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Educational ramifications for expats in China: Students and families suffer

The Indian expats living in China have shifted to the country at will on getting offers to join the global bandwagon and live better lives as a result. Many would have hardly thought deeply about the ramifications that would surface owing to the decision to leave their motherland for bliss in a distant land. Studies have shown that with time, the greatest sufferers of such steps are none other than the children of the expats themselves. Interestingly it has been seen that the most trouble pertaining to the children is faced owing to their education in China.

Why does education suffer?

The cultural and language barrier that exists between the Chinese and Indian individuals makes the situation worse to the least. While the Chinese prefer to follow Chinese in schools, Indians on the other hand prefer English which is in fact shunned by the Chinese. This ambiguous problem leads the Indians to search for English medium schools which are a rarity in China. The problem worsens when the handful available schools that follow western world curriculum charge astronomical amounts for simple schooling. Such schools are known to charge in excess of Rs 20 lakhs for a single year of schooling which indeed is a tad too costly for any Indian professional living in china. Hence the education dilemma initiates from this point.

Stay and pay or go back home?

The expats are left with no other alternatives but to choose any one among the two available options while keeping their jobs. Either they must put their wards into schools that charge astronomically high sums or opt to leave their children back at home in India tended to and nurtured by relatives. The first option is viable for only highly paid professionals who can afford the costs of education. They must keep on paying whatever the economic consequences are. On the other hand, leaving children back at home is far better economically as it saves lakhs but comes at a heavy price. There is no other pain as great as living without one’s own children and yet they have to do that and stay away from them for long periods of time.

Families torn apart

The decision to keep children thousands of miles away at the care of some relative is not at all satisfactory or pleasing for any individual. The pain and anguish of separation can seldom be felt by outsiders. It often happens that just for the sake of her child’s education, a mother needs to stay away from him for months at a stretch. This is very pathetic and inhumane to say the least but the great divide is forcing them to adapt in such a manner.

The probable solution

The only Indian-run school happens to be situated in Guangzhou that offers affordable international education. Years ago another school used to be there but it was closed down in the 70s owing to the Cultural Revolution. Since then the ever increasing Indian expat community dwelling in China is reeling under the dearth of affordable schools for their kids. The Indian embassy needs to act and think fast in order to end the crisis and save the Indian families from bearing the ordeal and trauma of living separately in lands divided by an international border.

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Is the brain drain cycle starting to run reverse?

If statistics are to be believed, the recent trends that are being reflected in the field of science in India speak something positive at last much to relief of the nation’s well wishers. The brain drain phenomenon that has been eroding the nation off its valuable intelligentsia for the past many decades is finally displaying signs of reversal in the past few years. Even though the phenomenon is off to modest start yet optimists are forced into hoping the auguring signs to be the harbingers of a new beginning.

Why and how did brain drain cripple India?

India has been drained and eroded off its finest intellectuals to the more developed nations of the world where they ventured forth in order to quench their thirst for discovering and attaining academic excellence. The major role played behind the phenomenon was the huge abyss that lay between the research and application facilities between the developed nations and India. The emigration of resident Indians stunted India’s academic and developmental growth in many dimensions. The nation lost credibility and stature in the global scenario owing to its helplessness as other nations cherished the fact that what India lost was nothing but their gain in the long run.

What is reversal of brain drain?

A new phenomenon that is being observed among many non resident Indian intellectuals is the urge to return to their homeland and work for the nation’s benefit. The brains that had previously chosen foreign nations to settle and work towards the realization of their dreams are finally answering the call of their motherland. The hope lies in the proven fact that such drives are often contagious in nature and hence even a small trickle can trigger even greater numbers to follow suit in the near future. This reversal of brain drain back to their roots, the land of their origins, will surely help India to gain its lost status in the global platform.

The reasons behind the phenomenon

The influx of intelligentsia to their homeland has been possible due to the coalescence of multiple factors that are alluring and driving them towards their ancestral roots. The primary reason behind the phenomenon is the development of infrastructure in India. The state of affairs in higher education and learning is not the same as before when they left India for greener pastures. Indian government now provides state of the art infrastructure and facilities for different research and development processes. Allocation for education and research in the union budget has increased manifold in the past years. Globalization too has played a part as the income of the average Indian has increased, thus increasing the national GDP. Moreover presently India is home to almost every possible MNC of repute which have made the entire Indian market lucrative for all. Lastly, the urge to work for one’s homeland has played a significant role and driven them to play a decisive role in the nation’s resurgence.

