My initiative to work on the basic mathematical skills of students around the world here is the first video from the basic series. I will be uploading more Series and and the subsequent parts soon.

 

 

Does failure of students reflects the failure of school or teachers?

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I saw this news and I asked myself, does failure of students  only reflects the failure of school or teachers? I thought yes it does! Indeed, teachers are responsible for this failure. It started with when their failure to raise their concerns against No Detention Policy and Disneyfication of education in India.
 
Students going to Grade 11th and 12th lack the skills and conceptual understanding that are expected from a student coming from Middle School. I have personally seen most of the students are lacking the concepts and the sad part is only teachers are held responsible for it. What about the policy makers, who are sitting in air conditioned room in Lutyens Delhi to decide what should be done in a government school of Jharkhand that doesnt even has access to a blackboard or a toilet. Talking about furniture would be like talking about luxury so just forget it. Teachers instead of focusing on teaching learning are forced to take care of mid day meal preparation. Though they are highly qualified, government teachers are doing the job which are supposed to be done by an LDC. I can keep writing on the ground reality of government schools and many people have already written about.
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I did a small survey with my colleagues and friends working in different private schools in Delhi. The question was simple, if you get a job in government school will you take it? I was amazed to see almost 93% (28 out of 30) of them said yes they will, and the only reason for private school was not getting a job in government school. I know this sample is small but yes it tells a lot of things. I am going to generalize it a little bit, with all due respect, but most of the teachers working in private schools in India are working there because they have not got job in Government school. So considering that government school teachers are less talented than private school teachers won’t be true.
 
If I talk about private schools which are following Indian Curriculum, they are not very different from Government schools either. Though teachers have access to smartboards, air conditioned classrooms, less crowded classes, internet, ipads and so on but similar to their government school counterparts, they are often forced do to tasks which are not related to teaching learning at all and these tasks are known as “Showcasing” in private education sector. Showcasing can be understood in simpler words as the activities not related to teaching and learning but are vital for getting attention in the market of education and justifying fee hikes. But at the end government or private school teachers are aware of all the challenges that they are going to face before joining and they have taken the challenge so they have to deal with it until the conscientization happens that Freire’s talks about.
 
Lets analyze the reason for the current state of education in India. It all started with the evil idea of manipulating the HDI by manipulating the Education Index. Now everyone is passing Grade 10th thanks to the No Detention Policy ad RTE Act of 2009 and the literacy rate is going up too. The data is too good, Education Index increasing and hence contributing to the HDI but do the students posses the necessary skills which are required for higher grades or colleges ?  Quantity can never replace the quality. According to shocking reports published in news papers like nearly 80% Indian Engineering graduates are unemployable  and nearly 50% of graduates from India are not fit to be hired
should open the eyes of Ministry of HRD and Indian Education policy makers. A simple law of industry suggests if the raw materials are not of superior quality don’t expect your final product to be superior.
Now the question is what should be done to improve the quality. One of the corrective measure can be revoking the No Detention Policy and replacing the same with better alternatives such as instead of having No Detention Policy till grade 8th lets implement the same till grade 5th only, hence primary education will remain accessible to all and this will serve the main purpose of NDP. The other one would be lessening the burden of overburdened teachers of both Government and Private schools of India. Actual learning happens when teachers are able to make connection with their learners by having dialogues with them. They should be given more time for Unit planning, departmental meetings and collaboration between inter departments and it’s only possible if they are made free from clerical jobs and Showcasing. I know what I am asking for is quite Utopian but at least we can try for it.

My experience in Dubai.

I woke up at 4.30 am to get ready for my first day of job. As my accommodation was not ready so the company has provided me a service apartment for a month.  From the small balcony that I have got in my temporary Service Apartment I saw it was raining outside. I turned around to see the decent living room which had my huge luggage bags and few small Delhi Duty Free bags. My fridge had only two water bottles that I had ordered at 2:30 in the morning after reaching my so called hotel. It was my first day in Dubai and reality had just struck me that I am all on my own from this point. There will be no breakfast or lunch served at the work place and no house maid either in the evening for dinner.

 

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At Dubai academic city.

 

Lets go back in time. I wanted to get some International Experience in teaching of Mathematics. The interview and demo class were not a big deal for me. What really strenuous for me was the getting my documents attested from the UAE embassy. Sounds easy but, there is a catch. The UAE embassy will only attest your documents if the Ministry of HRD of the respective state from where you have studied authenticates your documents. As I have studied from University of Delhi, I have to go to the Directorate of Education office, Government of NCT Delhi. And I have felt the pain of Mussadi Lal of Office Office in getting my document attested. I have to take off from work for three days and as I was serving my notice period, I had no other option than going for leave without pay. After HRD attestation I decided to hire an agent for MEA and embassy attestation. He charged me few thousands but my work was done on time.  In the process of all this, my crush was crushing my heart, my two dear friends, Jhunjhunwala and Nitishva gave me their ‘best to do practices to avoid unwanted situations’ talks and my parents helplessly kept asking, “Try for some government jobs” But I wanted to do this. I had this one chance to get out of my comfort zone, do a job and experience an expat life.

