Education dept plans to upgrade primary schools to high schools

Director public instructions (secondary education), Punjab, has issued directions to the district education officers across the state to prepare a project report of eligible schools which can be upgraded. (HT File Photo)

The department of school education is planning to change the process of upgrading government schools in Punjab. The department will upgrade primary school, having strength of more than 100 students, directly to high school.

Earlier, primary schools were upgraded to middle school (Class 8) before making it a high school (up to Class 10).

Director public instructions (secondary education), Punjab, has issued directions to the district education officers across the state to prepare a project report of eligible schools which can be upgraded.

It has been learnt that the step has been taken in the view of the shortage of staff. The department will have to recruit two only additional teachers than those appointed in a middle school to upgrade a primary school to high school.

Sources claimed that the step has been taken to enhance the efficiency of staff and improve the performance of the students by retaining them in the same school up to Class 10.

Deputy district education officer (DEO) Sanjeev Sharma said the department is preparing a plan for 63 middle schools across the district, of which files of 25 schools have been sent to the higher authorities to make them high schools.

Local resident Jaswinder Singh said it would benefit the students as they would avail the high school education at their doorstep. “Usually, students have to travel long distances as most of the villages don’t have high schools.”

Another villager Darbara Singh said with this, students and parents won’t have to worry about changing school after the primary level. Moreover, it will also check the dropout rate.

He added that the villagers always tried to get the school at their village upgraded to avoid the difficulties of sending their wards to the schools at other villages or towns.

[“source-Hindustantimes”]

Hamid Ansari calls for increasing education expenditure to 6% of GDP

A file photo of vice president Hamid Ansari. Photo: PTI

A file photo of vice president Hamid Ansari. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Vice president M. Hamid Ansari on Monday pointed to several discrepancies in school education, especially loopholes in the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, and called for more spending to improve the quality of education.

Terming the RTE Act a “groundbreaking piece of legislation”, Ansari said a critical appraisal of the legislation reveals that “large gaps exist” in its implementations.

RTE came into force from 1 April 2010 with the aim of providing eight years of compulsory education to all children in the 6-14 age group.

“Even with the increasing primary enrolment rates, India has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world which is more than the out-of-school children in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. There is a huge disparity between the urban and rural education and rich and poor children have radically different schooling experiences,” Ansari said at a conference on six years of the RTE Act.

He said financing for RTE remains “inadequate” and the expenditure on education needs to be increased.

“Total public expenditure for education, at less than 3.5% of GDP, is well below the 6% commitment made in the National Education Policy. At 52%, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) received more than half the money under school- education allocation in the latest budget, but over the last five years, the SSA budget has declined by 6%, from Rs23,873 crore in 2012-13 to Rs22,500 crore for 2016-17,” the vice president said in his speech.

While school education is primarily the responsibility of states, the central government directly finances 60% of education through programmes such as the SSA.

“Poor off-take from the schemes is another area of concern. Of the money set aside for the SSA during 2015-16, only 57% was released till September 2015,” he said quoting an Accountability Initiative report. Accountability Initiative is a part of the Centre for Policy Research think-tank.

Ansari said the absence of equity in education is another issue. Of the 6.064 million out-of-school children, 4.6 million, or 76%, belong to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other religious minorities, he said.

He praised the government for improving access to schooling, higher enrolment of girls and providing better infrastructure in tens of thousands of school.

The comments came on a day human resource development minister Smriti Irani said that India was an affordable destination for “high quality education” and that her ministry was making efforts to attract foreign students to the country, especially in higher education.

At an event organized by Indian Council of Cultural Relation, Irani said the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) had already decided to take their entrance exam abroad.

“Recognizing the need to increase the inflow of foreign students, the IIT council took a unanimous decision to ensure that in 2017 students from eight nations, including SAARC nations, would be allowed to sit for IIT-JEE (Advanced) exam,” she said

Saarc stands for the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation. JEE is short for the joint entrance examination for admission to the IITs.

[“source-Business-standard”]

Structured higher education can spur entrepreneurial ambitions: NYU study

Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Bengaluru: Structured higher education, provided the environment is conducive, can spur entrepreneurial ambitions, according to research by New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The study will be published in the May volume of the The Journal of Higher Education.

While the education system is criticized for not preparing students for solving real-world problems, and lagging industry, with serial entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal Holdings Inc., funding students who drop out of college, this study stresses that apart from traits like personality and family history of entrepreneurship, educational practices may play a key role in inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset.