What the future beholds

In the near future India can definitely expect to see an increased number of emigrated intelligentsia returning to their homeland. More the rise in numbers, the more will the nation gain in return. The reversal of brain drain will help an earlier deprived nation to emerge as one of the flourishing among the global best owing to the same individuals who once had deserted it. The entire nation wants to welcome them back and help the resurgence of the nation from a developing to a developed nation.

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Is ‘study abroad’ worth the hype?

Over the past few years, India has managed to make a name for itself as a centre of excellence when it comes to education. The presence of institutions like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, and the exceptionally outstanding performances that their students have exhibited, clearly indicates the high level and standard of education in our country. The Indian education system has given birth to a number of great leaders like Madan Mohan Malviya, Rabindranath Tagore, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and many more. Many prodigious scientists like Dr. C.V Raman, Aryabhatta II, A.P.J Abdul Kalam and numerous others have also learned their art from the Indian education system. The strong, resilient and robust education system of our country holds the potential to turn a Slumdog into a millionaire.

‘To be educated is to learn, unlearn and re-learn every day’. The methods, methodologies, techniques and processes involved in the education field in India change with the ever changing dynamic world to suit the needs of the students.

There is no denying the fact that the grass always appears greener on the other side and therefore even after having the best of the educational institutions with knowledgeable professors and dynamic learning environment, youngsters today want to leave their country and go abroad to study. Studying abroad has become a fashion/style statement and has thus gathered a lot of hype over the past decade or so. Today, it comes as a stereotype thought to eight out of ten people to go aboard and pursue their education.

Following are some of the major factors that one must consider before making up his/her mind to study abroad:-

  • Amount of capital involved– The education in aboard is definitely much more expensive than in India. Therefore it is not always possible that one gets his/her ROI (Return on Investments) after completing the course.
  • Fake universities – It comes as ‘no new NEWS’ to us that a number of universities turn out to be fake. The aim of such muggers is to grab hold of your money by exhibiting an excellent campus and placement records on their fake websites.
  • Brain drain – Once anyone decides to pursue studies from abroad, then there is a little or no chance of their brains serving their own country. This adds to the already existing ache of brain drain.
  • Overhyped concept– Studying oversees is nothing more than an overhyped concept today. It indeed has become a status symbol instead of an intellectual decision.

Apart from the aforesaid reasons, there are many other reasons also that help us conclude that studying aboard is not worth the hype. Therefore the onus to decide our future and the future of our country lies on our own shoulders. Instead of being allured by the western culture and education, we must try and understand that ‘Education is not about filling the pain but about lightening the fire’. So let’s bring heat to the fire of invention, improvement and innovation in our intentions and stay in our country in order to make it a better place to live

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Are the IIMs overhyped? is neccesserly?

In that era of education where an MBA has become a rage among young graduates, the IIMs seem to be the mecca of business education. The brand value of IIMs comes from the fact that they are public institutions and moreover world class organisations for business studies.

The IIMs mainly the ABC’s are actually overhyped. Other IIMs like Rohtak, Ranchi, Kashipur, Udaipur, Shillong are comparably underrated than their more famous campuses.

But from where does this tag of being overhyped come from? The overrating factor comes only from within India. When we look through the web of colleges in India the crème de la crème comes out to be just a handful of colleges. In a country where top quality institutes are a rarity, the IIMs provide the best chance for an individual to get quality education at a fraction of cost as in the west.

When these institutes are compared to B-schools across the world they come out to be just above average. In the world rankings the IIMs barely come in the top 50 colleges in their disciplines. When the placements are seen under the light of the Indian media, they are greatly overhyped.

In one view we can say that these ‘best’ of our institutes are not good enough to feature in the global top hundred list. Whereas if we look upon a narrower view it is a fairly established fact that the IIMs are in general unmatched and  unparalleled in comparison to other institutes in the country that offer similar courses. This coupled with tuition fees that are much lower compared to that of the top US universities make IIMs much more affordable and lucrative for a typical Indian student. It is the typical Indian setting that makes the IIMs appear over-hyped and over-rated.

The ones who seem to have really done well because of the IIMs are the coaching institutions, whose claims are mind boggling and they get a good joy ride out of the fact that the IIMs remain over hyped among the Indian youth. Regardless of the excellence of the Institute, how many of the IIM’s have contributed to the growth and innovation of the country or worked for rural development on which they write huge thesis and host number of conferences. There is no denying the fact that they are premier institutes across the country but falling into the influence and hype trap won’t be too wise.

