EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, December 19, 2000, Chandigarh, India

Learning levels decline in primary schools
From Kulwinder Sandhu

HE nation-wide survey of the NCERT reveals a decline in learning levels in primary schools of India. Though much has been said about primary education, little is being done to improve the quality of teaching in these schools.

Career hotline
From Pervin Malhotra

After completing postgraduation, I have been working since the past two years. Iím keen on pursuing higher studies in the USA. Are correspondence courses recognised?




Learning levels decline in primary schools
From Kulwinder Sandhu

THE nation-wide survey of the NCERT reveals a decline in learning levels in primary schools of India. Though much has been said about primary education, little is being done to improve the quality of teaching in these schools.

Of late, there is a great shift from vernacular medium schools to English medium schools. Parents are interested in providing quality English education to their children. This is evident from the number of English medium schools that have sprung up in towns and villages. Establishing schools and providing education to our children is always welcome but we should ensure that these children get education in an environment and language that they can identify with.

There is no denying the fact that English has been with us for a long time and has become one of the Indian languages. English is an international language, no doubt; but it is not the spoken language in villages, towns and cities. Then, is it right on our part to give our children, who are unfamiliar with English, elementary education in English? The medium of primary education is a much-debated one. Our educationists emphatically say that it should be the mothertongue alone; yet nothing has been done.

We have imposed on our children a medium of instruction which is not only unfamiliar to them but also harmful to their creativity, knowing well the consequences of such a medium. Primary education should have mothertongue as the medium of instruction and the government should enact a law to ban English medium in primary education.

According to the Kothari Commission, pre-primary education should be from 3+ to 6+ years and primary education from 6+ to 13+ years. Even in developed countries like the USA, France, Germany, England and the USSR, primary education starts at 6+ years whereas in India, a child starts formal schooling at 2+ years and comes to class one at 5+ years, a year ahead of children in advanced countries. There should not be any formal schooling up to 5+ years and primary education should start only at 6+ years.

We are not clear about the type of primary education we want. What should be the type of our primary education ó child-centered, content-oriented or result-oriented? What should the child be ó a machine or a feeling, thinking or imaginative child? The focus should be on the development of the personality of the child, irrespective of performance in various subjects.

In the name of innovation, children are unnecessarily pressurised with a host of subjects disregarding the ability of their capacity to understand. The syllabus is so rigid and the teaching methods so examination-oriented that there is no room for the fulfilment of the basic requirements of children. The entire system is so satisfying, emotionally and mentally, that they develop distrust towards it. The children should be provided with an easy, comprehensive and entertaining curriculum which can be the basis for them to learn further.

The schoolbag is heavy. Children are made to carry about 4 to 5 kg of textbooks and notebooks every day from home to school and back. Though the Yashpal Committee has suggested that schools get rid of the schoolbag, helping children come to school without tears, not much has been done so far. Introducing the semester system and life-oriented activities in primary schools will definitely help reduce physical and mental strain on these children.

A majority of schools give undue importance to reading, writing and numbers at the expense of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The latent artistic and creative potential of the children is neither fathomed nor understood. Dramatics, histrionics, music, sports, games, and value education should be included in the primary curriculum.

Classrooms should have all essential facilities to provide a normal, conducive environment for learning. Their daily routine must be short and they should be free at home. All learning is to be done at school and they must be given only a little to do at home. Schools should arrange specific periods for writing work. There should not be any academic or project work to be done at home at the primary level.

All schools, public or private, must have qualified and experienced teachers and provide periodic orientation in the modern trends of primary education. There should not be any pay discrimination between government and government-recognised schoolteachers. Teachers should be made accountable and a periodic review of their performance should be done every year.

Tests and examinations should be made meaningful and learners evaluation of achievements and performance technique should be introduced. By introducing a continuous and concerted evaluation system. We can very well do away with the outdated, laborious and meaningless terminal examination system. The ranking system should be abolished.

All those who genuinely concerned about children should put their heads together and evolve a system of primary education which is more useful, pleasant and challenging to children. The emphasis has to shift from teaching to learning, from written to oral and from theoretical exposition to practical demonstration. Every child should be allowed to grow physically as well as mentally at his own pace. Letís groom them in an atmosphere of ease, comfort, peace and freedom.Top


Career hotline
From Pervin Malhotra

After completing postgraduation, I have been working since the past two years. Iím keen on pursuing higher studies in the USA. Are correspondence courses recognised?

Ramesh Singh, Patiala

Prospective Asian students are often in doubt about their eligibility for further studies based on MA or MCom degrees they may have obtained from a university by distance education or through correspondence. Though itís surprising how little value is accorded to these degrees in their own home countries, these degrees, so long as they are awarded by a reputed university, are perfectly acceptable to the American universities and are treated at par with the degrees obtained by regular college attendance. However, beware: not all correspondence degrees are held in equal esteem.

