The exam panels in Maharashtra have opted for social media to improve the entire system. Following a saga of exam paper leaks, a 19- member examination reform panel was set up by the Maharashtra government. Students will be able to apply for revaluation online across universities in the state. Universities will also be able to hold online exams for specific courses. For the first time, a state government panel has uploaded their recommendations to a social networking site to reach out to as many students as possible. The suggestions include a range of advices, from conducting online exams for professional courses to grading colleges as per certain criteria. The panel unanimously decided that all universities will implement online examinations for internal exams or for a part of external examinations on a pilot basis in certain courses. The attempt to use social media is for a positive output this time.
New English testing Tool-Aptis Launched
The British Council has launched a new global English test known as the APTIS. APTIS is a global English assessment tool designed for organizations and institutions. APTIS is the premier major international English test wherein a student can sit for the test through one or more channels, conducting it from many locations via computers and face to face interactions. The students can also access APTIS from remote locations around the world with limited Internet connectivity, allowing many more individuals to develop relationships with the English language. APTIS can be used to assess ability in all four English skills i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing. It can also be suited to test one or more specific skills, which can allow organizations to test relevant skills in candidates. This new test complements tests such as the IELTS.
Mah’s Technical Education to be Revamped
The technical education system in Maharashtra will be undergo a radical shift in the way it allows students to study technical subjects. For instance, currently, the only way to an engineering degree is by writing entrance exams after class 12. The new overhaul proposes multiple entry points to engineering which would allow students to study the subject after completing diplomas or even BSc degrees. Courses themselves will become cross-disciplinary, encouraging students to study both cognate subjects (like metallurgy) and disassociated subjects (like literature). Training in soft skills and leadership will be given to make students more employable, along with compulsory internships. Plans to increase student-teacher ratio are also being developed. Streams that will see these changes are engineering, management, polytechnic courses, pharmacy and architecture.
Expensive Courses Not a Guarantee for a Well-Paid Job
The boom in India’s management education sector tripled the number of business schools to almost 4,000 in the last five years. But the economic slowdown has left students who have completed these courses after investing lakhs of rupees unable to find well-paying jobs. About 140 schools offering Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses are expected to close this year; also 35 per cent of their places were vacant in 2011-12. Those who entered this industry with the motive to make money are also departing after seeing the bubble deflate. The formerly high placement record for MBA graduates has also taken a dip. Aditya Dighe took a Rs. 330,000 loan to fund his MBA from a school in Mumbai, India’s financial hub. Four months and 18 job interviews after graduating, the 26-year-old is still looking for a job that will pay enough to cover his expenses and monthly loan instalments of Rs. 10,000. Schools with little or no track record fill seats by paying existing students upto Rs. 40,000 for referring other students, whereas some hire agents, paying them upwards of Rs. 50,000 for every student they get.
‘Oye! Peeke Mat Chala’ says Wilson College
Wilson College’s proactive, socially relevant ‘Peeke Mat Chala’ campaign hit the roads, the web and the brains of many. Team PMC says, “If you are sober, we like you. If you are drunk, we like you even more! Stay with us. DON’T DRIVE.” Peeke Mat Chala wasn’t about cursing drunk drivers and making everybody else look at them with apathy. It was about reaching out to the targets. It got more people ‘talking’ about it, than just getting ‘likes’ on Facebook.
PMC was a five-member team – Shweta Ramesh, Yash Singh, Abhay Raha, Alisha Mishra and Thomson Muriyadan. Their mascot was P.M. Singh’s body that pointed a finger at anyone. The team did not invite anyone to ‘like’ their page, knowing that people would do it for the sake of doing it and not to actually support the cause. The team kicked off the ‘stirrer’ project: they set out on a party-hard Saturday night to five popular bars where youngsters hang out and whose owners readily distribute drinks.
Their Post Post Post-It Mumbai project was another hit before their car tour commenced. Team PMC decided against promoting the campaign themselves. They got celebs like Cyrus Broacha, Tanaaz Irani, Rahul Vaidya, Suchitra Pillai and Pooja Bedi who firmly believed in the cause and spoke in the Peeke Mat Chala style. Peeke Mat Chala has gone from a few to a massive fan base of followers so far.
Check out the PMC campaign’s Mumbai Anthem on YouTube.
CBSE to Test Students for English Oral Proficiency
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to assess students of class 9 and class 11 for oral English proficiency from this academic session. This would include assessing listening and speaking skills in English and would be formally called Assessment of Speaking and Listening Skills (ASL). The speaking test would be conducted for two students at a time, and it will last for a duration of 12 minutes. There will be one experienced teacher who is an expert in English language to assess both the students. The test has been divided into three parts – general introduction, mini presentation and pair interaction. The listening comprehension section assesses the student’s ability to attend to and listen for basic interpersonal, instructional and academic purposes. Students will hear a set of recordings of the listening input, or listen to a reading of the listening input. Each recording will be played twice and the students will not be allowed to ask questions or interrupt the teacher at any point. In case a student has not been able to speak, or has not been able to speak owing to nervousness, the dominance of the second candidate or any other external or internal factor, then the interlocutor may use a minute to give another opportunity to that student.
Harvard and Mit Online Courses Bring ‘Real World’ Exams
Students pursuing online courses from prestigious US universities will be able to take their final exams in a global network of invigilated test centres. Online platforms for education such as online universities have been claimed as a ‘revolution’ for higher education and this is another big step towards achievement. Renowned education company Pearson will provide the test centres for the edX online courses provided by Harvard and MIT. Supervised exam centres will be placed. This mitigates any haywire allocations or invigilations. The true identity of learners is altered fraudulently several times. Also, authenticating the identity of all the registered online learners is another significant step that ensures fair, just and unbiased evaluation. These aspects will cut the cost of tuitions too and revolutionise the traditional higher education model.
Volume 2 Issue 4