Indian students rank near the bottom on PISA, a global test of learning standards conducted in 74 nations this year. TIMSS, another standardized international test, produced similar results earlier in 2003.
This is the first time that Indian students participated in PISA. Students from Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu took the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, coordinated by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Prior to this participation, students from Indian states of Orissa and Rajasthan took a similar test called Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2003.
Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh rank high on human development indicators among Indian states. The India Human Development Report 2011, prepared by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), categorized them as “median” states, putting them significantly ahead of the national average. IAMR is an autonomous arm of India's Planning Commission.
Himachal Pradesh ranked 4 and Tamil Nadu 11 in literacy rates on India's National Family Health Survey released in 2007. However, in the PISA study, Tamil Nadu ranked 72 and Himachal Pradesh 73, just ahead of the bottom-ranked Kyrgyzstan in mathematics and overall reading skills. Shanghai, China's biggest city, topped the PISA rankings in all three categories—overall reading skills, mathematical and scientific literacy. The new entrants included Costa Rica, Georgia, India (Himachal Pradesh & Tamil Nadu), Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Venezuela (Miranda), Moldova, United Arab Emirates. PISA 2009+ involved testing just over 46 000 students across these ten economies, representing a total of about 1,377,000 15-year-olds.
In Tamil Nadu, only 17% of students were estimated to possess proficiency in reading that is at or above the baseline needed to be effective and productive in life. In Himachal Pradesh, this level is 11%. “This compares to 81% of students performing at or above the baseline level in reading in the OECD countries, on an average,” said the study.
The average Indian child taking part in PISA2009+ is 40 to 50 points behind the worst students in the economic superstars. Even the best performers in Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh - the top 5 percent who India will need in science and technology to complete globally - were almost 100 points behind the average child in Singapore and 83 points behind the average Korean - and a staggering 250 points behind the best in the best.
The average child in HP & TN is right at the level of the worst OECD or American students (only 1.5 or 7.5 points ahead). Contrary to President Obama's oft-expressed concerns about American students ability to compete with their Indian counterparts, the average 15-year-old Indian placed in an American school would be among the weakest students in the classroom, says Lant Pritchett of Harvard University. Even the best TN/HP students are 24 points behind the average American 15 year old.
The 2003 TIMSS study ranked India at 46 among 51 countries. Indian students' score was 392 versus average of 467 for the group. These results were contained in a Harvard University report titled "India Shining and Bharat Drowning".
These results are not only a wake-up call for the "India Shining" brigade, but also raise serious questions about the credibility of India's western cheerleaders like Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria and New York Times' columnist Tom Friedman.
India Shining, Bharat Drowning
Learning Levels and Gaps in Pakistan by Jishnu Das and Priyanka Pandey
Pasi Sahlberg on why Finland leads the world in education
CNN's Fixing Education in America-Fareed Zakaria
PISA's Scores 2011
Poor Quality of Education in South Asia
Infections Cause Low IQs in South Asia, Africa?
Peepli Live Destroys Western Myths About India
PISA 2009Plus Results Report
AOA. How come Pakistan is not taking part in these international assessments?
Haseeb: "How come Pakistan is not taking part in these international assessments?"
I don't know why. But I do think it's something Pakistani education establishment should consider. There was an effort in that direction in 2005 when ACER's (Australian Council for Education Research) International Institute worked with Melbourne University to deliver training to a group of 14 senior education administrators from Pakistan. The training took place over three weeks and ACER staff presented a program on monitoring and evaluation in secondary science for the group from the provinces of the Punjab, Balochistan and North West Frontier Province.
I am glad to see you going after Farid and Thomas....
I like your writings and efforts to bring up good information but this is another example of putting down India.
Please tell me what is gained by such derogatory statements and how it helps (1). a more positive image of Pakistan, and (2). the chances of better understanding and peace between the two countries.
If I was from India, I would be offended and retaliate with harsh words, just as I would be offended by similar writing to put down Pakistan.
Amjad: "I like your writings and efforts to bring up good information but this is another example of putting down India."
There's nothing derogatory in my post.
It's based on facts with credible sources cited, and my candid opinion as a blogger. I offer similar commentary on the results of dysfunction in Pakistan.
There can be no improvement without facing the realities of poverty of education and lack of human development in South Asia.
"AOA. How come Pakistan is not taking part in these international assessments?"
For what? Only to prove that Pak education is non existent.
Ask yourself? How come Pakistan has no name in knowledge based economy unlike India. It is not as if it is below the dignity of Pakistanis to work in IT, medical, back office sectors. Given that their rupee is 50% worse than Indian rupees, it would have been a win-win situation for both Pak and west. Did it ever happen? NOT.
Riaz has posted this to annoy Indians who I am sure must be bombarding him with insulting messages. And this is where he is wrong. No one in the west looks for result of such tests before deciding to outsource. No one in west looks at these tests before hiring an Indian. the recent fair act for change in Greencard is directed towards Indians and Chinese so that more of them can get GC. Does that tell something about US govt preferring Indians/Chinese over others. I am happy for this low class education.
Riaz: Far from being annoyed, I actually enjoy this because how much you are envious of India's success is visible in this post. If you think this would help Pakistan even .001%, then Insha Allah.
Mukund: "For what? Only to prove that Pak education is non existent."
It's just pure angry speculation on your part because Pakistani students did not take the test and we don't know for sure how they'd do.
Given the similarities between Indian and Pakistani education systems, it's quite probable that Pakistanis would fare as poorly as their Indian counterparts if they took PISA and TIMSS.
In any event, knowing what I know I'd say Pakistanis have a lot of work to do to be competitive in terms of the quality of education.
What is clear from the PISA results is that the Chinese students topped the list of 74 nations and Indian students ended up second to last at #73.
So the Indians comparing themselves with China and the whole BRIC thing is just ludicrous. The only thing common between India and China is the size of the population.
Even the whole BRIC hype about India is fading with Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill expressing disappointment with India.
Whys is India not a scientific power, asks an Op Ed in The Hindu:
.....It is the robustness of scientific research and innovation that sets apart great powers from the mediocre ones.
We have good scientists, but why has India not produced outstanding scientists who make path-breaking discoveries that will make the world sit up and take notice? Should we continue to be satisfied with tweaking borrowed technologies? Is reverse engineering an innovative phenomenon?
All debates about scientific research inevitably end up zeroing in on the deficiencies of our educational system as the root cause of the abysmal record in scientific research. This is only part of the story.
A nation's culture — belief systems, values, attitudes — plays a significant role in determining the quality of scientific research. The Oriental attitudes differ from the Occidental values in many respects. Asian societies are basically collectivist, that is, the collective good of society ranks higher than individual happiness and achievements. People do not ask what they can do for their country; they are always asking what the country will do for them. They look up to the state for guidance, leadership and direction. There is no burning individual ambition to excel and achieve something new.
In the West, individuals try to achieve their potential through their own efforts, aided and facilitated by enabling laws and institutions. Self-reliance is the key objective of life. An independent life requires a free and questioning mindset that takes nothing for granted and constantly challenges conventional wisdom. Children are encouraged to push the frontiers of knowledge by self-examination and open-minded enquiry. It is only a sceptical and dissenting mind that often thinks out of the box to explore new vistas of knowledge.
Collectivism promotes conformism and deference to authority whether it is parents, elders, teachers or the government. It is heresy to question established values and customs.
We pass on our passivity and uncritical attitudes to our children. No wonder, the educational system encourages rote learning and unquestioning acceptance of what is taught in the classrooms and stated in the textbooks. How can we expect our children to suddenly develop an enquiring and inquisitive attitude when they have been brought up in a milieu that discourages ‘disruptive' thoughts?
India and China were once advanced nations before foreign rule drained their resources and sapped their willpower and scientific traditions. Cultures tend to become conservative and defensive when subjected to long spells of colonial exploitation.
Indians are great believers in destiny. But our tradition does not frown upon free will and individual excellence. We must realise that our ability for free action remains unhampered despite what destiny may hold in store for us.
Fear of failure
Another flaw in our culture that prevents individual excellence is the fear of failure. The stigma associated with failure makes our children risk-averse while choosing their courses and careers.
Scientific research is a long-drawn war on received wisdom that requires many battles before it can be won. Science was not built in a day. Some of the battles can end in defeat. In the West, they celebrate failure as a stepping stone to success.
Educational reforms must be preceded by mental deconditioning of parents, teachers, educationists and policymakers — throwing away the cobwebs of uncritical submissiveness to conventional knowledge. Let us bring up a generation that will not hesitate to ask inconvenient questions. This generation will be the torch-bearer of a scientific revolution that will unleash cutting-edge research to make the Nobel Prize committee sit up and take notice....
What is clear from the PISA results is that the Chinese students topped the list of 74 nations and Indian students ended up second to last at #73.
One chinese city(not a province) took part.
vs two Indian states....not a fair comparison.
I would take this as a compliment that Indians are in a position to sell themselves for service in-spite of them not being up to the mark by the so called survey done by Australia.
Further in practical terms the west does not want to recruit much or outsource much from a place where it is perceived to be fomenting the Islamic fundamentalism against west. In fact now a days even the gcc is selective in getting people inside the country as they don't want either the virus of democracy or Islamic fundamentalism in the backyard.
It does not matter till such time services are sold and there is enough market. Probably Pakistan can look at what it can do to cut in the pie would be more a positive approach.
Here's an excerpt from a Bloomberg piece written by Pankaj Mishra:
In the 1990s, the drive (Delhi-Simla) would take eight hours. In 2009, it took about 11, and this autumn it took almost 12. Stretches of the road, especially those near small cities, resembled four- lane highways anywhere in the world. Elsewhere, passing through roadside settlements, the road shrank to a single lane; and here the queues built up, the air grew thick with dust and exhaust, and road rage erupted out of even the air-conditioned vehicles.
The metaphor of highways has been deployed frequently to describe India’s potential, most famously by Thomas Friedman, who claimed in 2005 that India “is like a highway full of potholes,” but “off in the distance, the road seems to smooth out, and if it does, this country will be a dynamo.”
Like many other popular metaphors about India -- tiger, elephant, cellphone -- this one isn’t wholly mistaken. Indian highways rank highly among the infrastructure projects crucial to sustaining the country’s rapid economic growth (INQGGDPY), which is threatened by inflation, declining industrial production, a weakening currency (the rupee has dropped about 15 percent against the dollar this year) and corruption scandals that implicate some of India’s most well-known politicians and businessmen.
The question that Friedman asked in 2005 has grown more urgent: “Is that smoother road in the distance a mirage or the real thing?” Or, to put it differently: Did the perennial gap between illusion and reality somehow widen imperceptibly in the New India?
The answer to this question seemed obvious on the half- built highway to Delhi. The most conspicuous sights along the roadside were the placards for shiny new private educational institutions. They seem -- if you have never been inside one or met any of their alumni and looked only at the (misspelled) signboards promising professional success -- to be hectically preparing the basis for India’s “demographic dividend”: an overwhelmingly youthful population (WPOPINDI) that will soon become producers and consumers in the global economy.
In actuality, while most state-funded schools and colleges are barely functional, private education in India is largely a money-making racket. In September this year, a study of schools in the biggest states discovered that India’s peers in adult literacy are Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.
Hundreds of millions of poorly educated and unemployable youth increasingly find themselves drawn to some peculiar forms of entrepreneurship. Twice on the highway from Shimla to Delhi, we were flagged down by groups of young men collecting “taxes.”
I have often come across these soft forms of banditry on the country roads of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, two of India’s poorest and most populous states. The only difference here was that the young men seemed better educated, more resourceful and authoritative. One of the groups that stopped us near the Indian capital, less than a mile from an authentic police checkpoint, even had a jeep with the words “Delhi Municipal Toll” painted on the windshield.
Bleak employment prospects and a general social breakdown - - of morality no less than law and order -- were pushing them into a career of crime. Their brazen modus operandi in one of the country’s richest regions hinted that India’s “demographic dividend” was more likely to boost crime rather than gross domestic product.
For most of the previous decade, many Indians have been spellbound by a vision of imminent national greatness, oblivious to the basic fact that no country without a substantial manufacturing base and skilled workforce has ever become an economic superpower.....
Here's a Financial Times Report on the inadequacy of India's primary education:
Primary education standards in India are as bad as in Papua New Guinea and crisis-torn Afghanistan and Yemen, according to a team of Indian development economists.
In a study of schools in the country’s most populous states they found that fast-paced economic growth has failed to improve India’s basic educational standards over the past 15 years. The Public Report on Basic Education Revisited showed some children were unable to read after three years of schooling across the Hindi-speaking northern belt.
“When the investigators arrived, half of the government schools were still devoid of any teaching activity,” the report said. “In a functioning democracy, this would be a major national concern. Yet little notice has been taken in the corridors of power.”
