Category Archives: Education

Role of Digital Connectivity in Education

An Australian government policy statement articulates this changing paradigm in the best possible manner, “Australia will have technology enriched learning environments that enable students to achieve high quality learning outcomes and productively contribute to our society and economy.

“The Fibre Connections to Schools (FCS) initiative is an integral part of the Australian Government’s Digital Education Revolution (DER) suite of initiatives. These initiatives recognise that Australian students need greater access to, and more sophisticated use of information and communications technologies (ICT). They need the best hardware, high speed broadband connections, quality digital content and well trained teachers to integrate technology into teaching and learning.”

Towards this end, various efforts being mooted across the globe include:

Offering dedicated, uninterrupted and cost-effective connectivity options to students to help them access and exploit the global reservoirs of information and information tools for better learning, understanding and experience.

Enabling virtual collaboration facilities amongst students and faculty to improve information exchange; promote collaborative learning and exchange of ideas.

Encouraging and enabling teachers to devise digitally stimulating and compatible teaching methods. And use technology for improving children’s learning capabilities.

Facilitating online interaction of parents with teachers for improved liaison.

The realization of the above objectives is possible with the collaborative efforts of the four most important factors:

Leadership: There is a need for strong, decisive and long term leadership in the space of digital education. If our governments and educational institutions can come together put in place such strong leadership, it will go a long way in improving education using digital connectivity.

Infrastructure: While several improvements have come about in the connectivity space. The last-mile connectivity is still a challenge in far flung areas. Without the right infrastructure it would not be possible to employ connectivity any better.

Teacher’s Involvement: Teachers & faculty must take the most important step in integrating connectivity & digital tools to improve learning amongst children. Teachers are the vital cog in the wheel to use increased connectivity in education.

Learning Resource: As connectivity improves, there is now an acute need for learning resources to be available in the digital formats. This will encourage students to use the connectivity channels more authoritatively.

Educational institutions ought to become more enterprising in the use of technology for their parent-teacher liaisons. A dial-in system to access the ward’s attendance or progress reports can be a great tool. Parents can be connected over conference calls or via two-way voice messaging platforms, a business phone system can be deployed for this purpose. A mobile app could be an interface worth exploring.

Expanding the reach of education and improving the connectivity to students from far and wide are the two main objectives of digital connectivity. And with dedicated efforts these can bring far-reaching results.

Linking Quality Assurance’s Operational Plan in Higher Education Institution’s Departments

All organizations strive for stability to accomplish recognition. To achieve immovability, they need accreditation by authorized bodies that release institutional sanctions based from standardized criteria and procedures. In order that educational organization will be qualified for recognition, its quality assurance should stipulate the important tenets in its operational plans. According to Church (1988), quality assurance is about ensuring that there should be instruments, actions and procedures available to guarantee the achievement of distinctive level of superiority, which alludes to UNESCO’s academic definition as “the systematic review of educational programs to ensure that acceptable standards of education, scholarship and infrastructure are maintained.”

Quality Assurance systems connect to the mandates and other related policies released in any country. It is highly needed for academic, social and economic development. A country’s development plan acts as legal basis of implementing quality assurance in an educational institution since it contains mandates and policies by orders or decrees which are directed to all state’s agencies. It acts as a mother plan for quality assurance- accreditation bodies that implement and monitor. Usually, in the absence of a created quality assurance group for endorsement, the Higher Education becomes the channel of implementation which connects to private or public institutions, through releasing guidelines. Every institution plans its own quality assurance system with the employment of development plan. The legal bases of Quality assurance vary from one country to another. Despite difference of legal bases, general operational plan of colleges and universities commonly exists that can further branch out for all departments to pattern depending on the organization’s structures or sizes.

To formulate an operational plan, there must be constitution and by-laws, college manuals, quality assurance accrediting council guidelines and the institution’s development plans that stipulates or implies the tenets of accreditations that are to be achieved. All these three elements’ are interconnected through the mandates containing operational canons or principles to be attained specified by the mother plan or the university’s general operational plan. Assuming that the X University has five departments namely College of Teacher Education, College of Liberal Arts, College of Tourism and Hospitality, College of Engineering and College of Nursing. Each of this department will frame its own Operational Plan; a portion is a part of a whole that is analogous to sub-operational plan is to department while a general operational plan is to its university.

A department’s plan operationally defined herein is a process to be undertaken by all members of the department to link and augment the achievement of the whole institutions’ operational plan. It is how every member of a department functionally and effectively contributes in the expansion of clients and stakeholders’ welfare in an organization. The performance of this operational plan hopes to lead for quality services.