Also, diplomas offered by computer training outfits are not recognised by any US college. However, if you have taken a course at an institute which has a valid tie-up with an American University, it may help get you some advanced credits in some courses. But these courses do count towards computer literacy and will definitely improve your chances of getting financial aid in the form of an on-campus job assistantship.

I would be grateful if you can tell me whether there are any universities in the country that offer courses in BA/BCom for candidates without formal academic qualifications.

Deepak Bhatt, Shimla

Yes, you are in luck. The following universities offer BA/BCom courses under Open University System (OUS) for those without formal academic qualifications:

*Andhra University, School of Distance Education, Visakhapatnam 530003. Age: 20 years as on 1 July. Selection Procedure: Entrance exam.

* Annamalai University, Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalainagar 608002. Age: 20 years as on 1 June.

* Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Govt. Bungalow No. 9, Dafnala, Shahibag, Ahmedabad 380003. Age: 18 years.

* Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University, Road No. 46, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad 500033. Age: 18 years as on 1 July. Selection Procedure: Entrance test.

* Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068. Age: 20 years. Selection Procedure: Entrance test.

* Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (JVBI), Directorate of Distance Education, Ladnun (Rajasthan), and JVBI, Shantiniketan, Ground Floor 20, 8 Camac Street, Calcutta 700017. Age: 19 years. Selection Procedure: Entrance test.

* Karnataka State Open University, Manasagangotri, Mysore 570006. Age: 21 years.

* Kota Open University, Rawatbhata Road, Kota 324010. Age: 19 years.

* Madurai-Kamraj University, Directorate of Distance Education, University Buildings, Palkalai Nagar, Madurai 625021. Age: 20 years.

* Nagarjuna University, Nagarjuna Nagar, Guntur 522510. Age: 18 years.

* Sri Venkateswara University, Directorate of Distance Education, Chittoor District, Tirupati 517502. Age: 20 years.

* Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Dayanagangotri, Near Gangapur Dam, Nasik 422005. Age: 18 years.

What would be the difference between doing MCA through correspondence or regularly as far as the jobs are concerned?

Kirti Dhingra, Patna

As far as the content course is concerned, there is no difference between a F/T and correspondence MCA. However, a F/T course would give you far more practical hands-on experience.

Companies also tend to prefer those who have done F/T courses, While you may have a little difficulty with your first job, subsequently, you would be on par with your F/T counterparts.

What matters most in software jobs is your live project experience over and above your formal qualifications.

Even if you can get to intern at a very low or no salary, grab the opportunity.

I have completed a 3-year diploma in Mechanical Engineering from G.B. Pant Polytechnic. Now, I want to do BE/BTech. Please tell me about the institutes where I can enroll for a degree course in Engineering.

Arun Kumar, Kirti Nagar,
New Delhi

The seats in second year of BE/BTech are very limited. The Registrar, REC, Kurukshetra, is in charge of distributing seats in all the engineering colleges of Haryana.

It may be somewhat easier to do a part-time course (BE/BTech) in DCE, Jamia Millia Islamia, Faculty of Engg & Technology (you may have missed the last dates though). The other viable option is to do an AMIE from the Institution of Engineers, 8 Gokhale Road, Calcutta 700020 (Delhi Branch is at ITO) or from the * Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 307 Janmabhoomi Chambers, 29 WH Marg, Ballard Estate, Mumbai 400038. While AMIE or IME do not require any work experience, part-time courses stipulate a work experience of 2-3 years. (* AICTE has de-recognized several diplomas and degrees offered by Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Mumbai due to deficiencies in the curriculum)

Forms are available at Keshwani PT College, Defence Colony, New Delhi.

In Delhi, you may opt for the following engineering colleges:

* University of Delhi, Delhi 110007. Course: BE (Tech) (Part-time) with specialisation in Civil, Electrical, Electronics & Communications and Mechanical Engineering. Duration: 5 years. Eligibility: Diploma in appropriate branch with 60% aggregate (50% for SC/ST) and must be in full-time employment in recognised field for one year and should be in employment for the entire duration of the course.

* Delhi College of Engineering, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006. Course: BE (Tech) (Part-time) with specialisation in Civil, Electrical, Electronics & Communication and Mechanical Engineering. Duration: 5 years. Seats: 30 each. Eligibility: Employed diploma-holders with 60% aggregate (50% for SC/ST). Selection Procedure: Written test.

* Jamia Millia Islamia, Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025. Course: BE (Part-time) with specialisation in Civil, Electrical, Electronics & Communication, Mechanical Engineering. Duration: 4 years. Seats: 60 each and 30 seats for Electronics & Communication. Eligibility: Diploma-holders from a recognised technical institute with 2-year work experience. Selection Procedure: Admission test, practical experience and interview.