According to Jean Drèze, one of the report’s researchers and a prominent Indian policymaker, India now finds itself in an adult-literacy peer group that includes Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Yemen.
The ratio of students to teachers in Indian primary schools was three times higher than in China, with a typical class in Bihar, one of the poorest states, having as many as 92 pupils.
“After 20 years of meteoric economic growth, there’s been so little improvement in terms of the living standards of the people,” Mr Drèze said. “There’s a very serious crisis. We have to wake up to the fact that we are relying too heavily on economic growth.”
There are 5.5m teachers in India, but at least 1.2m more are required. “The reason there aren’t any teachers in school is because states have not recruited them for many years,” said Kapil Sibal, minister of Human Resources Development.
The report’s authors said that it had taken years to analyse and verify data collected in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. One team member, A.K. Shiva Kumar, said that he and his colleagues had also reviewed educational data for the 2009-2010 year and found them to be “identical” to those of 2006.
The UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report for 2010 said Indians received just 4.4 years of schooling on average, compared with 7.5 years for China’s citizens. Sri Lanka outscores both with 8.2 years of schooling and is on par with China’s 99 per cent literacy rate for young female adults.
“Most developing countries are talking of [offering their children] 10 years of schooling,” said Mr Kumar, who is also a development economist and advises Unicef, the UN’s child welfare agency. “Here there’s lots of focus on growth rates but we are not looking at how India gets to 10 years of schooling.”
Meera Samson, a researcher at the Delhi-based Collaborative Research and Dissemination and report co-author, said head teachers had not been appointed at 20 per cent of the schools surveyed. At another 12 per cent of schools, only one teacher had been offered a position.
Last year, India’s parliament passed legislation requiring the state to provide universal education.
In other words, only a little over one in six students in Tamil Nadu and nearly one in 10 students in Himachal Pradesh are performing at the OECD average. A similar trend was observed in mathematical and scientific literacy, too.
on average 1/8*1200=150 million Indians are performing at first world levels.
It gets even more interesting @ top 5% here it is at par with Norway and outperforms all other developing countries outside China.
"Even the whole BRIC hype about India is fading with Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill expressing disappointment with India."
Not as fast as the economy of western countries, deep in debt and almost bankrupt. UK, Italy, Spain and even USA. It is amusing how you ignore that and harp on India.
Anon: "Not as fast as the economy of western countries, deep in debt and almost bankrupt. UK, Italy, Spain and even USA."
Well, the West going down is just more bad news for India, given India's heavy reliance on foreign capital inflows from US and Europe that sustain its economy.
Without such capital inflows (FII+FDI+NRI remittances), India could have a serious balance of payments crisis that Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs has warned about.
Anon: "on average 1/8*1200=150 million Indians are performing at first world levels."
1.2 billion is the population of India, not the number of Indian children attending school.
Millions of Indians, particularly in the Hindi belt, are out of school. A recent Indian report compared the quality of primary education in these populous northern states of UP and Bihar with that in Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.
Adult literacy in India is among the lowest in the world. There are 270 million illiterate adults in India, the largest in the world, according to UNESCO.
"Well, the West going down is just more bad news for India, given India's heavy reliance on foreign capital inflows from US and Europe that sustain its economy."
But that does not answer my question. Why don't you talk about bankrupt US economy and other European countries.
Here's Meeta Senguota's blog post on PISA results in Times of India:
Our pedagogies and entire school systems are designed to feed a specific type of learning- generically known as learning by rote. We teach and learn for the assessment. And assessments, if they are to be standardized and defensible are often merely linear tests of information, not knowledge.
The traditional education system is often berated for belonging to the industrial age - where a standard product needs to be created, using standardized processes, where products move along an assembly line, from one level of preparedness to the next. Till finally, the product is ready for the job market. This is clearly a utilitarian view of education, where we need to feed the machinery of the present with efficiency, and for efficiency.
The meaning of the word learning has been debated and measured in literature largely via assessments. And yet, the purpose of education is often stated in more lofty terms - growth, progress, development; thought and society among others. Yet, our assessments do not reflect the stated purpose of education. While we practice and acknowledge that our teaching is geared to our assessments, and we also measure individual and systemic success via the same assessments, it becomes incumbent on us to focus our efforts on designing those assessments well.
Learning for each of us means different things. For some it means proficiency in the classic 3 R's - reading, writing and arithmetic. For others it is reflected in the ability to pass exams, or, in the number and range of competitions won. for some, it is the ability to carry an argument forward, to a cohesive end that demonstrates learning, while for people like me, it is clearly the ability to make good decisions that signifies that good learning has taken place. For some, learning is about good values- both at work and as a human being.
In a 2008 assessment, Indian students ranked second to last among seven emerging economies, as reported by Siliconindia:
Bangalore: The draught of education in India has reached the extreme as it ranks sixth among the seven emerging economies of the world, in terms of education quality. The country has scored only 3.3 points in the study, in terms of primary, secondary, tertiary and demographic parameters, while Russia topped the chart with 7.3 points.
As per the Assocham study, India was at the last position in terms of quality of secondary education while Russia and Brazil had maximum scores. The quality of tertiary education in India was lowest among the other emerging nations. The points it scored on the scale of 2, was 0.1. Even though the demographics of India are considered its strength, the country has scored the minimum in this too and was ranked at last place. Moreover, in terms of students enrollment for primary education, India is highly incompetitive with the gross enrollment ratio standing at 98.1.
"Serious attention needs to be paid towards the education system. India may stand to loose its competitive advantages against the other countries in long term if corrective measures are not taken to strengthen the Indian education system qualitatively," said Sajjan Jindal, ASSOCHAM President while releasing the ASSOCHAM Eco Pulse (AEP) Study 'Comparative Study of Emerging Economies on Quality of Education'. It was carried out on the basis of 20 parameters relating to primary, secondary, tertiary education and higher education and demography and data provided by UNESCO, IMF, WEF, Financial Times was used for the purpose.
Among the rest five countries, China has secured second place with scoring 6.7 points, while Brazil has positioned itself at third place with 5.56 score points as the quality of education in Brazil remains stable across all levels of primary, secondary and higher education. Mexico has been ranked at fourth place on the strength of its higher education. South Africa, a relatively new entrant to the club of developing economies, has managed to be on fifth place on the strength of its tertiary education and demographic qualities though it lags far behind in primary education. However, Indonesia stands at the last position with an overall score of 2.68 points. The gross enrolment ratio is highest in Brazil (148.5), followed by China (116.2) and Russia (113.8). Even Indonesia (110.9) and South Africa (105.1) enjoy better enrolment ratio than India.
However, only in terms of teacher-student ratio the country outsmarts all as in India for every forty students, there is one teacher.
Here's a review of "Back to Pakistan: A 50 Years Journey" by Leslie Noyes Mass, a US Peace Corp volunteer:
Mass discovered a significantly different country: more education for young children, an exploding population, and a country not nearly as friendly to the United States as it was when she was there years ago. I wouldn’t call any of these changes a great surprise, yet I found Back to Pakistan totally engaging for the contrasts I have already mentioned—plus the mirroring of some of the experiences I encountered as a volunteer in Nigeria.
Shift to 2009. Mass returns to Pakistan with several others, including people who were in the Peace Corps all those years ago. She’s been teaching for decades, earned a doctorate in early and middle school education, and retired from her job as director of an educational program at Ohio Wesleyan University. She’s a pro, accustomed to training teachers, which she and her friends will do in Pakistan for several months. They have been successful with making arrangements with The Citizens Foundation (TCF), a private organization that has set up several hundred schools across the country since the government-sponsored schools are sadly lacking. TCF has had major successes in the country, largely because of its curriculum and the dedication of its teachers who are women only.
Mass, thus, in 2009 is part volunteer, part educational expert, part tourist, keenly attuned to all the differences in the country from the first time she worked there. The activities with TCF are totally professional, and instantly rewarding. But it is an incident related to her by Ateed Riaz, one of the organization’s founding directors, that is most revealing to Mass (and to this reader), providing the context for the country’s education and development: “A friend of mine went to the city of Medina and went to a woman squatting on the floor selling something. He negotiated with her, but she would not sell to him. She said, ‘If you like it, buy it from that other tradeswoman. I will not sell it to you.’ So he got a local to come and talk to her in her own language. She talked to the local and explained that she had already sold enough that day and that other woman had not yet sold any, so I should buy from her. The message is clear: We need to help each other."
there is no use in making all indian international standard as every country limits the expat. who are not in a position to go to their international standard will be a resource for the local business after it all requires human capital.
Atleast in india corporate and people are concern about the education and it is moving slow in the correct direction, but it is not so in case of bangladesh or pakistan.
So How can Pakistan help India in Education ? Pakistan has got atleast some responsibility to help their backward neighbours.
Malik: "So How can Pakistan help India in Education ?"
By helping itself first in overcoming its own education deficits.
Perception of Indians in USA is that Indian Americans are smart, yet we have NEVER been shown ANY hard evidence on what is the average IQ of these so called "smart" Indians in America. Evidences such as average IQ, or at least SAT scores with Indians ONLY, not mixed together with other high achieving East Asians under a ridiculous concept of "Asian" category.
Perhaps the inconvenient fact is that Indians are not smart, and genetic variations alone amongst 1.2 billion of them have logically made some smart ones who have by and large flocked into North America under H1B.
As for India itself, unlike what mainstream liberal media prefer, India is recognized as a failed state in Asia, a pit that no one, not even Indians, want to live in (except some occasional western tree-hugging pop & Hollywood stars such as lady Gaga and Tom Cruise? ) - a pretty strong evidence of what is India's average IQ.
"Perception of Indians in USA is that Indian Americans are smart, yet we have NEVER been shown ANY hard evidence on what is the average IQ of these so called "smart" Indians in America. Evidences such as average IQ, or at least SAT scores with Indians ONLY, not mixed together with other high achieving East Asians under a ridiculous concept of "Asian" category."
Attempt to collect any such evidences would be deemed as racist. In UK several years ago it was published that second/third generationIndians do much better than their Pakistanis counterpart. What do you think was the reaction of Pakistani Britishers?
Having said it, I do agree with it is ridiculous to suggest that Indians are smart based on tiny percentage of IIT going very smart people. And while we are at it, the same can be said about Americans too, based on my personal experience of working here for nearly two decades.
Anon: "In UK several years ago it was published that second/third generationIndians do much better than their Pakistanis counterpart."
The demographics of British Pakistanis are well understood---about two-thirds are originally rural peasant folks from Mirpur district in Azad Kashmir who were displaced when Mangla dam was built in Pakistan in the 1960s. Most took the cpmpensation money and used it to buy tickets to the UK and settled there.
The children of the early Mirpuri migrants from Pakistani Kashmir in the UK have done fairly well given their humble beginnings, but they are certainly not representative of Pakistan's educated urban middle class, many of whom go to the US and other destinations primarily for higher education and then settle there.
>>India is recognized as a failed state in Asia, a pit that no one, not even Indians, want to live in (except some occasional western tree-hugging pop & Hollywood stars such as lady Gaga and Tom Cruise? ) - a pretty strong evidence of what is India's average IQ.
For the last well known 6,000 years of Indian History, in the last 250 years, we look like we dont have much (everage)IQ.
Not comprehensive, just few examples..
Try comparing the IQ of the rest of the world and Indians during the advanced urban civilizations of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa..
Try comparing the IQ of the rest of the world and Indians when India under the Mauryan empire....
In this unipolar world not even the USA match what was Aurangzeb's
India. Then, compare the IQ of Indians and the rest of the world..
Nobody ever heard of any scientist or mathematician in europe before des cartes... Where did all the pre-calculus mathematics came from ?
Around mid seventeen hundreads, we made a mistake. A grave mistake. We paid its price. But we are the sons of our fathers. WE WILL REBUILD IT AGAIN TO A LEVEL THAT NOBODY EVEN DARE TO COMPARE ANYTHING AGANIST THE SONS OF THE MIGHTY INDUS, GANGA AND SARASWATHY.
As you can see, we have started it. Thats.... I agree, its not perfect. But seems like its kind of OK !
"Perception of Indians in USA is that Indian Americans are smart, yet we have NEVER been shown ANY hard evidence on what is the average IQ of these so called "smart" Indians in America. Evidences such as average IQ, or at least SAT scores with Indians ONLY, not mixed together with other high achieving East Asians under a ridiculous concept of "Asian" category."
It is curious to see how you getting angry about Indians making false claims about superior IQ, but are quick to point out the same to east asians. For all its worth, China until 1990 had a lower per capita income than Pakistan and in 1960 South Korea PCI was less than Pakistan.
Indeed success in life is no direct co-relation with IQ. Do you think every American has higher IQ just because the std of living here is higher.
read the following about Phds in USA.