The IIMs have twisted the entire concept of management tutoring in India and placements have been made most important spotlight to sell and create the brand. This unquestionably is not the purpose of any institute, much less a public owned institute.

Over-hyping the IIM brand enhances its unattainable stature. It should not be advertised in the light of being a very difficult target to achieve! The IIMs are certainly overhyped in our country where good placements are considered over the top and a college with full fledged infrastructure is scaled as something equal to the western standards; something which makes the IIMs vastly over-hyped!

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Introducing theme based training for Kindergarten kids

Kindergarten days are the first days of learning and making discoveries. Your child experiences the world of schooling for the very first time! Kindergarten is not about homework and assignments; it is more about making a child drawn towards the idea of learning by making it more fun and exciting. Imagine classrooms where children can learn without the bars of conventional learning techniques. Theme based learning makes this a reality!

For little students the major concern is regarding increasing their vocabulary, making them more comprehensive and cooperative in studies. The process of learning should altogether appeal to the kids who are being taught. Theme based training at kindergarten level makes it very entertaining and educative at the same time. From themes based on jungle animals, colours, vegetables and fruits, seasons and many more; there are numerous ideas to add excitement to your classroom! Making your class more of a fun game than a boring studying destination will increase the interest of kids tenfold! Kindergarten children should be made to work in teams on various interesting topics. Setting them to work according to a specified theme makes their lessons appear fresh and more interesting.

Children are easily distracted and thus they need a kind of study curriculum which holds back their attention for a long period of time. Theme based training divides ideas as per the interest of the kids. Child-friendly themes such as information about space, modes of transportation, healthy habits etc provides a very meaningful base of learning to the small ones and also apprises them of some very basic ideas of learning. Kids are at their best when they are fully engrossed in their learning; and theme based training method makes it very easy to keep your kids ‘glued’ to learning.

The studying pattern can be divided and adjusted according to several themes provided to the students after short spans of time. Every new theme will leave the children enthusiastic and excited about their new learning voyage. Questioning, discussing and conducting small games and quizzes makes the class even more enjoyable.

Along with the basic knowledge and written & oral forms of learning, there can also be a room for projects, theme-related songs and other creative exercises. Children tend to feel more drawn towards the more creative ways of teaching. Theme based training can easily be taught with the help of small group activities and projects. Kids can be asked to prepare small poems and songs to present on a given theme. This will fulfil two purposes at the same time- learning and enjoyment!

There can be a number of learning programs based upon Theme-based learning. It really helps in building grammar and enhancing reading abilities in kids. Free play and mutual learning will make them more comfortable with their learning environment. Theme based learning is a magical combination of activities specially designed to promote curiosity and learning among children.

Let them discover some great pieces of knowledge on their own. It is their questions and doubts that will make them learn faster and better. So say yes to theme based kindergarten classes!

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New Government initiatives to give boost to education in India

Witnessing a great revolution in the education system in the past few decades, the government of India has taken a number of initiatives to boost education in India. The development in the terms of education has been strived to be balanced in terms of regional growth along with maintaining the level of education as widely acceptable. A number of new institutes of education have been sanctioned under the government lately; most of which are concerned with imparting education at higher levels.

Primary education too has been taken care of by the government. A number of government initiatives such as the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan’ program set up by the government managed to send millions of children to school. In a country like India which has a large number of young and education-needing population, such a government initiative proved out to be greatly rewarding in the long run. Government institutes are seldom correlated to poor educational and infrastructural policies, yet the government is trying to break this belief by sanctioning money for the setting up of schools of the ‘Kendriya Vidyalaya’ quality. There has been a proposal that was passed which included setting up of 6000 new model schools that will be similar to KV in terms of standards and policies. The centre will bear almost 75% of expenses that will be incurred to set up these institutes.

Further, the latest ‘Make in India’ campaign launched under the visionary guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bound to benefit the system of education in a long run. The Make in India campaign will try to boost research and development of sciences as well as production techniques under guidelines of making them staple to India. Unearthing of Indian talent for creating more job opportunities and educational opportunities will remain as the basic goals of this campaign. A number of budgets have been approved and a number of schemes have been passed that indicate the government’s concern for improving the education system in India. Proper monitoring and accountability will definitely give India a leap in terms of performance and output. Government initiatives promise to open the doors of schools and universities to millions of students who dream big and carry the weight of India’s future on their shoulders.