You can also enrol for the associate membership of the Institution of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), New Delhi, and clear their exams. Similarly you can even enrol as a Senior Technician Member of the Institution of Engineers. As the associateship of both institutions is considered equivalent to a BE/BTech, on successful completion of the papers you can sit for GATE which will entitle you to seek admission to any of the postgraduate courses (ME/MTech) in your area of specialisation. Even by itself, the diploma and advance diploma courses offered by this institute are well-recognised in the industry.

For further information, you may contact:

* The Institution of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineers, 2 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME), 307, Janmabhoomi Chambers, 29 WH Marg, Ballard Estate, Mumbai 400038. (* AICTE has de-recognized several diplomas and degrees offered by Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Mumbai due to deficiencies in the curriculum).Top



Dec 29 Staff Selection Commission, Block No. 12, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi 110003. Combined Preliminary Examination for Matric Level Posts, 2001 For recruitment of Clerks Grade, Grade ĎDí & ĎCí Stenographers. Elig: Matriculation as on Aug 1, 2001.

Selection: All India entrance exam: May 13.

Appln F: Employment News 2-8 December.


Dec 20 Quark Foundation, 52, Industrial Area, Phase II, Chandigarh 160002 scholarship Quark Scholarships

Elig: Students pursuing MCA/ BIT/BE/BTech (Comp Sc, Electronics & Communication/ Bachelorís degree (Fine Arts, Journalism & Mass Comm) whose family income is below Rs. 2.00 lakhs p.a.

Appln F: Send duly attested copies of School/Board results for Class X, XI & XII, achievements/awards, participation in extra-curricular activities, college ID, proof of annual family income with one page resume and recommendation from head of your institution, to the above add.

Dec 23 Engineers India Ltd., 1, Bhikaiji Cama Place, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110066. Scholarship for SC/ST BE Students (25)

Elig: IInd yr students of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Computer Science, Industrial, Chem or Instrumentation branches, (55% in Ist yr) whose family income is below Rs. 45,000/- p.a.

Appln F: Employment News 2-8 Dec. Feb 15 JN Tata Endowment, Bombay House, 24, Homi Mody St, Mumbai 400 001. Loan Scholarships.

Elig Bachelorís degree with good academic record. Final yr students may also apply. Academics and other mid-career professionals with creditable academic records and experience, going abroad for specialization may also apply.

Selectn: Interview in March/June.

Appln F: Send MO for Rs. 50/- to (state you address in block letters on the MO): JN Tata Scholarships, Administrative Office, Mulla House, 51, M. G. Rd, Mumbai 400001 to reach before Jan 31.

Scholarships - Foreign

Dec 30 British Council Division, British High Commission, 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001. Shrewsbury School Scholarships.

Duration: 2 yrs.

Elig: Boys with academic merit. Age: Below 17 yrs (on 1 Sept 2001).

Appln F: Contact/write to above add.

Social Sciences

Tata Instt of Social Sciences, Post Box No. 8313, Deonar, Mumbai 400088.

Feb 28 1) MA in Social Work

Jan 31 2) MA in Personnel Mgmt & Industrial Relations.

Mar 30 3) Master of Health Admin 4) Master of Hospital Admin

May 18 5) Certificate in Social Welfare Admin

Elig: (1): Bachelorís degree in: (i) Arts/ Commerce/ Science/ Engg (45%) (SC/ST: 35%); (ii) Law/ Medicine/ Nursing (50%) (SC/ST: 40%).

(2): Bachelorís degree in: (i) Arts/Commmerce/Medicine/Law/Nursing (50%) (SC/ST: 40%); (ii) Science/Engg (55%) (SC/ST: 45%). (3 & 4): Bachelorís degree in any discipline (50%) (SC/ST: 40%). Age: below 45 yrs. Those holding administrative position in health sector preferred. (5): Bachelorís in any discip with 3-yrs work experience in social welfare/development programmes.

*(All Bachelorís degrees min 3 yrs)

Appln F: Send Rs 250/- (For 1-4) (Rs 20/- For 5) by DD favouring "Tata Instt. of Social Sciences, Mumbai" along with a self-addressed, stamped (Rs 32/-) envelope (20x25 cm).

Free Application forms for unemployed SC/ST (with copy of caste certificate) whose parentís/ guardianís annual income is below Rs.60,965/-(with copy of income certificate).


Jan 31 Indian Statistical Institute, 203, Barrackpore Trunk Rd, Calcutta 700035. Sr/Jr Diploma in Statistics (SDS & JDS) Exam.

Test: Bílore, Míbai, Cal, Delhi, Híbad & Chennai.

Appln F: Send Rs. 70/- by DD favouring "Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta" with a self-addressed envelope (25x20 cm) to: The Secretary, Examinations Committee at the above add. Also in cash at counter.

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New DelhiTop