You mean like this:-
Afzal: "You mean like this:-.."
I bet these PISA test results are ringing alarm bells for those in India hoping the reality of poverty of education in India remains hidden from the likes of Intel who may be hoping to find cheap India replacements for expensive American engineers as part of cost arbitrage.
But sooner or later Intel and others are going to find out the reality, as the Indian cream of crop like IIT grads get hired and the rest of the work-force from second and third-tier schools turns out to be duds.
Some, like GE, are already bringing some manufacturing jobs back to America.
Here's the link to DAWN that talks about Agha Khan University survey:
Thank you for all of your Blog posts (especially related to education).
Here are some excerpts from a piece by Lan Pritchett of Harvard University on India's poor performance on PISA:
Compared to the economic superstars India is almost unfathomably far behind. The TN/HP average 15 year old is over 200 points behind. If a typical grade gain is 40 points a year Indian eighth graders are at the level of Korea third graders in their mathematics mastery. In fact the average TN/HP child is 40 to 50 points behind the worst students in the economic superstars. Equally worrisome is that the best performers in TN/HP - the top 5 percent who India will need in science and technology to complete globally - were almost 100 points behind the average child in Singapore and 83 points behind the average Korean - and a staggering 250 points behind the best in the best.
As the current superpowers are behind the East Asian economic superstars in learning performance the distance to India is not quite as far, but still the average TN/HP child is right at the level of the worst OECD or American students (only 1.5 or 7.5 points ahead). Indians often deride America's schools but the average child placed in an American school would be among the weakest students. Indians might have believed, with President Obama, that American schools were under threat from India but the best TN/HP students are 24 points behind the average American 15 year old.
Even among other "developing" nations that make up the BRICs India lags - from Russia by almost as much as the USA and only for Brazil, which like the rest of Latin America is infamous for lagging education performance does India even come close - and then not even that close.
To put these results in perspective, in the USA there has been huge and continuous concern that has caused seismic shifts in the discourse about education driven, in part, by the fact that the USA is lagging the economic superstars like Korea. But the average US 15 year old is 59 points behind Koreans. TN/HP students are 41.5 points behind Brazil, and twice as far behind Russia (123.5 points) as the US is Korea, and almost four times further behind Singapore (217.5 vs 59) that the US is behind Korea. Yet so far this disastrous performance has yet to occasion a ripple in the education establishment.
These PISA 2009+ results are the end of the beginning. The debate is over. No one can still deny there is a deep crisis in the ability of the existing education system to produce child learning. India's education system is undermining India's legitimate aspirations to be at the global forefront as a prosperous economy, as a global great power, as an emulated polity, and as a fair and just society. As the beginning ends, the question now is: what is to be done?
Here's an uplifting story in Express Tribune about a Pakistani with 28 A's in O Level exams:
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has presented a cheque of Rs1 million as a token of appreciation to a student from Taxila who had set a world record in the O-level examinations.
Zohaib Asad, a student of Beaconhouse, earned 28 As in the University of Cambridge International O-Level Examinations in 2011. He overtook a record of 23 As, also set by a Pakistani student from Islamabad Ibrahim Shahid.
Gilani invited Asad to the Prime Minister House on Thursday and lauded him for making Pakistan’s youth proud. He said that Asad’s achievement will inspire other young students to excel in life through sheer hard work.
Asad is currently enrolled at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he is pursuing an undergraduate degree in economics and international development.
Speaking to the prime minister, he said that he was determined to return to Pakistan after completion of his education to serve the country that has given so much in life at an early age.
Gilani appreciated Asad’s sense of devotion to the country the country and said that young people like him were Pakistan’s hope for a brighter future.
Asad’s family members were also present in the meeting.
Here's a story published in Fast Company about an "Education Revolution" in Pakistan:
TED Fellow, social entrepreneur and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is on a mission to foment Pakistan's education revolution.
The province of Sindh, where Obaid-Chinoy is based, decided less than two months ago to completely revamp public school textbooks, and the government enlisted Obaid-Chinoy to help. "There needs to be an overhaul," Obaid-Chinoy tells Fast Company. "Textbooks are outdated and I've been working with the government on how to encourage critical thinking and move away from rote memorization....It's tough, because the mindset is not there. The teachers are essentially products of the same system. We have to break the culture, which takes a long time."
Sindh's teachers now spend extensive time in professional training with education experts to try and reform the instruction of English, math, and social studies. "We're really making this a movement for education for social change," Obaid-Chinoy says.
"People are excited by it. Everyone's getting into it, rolling up their sleeves. We're trying to bridge the divide between the public and private school systems," which, she says, is at the heart of Pakistan's education challenges. The poorer schools are under-resourced and are often recruiting grounds for young terrorists. By improving the public education system, the less-fortunate children have a better shot at a solid future, away from terrorist groups, and local leaders hope to accomplish improvements by focusing on textbooks and teacher trainings.
"Pakistan also feels it needs to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of education and that was the genesis for the education overhaul," says Obaid-Chinoy. "Terrorism defines us today," but, she says, there was a time when the country was known for its vibrancy and sense of hope.
Obaid-Chinoy is doing her part in other ways to revamp Pakistan's education system. In 2007 she started CitizensArchive.org, the country's first digital archive documenting its oral history with interviews, rare photos, and other online collections. The initiative allows students in schools throughout Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India to better understand Pakistan and its history and Obaid-Chinoy was able to interview several notable figures who have since passed away, such as Deena Mistri, one of the country's first female educators. And students around South Asia are now engaged in learning exchanges with students in Pakistan, to help the countries build bridges.
And throughout her education work, Obaid-Chinoy's medium is often filmmaking. She makes about one film per year and has covered a range of topics from jihadi schools to female victims of acid attacks. Her next film will look at 9/11 through the eyes of different figures, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary this year.
"My mother gave up her dream of becoming a journalist when she got married and I think she always wanted to make sure that her six children pursued their dreams. I have four sisters and all of us work in male-dominated professions in Pakistan." And Obaid-Chinoy now brings that same sense of passion and justice to her work and thanks to her, her country may soon become a bright spot for global-minded education.
Here's a private-public partnership initiative for education in Sindh, as reported in The Express Tribune:
The Sindh Education Foundation has handed over the management of 1,200 schools across Sindh to entrepreneurs under its private-public partnership programme, Integrated Education Learning Programme (IELP).
The SEF asked entrepreneurs to apply for school adoption by submitting proposals and they received a staggering 9,600 applications. Each proposal was strictly assessed. There should be no other primary school within a one-kilometre radius of the new one or already established school as this would affect enrolment. No other secondary school should exist within a two-kilometre radius. At least 40 children should be enrolled in primary schools and 30 in elementary and secondary classes. The programme requires the student-teacher ratio to be at least 1:4. Teachers should be paid a minimum of Rs5,000 while at least Rs2,500 should be paid to the support staff. Drinking water and clean toilets are other prerequisites for the IELP selection.
Out of the total applications received, 4,500 were initially shortlisted and 1,500 were finally randomly selected, informed Sadaf Junaid Zuberi, the SEF senior manager.
The final contract signing ceremony was held at the SEF headquarters on Monday where the remaining 300 of the 1,500 selected entrepreneurs sealed their school adoption deal in the presence of Senior Minister for Education and Literacy Pir Mazharul Haq.
Prof Anita Ghulam Ali, the SEF managing director, welcomed the guests and school entrepreneurs and called for operators to take up this opportunity with full honesty and commitment. “You can change the future of thousands of children,” she said.
Lauding the efforts of the SEF, the education minister said that it has been promoting lasting public-private partnerships in the education sector. The government plans to open more schools under this agreement and people who adopt them will be strictly monitored.
The programme was launched in 2009 and was designed to give financial and technical support to new and existing private, community and trust-owned schools throughout the province. Three hundred schools were already working successfully. The project directly reaches 450,000 children.
Each entrepreneur will get a 350-rupee subsidy per child from the Sindh government via the SEF. They will be responsible for the school’s management, monitoring, enrolment, building capacity, community and parent mobilisation and student assessment.
As the project is fully funded IELP students do not pay any fees. SEF will provide textbooks and classroom aides and will also work on teacher training.
IELP follows the SEF’s Promoting Private Schooling in Rural Sindh (PPRS) programme. It is different from the PPRS as it involves both primary and secondary schools.
SEF director of programmes, operations and research, Aziz Kabani, said the aim was to “establish public-private partnership to increase access to and improve the quality of educational services to children in marginalised areas of the province”.
Pakistan student is math champion reports Today's Zaman:
Usama Mahmoud Hawar, a student at a Turkish school in Pakistan, has become the world champion in mathematics in an exam commissioned by the British Council’s Cambridge University, the Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday.
Hawar, one of 12 million students from 200 countries to participate in the exam, was a final-year student at Lahore High School for Boys, one of the Turkish schools operating in Pakistan. The math world champion received a great deal of attention from the Pakistani media, which congratulated the successful students, teachers and schools of the exam.
Hawar told Anatolia that he owes his success to his school, math teacher and hard work. The school principal, Adem Akgedik, in comments to Anatolia, said the largest factor in Hawar’s success goes to his math teacher, Mehmet Zengin, who would work with his student for many hours after the school day was over.
After completing high school, Hawar said he wants to study economics at a university in Turkey.
A total of 6,000 Pakistani students are receiving an education from the 22 internationally acclaimed Turkish schools operating in Pakistan.
In a recent speech President Obama exaggerated the competitive threat from India and China. He said,"when global firms were asked a few years back where they planned on building new research and development facilities, nearly 80 per cent said either China or India – because those countries are focused on math and science, and they're focused on training and educating their workforce".
Based on the recent PISA test results, Obama may be right about threat from China. But India? I don't agree.
The average Indian child taking part in PISA2009+ is 40 to 50 points behind the worst students in the economic superstars. Even the best performers in Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh - the top 5 percent who India will need in science and technology to complete globally - were almost 100 points behind the average child in Singapore and 83 points behind the average Korean - and a staggering 250 points behind the best in the best.
The average child in HP & TN is right at the level of the worst OECD or American students (only 1.5 or 7.5 points ahead). Contrary to President Obama's oft-expressed concerns about American students ability to compete with their Indian counterparts, the average 15-year-old Indian placed in an American school would be among the weakest students in the classroom. Even the best TN/HP students are 24 points behind the average American 15 year old.
"Based on the recent PISA test results, Obama may be right about threat from China. But India? I don't agree."
I agree about India with you.
"Based on the recent PISA test results, Obama may be right about threat from China. But India? I don't agree."
I agree about India with you."
How can you compare a survey on one city Shanghai with 80 million combined population of Two large states of India I.E Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, if you want to compare such survey then the City Shanghai data must be compared with cites of India such us Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai or any major metro cities data...I believe any other country from South Asia would be faring badley then HP and TN states of India if state wise test is conducted...
PK: "How can you compare a survey on one city Shanghai with 80 million combined population of Two large states of India I.E Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh,..."
Look at the sample sizes in Table A.4 of ACER PISA results announcement:
Tamil Nadu: 3210
Himachal Pradesh: 1616
These are smaller than Shanghai's 5000 students tested for PISA2009.
And look at the huge gap...China at top vs India at bottom among 74 nations tested by PISA2009.
Please check the results of the past International Maths Olympiad or the physics Olympiad and see where your counrty stands....did not find any article from you critical of you own county's extremely poor performance in these tests...
Shahid: "Please check the results of the past International Maths Olympiad or the physics Olympiad and see where your counrty stands."
Here's some recent news on Pakistani students' participation at Olympiads:
Young Pakistani scholars brought laurels to the country by achieving top honours in International Olympiads of Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics held in different parts of the world.
All four members of the Pakistani team won bronze medals in International Biology Olympiad held in Taiwan from July 10-17, 2011. Two students won bronze medals and two honourable mentions in International Physics Olympiad hosted by Thailand from July 10-18, 2011. Two of the four Pakistani teams won bronze medals while one of them clinched honourable mention in International Chemistry Olympiad held in Turkey from July 10-18, 2011. In the International Mathematics Olympiad held from July 16-24, 2011 in the Netherlands, one student won bronze medal and one honourable mention.
Here's Russian analyst Anatol Karlin on India's prospects and its comparison with China:
It is not a secret to longtime readers of this blog that I rate India’s prospects far more pessimistically than I do China’s. My main reason is I do not share the delusion that democracy is a panacea and that whatever advantage in this sphere India has is more than outweighed by China’s lead in any number of other areas ranging from infrastructure and fiscal sustainability to child malnutrition and corruption. However, one of the biggest and certainly most critical gaps is in educational attainment, which is the most important component of human capital – the key factor underlying all productivity increases and longterm economic growth. China’s literacy rate is 96%, whereas Indian literacy is still far from universal at just 74%.
