EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, February 15, 2000, Chandigarh, India
Experts favour non-formal approach
By P K Ravindranath
EDUCATION must reach out to the people at all levels if social transformation is to be ushered in. For this it is necessary to evolve non-formal education from the cradle to the grave.

Career Hotline



Why do we say that?
Pyrrhic victory



Experts favour non-formal approach
By P K Ravindranath

EDUCATION must reach out to the people at all levels if social transformation is to be ushered in. For this it is necessary to evolve non-formal education from the cradle to the grave.

The educational system must go back to its original aim of being an instrument for attainment of moral values, building up of character, acquisition of wisdom and rendering of social service. Ideally, education ought to assist us towards ushering in a technologically progressive and an ethically strong society.

These were some of the ideas thrown up at a day-long seminar conducted by the International Society for Harmony and Peace (INSHARP) in Mumbai on January 30.

More than one speaker called for going back to the Gandhian ideals, both for developing a qualitative system of education and for evolving a new social order.

They stressed the need for an educational system that would strive for the achievement of an environment in which people could lead healthy lives as cultured human beings.

Dr M P Parameswaran, a Marxist and General Secretary of the Kerala Shastra Sahitya Parishad, called for a blueprint for change for the entire humanity, not for a nation alone. He said we have to draw appropriate lessons from the teachings of Gandhi and Marx to arrive at such a formulation.

The first need, Dr Parameswaran pointed out, was for evolving a participative and creative democracy. This would require each able-bodied citizen to undertake societal responsibility, not dictated by any direct benefit for self or any immediate kith and kin.

He said the system must evolve enforceable right of information and the right to recall unworthy elected representatives. In such a system, the citizens must be supreme and larger formations, the district, state and nation should enjoy the powers conferred on them at the “pleasure of the citizens.”

In this system, he said, the overall economy should be so structured that individual citizens’ lives should become more and more free from “global” controls and events. Smaller groups should become more “self sufficient” not only “self reliant.”

Prof H M Desarda, economist and former member of the State Planning Board, said the worldview of Gandhi, Ruskin, Thoreau and Tolstoy could guide the world to come out of the trap of debt, weapons and resource-squandering growth-path.

He said the crisis we faced today was due to centralisation, consumerisation, communalism and criminalisation of the polity, economy and society. He called for demystification of development as an ideology and technology through a paradigm shift.

He regretted that the new market forces unleashed by globalisation had brought in its wake growth-mania in which scholars and intellectuals had become strong protagonists of the consumerist model of growth. This was leading to the degradation of the environment and exploitation of the land and biomass resources in non-sustainable manners.

Prof Desarda said the major task today was to preserve and protect the remaining natural capital. He said no sustainable and equitable social order could be built without values and vision. The main obstacle in restructuring the economy was the predominance of the economics and politics of gigantism. He called for a new growth and globalisation model that would ensure the integration of economics, ecology and ethics.

Prof Mary Thomas, Head, Department of Political Science in the Bhavan’s College called for a qualitative change in the attitude of the people. Such a change should come from within, she added.

It was the duty of parents more than the educational system to ensure that the child would be an asset to society. She called for a new approach to the problem of dropouts in schools. Most of them, she said, could be trained in various skills according to their aptitude.

Mr Arvind Deshpande, social activist and secretary of the Leslie Sawhney Prognamme, pointed out that ideologies were fast dying out. The collapse of the Soviet Union was an example. Unfortunately, he said the place of ideology was being fast taken up by literatures of religion.

He called for the development of inner harmony and ecological equality between man and nature. This alone would ensure a will to live, he pointed out.

Mr Deshpande also called upon religious leaders to come together on a common platform to educate the people on common issues. The people, at large, he said, should learn to ask pertinent questions at every turn.

Mr A P Remedios, a chartered engineer, construction consultant and trainer, recommended the adoption in India of the education system of the United Kingdom, which had dispensed with tests and examinations and trained students to learn for themselves.

What Indian students need most, he said was initiation into education.

Prof Madhav Weling, Registrar, Mumbai University, recommended structured education to bring about a social transformation. This would also entail training of parents in bringing up children and inculcating the right values and ideals in them.

Prof C Sadasivan, political scientist and research scholar pointed out that education and employment were not guaranteed in the Constitution. This lacuna needed to be corrected. It should also make education a fundamental right. It was necessary, he said that every village should have a school.

Prof Ranganath Bharadwaj, formerly of Mumbai University now Director of the Institute of Structured Education, Bangalore, said education must be made a matter of enjoyment for the student.

Prof Khalil Ahmed of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences called for the involvement of Vice-Chancellors and representatives of University Grants Commission in a coordinated move to change the present educational system.

Mr V Raghunathan, retired Chief Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra, said all efforts must be made to ensure that the education system reached out to all sections.

INSHARP plans to call conventions of college principals at four metropolitan centres in early May to discuss the main suggestions that cropped up at the Mumbai seminar. The college principals would, thus, form the vanguard of the new movement for a meaningful system of education to rejuvenate it by incorporating different curricula relating to ‘mind control’ and humanistic and social values. The emerging educational system, it hopes, will provide fellowship, national unity, international understanding and cooperation.