“This study disrupts the position that higher education may not be conducive to fostering innovation by suggesting that both personality and structured higher education experiences contribute to cultivating innovation potential among college students,” said Matthew J. Mayhew, associate professor of higher education at NYU Steinhardt, in a statement announcing the findings of the research. “The good news is that innovative entrepreneurial intentions can be influenced by educators, regardless of the many differences in traits and experiences that students across cultures bring to college campuses.”

The research involved examining different education settings by surveying 375 US business undergraduates, 109 US MBA students, and 210 German students in a five-year business and technology degree in Germany.

The students were surveyed on personality dimensions, including extraversion and openness to new experiences, college experiences (example, challenging learning environments, relationships with faculty, and approaches to problem solving) and their intentions to innovate in an entrepreneurial capacity.

The researchers found that participation in both the German and the American education settings positively influenced innovative entrepreneurial intentions. To tap into the growing aspiration of young people to start up on their own, a number of universities around the world are offering degree and certificate programmes in entrepreneurship as well as online courses.

This augurs well for the measures being taken by the government of India to inculcate entrepreneurship right from schools. A big part of these measures are introducing open online courses, which can be scaled easily.

Although there is some dispute whether entrepreneurship can be taught, especially through online courses, education start-ups like Coursera Inc., which specialize in online courses, say they have seen good results for their courses on entrepreneurship.

“Our research suggests that the online learning experiences in our entrepreneurship courses deliver comparable learning outcomes to our face-to-face classes. We are seeing measurable improvements in learners’ entrepreneurial mindset, and entrepreneurial opportunity analysis skill sets, from our online entrepreneurship courses,” said James V. Green, director of entrepreneurship education, Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, who anchors an entrepreneurship specialization course on Coursera.

[“Source-Livemint”]

Hamid Ansari calls for increasing education expenditure to 6% of GDP

A file photo of vice president Hamid Ansari. Photo: PTI

A file photo of vice president Hamid Ansari. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Vice president M. Hamid Ansari on Monday pointed to several discrepancies in school education, especially loopholes in the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, and called for more spending to improve the quality of education.

Terming the RTE Act a “groundbreaking piece of legislation”, Ansari said a critical appraisal of the legislation reveals that “large gaps exist” in its implementations.

RTE came into force from 1 April 2010 with the aim of providing eight years of compulsory education to all children in the 6-14 age group.

“Even with the increasing primary enrolment rates, India has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world which is more than the out-of-school children in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. There is a huge disparity between the urban and rural education and rich and poor children have radically different schooling experiences,” Ansari said at a conference on six years of the RTE Act.

He said financing for RTE remains “inadequate” and the expenditure on education needs to be increased.

“Total public expenditure for education, at less than 3.5% of GDP, is well below the 6% commitment made in the National Education Policy. At 52%, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) received more than half the money under school- education allocation in the latest budget, but over the last five years, the SSA budget has declined by 6%, from Rs23,873 crore in 2012-13 to Rs22,500 crore for 2016-17,” the vice president said in his speech.

While school education is primarily the responsibility of states, the central government directly finances 60% of education through programmes such as the SSA.

“Poor off-take from the schemes is another area of concern. Of the money set aside for the SSA during 2015-16, only 57% was released till September 2015,” he said quoting an Accountability Initiative report. Accountability Initiative is a part of the Centre for Policy Research think-tank.

Ansari said the absence of equity in education is another issue. Of the 6.064 million out-of-school children, 4.6 million, or 76%, belong to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other religious minorities, he said.

He praised the government for improving access to schooling, higher enrolment of girls and providing better infrastructure in tens of thousands of school.

The comments came on a day human resource development minister Smriti Irani said that India was an affordable destination for “high quality education” and that her ministry was making efforts to attract foreign students to the country, especially in higher education.

At an event organized by Indian Council of Cultural Relation, Irani said the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) had already decided to take their entrance exam abroad.

“Recognizing the need to increase the inflow of foreign students, the IIT council took a unanimous decision to ensure that in 2017 students from eight nations, including SAARC nations, would be allowed to sit for IIT-JEE (Advanced) exam,” she said

Saarc stands for the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation. JEE is short for the joint entrance examination for admission to the IITs.

[“Source-Livemint”]