The big problem, until recently, was that there was no internationalized student testing data for either China or India. (There was data for cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai, but it was not very useful because they are hardly representative of China). An alternative approach was to compare national IQ’s, in which China usually scored 100-105 and India scored in the low 80′s. But this method has methodological flaws because the IQ tests aren’t consistent across countries. (This, incidentally, also makes this approach a punching bag for PC enforcers who can’t bear to entertain the possibility of differing IQ’s across national and ethnic groups).
Many Indians like to see themselves as equal competitors to China, and are encouraged in their endeavour by gushing Western editorials and Tom Friedman drones who praise their few islands of programming prowess – in reality, much of which is actually pretty low-level stuff – and widespread knowledge of the English language (which makes India a good destination for call centers but not much else), while ignoring the various aspects of Indian life – the caste system, malnutrition, stupendously bad schools – that are holding them back. The low quality of Indians human capital reveals the “demographic dividend” that India is supposed to enjoy in the coming decades as the wild fantasies of what Sailer rightly calls ”Davos Man craziness at its craziest.” A large cohort of young people is worse than useless when most of them are functionally illiterate and innumerate; instead of fostering well-compensated jobs that drive productivity forwards, they will form reservoirs of poverty and potential instability.
Instead of buying into their own rhetoric of a “India shining”, Indians would be better served by focusing on the nitty gritty of bringing childhood malnutrition DOWN to Sub-Saharan African levels, achieving the life expectancy of late Maoist China, and moving up at least to the level of a Mexico or Moldova in numeracy and science skills. Because as long as India’s human capital remains at the bottom of the global league tables so will the prosperity of its citizens....
Here's an FT story on PISA in China:
There are two stereotypes about schooling in east Asia: the students work extremely hard, and the learning is by rote. In fact, things are more complicated, as the OECD’s latest global schools survey has shown.
Shanghai came top in the Pisa survey, with three other east Asian territories in the first five. But not all east Asian countries did well, says the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher, adding that it’s innovative thought that is assessed. Shanghai schools aren’t turning children into walking textbooks: they are channelling their ability and enthusaism into exceptional results. How?
Undertaken every three years, the Pisa survey tests 15-year olds, with a rotating focus on maths, reading and science. The emphasis is on broad learning: literacy tests involve reasoning, for example. In the three previous editions – 2000, 2003 and 2006 – Finland came top. But this year, with the focus on reading, Finland was displaced by Shanghai, with South Korea second, Hong Kong fourth and Singapore fifth. (Thousands of children are normally tested in each country; but in China the survey was centred on Shanghai.)
So why did Shanghai do so well? The OECD points to Chinese school reforms: it was impressed by the initiative shown by teachers, who are now better paid, better trained and keen to mould their own curricula. Poor teachers are speedily replaced. China has also expanded school access, and moved away from learning by rote.
The last point is key: Russia performs well in rote-based assessments, but not in Pisa, says Schleicher, head of the indicators and analysis division at the OECD’s directorate for education. China does well in both rote-based and broader assessments.
The OECD also points to cultural factors – widespread expectations of high performance, and pressure from parents. And it’s the interaction between culture and the system that is hard to untangle, says Schleicher.
If schools did well just because of hard work, then countries with similar cultures should see similar results. But Finland beats Sweden by a distance, Shanghai beats Taiwan, and Hong Kong beats Macau. Equally, if the schools themselves were uniquely important, then why do young Chinese immigrants do so well in UK classrooms? Culture and system almost certainly reinforce each other: with a merit-based system stimulating hard work, and vice-versa.
What can the Pisa survey – recognised as authoritative by many education policymakers – say about universities and employment? Schleicher tells beyondbrics that, according to medium-term data from Canada, students who do well on the Pisa survey are very likely to do well in higher education and the job market.
However, that correlation would not necessarily be repeated in China. For one thing, parental pressure eases once students get to universities. For another, Chinese universities have been accused of corruption in how they award degrees – which may undermine the incentives for hard work.
There are other unanswered questions. Is Shanghai the exception or the rule in Chinese school standards? In some countries, major cities underperform the national average, but that seems less likely in China, given the coast-interior disparities. However, the OECD did look at some rural areas, and found they matched Shanghai’s quality.
Second, if school education is so strong in China, is the country at risk of over-educating its youth? South Korea, second in the Pisa list, has an enviable knowledge economy, for example in terms of patent applications. Yet even the mighty chaebol can’t employ all graduates – leaving some to retrain as bakers...
Here's Times of India on Indian textbook distortions about Pakistan:
Pakistan is a part of India and P V Narasimha Rao is the Prime Minister of the country, this is being taught to school students in some states, according to a member of Parliament.
AIADMK member S Semmalai highlighted this in Lok Sabha today while referring to the controversy over Ambedkar cartoon in CBSE textbooks during a discussion on Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Bill, 2011.
"In the CBSE textbooks of Karnataka, it is mentioned even now that Pakistan is a part of India. It went on to state that American constitution is based on capitalism. Class-III students of Urdu medium in Andhra Pradesh are taught that P V Narasimha Rao is the Prime Minister of the country," Semmalai said, evoking laughter all around the House.
Finding further faults with the textbooks, he said, "In the CBSE textbooks, a forest is defined as a group of trees and heavy industry is defined as one where heavy type of raw materials are used."
The member said that only 15 per cent of graduates are suitable for employment and it is a sorry state of affairs. It reflects the poor quality of education at all levels, from primary to higher levels.
He lamented, "If this is the quality and stuff that we provide to our students, one can imagine what will be the standard of our students.
"Unless we make concerted efforts to allocate six per cent of the GDP to education, our goal will remain unreachable," he added.
Here's a Wharton School piece on India's low ranking on innovation index:
Just a few weeks ago, global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) released a study titled, “Will India be the first BRIC fallen angel?” The report suggests that India may become the first “BRIC” country (Brazil, Russia, India and China) to lose its investment grade rating. While it remains to be seen if India can escape this ignominy, the country has earned another dubious distinction: It ranks the lowest among the BRIC nations on the Global Innovation Index 2012.
This innovation index was released recently by the international business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) along with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Alcatel-Lucent and Booz & Co. The index ranks 141 countries on the basis of their innovation capabilities and results. Brazil, Russia and China were ranked 58th, 51st and 34th respectively. India stands at the 64th position, two notches below where the country landed last year.
According to the study, “The innovation front in India continues to be penalized by deficits in human capital and research; infrastructure and business sophistication, where it comes last among BRICs, and in knowledge and technology outputs, where it comes in ahead of Brazil only.” The report also notes that the BRIC countries need to invest further in their innovation capabilities to live up to their expected potential.
Vijay Govindarajan, a professor of international business at Dartmouth College and the first professor-in-residence and chief innovation consultant at General Electric, points out that innovation is critical to India’s future. He suggests that the government must provide seed capital to strengthen applications research and create incentives for universities, research labs and industry to collaborate. “Much is at stake if India does not move up on the Global Innovation Index,” Govindarajan says. “Without business model innovations, India cannot solve the problems for 90% of Indians. Such innovations can then be used to launch global strategies. This is the essence of reverse innovation [innovations adopted first in the developing world] — where India can lead.”
As part of the same report, India is ranked second (behind China) in the global innovation efficiency index. (The innovation efficiency index is the ratio of innovation input and innovation output.) Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general of CII notes that innovation efficiency is “a ratio and not a direct measure …. [This implies that] while India can produce innovation output best in the world when equal amounts of input are fed into its innovation ecosystem, it also needs to strengthen certain innovation drivers that will improve the situation.”
Gopichand Katragadda, managing director of General Electric’s John F. Welch Technology Center in Bangalore adds: “The results of the study point to the fact that, in India, the innovation ecosystem (input) is poor while the knowledge/creative output under the constraints is good. One interpretation of this is that we need better government measures on regulations, education and infrastructure to tap the demonstrated potential of talented people.”
According to Katragadda, if India does not get its act together on the innovation front, the country could lose the opportunity “to make this a century of Indian innovation, tapping into the brilliant technical minds of the region.”
Here's an interesting except from a Chinese blog on the subject:
Recently, this topic made its rounds in the U.S. media because PISA had just released its 2009 report – ranking the effectiveness of education among the top industrialized nations around the world. (See “PISA 2009 Results.”)
What has caught the media’s attention is “China’s” surprise topping of this ranking. Here, the NYT reports, “Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators.” Though I won’t call the NYT article ‘propaganda’, since the content of the article seems balanced, but readers must absolutely bear in mind that the “China” results are only from a highly advanced city. Whereas the U.S. results are country-wide.
To be fair to the NYT article, it does say “Shanghai” in the headline, not “China.”
If PISA had taken a report from just a certain town in Massachusetts or from one of the top cities across America, I guarantee you the U.S. ranking would be in the first place or near the first place.
Is the U.S. media turning this PISA 2009 report into a “China threat” and using it as an excuse to try to improve the education system in the United States? Keep this question in mind as you read articles related to this report.
Here's an ET piece by Aakar Patel on why Indian kids do well in spelling bees in US:
The annual ritual where Indians demonstrate they are smarter than all other Americans is the National Spelling Bee.
So dominant are the Indians in this school competition that they have been winners eight times in the last 10 years. If anything, this trend is becoming even more pronounced. Indians took the first spot in each of the last five years and all three top places in this year’s contest that finished on May 31.
What explains this total dominance of Indians, who are only one per cent of America’s population? It is hardly the case that we speak or write English better than Europeans or Americans. How are Indians so good with difficult words?
The online magazine Slate explored this subject in 2010 in their “Explainer” column. The writer concluded that the effort of an organisation called the North South Foundation was responsible.
This body of expatriate Indians conducted local spelling and other contests that made Indian children better. These contests were very competitive, therefore, giving Indians both experience and an edge when they took the national stage. The Slate writer doesn’t explore why it is that Indians are so enthusiastic about this particular contest in the first place.
The fact is that it plays to their strength, which is learning by rote. Memorising tracts is and has always been the Indian way of acquiring knowledge. It is also the way in which learning is examined in Indian schools. Answers to questions about history, geography and even science that aligned word for word with what the textbook said got you full marks when I was a child, and this hasn’t changed.
Indians have a word in each of their languages for this sort of learning. It is called ratta in Hindi, for instance, and gokh in Gujarati. It refers to reading, repeatedly reciting, and thereby, memorising whole pages of prose.
This may not be a good way of learning, if it is learning at all, but this has always been the case in India. Hindus developed a complex system of memorising and reciting the entire Rig Veda so that it would not be lost in the period before literacy.
Even today, Indian adults consider it an act of learning to be able to put on display their ability to be mug up. Stephen Cohen wrote about this in his book India: Emerging power. He remarked that there was a difference in styles when Indian and American diplomats negotiated. Indians took pride in recounting the minutiae of events in the past, dates and background and that sort of thing. This was done, Cohen felt, for no reason other than to show that there was mastery over the subject. Americans, on the other hand, were focussed only on the issue at hand.
It is true that all students, whether Indian or not, must memorise to be able to do well in America’s National Spelling Bee. A Washington Post report before the finals quoted one American child’s mother saying that her son had studied for 8,000 hours in preparation.
This advantage Indians have of being able to find the time and motivation to commit things to memory is not particularly useful outside of things like spelling contests. It is of no use in thinking about problems and solutions. I would say it is the reason why the output of our colleges and universities is low on quality (India’s software body NASSCOM says nine out of 10 Indian engineering graduates who apply to one of the big four software firms are rejected as being unemployable).
So while India’s dominance of the National Spelling Bee puts on display its middle class values, it also showcases the problems of its system of education.
Here's a TOI story of dearth of research in India:
NEW DELHI: At a time when India is being looked at as the next big knowledge superpower, this could come as a shocker. Just 3.5% of global research output in 2010 was actually from India. In most disciplines, India's share in global research output was actually much below this overall average count.
Sample this - India's share of world research output in clinical medicine was a meagre 1.9% in 2010, 0.5% in psychiatry, 1.4% in neurosciences, 1.8% in immunology, 2.1% in molecular biology and just 3.5% in environmental research.
In mathematics, India's share of world output stood at around 2% in 2010 while it was 17% for China. In case of materials sciences, India's share of world research stood at 6.4% in 2010 while China's stood at 26% -- a rise from 5% in 1996.
While India's research on physics stood at 4.6% in 2010, China's stood at 19%.
In 2010, India's largest shares of world research output were in chemistry (6.5%), materials science (6.4%), agricultural sciences (6.2%), pharmacology and toxicology (6.1%), microbiology (4.9%), physics (4.6%) and engineering (4.2%).
India is often referred to as the next big place for computer sciences. But the figures on its research is abysmally low. Only 2.4% of global research on computer sciences was from India in 2010 while the world share moved to three emerging research economies - China 15%, Korea 6.3% and Taiwan 5.7%.