The government also recently gave a nod to the much delayed ‘Education loan guarantee fund’ that providing surety to banks against loans given to students for their higher education. The HRD ministry spends nearly Rs.1,000 crore every year for providing interest relief to students whose annual family income is less than Rs.6 lakhs. The government also recently gave a nod to the much delayed ‘Education loan guarantee fund’ that providing surety to banks against loans given to students for their higher education. The HRD ministry spends nearly Rs.1,000 crore every year for providing interest relief to students whose annual family income is less than Rs.6 lakhs. Such government initiatives provide education security to students who want to pursue higher education but cannot take it up due to the want of money.

The government has been seen to be working both in the fields of primary as well as higher education. A number of reforms, new policies and schemes have been developed to maintain the level of education as being globally acceptable. We have been able to bridge the gap between the millions of students and their schools. Government initiatives will definitely make India more self-sufficient and developed in terms of education.

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Think out of the box, choosing different

It’s important to adopt Theory of Thinking out Of Box. It means choosing the different path to reach the destination i.e., success. Out of box thinking means thinking free, beyond heights, open, without any limitation. It is broadening up the horizon of imagination. Out of box thinking does not mean to be super intelligent, it means how great you can imagine. Limiting your mind forces you to kill your own dreams & wishes. Your creative thinking will make you stand out of the line.

Every one faces the bad phase of life, successful man is the one who deals with it cleverly & comes out with the desired solution. In schools, we are taught to be different amongst all. The theory of thinking different proves it right. Then you become the all rounder. You make your own ideas, create your own image, think positively, which makes you best student of all. Brainstorming sessions are introduced in schools so that students can be better at facing practical situations also, not just getting educated there.

We can take any example when we talk about out of box thinking. We find many musicians or music directors in the world, many writers do exist, may art lovers are there. But the one who are running with different approach are renowned & have individual image. They are famous because whatever they do is either different or they present it differently.

Once you are out of the group with out of the box approach, you’ll find many changes in you & in your life.
1. Be ready to accept the changes.

2. If you are stuck, make your own ways.

3. Find the best solution to your problems.

4. Always think positive with an attitude “Never mind”.

5. Accept failures, learn from them.

6. Never panic in worst conditions. Try to overcome it.

7. Make your monotonous routine, fun & entertaining.

8. Try brainstorming sessions; it’s good to release stress.

9. Do not forget to self assess yourself.

10. Never leave fun element, life becomes boring & you’ll lose interest.
This theory has created big names. I am sure you want to be like one of them. So create such an image with your words, work & by thinking out of box.

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Kailash Satyarthi – the noble man who won the Nobel Prize

Amidst the depressing news of the cyclone Hudhud causing unparalleled damage in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Pakistan army continuously violating the ceasefire and attacking villages along the Line of Control, the last week also brought a proud moment for India when Kailash Satyarthi was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

Call it unfortunate or call it destiny, it took an award by an external organization to make the Indians notice the great work that Kailash Satyarthi has been doing for decades. However, as they say, better late than never! Here are some quick pointers that you must know about the latest Nobel Prize Winner ““

  • Born in Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh), Satyarthi has never won any award from his home state despite his decades of work as a child’s rights activist.
  • His real name is Kailash Sharma. When he started working for the child’s rights in his 20s, he decided to drop his surname ‘Sharma’ as it highlighted higher caste and caused hindrance in his interaction with people living in slums and villages. He took up the surname ‘Satyarthi’ which is caste neutral so that the people can accept him as one of their own.
  • In the year 1980, he started the ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ in Delhi. This organization raids factories and other working units that were suspected of employing children as labourers. He has rescued over 83,000 children in more than 140 countries till date.
  • Some of his raids have also been dangerous and he has been hurt physically a number of times during the raids.
  •  He has also been actively involved with ‘Global March Against Child Labour’, an International organization working for the rights of children trapped as labourers. He was also the President of ‘Global Campaign for Education’ from the year 1999 to 2011.
  • Satyarthi is only the second Indian to win the Nobel Peace Prize after Mother Teresa who won the prize in the year 1979.
  • He is also a member of several other renowned organizations such as the International Labour Rights Fund, Centre for Victims of Torture and the International Cocoa Foundation.
  • Known to lead an extremely simple living, he is also a great cook!

What are your reactions to his commendable feat? You can leave your reactions in the comments below.