It comprises a department’s background in a form of a preamble in conjunction with the mother plan. It states the types of students as recipients of services, courses it offers, content of the curriculum and how this curriculum operates for the promotion of students’ development. It also contains vision, mission and objectives revolving around the relevant the tenets. These principles to be strictly followed include but are not limited to the curricular programs of the educational institution, methods of instructions including faculty requirements, institutional facilities for the development of course offerings and the faculty, technical and academic services offered to the students’ learning development, faculty researches, publications, the management, and community alliance or linkages whether they are local or international private or public organizations. The operational plan stipulates how these tenets are achieved in a specific period. Since it is designed as an element of the mother plan or whole institutions’ operational plan, it is divided into University’s Operational Goal/s based from the goals stated from the general operational plan. The university’s main goals are further formulated into University Operational Plan Sub-goal with Specific Objective/s to be supported by Specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These three (3) elements are associated together depending on the extent of the whole organization’s goals. Furthermore, these four elements provides five (5) major components to follow in the execution of the plan of actions which are objectives, strategy, accountability, indicator, and targets as products of institutional discretions which means that these components can be revised or added depending on necessities for the fulfilment of the plan. The objectives refer to the intended outcomes extracted from the main goals linked with sub-goals.

Strategy is the approach on how these objectives will be carried out, accountability refers to the members of the institution such as administrative bodies or staff in charged or any personnel connected to the accomplishment of the objectives. Indicators are the performances done by the staff/members of the organization in achieving the objectives. Targets refer to the frequency, extent or measure of performing the tasks, accomplishments and its period of attainment. It also indicates expected outcomes. A target elucidates the functionality of the strategies employed. The department’s operational plan is a subdivision of the university’s operational plan, so it has to follow the chronological components from where it links. Therefore, it has to contain General University Goal, Specific Department’s Operational Plan sub-goal and Key Performance Indicators together with the components of the action plan on how to acquire.

For example, the tenets targeted to be accomplished as stated in the mother operational plan is on instructions and faculty requirements, this principle will be stipulated in the department’s operational plan similar to what appears below.

(1) X University’s Operational Main Goal: The university strives to provide quality education that will allow graduates for national and International competitiveness through staffing of faculty employees of high qualifications.

(1) Specific Liberal Arts Departments’ Operational Plan sub-goal/specific objectives: To standardized recruitment policies in the college of Liberal Arts by employing college instructors with relevant experience vertically aligned to their specializations and who possess Masters or Doctorate qualifications from internationally recognized public or state universities from around the world.

(1) Key Performance Indicators: Increase population of college instructors with masters and /or doctorate degrees with relevant college teaching experiences alongside with impressive international researches and specialized trainings.

To establish the plan of action, a table consisting of columns for objectives, strategy, accountability, indicator and target must be framed. As an example, the objective will contain: organize and strictly observe the standardized guidelines on the recruitment requirements of teaching personnel in the department. The strategy entails: strict compliance to the recruitment guidelines mandated by the Department of Higher Education in admittance of university teaching personnel. Accountability encompasses: department dean, department head, and dean of academic affairs. For indicators cover: appraisals of the recruitment policies and monitoring teachers’ professional development. The target provides: perform hiring and retention every beginning of the academic year, rendition of faculty’s degree survey once a year, reclassification of teachers’ position per semester, 100% compliance to the recruitment standards set by the Higher Education Department.

As a second example, let’s presume that the second tenets stipulated in the general operational plan goal No. 2 of the institution is on research. An approach to this general goal is illustrated below.

(2) X University’s Operational Goal: The university endeavours to produce teachers with viable researches that contribute to the development of the institutions’ curricula and the recognition of faculty’s academic standing institutionally, nationally and internationally.

(2) Specific Liberal Arts Departments’ Operational Plan sub-goal/specific objectives: To encourage teachers’ research regarding their respective specializations by funding the conduct and publications of researches in institutional, national and international peered journals and award faculty’s scholastic efforts as evidenced by their written works.

(2) Key Performance Indicators: Increase of faculty researches in national and international -peered academic journals. Researches are used in the department, university and are accessed by other institutions nationally and internationally.