India's global share of research in economics stood at 0.7% in 2010 while in social sciences it was worse - 0.6%.
The biggest declines in volume of research between 1981 and 2010 were in plant and animal sciences (-2.2%) and agricultural sciences (-1.6%). The most significant expansions were in pharmacology and toxicology (+4.2%), microbiology (+3.2%) and materials sciences (+3.1%).
These are the findings of the study on India's research output and collaboration conducted by Thomson Reuters and recently submitted to the department of science and technology.
"India has been the sleeping giant of Asia. Research in the university sector, stagnant for at least two decades, is now accelerating but it will be a long haul to restore India as an Asian knowledge hub. Indian higher education is faced with powerful dilemmas and difficult choices - public/private, access/equity, uncertain regulation, different teaching standards and contested research quality," the report said.
According to it, India's share of world output in engineering fell from 4.3% in 1981 to 2.2% by 1995. India later regained its lost share, increasing to 4.25 by 2010. However, even then, India was overtaken by China (16.4%), Korea (5.4%) and Taiwan (4.4%).
India, where agriculture dominates economic standards, had quite a large share in agricultural sciences which averaged 7.45% over the 1981 to 1995 period, well ahead of other emerging research economies. Its share, however, fell to 6.2% in 2010. Even in the field of plant and animal sciences, the global research output fell from 6.1% in 1981 to 3.9% in 2010.
The report said, "India has a long and distinguished history as a country of knowledge, learning and innovation. In the recent past, however, it has failed to realize its undoubted potential as a home for world class research."
It added, "During the 1980s and 90s, the output of India's research was almost static while other countries grew rapidly, particularly in Asia. China expanded with an intensity and drive that led it rapidly to overtake leading European countries in the volume of its research publications. India is just beginning on this gradient."
India has decided to drop out of 2012 PISA, report Steve Sailor and Times of India:
I always try to keep up on China and India test score news, since the topic offers us important clues about the future of the world. From the Times of India:
After an earlier, embarrassing show, India has backed out of this year's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a global evaluation process by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat that gauges where schoolchildren stand alongside their peers from other countries.
This academic Olympics measures the performance of 15-year-olds in their reading, math and science abilities.
... In the last assessment, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, showpieces of India's education and development, were put through the PISA evaluation and they performed miserably. The idea was that the entire country would participate in the next round of assessment. However, that plan was also dropped.
Here are some excuses for poor performance as reported in The Indian Express:
Just why did Indians perform so badly at the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as to stand at the bottom of the ladder? The government thinks it is not a reflection on the country’s schooling. Advised by the NCERT, the HRD Ministry has concluded that India trailed in the international rankings because of the questions posed.
Terming these out of context, the government will take up the issue with organisers of PISA before deciding on full-scale participation in the test for 2012, with students from 10 of its states.
Incidentally, PISA results were reaffirmed by NGO Pratham’s annual ASER report on learning levels of schoolchildren.
Why ATM, air Bag questions: officials
The NCERT in its report concluded that “non-exposure of students (especially in rural areas) towards the items tested in PISA” was a critical factor in the poor performance by Indian students. They cited questions relating to ATMs and use of air bags in cars.
Here's Business Standard on declining reading skills among Indian students:
Five out of 10 school students of class V in rural India cannot solve simple arithmetic problems, says a nationwide survey on education.
Putting a question mark on the quality of education imparted, the findings of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASAR) said while in 2010 more than half of class V students were able to read class II level texts, the proportion came down to 46.8 per cent in 2012.
"The decline in reading levels is more visible among children in government schools as compared to those in private schools... It has fallen from 50.7 per cent in 2010 to 41.7 per cent in 2010," the report prepared by Pratham, a voluntary organisation, said.
HRD Minister M M Pallam, who released the report, expressed his "dismay" over some of the findings even as he dismissed suggestion that the decline was due to introduction of contentious and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) process in classrooms.
"... I will certainly not attribute it to the factor of CCE," he said after president of Pratham Education Foundation Madhav Chavan sought to highlight CCE for some of the negative indicators.
Raju also appeared to play down the findings of the report, saying it is a "dipstick survey".
He said the ministry has its own NCERT survey conducted every three years though he acknowledged that the survey underscores that "it is important we all work together".
The report was based on a survey carried out in rural schools across 567 districts and covering about six lakh children in the age of 3-16.
Highlighting the declining reading level, the report said that while seven out of 10 children (70.9 per cent) in class 5 were able to solve simple two-digit subtraction problem, it declined to five out of 10 (53.5 per cent) in 2012.
Here are a few excerpts of a recent NY Times Op Ed by Rakesh Mani on sad state of education in India:
It is now almost four years since I first walked through a series of winding by-lanes in a Mumbai slum toward my new job as a teacher at a low-income school. I was forced to confront India’s educational inequities squarely in the eye. Students filed into a dilapidated old school building, and my own musty classroom, crammed with cupboards, barely left any room to move.
What was more jarring than my physical surroundings, however, was the magnitude of my students’ achievement gap. Only a handful of my third-grade students could read first-grade books, and almost all struggled with elementary arithmetic. Despite this being an English-language school, few teachers – and fewer students – could speak the language at all. Indeed, most of my students were unable to recognize basic alphabets or perform simple addition.
This was compounded by the sobering fact that families in my slum scrounged to send their kids – boys and girls – to the very best schools they could afford. Why? Because they recognized that education was their only weapon against penury and struggle. They dreamed of their children going on to build livelihoods in a burgeoning economy and pulling them out of the slums.
Rubina, a fourth grade student at the Umedbhai Patel School in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in this Aug., 2010 photo.Courtesy of Rakesh Mani Rubina, a fourth grade student at the Umedbhai Patel School in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in this Aug., 2010 photo.
Unfortunately, the poor quality of instruction (and high levels of teacher absenteeism) across the proliferation of shoddy schools ensures that they will hardly be able to compete – whether for university admissions or for jobs – with students who can afford expensive, high-quality schooling. Moreover, according to the National Family Health Survey, India now has the highest rate of child malnourishment on the planet – almost twice that of sub-Saharan Africa.
The situation across the rest of the country is not much different – according to recent figures, 4 percent of Indian children never start school, 57 percent don’t complete primary school and almost 90 percent — around 172 million — will not complete secondary school. These numbers should deeply anger Indians and force them to question society’s priorities and values.
In just a few more decades, the implications of India’s apathy will have profound implications – not just within the country, but around the world as well.
Here's a piece by Thane Richard, a Brown University student who did a semester abroad at St. Stephens College in India:
To pause for a moment, here is the problem with me talking about this topic: right now many Indians reading this are starting to feel defensive. “Nationalist” is a term I have heard as a self-description as they defend Mother India from the bigoted, criticising foreigner. They focus on me rather than the problem. I have had people unfriend me on Facebook and walk out on meals because I politely expressed an opinion on politics or history that went against the publicly consented “Indian opinion.” For a nation that prides itself on the 17 languages printed on its currency, I am greeted with remarkable intolerance. Even after living in India for close to three years, attending an Indian college, working for an Indian company, founding an Indian company, paying taxes in India, and making India my home, I am not Indian enough to speak my mind. But in a nation that rivals all others in the breadth of its human diversity, who is Indian enough? Because if loyalty and a feeling of patriotism were the barometers for “Indianness,” rather than skin colour or a government document, then I would easily be a dual U.S.-Indian citizen. This Indian defensiveness is false nationalism. It is not a stance that cares about India, it is one that cares about what others think of India, which is not nationalism. That is narcissism.
My voice should be drowned out by the millions around me who are disappointed with how they have been short-changed by the Indian government — their government. Education is one of the most poignant examples of this and serves as great dinner conversation amongst the elite:
“The Indian education system is lost in the past and failing India.” Everyone at the table nods, mumbles their concurrence, and cites the most recent Economist article or Pricewaterhouse Cooper study on the matter in order to masquerade as informed.
“Yes, how sad.”
“Yes, how terrible.”
“Yes, India must fix this.”
Yet amongst my fellow Indian education alumni, I mostly hear a deafening silence when it comes to action. What is remarkable is that all students in India know what I am talking about. They know and are coping: Indian students are taking their useless Indian liberal arts degrees and going abroad to get real ones that signify a real education. A real education being one that challenges the intellect and questions paradigms, not one of rote memorisation and conformity. Or, as was the case with my Indian friends at Brown, they skip India altogether. Sure, I took some unimpressive classes at Brown and no curriculum is perfect, but Indian students should be demanding more. Much more.
We are entering a year of politics and elections. Movement against the inertia of regressive forces is an atavistic trait in young Indians and the students of St. Stephen’s have much to gain from change. Instead of just the promise and illusion of an amazing liberal arts education, imagine if my teachers had actually taught their classes? Whoa. If the end is knowledge, then St. Stephen’s students would win big. Yet, when it comes to change, the students wrote the following:
“Education in India awaits a rescue from the hands of such figures [The Principal].”
Who, may I ask, do you hope to be your rescuers? Your representatives in government? Your parents? The characters from Rang De Basanti?
One lesson that no college is very good at teaching is that in life you should not expect others to fight your battles for you. While higher education is a public good and has champions in the private and public world, students are the ultimate stakeholders.
Here's a NY Times story on study of creativity:
A gift for spatial reasoning — the kind that may inspire an imaginative child to dismantle a clock or the family refrigerator — may be a greater predictor of future creativity or innovation than math or verbal skills, particularly in math, science and related fields, according to a study published Monday in the journal Psychological Science.
The study looked at the professional success of people who, as 13-year-olds, had taken both the SAT, because they had been flagged as particularly gifted, as well as the Differential Aptitude Test. That exam measures spatial relations skills, the ability to visualize and manipulate two-and three-dimensional objects. While math and verbal scores proved to be an accurate predictor of the students’ later accomplishments, adding spatial ability scores significantly increased the accuracy.
The researchers, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said their findings make a strong case for rewriting standardized tests like the SAT and ACT to focus more on spatial ability, to help identify children who excel in this area and foster their talents.
“Evidence has been mounting over several decades that spatial ability gives us something that we don’t capture with traditional measures used in educational selection,” said David Lubinski, the lead author of the study and a psychologist at Vanderbilt. “We could be losing some modern-day Edisons and Fords.”
Following up on a study from the 1970s, Dr. Lubinski and his colleagues tracked the professional progress of 563 students who had scored in the top 0.5 percent on the SAT 30 years ago, when they were 13. At the time, the students had also taken the Differential Aptitude Test.
Years later, the children who had scored exceptionally high on the SAT also tended to be high achievers — not surprisingly — measured in terms of the scholarly papers they had published and patents that they held. But there was an even higher correlation with success among those who had also scored highest on the spatial relations test, which the researchers judged to be a critical diagnostic for achievement in technology, engineering, math and science.
Cognitive psychologists have long suspected that spatial ability — sometimes referred to as the “orphan ability” for its tendency to go undetected — is key to success in technical fields. Earlier studies have shown that students with a high spatial aptitude are not only overrepresented in those fields, but may receive little guidance in high school and underachieve as a result. (Note to parents: Legos and chemistry sets are considered good gifts for the spatial relations set.)
The correlation has “been suspected, but not as well researched” as the predictive power of math skills, said David Geary, a psychologist at the University of Missouri, who was not involved in the study, which was funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The new research is significant, he said, for showing that “high levels of performance in STEM fields” — science, technology, engineering and math — “are not simply related to math abilities.”...
Here are OECD's PISA 2012 results released on Dec 3, 2013:
03/12/2013 - Asian countries outperform the rest of the world in the OECD’s latest PISA survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world’s 15-year-olds.
The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science. The main focus was on maths. Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings.
Shanghai-China, and Singapore were top in maths, with students in Shanghai scoring the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling above most OECD countries. Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Macao-China, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands were also in the group of top-performing countries.
“With high levels of youth unemployment, rising inequality and a pressing need to boost growth in many countries, it’s more urgent than ever that young people learn the skills they need to succeed,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría during the launch in Washington D.C. “In a global economy, competitiveness and future job prospects will depend on what people can do with what they know. Young people are the future, so every country must do everything it can to improve its education system and the prospects of future generations.”
The survey reveals several features of the best education systems. Top performers, notably in Asia, place great emphasis on selecting and training teachers, encourage them to work together and prioritise investment in teacher quality, not classroom sizes. They also set clear targets and give teachers autonomy in the classroom to achieve them.
Children whose parents have high expectations perform better: they tend to try harder, have more confidence in their own ability and are more motivated to learn.
Of those 64 countries with trend data in maths up to 2012, 25 improved in maths, 25 showed no change and 14 did worse. Brazil, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey have shown a consistent improvement over this period. Shanghai-China and Singapore improved on their already strong performance in 2009.
