,” she said, adding that the onus of education is being defeated in this competitive environment.

Headquartered in Delhi, Kiwami applies a creative method called ‘Tamai’ incorporating Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based learning through videos, movies and 3D animations for teaching mathematics and science till Class VIII.

“We enhance the imaginative skills of students through diverse evaluation programme such as ‘SOROBON’ (Abacus) which augments the calculation skill of every child by the power of imagination,” says Tamai.

“Students consider ICT tools very helpful as it aids them to comprehend assignments easily, especially for those with special needs or difficulties,” she added.

 

 

Global competition system

Kiwami claims that as of 2015, nearly 30,000 students across different countries have benefited from its teaching methods and materials.

“Our uniqueness is that we conduct two global standardised tests thrice a year. This way our students will know where they rank in the world and will be motivated to study more,” she said.

 

 

Future plans

“We have tied up with 10 Kendriya Vidyalayas and are already providing our services at a reasonable price to leading names in the private sector, such as DPS, Ranchi,” Tamai said.

With presence in Singapore, the US, Thailand and Vietnam, Kiwami now intends to expand its learning centres pan-India within five years.

The author is Mitsuyo Tamai, CEO of Japan-based tuition centre Kiwami.

 
In an exclusive interview with Sriram Subramanian, Director of Callido Learning, EducationWorld uncovers insights on the practices that make some international schools clear leaders in their field.

EW: You have worked with a wide profile of international schools. What do you think sets apart a good international school from others?

SS: Indian parents are grades-focused and most international schools cater to this mindset. What the leading IB and Cambridge schools have appreciated however is that over 50 percent of the grade in these boards depends on students demonstrating skills such as critical thinking, research, data interpretation and argumentative writing. An experienced principal once commented that chasing after grades in the traditional way in an international school is like “playing a game of tennis with your eyes on the scoreboard instead of on the ball!” The leading schools have figured out that there is no exam prep shortcut – improving underlying skills is the key to student’s academic achievement.


EW: Don’t you think that’s a tall order? I mean, there is already a shortage of experienced teachers.


 

SS: So that’s the elephant in the room – principals know it is hard to find staff who are equipped to undertake this. The leading international schools invest in the infrastructure that matters most – teachers – and equip them with the right set of resources to deliver what is expected of them.
For example, rather than relying on teaching experience as the key metric, check for teachers’ ability to deliver skills-driven lessons and design assessments which match the international curriculum.


 

EW: What challenges do new international schools face and how are they dealing with them?


SS: New schools primarily struggle with enrollments – selecting the right students and getting a decent batch size to start off with. Some schools have tackled this by instituting a skills-based test to predict how well an applicant would do and attracting them with merit-based scholarships. I think that’s a win-win. On the enrollments front, schools with a large CBSE or ICSE feeder have an edge as there is an opportunity to introduce them early to skills-based learning. As we have discovered, giving Grade 8 or Grade 10 students a preview of a skills-based approach greatly increases their chances of opting for an IGCSE or IB programme.

 

EW: It’s a competitive world out there for international schools. What kind of outlook helps an international school thrive?


SS: One of our advisors – a veteran of international schooling in India – gave us this analogy that is worth sharing: In a tough market with a shortage of staff and customers, a smart hotel owner will shut one floor entirely and focus on maintaining service quality on the remaining floors. If he instead lets overall service quality drop, he will not survive in a reviews-driven market. International schools are not that different.

Callido Learning partners with international schools to deliver measurable gains in critical thinking, research and argumentative writing skills. To learn about their programmes or skills-based diagnostic tests, write to info@callidolearning.com

 

 
The announcement made by CBSE on February 3, 2017 stood in good stead for previous NEET candidates across the country; their past attempts will not be counted while applying for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) exams from this year onwards. However, with this, the competition is bound to increase imperatively. A jaw-dropping 10 lakh candidates are expected to attempt India's most important medical exam in May, 2017. This increased competitiveness has made dropping and repeating a more alluring option for medical aspirants. To crack the exam next year, students and their mentors will require a specific strategy and the right approach. Listed below are some tips for NEET aspirants who are going to drop or repeat this year:

Identify your shortcomings: In order to attain success, students need to analyse their strengths and weaknesses and devise a method to make the most out of them. They need to create a strong roadmap to gradually eliminate or, at least, minimise the impact of such limitations. For eg., if a student has good retention and weak problem solving skills, he/she must constantly learn and revise theoretical questions to increase their score while also alloting more time to exercising numerical questions from recurring concepts.

Time management: Time management is a key attribute for cracking any competitive exam. Despite having a great potential, students often fail to crack an examination because of their misconception of not having ‘adequate time’. Create a timetable and a timeline for course completion and revision and work towards its strict implementation right from day one. Optimally manage time and make room for physical exercise and performance enhancing activities such as meditation. You can also opt for an online coaching crash course instead of traditional classes if you have attended them during the previous year. This will not only help you save time and prove cost-effective, but will also help avoid a lot of distractions.

Be unconventional: Instead of needlessly memorising concepts and theorems, look towards their application in objective questions and numerical problems. Also, do not stick to old study patterns. Utilise smart pedagogical methods to stay ahead of the curve. Many questions can be solved using shortcut techniques. Students must note down all such techniques and regularly revise them. Learning creative methods to solve questions faster, such as Vedic mathematics, and using learning aids for retention can also be beneficial for students. Steer clear of monotonous study patterns and focus on their weaker areas first. Gradually advance to the stronger segments.

NCERT-based preparations: Your basic strategy must not sway from NCERT course books. Around 70 to 80 percent of the overall questions in such examinations either come straight from NCERT textbooks or are their advanced derivatives. Make sure that you master each and every topic, concept, and question in it before graduating to reference books. Also, constantly revise them later.

Question banks and Mock Test papers: Pick up new question banks and solve as many problems as possible. If you are planning to drop this year, then do so after completing each and every concept. Doing so will enable you to effectively apply your learnings. It will also help you to explore unique set of questions and new approach methods. Begin with solving 50 questions in 50 minutes and progressively increase speed. While attempting mock test papers, stick to the time limit and complete the question paper within the designated time frame. If a particular subject is more demanding, then give it additional time during the test and work on that area later. There is no strategy better than regularly challenging yourself and identifying your shortcomings.

Additional reference books: The importance of additional question banks and mock tests at this juncture is immense. However, the same cannot be said with regards to reference books. Since you might have used a few reference books previously, you must follow the same suit this time. Hence, you must not get tempted to pick up additional reference books and study materials at this stage. Doing so can complicate your approach technique and increase confusion as different books employ different techniques for same question. Additionally, limited number of books will also give you more time for revision and strengthen your skills.

Stay motivated: Last but not the least, do not get caught up by the entire course that you have to revise once again. It might seem like a daunting task to give it a fresh start, so make sure that you remain motivated. Your goal is all the more achievable considering the fact that you also have experience to benefit from. Prepare yourself psychologically and make sure that you adhere to your timeline. It will boost your confidence significantly. With more than a year remaining, it is much easier for you to crack NEET examination. However, this is only possible if you firmly stick to your strategy right from the beginning.


The author is Aakash Chaudhry, director, Aakash Educational Services Pvt. Ltd