Now to establish the plan of action, a table consisting of columns for objectives, strategy, accountability, indicator and target will follow. To exemplify, the objective/s will contain: to produce research’s which are useful in the institutions or in other organizations in national or in international setting. To create an image of faculty vested with thorough knowledge capable of international effectiveness. The strategy entails: fund and encourage the concepts of faculty members for research engagement and assist the publication of researches to institutionally, nationally, internationally peered journals depending on the nature of the researches and award or compensate teachers with published researches. Accountability encompasses: the university president, human resource management, academic affairs and department head. Indicator covers: the approval of proposed research, monitoring of ongoing and accomplished researches in the college of liberal arts and submission of reports on feedback regarding research status to the head of the department. The target provides: yearly completion of accomplished reports to be submitted to staff accountable for evaluation. Reminders of research proposal through issued directives at the beginning of the academic year. 80% submission to the directives of the department heads.

Quality assurance in an educational institution doesn’t surface without the availability of relevant resources and these principles which educational goals are based on are the following tenets: curricular programs, instructions, facilities, academic services for students, faculty researches, publications, management, and community alliance or linkages with local or international private or public organizations. The operational plan stipulates how these tenets are achieved in a specific period of time. The quality assurance status of a general university will be assessed through its individual departments’ accomplishment whose quality assurance’s status have been weighed according to quality assurance standards by accreditation institutions.

Not all higher education institution faculty understands the essence of quality assurance as basis of an organization’s stability and recognition. The need to understand this unending practice is a must to be a part of the system to function fully by identifying the roles one needs to portray as educator for students’ outcome-based education. Every educator’s favourable actions in the organization contribute to the development of quality assurance being monitored. Everyone’s accomplishments form strong components of a department’s operational plan. These entail curriculum, educational qualifications of faculty, teaching methods and the courses being taught. The facilities that we use for instructions and the professional activities that we participate for continuous professional development form parts of the institutional plan. Our academic year performance as a teacher in the department and our academic affiliations or memberships with others groups, researches that we publish comprise the depth of our operational strategies, which determine the quality of the organization that we are affiliated with. As an integral element of the quality assurance in higher education system, knowing the operational plan’s procedure is crucial.

Management Education Should Be Improved

Management Education offers marketing courses, course in human resource management, media etc., is something for which each and every student aspires for. The extent to which we learn to manage is “what is important” and in this, some students pursue formal education in management whereas some students emerge as self taught. But what I would like to concentrate upon is this pursuit of formal management education.

Are lectures coupled with case studies, workshops, interactive sessions, seminars and presentations the most ideal form of teaching is the traditional method that is followed across most institutions. Some institutes have innovated with Guest faculty who give a first experience of the happenings in the industries, so that the students can remain updated of the latest developments. It is becoming imperative for B-Schools for effectively combining tradition with innovate and modernity.

Just check the traditional methods that are followed by many B-schools in short listing the students for Management education. The written exam is followed by Group Discussions and Personal Interviews. Various leading B-schools that offer marketing courses, course in human resource management etc, have incorporated and innovated factors of psychological performance through innovative management games and response tests for judging the students true outlook for pursuing management education.

B-schools create revolutionary thinkers, leaders in the business world but they have not been thinking to take any innovative steps as far as their own brand building is concerned until now.

One might want from B-Schools may be endless. But as a bench mark B-schools (offering marketing courses, course in human resource management etc.) should strive to offer an infrastructure that will incorporate the state-of-the-art facilities aimed at strengthening the technical, conceptual and human skills of the managers that emerge from the institute.

With features of intelligence building, the overall set up should be futuristic that will be cumulative effect of Technology with knowledge faculties (from India and abroad) from across the globe. All thanks to rapid progress of technology for this will be a systems driven set up in the age of digital era.

These facilities should include Plug and Play classrooms equipped with video data LCD projectors, videoconferencing, audio playback facilities with high speed internet connectivity, E-centre and Entrepreneurship Guidance Cell, Centre for Global Networking, Hi-tech Management development centre, State-of-the-art CD ROM based library, Case Study discussion hall and the likes.

Therefore, B-Schools have to look at the “building quality student concept”, transferring them to the corporate world and support managers in their future endeavors. That is transferring these professionals to the industries.

Why Indore Is the Best City for Education Purposes

One of the largest cities of Indian state Madhya Pradesh, Indore is the tier 2 city. This city serves as the headquarters of both the Indore district and Indore division. Also famous as “Mini Bombay”, this city is considered as the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh. There are several historical buildings and monuments in this city that denotes a wide range of styles from various historical and cultural periods of Maratha, Mughal and British era.