Italy, Poland and Portugal also increased their share of top performers and reduced their share of low performers. Germany, Mexico and Turkey also managed to improve the performance of their weakest students, many of whom came from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This shows that countries can simultaneously improve equity and raise performance.
Giving every child the chance to succeed is essential, says the OECD. 23% of students in OECD countries, and 32% overall, failed to master the simplest maths problems. Without these basic skills, they are most likely to leave school early and face a difficult future. Some countries have succeeded in helping underperformers: Colombia, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Mexico and Poland have put in place systems to identify and support struggling students and schools early, and have seen the PISA scores of this group increase...
Indian IQ might be as low as 74:
India also has not participated in a recent student assessment study, with the exception of the states of Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Both states have advanced education and income levels (Suryanarayana, Agrawal, & Prabhu, 2011, Table 1, p. 16). If there is any divergence from the Indian average, test scores in both states should be higher than the national average. Nevertheless, the low raw results (327–345 SAS points, or 74–77 IQ) are astonishing. To address the likely higher than average scores in the above states, we cautiously correct the results by subtracting 10 SAS points (equal to d = 0.10 or 1.50 IQ). [Source:Coyle, T R (2013), Spearman's Law of Diminishing Returns and national ability, Personality and Individual Differences, vol:55 iss:4 pg:406 -410]
@narendramodi #India textbooks: "#Japan nuked #USA", "Cutting trees raised CO3", "Gandhiji killed on Oct 30 1948" http://bbc.in/MTXTf2
Indian Textbooks: Suez canal is called "Sewage Canal", Africans are referred to as "Ni****" . This is what they learn
- Africans are referred to as N*****s throughout the textbook
- Iconic Russian author Alexander Pushkin has been referred to as Alexandria Pushkin
- Page 6 defines globalization as: When world is improving its economic condition has effected the world that is called world economy.
- The International Labour Organisation is called the International Workers' Union
- Hungary is spelt 'Hungery', Bulgaria as 'Bulgeria' and the Warsaw Treaty as 'Warsa Treaty'
- National Integration is referred to as National Integrity
- The book mentions that the Triple Alliance was between England, France and Russia and the Triple Entente between Germany, Italy and Austria. It was actually the exact opposite.
- On page 7, the book mentions that the Kanagawa Treaty was signed between Japanese Prime Minister Tokugawa Shogun and America. Tokugawa Shogun was what the military government was called.
- On page 23, the textbook refers to a political issue between Sweden-Finland and Holland whereas the issue was between Sweden-Finland and the Aland Islands
- On page 26, the League of Nations has been referred to as the United Nations in the book
A section on the Importance of Computer on Page 63 reads: Computer has become a super friend not only of Indians but of the whole human race.
It is so familiar as though one of the indispensable family members of our family. It is equally important to get acquainted and introduced with such an important friend... Where there is computer there is work and where there is work there is career is becoming the motto.
Such has grown the importance of the computer in human life as though the man will have to survive on the oxygen of the computer in future. It is becoming the life saving breath to us. Its inevitability has grown through its need and its ultra importance through its inevitability.
While explaining its importance, it can be stated as 'computer to literacy' and 'ethics to internet' have become the aims of life...All latest information regarding its birth, its kinds, spread, intimation is up to date with us...
The newly released Std III Geography textbook has also drawn flak from teachers. The Mumbai Geography Teachers Association (MGTA) has pointed out that a map on page 55 shows Backbay printed in place of Colaba while the Vasai and Malad creeks have been marked on land. Also, the map shows something called the Worli river, which does not exist. The MGTA has written to Balbharti about these errors.
The other side
When mid-day contacted state education chairman G K Mamane about these errors, he said, "The errors have been rectified and if the teachers find any more errors, they can write to us and we will issue clarifications in our monthly magazine." http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/maharashtra-s-shame-africans-are-referred-to-as-n-s-in-ssc-textbook-538369?site=classic
#WorldBank finds #Pakistan's grade 5 and 8 students are better at math than their counterparts in #India. #education
Student achievement levels are generally low throughout the region, except for
Sri Lanka. A significant proportion of school leavers do not achieve minimum
mastery of mathematics, reading, and language as defined by national governments.
For example, in India, on a test of reading comprehension administered to grade 5
students across the country, only 46 percent of students were correctly able to
identify the cause of an event (NCERT 2011). Only a third of students could
compute the difference between two decimal numbers (NCERT 2011). Another
recent study found that about 43 percent of grade 8 students could not solve a
simple division problem. Even recognition of two-digit numbers, supposed to be
taught in grade 2, tends to be achieved only by grade 4 or 5 (ASER-India 2011).
In Pakistan, the ASER 2011 assessment also found that arithmetic competence
was very low in absolute terms (figure O.4). For instance, only 37 percent
of grade 5 students in rural Pakistan could divide a three-digit by a single-digit
number. By grade 8, only 72 percent could perform simple division.
Unfortunately, although more children are in school, the region still has a
major learning challenge in that the children are not acquiring basic skills. For
example, only 50 percent of grade 3 students in Punjab, Pakistan, have a complete grasp of grade 1 mathematics (Andrabi et al. 2007). In India, on a test of reading comprehension administered to grade 5 students across the country, only 46 percent were able to correctly identify the cause of an event, and only a third of the students could compute the difference between two decimal numbers (NCERT 2011). Another recent study found that about 43 percent of grade 8 students could not solve a simple division problem. Even recognition of two-digit numbers, supposed to be taught in grade 2, is often not achieved until grade 4 or 5 (Pratham 2011). In Bangladesh, only 25 percent of fifth-grade students have mastered Bangla and 33 percent have mastered the mathematics competencies specified in the national curriculum (World Bank 2013). In the current environment, there is little evidence that learning outcomes will improve by simply increasing school inputs in a business-as-usual manner (Muralidharan and Zieleniak 2012).
In rural Pakistan, the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2011 assessment
suggests, arithmetic competency is very low in absolute terms (figure 2.1).
For instance, only 37 percent of grade 5 students can divide three-digit numbers
by a single-digit number (and only 27 percent in India); and 28 percent of
grade 8 students cannot perform simple division. Unlike in rural India, however,
in rural Pakistan recognition of two-digit numbers is widespread by grade 3
(SAFED 2012). The Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS)
survey—a 2003 assessment of 12,000 children in grade 3 in the province—also
found that children were performing significantly below curricular standards
(Andrabi et al. 2007). Most could not answer simple math questions, and many
children finished grade 3 unable to perform mathematical operations covered
in the grade 1 curriculum (figure 2.2). A 2009 assessment of 40,000 grade
4 students in the province of Sindh similarly found that while 74 percent of
students could add two numbers, only 49 percent could subtract two numbers
Buried inside the bad news is a glimmer of what could be considered hope for Pakistan's grade 5 and 8 students outperforming their counterparts in India. While 72% of Pakistan's 8th graders can do simple division, the comparable figure for Indian 8th graders is just 57%. Among 5th graders, 63% of Pakistanis and 73% of Indians CAN NOT divide a 3 digit number by a single digit number, according to the World Bank report titled "Student Learning in South Asia: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Priorities".
Here are some excepts from the World Bank report:
Unfortunately, although more children are in school, the region still has a major learning challenge in that the children are not acquiring basic skills. For example, only 50 percent of grade 3 students in Punjab, Pakistan, have a complete grasp of grade 1 mathematics (Andrabi et al. 2007). In India, on a test of reading comprehension administered to grade 5 students across the country, only 46 percent were able to correctly identify the cause of an event, and only a third of the students could compute the difference between two decimal numbers (NCERT 2011). Another recent study found that about 43 percent of grade 8 students could not solve a simple division problem. Even recognition of two-digit numbers, supposed to be taught in grade 2, is often not achieved until grade 4 or 5 (Pratham 2011). In Bangladesh, only 25 percent of fifth-grade students have mastered Bangla and 33 percent have mastered the mathematics competencies specified in the national curriculum (World Bank 2013). In the current environment, there is little evidence that learning outcomes will improve by simply increasing school inputs in a business-as-usual manner (Muralidharan and Zieleniak 2012).
In rural Pakistan, the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2011 assessment suggests, arithmetic competency is very low in absolute terms. For instance, only 37 percent of grade 5 students can divide three-digit numbers by a single-digit number (and only 27 percent in India); and 28 percent of grade 8 students cannot perform simple division. Unlike in rural India, however, in rural Pakistan recognition of two-digit numbers is widespread by grade 3 (SAFED 2012). The Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) survey—a 2003 assessment of 12,000 children in grade 3 in the province—also found that children were performing significantly below curricular standards (Andrabi et al. 2007). Most could not answer simple math questions, and many children finished grade 3 unable to perform mathematical operations covered in the grade 1 curriculum. A 2009 assessment of 40,000 grade 4 students in the province of Sindh similarly found that while 74 percent of students could add two numbers, only 49 percent could subtract two numbers (PEACE 2010).
India's lost generation: A systemic risk?
Singaporean Thomas Ong, a director at a local private equity firm, recently got invited as a guest lecturer at a private college in Jaipur, India. "I had heard stories about India's young people with 'excellent academic and English speaking skills' but what I encountered was the complete opposite," he said.
Not one student in a class of 100 has ever heard of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Most students could not understand, let alone speak fluent English. "The only question they had at the end the lecture was how to find a job at home or abroad," Ong said.
His account is anecdotal evidence of what human resource experts, corporate leaders and countless surveys have been highlighting over the past few years - that despite India's huge talent pool of graduates, few are equipped with skills to be gainfully employed.
According to a survey conducted by Aspiring Minds, an entrepreneurial initiative in preparing youth for employability, as many as 83 percent of graduating engineers in 2013 could not find jobs, given their poor English language and cognitive skills.
In fact, only 2.6 percent of graduates in India were recruited in functional roles like accounting, 15.9 percent in sales-related roles and 21.3 percent in the business process outsourcing sector. "Nearly 47 percent of Indian graduates are unemployable in any sector, irrespective of their academic degrees," noted Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and COO of Aspiring Minds.
The statistics run counter to the perception that India's relatively youthful population could help reap demographic dividends for the country down the line.
For India however, the reality on the ground couldn't be more different. "It is not unusual to see graduates employed as security guards, driver or waiters in restaurants, given the poor standards of education. So what demographic dividend are we talking of? The generation coming of age in the 1920s faces the greatest underemployment ever in history," said Anil Sachdev, a human resources specialist and career coach.
The fault appears to lie in the dismal education standards in India. As little as 10- 12 percent of the 15-29 year-old age group in India receives any formal or informal training compared with to 28 percent in Mexico or 96 percent in South Korea.
For tertiary education, none of the 42 central universities in India feature in the most recent QS list of best 200 colleges in the world. In the rankings of the best MBA schools by the Financial Times, the prestigious Indian School of Business has fallen six places to the 36th spot this year and Indian names are conspicuously missing in the top 25 places.
Analysts say a lack of occupational focus in the degrees offered by local universities could be partly to blame. Some 82 percent of the enrolment is in arts, sciences and commerce programs rather than specific skill-based courses. Even among the engineering and management colleges, less than 25 percent can apply theoretical knowledge to functional areas, given the emphasis on rote learning and theory in the education system, says Aggarwal. The situation progressively deteriorates moving into the tier 2-3 towns from the metros.
"Excessive government regulation, outmoded curricula and a drop in the standards of teaching have led to a deterioration in the standards of education so much so that India's demographic dividend may well turn out to be a demographic disaster," said Pramath Sinha, co-founder of the new-age Ashoka University and ex-dean of Indian School of Business, the country's first public private initiative to bridge jobs and employability gap.
Why Indian education sucks:
10. Changes way too often.
changes way to often
The school system of SSC board has changed so very often. Starting with total suspension of exams till 8th grade, moving to grading system from marking system, changing the mid-term exams from twice a year to eight times a year, introducing orals and internals in the boards, the changes are frequent and unpredictable. ...
9. Just eat it and puke.
just eat and puke
The entire Indian educated student will agree that the ‘learning’ is different from its definition. When we were told to learn it does not understand the content it is mugging it, memorizing it and writing it down verbatim. The prowess of the learned content is fearsome for the poems and stories of past are still embedded in our minds forever. The horror of forgetting one word in the answer, the danger of deviating from the answers was life-threatening. ...
8. no practical experiences
The actual implementation of techniques learned right from school through grad school is practically absent. The techniques we learn are bookish knowledge. The charts we make as projects have little or no significant relation with the education process. The Grad school experience of engineering starts with diagrammatic representation of gramophone and ends with advanced technical drawings. We are too rigid to enter into the real world. And the substantial time we waste into the drawings is something we need to divert into practicality. Life will be easier then.