It expects to evolve an educational system that would seek to achieve an environment in which people can lead healthy lives as cultured human beings.

The motivating factor behind INSHARP is its Vice-President Dr P J Aprain, who is a scholar in an integrated approach to economics, education and security.


Career Hotline

I wish to admit my son in Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehra Dun. Could you tell me about the admission procedure.

Anil Sawhney, Ferozepore

Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun, conducts an entrance exam at various centres in the country. Only boys between 11—13 years of age are eligible to apply for admission. They should either be studying in or passed Class VII from a recognised school. Typically, the written part of the exam consists of three papers: English, Mathematics and General Knowledge. Mathematics paper may be answered either in Hindi/English and General Knowledge paper in Hindi/English/any regional language. Besides the written test, the intelligence and personality of the candidates is also tested in an interview. The application forms are available with the State Governments/Union Territories Administration.

I am pursuing a course in gemology. What are the job prospects in jewellery designing ?

Raj Bijendra Chakma, Jalandhar

While gemology involves sorting, grading, valuation, identification and cutting of gems, jewellery designing deals with the designing of ornaments — precious, costume or junk jewellery. Accordingly, a jewellery designer works with precious and other metals, gems, precious and semi-precious stones, terracotta, glass and wooden beads, plastic, cowrie shells, atc.

Trained designers usually work for established manufacturers and are employed by precious and costume jewellery-making firms, export houses, buying agencies and large jewellery stores. They can also work for jewellery designers. Even hi-fashion jewellery magazines like G & J which provide information about the latest trends in jewellery design recruit these designers. Another option is to work as regular or part-time faculty member in the training centres. You can even work as an entrepreneur engaged in marketing of designer jewellery.

I am interested in a course in aeronautical engineering. What are the job prospects in this field?

Ashish Vohra, New Delhi

The design, development and manufacture of aircraft and associated systems, ground handling equipment, test equipment, embedded systems and their associated softwares not only provide career opportunities for aeronautical engineers but also plenty of opportunities for machanical, electrical, electronics/avionics and software engineers as well as system analysts.

Graduates, postgraduates and doctorates in aeronautical engineering are recruited by leading government and private sector institutions like HAL, National Aerospace Laboratories, DRDO, ISRO, Civil Aviation Ministry, Indian Air Force, aviation wings of the Indian Army and Navy, Bharat petroleum (Aviation Service), Air India, Indian Airlines, private airlines and national and international airport authorities of India. With major ongoing programmes in defence, passenger and transport aircraft in full swing, challenging and rewarding opportunities await those embarking on a career in this field.

This is your column. Please feel free to e-mail your comments and suggestions to: [email protected]




Armed forces

Mar 06 Indian Navy, Diving School, INS Venduruthy Naval Base, Kochi 682004

  • Commercial Diving Conversion Course (IDS III to IDS I) (4 weeks)

Elig: Qualified in IDS III or Ship’s Diving Course conducted by Indian Navy.

Cost of Training: Admin & Work up Charges: Rs. 4,300/- and Training Charges: Rs. 34,760/- excluding boarding & lodging.

Appln Format: See leading national dailies and Employment News.

Apr 10 Territorial Army, Army Headquarters, ‘L’ Block, New Delhi-110 001.

  • Recruitment of Officers

Elig: Graduate male Indian citizens, Ex-Service Officers gainfully employed and medically fit.

Age: 18-42 yrs as on 10 Apr 2000.

Appln Form: For Ex-Service Officers: send Rs. 10/- by IPO favouring ‘‘ADG, TA, Army Headquarters’’ to Addl. Directorate General at above address before March 10.

For Civilian Candidates residing in:

Delhi, Punjab & Chandigarh: Send Rs. 10/- by IPO favouring ‘‘TA Group Commander’’ to Commander, TA Group Head Quarters, Western Command, Bldg No. 750, Sector-83, Chandigarh 160018.

Also enclose a self-addressed, stamped (Rs. 6/-) envelope (28x12 cm) with bio-data.


Apr 30 The Institution of electronics & Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), 2, Institutional Area, Lodi Rd, New Delhi 110003.

Ph: 4631820/30. Website: http://www,

1. AMIETE Courses (equiv to BE/BTech): Comp Sc & Engg, Electron & Telecom Engg

2. DIPIETE Courses (equiv to 3-yr Dip): Comp Sc & Engg, Electron & Telecom Engg.

Elig: For (1): Age: Min 16-yrs, 10+2 with PCM, OR Dip in Electron/Telecom/Elect/Comp Engg or related field. Work exp in relevant field or studying for higher qualification with Phy/Elect/Electron/Comp.

For (2): Age Min 14-yrs, Class X with Genl. Sc. plus workex in relevant or studying for higher qualif with Phy/Maths/Engg.

Prospectus & Syllahi: Send Rs. 225/- by DD/IPO favouring ‘‘Secretary General, IETE, New Delhi’’ )Form IETE2 for AMIETE, Form IETE4 for DIPIETE).

