World Bank warns of learning crisis in education in countries like India

File photo. “This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. Photo: AP

File photo. “This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. Photo: AP

Washington: The World Bank has warned of a learning crisis in global education particularly in low and middle-income countries like India, underlining that schooling without learning is not just a wasted development opportunity, but also a great injustice to children worldwide.

The World Bank in a latest report on Tuesday noted that millions of young students in these countries face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages in later life because their primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life.

According to the ‘World Development Report 2018: ‘Learning to Realise Education’s Promise’, released on Tuesday, India ranks second after Malawi in a list of 12 countries wherein a grade two student could not read a single word of a short text. India also tops the list of seven countries in which a grade two student could not perform two-digit subtraction.

“In rural India, just under three-quarters of students in grade 3 could not solve a two-digit subtraction such as 46 – 17, and by grade 5 half could still not do so,” the World Bank said. The report argued that without learning, education will fail to deliver on its promise to eliminate extreme poverty and create shared opportunity and prosperity for all. “Even after several years in school, millions of children cannot read, write or do basic math.

This learning crisis is widening social gaps instead of narrowing them,” it said. Young students who are already disadvantaged by poverty, conflict, gender or disability reach young adulthood without even the most basic life skills, it said. “This learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “When delivered well, education promises young people employment, better earnings, good health, and a life without poverty,” he added.

“For communities, education spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion. But these benefits depend on learning, and schooling without learning is a wasted opportunity. More than that, it’s a great injustice: the children whom societies fail the most are the ones who are most in need of a good education to succeed in life,” the Bank president said.

In rural India in 2016, only half of grade 5 students could fluently read text at the level of the grade 2 curriculum, which included sentences (in the local language) such as ‘It was the month of rains’ and ‘There were black clouds in the sky’. “These severe shortfalls constitute a learning crisis,” the Bank report said. According to the report, in Andhra Pradesh in 2010, low-performing students in grade 5 were no more likely to answer a grade 1 question correctly than those in grade 2.

“Even the average student in grade 5 had about a 50% chance of answering a grade 1 question correctly—compared with about 40% in grade 2,” the report said. An experiment in Andhra Pradesh, that rewarded teachers for gains in measured learning in math and language led to more learning not just in those subjects, but also in science and social studies—even though there were no rewards for the latter.

“This outcome makes sense—after all, literacy and numeracy are gateways to education more generally,” the report said. Further a computer-assisted learning program in Gujarat, improved learning when it added to teaching and learning time, especially for the poorest-performing students, it said.

The report recommends concrete policy steps to help developing countries resolve this dire learning crisis in the areas of stronger learning assessments, using evidence of what works and what doesn’t to guide education decision-making; and mobilising a strong social movement to push for education changes that champion ‘learning for all’. PTI

[“Source-livemint”]

Gmail for iOS Gets Anti-Phishing Security Checks Like Android

Gmail for iOS Gets Anti-Phishing Security Checks Like Android

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The same checks were added to Android version earlier this year
  • These anti-phishing security checks warn users against malicious links
  • The feature is similar to Safe Browsing Feature on Chrome desktop version

Earlier this year, Google introduced anti-phishing security checks for Android version of its app that will warn users against opening suspicious links. This move from the company, incidentally, came right after a phishing scam spread widely on the platform and tricked people with what appeared to be Google Docs links inside Gmail. Now, months later, the search giant has introduced the same checks on iOS version of its app as well.

From now on, when you click on a suspicious link in a Gmail message on either iPhone or iPad, the app will show the warning that would tell you to exercise caution before opening the link. “We recommend that you use caution before proceeding, because the link is likely unsafe. Only proceed if you’re confident there’s no risk,” the company said in its post.

If the user still chooses to open the link that the app knows is dangerous, it will take them to a different page that will warn against visiting the original URL. As you might have understood by now, these warnings are just in place to safeguard users against the phishing attacks and protect their account from mails with suspicious links.

This feature from the company is similar to the Safe Browsing feature that was added to Gmail for Google Chrome users on the desktop last year. The Safe Browsing feature presents users with a warning when they receive an email with a link to website known to be associated with phishing, malware, or unwanted software.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Top Gear America’s first trailer looks exactly like every other Top Gear

Image result for Top,Gear,America’s,first,trailer,looks,exactly,like,every,other,Top,GearThe first trailer for BBC America’s rebooted American Top Gear has finally been released. It’s short, but we do get a glimpse at the new crew driving the Acura NSX, a Lamborghini Huracán Spyder, and a few other wild rides. The series premieres on July 30th at 8PM ET.