7. Pit us against each other.
pit us against each other
From an early age, we are taught that there is only one and one winner alone. We fight for that top slot in class, the trophy, the race, the position of the leader, best sportsman and everything. We befriend people based on the ranks and grades. This instinct continues into our college days, our bachelor’s degree and further into our lives. Sportsmanship is not a strong suit taught in the education institutes for we are only taught to run the race to bet others not to win.
6. No unity in this diversity.
No unity in diversity
The Indian scenario plays an important role in our education culture. Few districts and states are notoriously famous for their tolerance of the cheating, proxies and free degrees. The system is degraded and this leads too many feeling cheated of fair competition. The paper checking method is laughable. The environments of private schools and colleges are closed to government watches giving them excess liberty. We learn politics right from school just by experience, ignorance protects us.
4. Sports are absent.
sports are absent
Apart from few schools where sports actually mean something, majority of schools uses the P.E lecture to conduct few games. The seriousness of this slot in school timetable is negligible....
3. Technology deficient.
We are taught the computer in 3rd grade around. We learn basic languages which are practically off the market. The syllabus of computers was something we barely made through. The course included techniques so old that it is practically obsolete in this day and time. The comparison with western country will put us to shame. The kids there are in sync with technology from age of 3. We need to step up our games. We still write every single word and submit the papers . At-least the Grad and PG level demands the use of computers and laptops in the everyday classes. We need to start refusing papers and start going digital.The world is going digital and we are being left behind. Indian Education system needs to incorporate these changes in its system and fast!
2. English Please.
Studies show that even the engineers can’t spell out properly. They are weak in Basic English and this is after clearing four year grad school in the same language.
1. Just study
How many of us have given up on arts and crafts and dance and sports due to education and board exams.
Cheating in school tests is an old Indian problem.
But the malpractice literally scaled new heights this week in the eastern state of Bihar when relatives of 10th-grade students climbed the wall of a school building and perched precariously from windows of classrooms as they handed cheat sheets to children writing the tests inside.
Photographs and videos showing parents, friends and others scaling the school wall — Spiderman-style — went viral in India on Thursday. Police officers standing nearby watched helplessly.
Cheating is common in schools in remote rural areas in India, where jobs and seats in college courses are few but competition is fierce. But the sight of parents risking their life and limbs to climb the walls shocked many Indians.
Under Bihar’s anti-cheating law, dozens of 12th-grade students were expelled and their parents detained last month in cases of cheating in tests.
Many students in India drop out of school because they fail to pass the tough standardized tests in their 10th and 12th grades.
Education experts say that cheating is just a symptom of the deeper problems that plague India's education system, such as teacher absenteeism, emphasis on rote learning and inadequate school infrastructure.
A recent study by the Pratham Education Foundation showed that only 48 percent of fifth-grade students could read a second-grade textbook.
“According to the reports we received, there have been complaints about cheating in many places, especially in rural areas,” P.K. Sahi, education minister of Bihar, told reporters on Thursday. “Is this just the responsibility of the government? Is it possible for the government to conduct fair tests without public support? You tell us what can the government do to stop cheating if parents and relatives are not ready to cooperate?”
Authorities expelled nearly 500 students from the tests, according to local media reports.
#India parents climbed a school wall to help their kids cheat on an exam http://wpo.st/_fZ90
Finally, #India will produce fewer lousy, incapable engineers every year http://qz.com/506579 via @qzindia
India’s epidemic of lousy engineering colleges, which churned out millions of substandard engineers, may finally be ending.
The country’s technical education regulator, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), is planning to reduce over 600,000 engineering seats in colleges across India.
“We would like to bring it (engineering seats) down to between 10 lakh and 11 lakh (one million and 1.1 million) from a little over 16.7 lakh now,” Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman of the AICTE, told the Mint newspaper.
The dismal quality of education at many of the country’s existing engineering colleges is one of the main reasons behind AICTE’s decision. The regulatory body plans to close down certain colleges and reduce the number seats in some others over the next few years.
“It is the colleges that are coming forward for closure. We are facilitating closure if the colleges are not able to manage with hardly 20-30% seats filled because these colleges become non-viable,” Sahasrabudhe told Quartz in an email.
This year alone, about 556 engineering courses or departments across colleges in India have closed down, according to AICTE.
The rise and fall of engineering
Engineering has been one of the most sought after professions in Asia’s third largest economy, where more than a million engineers graduate every year. India saw a boom in technical education after it opened up its economy in 1991, which allowed the IT sector to thrive.
The mid-1990s saw a huge spike in the number of engineering graduates, as the demand for them increased in sectors ranging from IT to infrastructure.
The phenomenal rise in engineering degrees also lead to a boom in the technical education sector with private colleges mushrooming all across the country. In the 2015 financial year, India had 3,389 graduate engineering colleges (pdf).
But the quality of engineering graduates in India is woeful. In fact, in 2011, Nasscom, the trade association of IT and business processing units, had estimated that only 25% of India’s IT engineering graduates were actually employable.
The result is that many graduates can’t find employment after earning their degrees. Last year, a study by Aspiring Minds (pdf), a firm that rates and evaluates employment, said that only 18.43% of the total engineers who graduate every year are employable in the IT sector. Only 7.49% are employable in core engineering jobs like mechanical, electronics and civil engineering.
Leading companies in technology and other sectors prefer to hire students only from a handful of engineering schools such as the the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and some private institutions.
#Vietnam's high PISA scores cause a stir. #Vietnames kids rank near top; #India kids at bottom on PISA tests http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/753840/vietnam-high-pisa-scores-cause-a-stir …
Vietnam's performance in the latest round of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) has created a stir among education experts and policymakers around the world. The country's 15-year...
When compared to student performance in India, a country with similar per capita GDP, 47% of grade 5 pupils were unable to subtract even two-digit numbers.
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Over 80% of #engineering graduates in #India unemployable: Study. #Modi #BJP http://toi.in/gj-gBY via @toi_tech
ere seems to be a significant skill gap in the country as 80% of the engineering graduates are "unemployable," says a report, highlighting the need for an upgraded education and training system.
Educational institutions train millions of youngsters but corporates often complain that they do not get the necessary skill and talent required for a job.
According to Aspiring Minds National Employability Report, which is based on a study of more than 1,50,000 engineering students who graduated in 2015 from over 650 colleges, 80% of the them are unemployable.
"Engineering has become the de-facto graduate degree for a large chunk of students today. However, along with improving the education standards, it is quintessential that we evolve our undergraduate programmes to make them more job centric," Aspiring Minds CTO Varun Aggarwal said.
In terms of cities, Delhi continues to produce the highest number of employable engineers, followed by Bengaluru and the western parts of the country, the report said.
#India's population explosion will make or break its economy. Not enough jobs and huge skills gap #BJP http://cnnmon.ie/1V1p0FL via @CNNMoney
unless India makes big improvements in how it educates and trains students, this demographic boom could instead saddle the country with another generation of unskilled workers destined to languish in low-paying jobs.
The need to train workers up -- and quickly -- is paramount. Currently only 2% of India's workers have received formal skills training, according to Ernst & Young. That compares with 68% in the U.K., 75% in Germany and 96% in South Korea.
It's a problem spread across industries. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors estimates that in 2010, India needed nearly 4 million civil engineers, but only 509,000 professionals had the right skills for the jobs. By 2020, India will have only 778,000 civil engineers for 4.6 million slots.
There is a similar gap among architects. India will have only 17% of the 427,000 professionals it needs in 2020.
The problem? The RICS found that India's education and professional development system has not kept pace with economic growth and is in "dire need for reform."
In industry after industry, the same story is repeated. A recent survey by Aspiring Minds, which tracks workforce preparedness, found that more than 80% of India's engineering graduates in 2015 were "unemployable."
"The quality of training offered in most colleges is not at par with the high demands generated by tech industries," said Preet Rustagi, a labor economist at the Institute for Human Development. "There is no regulatory body that keep checks on the quality of education."
Critics say India's universities are too focused on rote memorization, leaving students without the critical thinking skills required to solve problems. Teachers are paid low salaries, leading to poor quality of instruction. When students are denied entry to prestigious state schools, they often turn to less rigorous private colleges.
"When IT industries boomed in India a few years ago, many below-the-mark private colleges emerged to cater to their needs," said Alakh N. Sharma, director at the Institute for Human Development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is racing to provide workers with training. His government is recruiting skills instructors, and turning old schools into learning centers. Programs strewn across various government agencies are being consolidated. Companies in the private sector are pitching in to help provide training.
The most pressing need, however, might be in primary education. Pupils in India are expected to perform two-digit subtraction by the age of seven, but only 50% are able to correctly count up to 100. Only 30% of the same students are able to read a text designed for five-year-olds, according to education foundation Pathram.
If the country's unique demographics are to pay dividends, improvement is a lesson to be learned quickly.
National GMAT scores:-
Indians: 577, USA: 533, china: 581.
Despite having the lowest PISA scores, Indians have among the highest GMAT scores which means that education received after PISA (15 year of age) puts them much above average white.
Lastly, if you look at the sample size of GMAT, GRE and SAT; it covers 160,000 people per year. And estimated to cover 25% of Indian population.
Those who are falsely farting here that Indians in USA or Singapore or other places have never shown on IQ or SAT, here is one and last stuff for you:-
(Table 1, males)
Verbal SAT:- Indian+Pakistani: 539, Whites: 519, Chinese: 477, Pinoys: 459
Maths SAT:- Indian+Pakistani: 635, Whites: 607, Chinese: 632
Indian+Pakistani IQ is 107.25. Indian American IQ being 112.
Page 50:- Maths
Chinese: 90 pc, Indians: 80 pc, Malays: 60 pc.
Page 51:- Science
Chinese: 94 pc, Indians: 87 pc, malays: 70 pc
Language: Page 54:- Indians: 92 pc, chinese: 88 pc, malays: 82 pc
Salaries follow the verbal IQs (Indians followed by chinese followed by Malays).
Indian Singaporean IQ:- 110 verbal IQ, 100 non-verbal IQ.
Chinese Singaporean IQ:- 103.5 verbal, 112 non-verbal.
Malay Singaporean:- 97 verbal, 94 non-verbal.
Based on school results in Singapore by race. Done on 100% population as everyone goes to school in SGP.
So, we not only beat the white Americans in USA. But also Singaporean Chinese on incomes.
Indians: 72.9, chinese: 74 pc, Whites: 56 pc. Page 8.
Indians and Chinese scoring 108 IQ on UK GCSE results. Nationwide sample.
Capgemini #India chief says 65% of #Indian #IT employees not trainable. #software #computers http://ecoti.in/4ipkja via @economictimes
"I am not very pessimistic, but it is a challenging task and I tend to believe that 60-65 per cent of them are just not trainable," Capgemini India's chief executive Srinivas Kandula said here over the weekend.
The domestic arm of the French IT major employs nearly one lakh engineers in the country.
"A large number of them cannot be trained. Probably, India will witness the largest unemployment in the middle level to senior level," he said at the annual Nasscom le ..
Read more at:
#India's #software engineers cheapest but of poor quality. #SiliconValley most expensive. #bangalore https://qz.com/938495/bengaluru-indias-silicon-valley-offers-the-cheapest-engineers-but-the-quality-of-their-talent-is-another-story/ …
Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem is what it is because of its engineers.
With an average annual salary of $8,600, engineers in India’s tech hub cost 13 times less than their Silicon Valley counterparts, according to the 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report released on March 14. The city is home to the world’s cheapest crop of engineers, with the average annual pay of a resident software engineer falling well below the global figure of $49,000.
And companies, Indian and otherwise, choose to work out of Bengaluru because it is the most cost-efficient.
Not only has the tech center nurtured startups like Flipkart and Big Basket, it is also home to big foreign firms like Uber and Amazon.
However, the city’s talent pool poses challenges in access and quality. For the most part, “engineers haven’t been hired very quickly, experience is average, and visa success is low,” the report says. “The quality and professionalism of resources is also questionable in many cases,” Abhimanyu Godara, founder of US-based chatbot startup Bottr.me, which has a development team in Bangalore, said in the report.
The city, home to between 1,800 and 2,300 active startups, also has the youngest tech talent among all startup ecosystems.
Overall, Bengaluru bagged the 20th spot out of 55 cities when evaluated on parameters such as performance, funding, market research, talent, and startup experience by research firm Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Despite dropping five ranks from last year, it remains India’s favorite tech hub.
#Russian #engineering students outperform #Indian students while performing lower than #Chinese students on Supertest that evaluates performance of engineering students. #US students outperform students from all of these countries. #STEM https://phys.org/news/2021-03-supertest-students-russia-india-china.html via @physorg_com
The Supertest showed that at the start of their studies, Russian students perform lower than Chinese students in mathematics and physics, but higher than students from India in mathematics. After two years of study, the gap between Russian and Chinese students narrows, while Indian students catch up with Russian students in mathematics.