Forms also available on cash payment of Rs. 200/- at the following centres:

1) 16/1-2, Institutional Area, Pankha Road, Janakpuri, Opp. Vashisht Park, New Delhi 110058. Ph: 5610912

2) C/o ER & DC, A-5, Sector-26, NOIDA 201301

3) Sector 30-B (Opp. CSIO), Chandigarh 160020, Ph: 657333.

Mar 26 National Institute of Foundry & Forge Technology (Gol Society under M/o HRD), Hatia, Ranchi 834003.

1. BTech (4-yrs): Mfg. Engg., Metallurgy & Meterials Engg.

2. Advanced Dip (18 mth): Foundry Tech, Forge Tech.

Elig: For (1): 10+2 with PCM & Eng. Age limit: 21-yrs (26-yrs for SC/ST supported by cert) as on Oct 1, 2000.

For (2): Dip in Met/Mech/Prodn. Engg OR Bsc (PCM).

Entrance Exam: At 5 centres including Delhi:

For (1): June 18

For (2): June 17

Info & Appln Form: Send For (1): Rs. 400/- (Rs. 160/- for SC/ST)

For (2): Rs. 200/- )Rs. 80/- for SC/ST) favouring ‘‘National Institute of Foundry & Forge Technology’’ payable at Ranchi along with a self-addressed, stamped (Rs. 12/-) envelope (28x16 cm) to the Chairman, Academic Affairs, at the above address before Mar 12. Also available against DD at counter till Mar 17.

Hotel Management

Mar 15 Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Valley View, Manipal 576119, Karnataka.

Ph: 08252-71101 Fax: 71327

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management

Elig: PUC/Class XII in any discipline (50% agg)

Selectn: Entrance Exam followed by GD at 5 centres including New Delhi.

Appln Form & Prospectus: Send Rs. 500/- by crossed DD favouring ‘‘Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration’’ payable at Manipal or Udupi before March 15 to the Chief Administrator.

International Institute of Hotel Management, EC 37, Salt Lake, Calcutta 700064.

Ph: 033-3219546/23599044. E-mail: [email protected]

  • Diploma in Hotel & Catering Mgmt (3 yrs)

Elig: Class XII. Age: 22 yrs.

Selectn: Written test, GD & Interview at six centres including New Delhi, on May 10

Details & Appln Form: Send Rs. 300/- by DD/MO favouring ‘‘International Institute of Hotel Management’’ payable at Calcutta.


Mar 31 Army Institute of Law, Sangrur Road, Patiala

Ph: 208281, 208279.

  • BA LLB (5 yrs)

Elig: 10+2 (50% agg) Age: Below 21 yrs as on July 1.

Entrance Test: May 21

Appln Form & Prospectus: Send 155/- by DD payable to ‘‘AIL, Patiala’’ before Mar 15.

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New Delhi




As the home-school movement grows larger and more diverse, evidence in the USA is mounting that home-schooling, once confined to the political and religious fringe, has achieved results not only on par with public education, but in some ways surpassing it, reports The Wall Street Journal. Though home-schooling may never be feasible for most families, the data offer little comfort to those who advocate a standardised curriculum as the best hope for improving education. Every home-schooled student uses a different plan. Up to 1.5 million children in the USA are being taught at home. Home-schoolers outnumber the 400,000 students attending charter schools, a more mainstream alternative. Total public and private school enrolment is about 50 million. On the SAT, home-schoolers scored an average 1,083 (verbal 548, math 535), 67 points above the national average of 1,016.

Poor English skills
Japan is being swept by a sense of crisis, almost panic, over the nation’s lack of facility with English in the Internet age. Critics have gone so far as to label Japan a failed state for its low English proficiency, and say it will fall further behind in technology, finance and information unless more Japanese learn to speak it, says a Washington Post report. Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi recently released a report on Japan’s goals for the 21st century that made national headlines with its proposal to make English the country’s official second language. Japan scores near the bottom of all Asian countries on the TOEFL exam, the international test of English as a foreign language. The Education Ministry announced that it had formed a panel of experts to devise measures to improve methods of teaching English.

Students’ burden
Concerned that excessive pressure on students is harming the image of China’s government and education system, officials here announced new rules this month to address some worrying trends:

— No mandatory classes during evenings, weekends, or vacations.

— No written homework for first- and second-graders. For other primary-school students, no more than one hour of homework a day.

— No assigning extra homework as a form of punishment.

— No tests for primary-school students other than in Chinese and math; no entrance exams for middle school.

— No percentile grades for primary school students. Instead they will receive broad assessments: excellent, good, pass, or fail.



Why do we say that?
Pyrrhic victory

At times victory can be a costly affair, with the winner no better off than the loser. The first world war contained many examples of Pyrrhic victories when long, bloody battles achieved little while thousands died on both sides.

King Pyrrhus, a land-hungry warrior who ruled part of Greece from the age of 12,would have been at home on these battlefields. In the third century B.C.he set out to conquer Italy. After winning the battle of Asculum in 279 B.C. by sacrificing some of his best troops, he is supposed to have said, ‘‘One more such victory and we are lost.’’ So, a Pyrrhic victory is one where the cost is too high.

Solo Syndications, London.