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Is IIT worth dropping a year?

IITJEE is a hard nut to crack!
It requires tremendous amount of patience, persistence, grit and constant practice. All those who have cracked this exam proudly boast of their hard work that made them achieve their cherished dream. It is practice that imparts confidence and mostly students lack in concentrating on their goal. A number of students find it difficult to cope up with boards and IIT preparations simultaneously so there is a lot of confusion about dropping a year.

A number of questions pop up! The same uneasy thought of “dropping a year to prepare again”? Continues to prevail. This question continues to complex up ever further if you mess up your JEE on the simultaneous year of your boards.

Just take a breath and ask yourself:
if you are thinking to drop, just think will you be able to repeat the syllabus which you have done for two year? Do you have the patience?

It is not that you should underestimate yourself. Thinking maturely about one’s own self is important. If you have been a persistently studying student all your life you could really take the shot, but if you tend to delay your studies and feel that you work at the eleventh hour, you should give it a second thought before dropping.

For some, this drop comes out to be a Midas touch but for some, it makes them land in doldrums. Choose according to your abilities and interests. Do not try to please the world by telling them that you are preparing for JEE.

If you choose to drop a year and then you start to get irresponsible, you would be cheating yourself. You have to be devoted towards your studies. The only thing that can help you achieve your goal is pure passion. If you really enjoy PCM, the concepts, the intellectual challenge and that hard work for IIT, then go in for dropping a year. Otherwise choose wisely according to your abilities and recourses.

The next big thing that should be thought upon is joining a good coaching institute which will provide you a studious environment and a competitive attitude to keep you going all through your drop year. Falling prey to a non dedicated institute that does not pay attention to droppers will lead towards fall out of syllabus and poor performance.

Regularity is the key!
Your IITJEE dream will come true only if you stay loyal towards it. Leave out all the distractions for a year and stay true towards your goal. Practicing regularly, solving questions on a go, learning concepts by heart; all this is really required. On top of everything you yourself have to push you for all this. Nobody will be running after your life as it was in school. A student’s own sincere efforts make him get through. Students tend to get bored, frustrated and stressed. Do not let yourself be trapped into negative feelings. Keep yourself motivated throughout, and prove to yourself and others that you made the right choice!

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How to prepare for TOEFL

A number of times you might have dreamt about studying abroad, having a better career for financial stability and confidence. Obviously, there isn’t a shortcut to any of these, but there are steps that can guide you towards achieving your most cherished dreams of studying abroad.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a test that tests the English Language speaking and comprehending abilities of an individual who wishes to take up studying ventures abroad in an American University. Next to IELETS, TOEFL is one of the most reputed tests taken to test English language capabilities for an academic basis.

Basically TOEFL tests your English based proficiency and skills. It might be easier for you to prepare for TOEFL if you’ve been good at English since your primary school. Someone who has a good grasp over the language can easily notch up a decent score in the test.

To begin with, first of all you must understand what the test is all about, its registration process, test centres, the dos and donts of the exam. You can formulate a strategy for different sections to score well in the test. One of the most important skills that you must hone is reading. Reading introduces you to new words, new methods of forming sentences and putting up ideas. Once you get used to reading you’ll find it easier to understand comprehensions and passages. Practicing reading for sharpening English skills is the very basic formula used by millions. The test in itself is not very hard. There are a number of skill building activities, English practicing blogs and other online sites which provide great help to students who are preparing for TOEFL. Some of them are highly recommended by those who had already cracked the exam. You can get free access to most of these sites and there is an ample of study material as well as videos available on them.

The main focus of a student preparing for TOEFL must be to gain access to a variety of problems related to the test. It is necessary to try hands on online practice tests and mock papers which are easily accessible on the net. Solving passages is very helpful while you are brushing up your English for the test. Another great help comes from learning new words and the way of using them in meaningful sentences. As your vocabulary will engulf newer words, it will become richer. Get yourself involved in discussions with those who have crisp a English and good knowledge. Whatever you prepare for TOEFL stays with you for a lifetime. More than preparing for a test it is about going deeper into the language which has not become the very flesh and blood of the global communication network. English in itself is a very vast language which can be very interesting to learn. Take the whole process as a hobby rather than assuming it as a test preparation.

Make full use of the recourses available to you. Not just reading and writing is required, speaking good English is also one of the prerequisites of the test. So give your best shot! What lies on the other side is really thrilling to work for!

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