The Supertest was initiated by Stanford University, HSE University Moscow, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and partner universities in China and India. The study authors include Prashant Loyalka, an associate professor at Stanford University and a leading researcher at the HSE International Laboratory for Evaluating Practices and Innovations in Education; Igor Chirikov a senior researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley and an affiliated researcher of the HSE Institute of Education; and Elena Kardanova and Denis Federyakin , leading researchers at the Centre for Psychometrics and Measurements in Education at the HSE.
A group of researchers representing four countries summed up the results of a large-scale study of the academic performance of engineering students in Russia, China, India, and the United States. Supertest is the first study to track the progress of students in computer science and electrical engineering over the course of their studies with regard to their abilities in physics, mathematics and critical thinking and compare the results among four countries. The article about study in Nature Human Behavior.
More than 30,000 undergraduate students participated in the study. The researchers collected a sample of students from elite and large universities, roughly equal in number for each country. In Russia, the sample included students from six Project 5-100 universities and 28 other universities. Their skill development was measured three times: upon entering university, at the end of their second year, and at the end of their studies.
The task of the specialists of the HSE Centre for Psychometrics and Measurements in Education was to develop tests that had questions that would be neutral for students of different countries and would yield adequately comparable results across different countries. "Over the course of analyzing the test results, we have proven that we were able to achieve both tasks," said Centre Director Elena Kardanova. "Testing in different countries was conducted in accordance with the same rules, with the assistance of specially trained examiners. All students were offered the same incentives to participate. We additionally tested the sensitivity of the results to possible differences in student motivation."
India's re-entry to PISA triggers mixed response
Anit Mukherjee, a policy fellow focusing on education at the Center for Global Development, told Devex that by having Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas schools take part in the test, the government is trying to have more control over the sample in the hopes of getting a better score. However, he said this is not unusual and that other countries have done the same.
“Learning outcome measurement across the world against a global benchmark is good … I would rather have India going to PISA in some way which is acceptable to both the government in India and OECD than to sit outside, otherwise we don’t have any comparator,” he said.
But even with its best government schools being tested, India is still likely to come near the bottom of the PISA table, according to Jishnu Das, education economist at the World Bank's Development Research Group. This won’t come as a surprise to the government, which is already aware of declining education scores over the past decade thanks to school assessments conducted by education research nonprofit ACER India, he said.
As a result, PISA may have limited value as the test has been most effective when its results have surprised a government — with “PISA shock” forcing them to institute education reforms, he said. This happened in Germany in 2001 and in Peru in 2012.
“PISA made a big difference in Germany, it really woke them up, but ... India is not going to be shocked when it comes near the bottom,” Das said. He added that “these international things cause some embarrassment in international circles but they [don’t] impact the discussion in India at all.”
A better method would be to apply PISA in each Indian state and rank them against each other, which would create more “debate and discussion,” he suggested.
India’s decision to rejoin a prestigious global education ranking has been welcomed by education experts as a positive signal, but some questioned whether the move will bring about meaningful reform.
In January, the Indian government announced its plan to rejoin the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, after a 10-year absence. The country dropped out of the ranking, run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2009 after being placed 72nd out of 74 nations.
India was competing against high-income OECD member countries but also non-OECD countries including Brazil, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The government claimed the test was unfair because it had not been sufficiently adapted to the Indian context.
OECD and India have now agreed to try again and a group of 15-year-olds from schools across Chandigarh, the capital of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, will be evaluated by PISA examiners in 2021. India wants pupils from its system of central government schools, known as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas, to take the test.
The government has said that participating in PISA will help to assess the health of its education system, motivate schools and states to do better, and improve learning levels across the country. The test will also move India away from rote learning toward more “competency-based examination reforms,” according to a press release issued for the official signing ceremony last month.
Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy says IITs have become victims to rote learning due to coaching classes
As more and more students leave India for higher studies, Infosys founder Narayana Murthy proposed that governments and corporates should “incentivise” researchers with grants and provide facilities to work here. “The 10,000 crore per year grants for universities under the New Education Policy will help institutions become competitive", he said.
Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy on Tuesday expressed concern over India’s education system saying that even the IITs are becoming a victim of learning by rote due to the “tyranny of coaching classes.” Murthy suggested that our education system needs a reorientation directed towards Socratic questioning.
The Infosys founder, who himself is an IIT alumnus, batted for Socratic questioning in the classroom in order to arrive at solutions to real-world issues. “Many experts feel that (in) our country, (there is an) inability to use research to solve our immediate pressing problems around us… (this) is due to lack of inculcating curiosity at an early age, disconnect between pure or applied research," he said.
As to what could be done to solve this, the 76-year-old suggested that the first component is to reorient teaching in schools and colleges towards Socratic questioning in the classroom to solve real-world problems rather than passing the examinations by rote learning. Socrates was a fifth century (BCE) Greek philosopher credited as the founder of Western philosophy.
Speaking at the 14th edition of the Infosys Prize event in Bengaluru, Murthy said that the nation’s progress on the economic and social front depends on the quality of scientific and technological research. Research thrives in an environment of honour and respect for intellectuals, meritocracy and the support and approbation of such intellectuals from society, he noted.
Worthless Degrees Are Creating an Unemployable Generation in #India. Businesses have difficulty recruiting because of the poor #quality of #education. This has kept #unemployment at a high level of over 7%.
Business is booming in India’s $117 billion education industry and new colleges are popping up at breakneck speed. Yet thousands of young Indians are finding themselves graduating with limited or no skills, undercutting the economy at a pivotal moment of growth.
Desperate to get ahead, some of these young people are paying for two or three degrees in the hopes of finally landing a job. They are drawn to colleges popping up inside small apartment buildings or inside shops in marketplaces. Highways are lined with billboards for institutions promising job placements.
Around the world, students are increasingly considering the return on degree versus cost. Higher education has often sparked controversy globally, including in the US, where for-profit institutions have faced government scrutiny. Yet the complexities of education in India are clearly visible.
It has the world’s largest population by some estimates, and the government regularly highlights the benefits of having more young people than any other country. According to a study by talent assessment firm Wheebox, half of all graduates in India are unemployed in the future due to problems in the education system.
Many businesses say they have difficulty recruiting because of the mixed quality of education. This has kept unemployment at a high level of over 7%, even though India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. Education is also becoming a big issue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he tries to attract foreign manufacturers and investors from China. Modi vowed to create lakhs of jobs in his campaign speeches, and the issue is likely to be hotly debated in the 2024 national elections.
“We face a challenge in hiring as the specific skill sets required by the industry are not readily available in the market,” said Yashwinder Patial, Director, Human Resources, MG Motor India.
The complications of the country’s education boom are visible in cities like Bhopal, a metropolis of about 2.6 million in central India. Huge hoardings of private colleges are ubiquitous, promising degrees and jobs to young people. One such advertisement said, “Regular classes and better placements: We need to say more.”
It is difficult to resist such promises for millions of young men and women dreaming of a better life in India’s dismal job scenario. Higher degrees, once accessible only to the wealthy, hold a special hold for young people from middle- and low-income families in India. Students interviewed by Bloomberg cited a variety of reasons for investing in more education, ranging from attempting to boost their social status to improving their marriage prospects to applying for government jobs, for which applicants are required to pay. Degree certificate is required.
Twenty-five-year-old Tanmay Mandal, a Bhopal resident, paid $4,000 for a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He was convinced that a degree was a path to a good job and a better lifestyle. He was not bothered by the high fees for his family, whose monthly income is only $420. Despite the cost, Mandal says he learned almost nothing about construction from teachers who appeared to have insufficient training themselves. He could not answer technical questions in job interview and is unemployed for the last three years.
Mandal said, ‘I wish I had studied in a better college.’ “Many of my friends are also sitting idle without jobs,” Mandal said. He still hasn’t given up. Even though he did not find his final degree useful, he wants to avoid the stigma of being unemployed and sitting idle. So, he has signed up for a master’s degree in another private institution as he believes that more degrees can at least raise his social status.
Worthless Degrees Are Creating an Unemployable Generation in India
There is a bustling market place in the heart of Bhopal with training institutes for civil services, engineering and management. The students said that they had enrolled for these courses to upgrade their skills and boost their career opportunities after regular degree, as they did not get jobs of their choice.
A Bhopal educational institution in particular hit the headlines in recent years because it was involved in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of India. In 2019, the Supreme Court barred the Bhopal-based RKDF Medical College Hospital and Research Center from admitting new students for two years for allegedly using fake patients to meet the requirements of the medical college. The college initially argued in court that the patients were genuine, but later apologized after an investigative panel found that the alleged patients were not in fact sick.
“We have noticed a disturbing trend of some medical colleges in projecting bogus faculty and patients to obtain permission for admission of students,” the court said in its judgement. The medical college did not respond to a request for comment.
The Medical School is part of the RKDF Group, a well-known name in Central India with a wide network of colleges in fields ranging from Engineering to Medicine and Management. The group faced another controversy last year. In May last year, police in the southern city of Hyderabad arrested the vice-chancellor of the RKDF group’s Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan University as well as his predecessor for their alleged involvement in awarding fake degrees. Still, a flood of students could be seen in many RKDF institutes in Bhopal. One branch had posters of their “bright stars”—students who got jobs after graduation.
SRK University and RKDF University of RKDF Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment. On its website, the group says that it provides quality education by imparting teaching and practical skills while striving to provide robust infrastructure and facilities.
Elsewhere in Bhopal, another college was functioning in a small residential building. One of the students who studied there said that it was easy to secure admission and get a degree without attending classes.
India’s education industry is projected to reach $225 billion by 2025 from $117 billion in 2020, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation, a government trust. This is still very small compared to the US education industry, where spending is estimated to exceed $1 trillion. In India, public spending on education has remained stagnant at around 2.9% of GDP, well short of the 6% target set in the government’s new education policy.
The problems at the colleges have spread across the country, with a range of institutions in different states under official scrutiny. In some parts of India, students have gone on hunger strike to protest against the lack of teachers and facilities in their institutions. In January, charges were filed against the Himachal Pradesh-based Manav Bharti University and its promoters for allegedly selling fake degrees, according to a press release from the Enforcement Directorate. Manav Bharati University did not respond to a request for comment.
While institutes promote campus placements for students, many are not able to deliver on this promise. In 2017, an institute in the eastern state of Odisha offered fake job offers during campus placements, prompting students to protest.
Anil Swaroop, former secretary of school education, estimated in a 2018 article that of the 16,000 colleges offering bachelor’s qualifications for teachers, a sizeable number exist only in name.
Worthless Degrees Are Creating an Unemployable Generation in India
Anil Swaroop, former secretary of school education, estimated in a 2018 article that of the 16,000 colleges offering bachelor’s qualifications for teachers, a sizeable number exist only in name.
“To call such so-called degrees useless would be an understatement,” said Anil Sadgopal, former dean of education at Delhi University and former member of the Central Advisory Board of Education that guides the federal government. “When lakhs of youth become unemployed every year, the whole society becomes unstable.”
All this is a challenge for big business. A study by HR firm SHL found that only 3.8% of engineers have the skills needed to be employed in software-related jobs in start-ups.
“The experience everyone has in the IT industry is that graduates need training,” said Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and board member of Infosys Ltd. and co-founder of private equity firm Aarin Capital. Pai, one of the Manipal Education and Medical Group companies, “trains a lot of people for banking. They are not job ready, they need to be trained.”
Even though companies are looking to recruit in areas such as electric vehicle manufacturing, artificial intelligence and human-machine interfaces, smaller Indian universities still teach older material such as the basics of the internal combustion engine, Patial said. “There’s a gap between what the industry is seeing and the curriculum they’ve gone through.”
India has regulatory bodies and professional councils to regulate its educational institutions. While the government has announced plans for a single agency to replace all existing regulators, it is still at the planning stage. The Education Department did not respond to a request for comment.
The Modi administration is also trying to address the shortcomings of the education sector in its new education policy of 2020, committed to improving the quality of its institutions. It has also started the process of allowing leading foreign universities to set up campuses in the country and award degrees.
Meanwhile, finding work remains a challenge for this generation. According to the World Bank, unemployment is a ticking time bomb as nearly a third of the country’s youth are not working, studying or undergoing training. Some are getting involved in crime and violence. Last year, angry youths facing bleak job prospects blocked rail traffic and highways, even setting some trains on fire.
Pankaj Tiwari, 28, says he paid Rs 100,000 for a master’s degree in digital communication because he wanted a job and a higher status in society. It was a huge outlay for his family, which has an annual income of Rs 400,000. Though his college had promised campus placements, no company turned up and he is still unemployed after four years.
“Had I gotten some training and skills in college, I might have been in a different situation. Now I feel like I wasted my time.’ “I have obtained certificates only on paper, but they are of no use.”
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