The diverse population of Indore consist of local people, Marathis, South Indians, Punjabi, Sindhis, Rajasthanis and more. Due to a mix of population from all over the nation, this city offers a variety of cuisines and food items resembling the dishes from all parts of India. Although, there are so many things in this city that makes it outstanding, the major attraction of this city is:

Education and Job opportunities

The most exciting and notable thing about Indore is that it is the only city in India that houses both the Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management. This city has the convenient atmosphere for students who are interested in pursuing a value-based education. There are numerous schools, colleges and universities in this city imparting quality education to students in different areas. Over the past couple of years, this city has emerged as the leading education hub of the Nation.

Various primary and secondary schools in this city are affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board, ICSE board, NIOS board and the state level M.P. Board. The state university of Indore is Devi Ahilya Vishvavidyalaya and the first private university of this city is Oriental University. Some of the top most education institutions in Indore are:

  • BM College of Technology Indore
  • Central India Institute of Technology
  • Acropolis Institute of Technology and Research
  • Institute Of Engineering & Science IPS Academy
  • Indian Institute of Technology Indore
  • Indore Institute of Science and Technology
  • Institute of Engineering and Technology, DAVV
  • Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Engineering and management
  • Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science
  • BM College of Management & Research Indore
  • Institute of Management Studies, Devi Ahilya University
  • Indian Institute of Management Indore
  • International Institute of Professional Studies, Devi Ahilya Vishvavidyalaya
  • Sri Aurobindo Institute of Management & Science
  • Govt. College of Dentistry
  • Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College
  • College Of Pharmacy IPS Academy Indore
  • Devlalikar Kala Veethika

Students who are preparing for various competitive exams such as IAS, CA/CS, IIT-JEE and medical can find a large number of private coaching institutes in this city. As far as career opportunities are concerned, there are a lot of opportunities for jobs in Indore in various industries. Some of the most famous industries in this city that are growing on a fast pace are IT, pharmaceutical, petroleum, automobile and textile.

Conclusion:

The cost of living and transport facilities in Indore are quite lower as compared to other cities in India. For education and job purpose, this city is without a doubt the best city in the Nation. On the whole, this city is playing the most important role in overall development and growth of Madhya Pradesh.

Find a Good Driving School When Learning To Drive

Finding a good driving school is the first step in getting a driving permit which is mandatory in all the countries of the world to be able to drive an automobile in that country.

Learning to drive may be easy, but being allowed to drive is the important thing.

Given the nature of driving and the potential hazards of speed, it is no wonder that driving regulations are very strict. Indeed, getting one is an achievement and an event to celebrate.

Finding a good driving school is key to getting a driving license. Even good drivers need driving lessons. Especially if they come from another country, they have to relearn driving, according to the driving rules of that country, like the side of the road you are supposed to keep, the side the steering wheel, and the penalty structure for driving offenses.

What are the characteristics of a good driving school?

Preparing the learner for the driving test is an important task of the driving school. Towards this end also, the following are necessary in a good driving school

· Professional Instructors – who make it possible for their students to learn how to drive a car by feeling the responsibility of actually applying what is taught to them.

· Theory Test- it is always good to be tested on the theoretical knowledge that is necessary for a driver. In some countries it is mandatory to take a theory test, usually online.

· Skill training is complementary to the theory study, where actual skills are taught which are exclusively required for driving in that particular terrain and according to the road plans and rules. Emphasis is given to the need to perfect general skills like maneuvering the vehicle, parking, etc. all of which are tested by the authorities during the actual driving test.

· Good facilities – like a large area for learning to navigate etc.

· Comprehensive driving test- some schools conduct a theory and skills test on their own, so you could ask contacts for referrals of those schools.

How to locate a good driving school

It is best to locate one in your neighborhood itself. This makes it easy to go for lessons. You can ask around in your neighborhood for one of good repute and satisfying the above conditions. You can check online and take down the contact details of a few to get competitive rates.

What are the benefits of going to a good driving school

Personal training

The instructors train new drivers at a personal level, about the rules and procedures of the road. It is one thing to learn theoretically, but quite another when you are in the middle of the road driving amongst others who may or may not follow the rules. Teens especially benefit in this aspect.

Confidence Building of the right kind

Overconfidence and lack of confidence are the two demons that face new drivers. Teens usually fall in the first category which gets them into trouble with the authorities for speeding and not following traffic rules. Lack of confidence has you freeze up in anxiety when faced with an unexpected problem on the road like your car engine suddenly dying out.

Preparing Teens for the road – Teaching a teen to drive can be a trying experience for a parent who is concerned about his car as well! It is best to send them to a driving school from where they emerge as responsible drivers, leaving the brashness or diffidence behind.