“ a compromise formula which includes a proposal to take top 20% students based on percentile ranking of respective boards for preparing the merit list”

How meaningless is this solution ?. Higher education in India will become the domain of the school toppers and Children of affluent parents and we wonder why half a million students leave India to study undergraduate courses overseas. Children who will never return to a country that shunned them.

Is this is what we call inclusive in RTE ?.

God Save India

Inclusive education does not mean that everyone must enter, or pass out from, an IIT. It only means that if you wanted to, you could have a shot at it. The child labourer is excluded because she can never dream of entering an IIT; she may absolutely hate IIT, but not trying to join an IIT should be her decision. Even if there is only one IIT train, every child must have access to the platform where the train comes. Of course, not everyone will get on to the train but everyone knows what to do to have a shot at the train. This is called inclusion in education. Everyone must go to school till class 12; those who work hard, and are willing to work harder still, will join an IIT. Others will, by choice, decide not to work that hard and become economists.

Shubhashis Gangopadhyay

All children are born equal and mindless politicians are trying to grade the children and youth of the nation and create a new Brahamanical Caste system in Education, which is pandering to the neo rich who can afford to send their children to elite private schools and Coaching schools.

"HRD Ministry of India wants to build castles of higher education on the bamboo scaffoldings of its schools" ~ Satish Jha

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Friday, June 15, 2012

295 - Restoring the balance - Hindustan Times

Restoring the balance

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times
June 15, 2012

In the world of education, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) is a globally recognised Indian brand and so it is hardly surprising that there is so much rush to join them. I went to IIT, so did my husband and father. To keep that 'tradition' alive, I wanted my son to join IIT. And like many other parents, I moved to Kota, considered the 'Mecca' of IIT coaching, with my son. But what I saw there was alarming: students bunked regular school and prepared only for the IIT entrance exams.

My son was in Kota for six months and during that period, he attended school only twice - just to give his exams. It was only after he fared badly in his half-yearly school exams, I realised that I should allow him to go back to school full time. Yes, IIT is a prestigious tag but the cost of keeping a young child out of school could be disastrous: what if, even after trying his best, he failed to crack the tough entrance test?

Thanks to that experience, I now understand why human resource development minister Kapil Sibal is so keen to implement a new admission system, which will take into account a candidate's score in his Class 12 boards. The new JEE pattern will give schools their due importance. Although the main exam would be a filtering exam, by giving 50% weightage to board marks, it gives students a solid reason to take school education seriously.

Going back to my experience in Kota, I remember the downcast face of a boy who scored 96% in his Class 12 boards but failed to clear the IIT entrance exam. Isn't it strange that even after scoring 96% in the boards, the child was so unhappy? Such reactions only prove that there is something wrong in our school system: it is not helping students realise their dreams.

If our schools had the skill to groom a child for competitive exams, why would a child go for coaching? At the same time, we should not blame the coaching institutes for damaging our educational system because the fault lies within us. In fact, many of our schools have tie-ups with coaching institutes. However, the proposed IIT admission system will not end the coaching business. But, at least, they would be forced to put equal stress on school exams. Many old-timers remember the old JEE pattern when school exams were as important as the IIT entrance tests.

The normalisation of marks a student gets in his/her board exams on percentile basis is a good concept, but it should not be introduced without any empirical data. Moreover, 2013 is too early to transport any solution from the laboratory to the field.

It would be an injustice to all those students who have been preparing for two years on a particular pattern and will now face a different marking system. At the same time, the go-it-alone approach that some IITs are taking would also be difficult to sustain.