Top Gear America’s first season will consist of eight hour-long episodes. It stars eternal “that guy” William Fichtner (The Dark Knight, Contact, Armageddon), professional drag racer Antron Brown, and British automotive journalist Tom Ford. From the trailer, it looks just like other versions of Top Gear, meaning this show’s not going to reinvent the format of “three dudes + fast cars + antics = TV show.”

That means it will probably be a decent show — if it ain’t broke, why wrench it? — but I’d be surprised if Top Gear America surprises me, because all the different permutations of Top Gear never seem to stray from that equation.

The Top Gear that most people think about — which itself is a reboot of a show from the 1970s — is still airing new episodes in the UK on BBC. It’s currently hosted by Friends star Matt LeBlanc, car enthusiast and reviewer Chris Harris, and automotive journalist Rory Reid. They took over hosting duties from the most well-known Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

The LeBlanc-led version of the show spent one season in transition rotating hosts from a cast of about eight, but that really, truly didn’t work out. The current hosts emerged from that wreckage and have developed a pretty good chemistry, which is a minor miracle, but the show’s format is still airtight. There’s a few serious segments about specific cars, a celebrity guest, and typically one goofier segment. BBC essentially pulled the idol-for-bag-of-sand switch from Indiana Jones here — it just happened to spill a lot more sand than the fictional archeologist.

The trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May now have their own show on Amazon called The Grand Tour, which is headed into a second season, and follows a similar (but slightly remixed) format. They split off from the BBC show after Clarkson was fired for attacking a producer. The show leans even harder into the personalities of its hosts, which is a bold move considering Clarkson’s brutish behavior kept the hosts’ Top Gear tenure in the crosshairs for years.

Top Gear America isn’t the first attempt to bring Top Gear to the US. A&E Networks recently aired five seasons of a show called Top Gear USA on the History Channel, but that was canceled last summer. Its hosts — median Adam Ferrara, Rallycross driver Tanner Foust, and NASCAR personality Rutledge Wood — had developed a pretty good rapport by the end of the run, but it seemed to survive so long almost because of, not in spite of, its obscurity. It was as inoffensive as Top Gear gets.

The point is, we’ve seen Top Gear with all sorts of different (male) hosts, but it’s always still just Top Gear. I don’t know what Top Gear could or even should evolve into (how about more women hosting!), but it is exhausting that the BBC keeps trying to arrive at a different answer by running the same equation. Of course, looking at how well reboots and sequels do for Hollywood, the video game industry, and even modern television, I understand why the BBC keeps trying.

[“Source-theverge”]

Using creative capacities is like meditation: George Kembel

George Kembel says his current mission is to raise a global fund to unleash the creative potential of every human being on the planet.  Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Mumbai: An internet entrepreneur and investor-turned-educator, George Kembel co-founded the d.school at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California in the early 2000s. The school’s start-up design programme has had a remarkably global impact in terms of its intellectual, pedagogical and tangible reach. While most design programmes admit students with an art or design background, the Stanford d.school’s gospel is more secular. Its courses are offered to students from any of Stanford’s graduate schools, including those of management, medicine and education, as well as to executive education students.

Kembel’s current mission is to look beyond the Stanford campus. With Silicon Valley-style evangelism, he aspires to put together “a global fund to unlock creativity, to fundamentally transform how we educate our children, how we lead our organizations, and how we tackle some of the most significant challenges of our time”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the SingularityU India Summit, a conference on exponential technologies held in Mumbai recently, in association with ideas-and-conversation platform INK, Kembel shared his views on why design thinking promises a brighter future for all of us. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What is design thinking to you?

It is an invitation to a broader group of people to tap into their creativity, not just the people who thought they were creative. Somehow, I think, culturally, we’ve over-associated creativity with the arts. That’s a huge and important part of creativity. But for us everything is a creative act. Hiring is a creative act, designing a business model is a creative act, designing better ways for farmers to irrigate their land is a creative act, as is figuring out a fourth-grade curriculum, or a hospital space. Every one of those things has constraints, has humans involved, has technical issues, has business issues, and if you are trying to make things better, or create new value, you have to find unexpected ways for it.

[Source”cnbc”]