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Education Improvement

  • Date Submitted: 09/20/2012 07:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.4 
  • Words: 1161
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Recently, it has been brought out that facilities for higher education have expanded significantly in the last few years. Some estimates suggest India would need about 800 universities in the coming decade or so. Managing expansion will require collaboration among the institutions within the country but also at international level. Nobody can argue that without strengthening the existing institutions, one can generate excellence by merely bringing outside institutions. But their presence can help us to pursue a collaborative approach with an open innovation spirit. The idea of creating central universities in some of the economically backward regions is a good one. The suggestion that students should be able to take course across universities is also very good. Recently, a faculty from Stanford had tens of thousands of students in his on-line class. He could not have answered their questions. But, among themselves, the students could answer each other’s questions.

Raising expectations from the students and making them responsible for learning is the first step towards excellence. Creating outstanding examples of teachers learning from students would be another step to make learning reciprocal. Making the courseware open source and letting institutions use the lectures by the outstanding teachers freely will help in maximising the impact of inspired teachers. The reforms in education at all levels should really be steered by the inspired teachers. Unfortunately, with the increasing political interference in the running of institutions, the issues of genuine reforms have taken a back seat. Once mediocres are put up on the top, one does have to work very hard to demolish the institutional integrity. When people lobby for positions of power, they acknowledge that their ideas lack strength to command respect and have power of persuasion. The positional power is obviously sought by those who lack confidence in commanding the respect through their foresight and...

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