 

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At Dubai mall.

 

I was mentally preparing myself to handle situations once handled by my house maid, situations like grocery shopping, ensuring I have stock of the food that will keep me alive. I began to value the luxuries of having hot parathas on my table, clean and ironed clothes, cooked tasty meals and an Ola or Uber for every short distance. I’m sure many Indians staying abroad can relate to this. For the first weeks my mental calculator converted Dirham to Rupees, from camel’s milk to cow milk, nol metro card to Etisalat sim card.

 

Until I got to the UAE, I had no clue there were more than 6 types of tomatoes, potatoes, milk, and an entire section only filled with different types of breakfast cereals. I would look around helplessly and confused, thinking, “Gurgaon was better”. It just made me feel how simple my life in India was while doing groceries. A simple phone call to “Uncleji” and whatever you need will be delivered to your doorstep. I never cared about milk, if it was Mother dairy or Amul, it was okay for me. Here i have to check whether it’s a cow milk or camel milk ? Indian restaurants are total disaster here. They are expensive and tasteless and they have given me “Traveler’s Tummy”.  My saving grace during all these situations when my decision making skills were assessed, was my friend who came with me from my previous organization but, deep inside I know he too is as clueless as I am.  My Uncle who works in UAE is currently on his annual leave back in India but his colleagues are really helpful. One of them invited me to his house and I had a proper meal after a week.

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Me and my friend

Having a house maid is considered as a luxury here and back in India it was a necessity. I always thought that my priority in the UAE was working and getting paid for the work that I have done. I was wrong since everything was important. It involved going to work, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning utensils, grocery shopping and most important keeping records for annual school inspections. International banking transfers will be added soon in this to do list. Those who don’t want to do all these are rich enough to afford a house help or else everyone does all these things from an early age in the UAE and it doesn’t seem a big deal to them.  It indeed was a big deal for me since I had a comfortable life back at home, and making plans meant where making weekend plans and not what food to cook, there Friday was going to a Khan Market or Connaught Place. It made me realize that happiness is in small things and not only the bigger luxuries. Dubai metro is less crowded than Delhi metro but there are no 2o rupees rickshaws to reach the metro station from home. Life abroad is not as glamorous as we think it to be in India. But it surely does make one feel grateful and humble to all the things that were once considered a daily routine back home.

 

 

Political Agenda of Education.

Yesterday I was reading an article published in TES talking about stop looking up to the government and Ofsted to be told what to do, and start looking out to excellent practice and evidence. Though it’s written for UK readers but isn’t that applicable for Indians ? As we are still having the Macaulay’s Education policies packed in different color of packages. It’s an irony that even to prove that we are still following Macaulay’s education policies I am using a source that originated from the west! That’s the core of Macaulay’s education policy, creating a mindset which agrees to conform that whatever comes from west is right because it’s superior.

Gandhi was against the textbook because he knew that textbooks would be used for spreading political agenda. Instead of following a fixed curriculum Gandhi suggested a system based of 3Hs and 3Rs which are as follow

  • Hand-psychomotor domain/skills
  • Heart-spiritual domain/skills
  • Head-Cognitive domain/skills

.3r’s :  Read, write and arithmetic.

The recent declassification of Netaji files has proved that how the history was distorted by Eminent Historians of our country. It was rightly said that “Until The Lion has his Historian, The Hunter will Always be the Hero. Arun Shourie has long back exposed many historians who are nothing more than Left Sympathizers in his book Eminent Historians.

In India if you will start naming people on the basis of their job you will be end up naming 95% of Indians as “Free Advisers”. Anyone and everyone has advise for you and when it comes for the education almost 200%  people will start advising the teacher. But being a teacher whenever I introspect I just end up summarizing that it’s utter nonsense to even listen to their advise. If it comes to reflective teaching my learners Diagnostic tests and formatives will let me know what went wrong and it can be further improved in the next lessons.  It was rightly said by Professor John Hattie,  “I think it’s a sin to go into a classroom and tell another teacher how to teach. Because all you do is tell them how to teach like you.”

It’s the time for me as a teacher to work as a thinker and decide what’s good for my learners , I will stop waiting to be told what to do by someone else.

 

Originally posted by me at LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/political-agenda-education-amit-raj?trk=prof-post

 

 

Quadratic Formula

This post is meant for Year 4 students. As you know we have already discussed Solving Quadratic equations with the help of various methods like Middle term splitting , Completing the square , Taking the roots of both the sides and so on , there is another method also. This is called Using the quadratic formula to solve Quadratic Equations.

 

See this video and if you have any doubt please write the same in the comment section.

 

Like , Share and Comment. Also Subscribe to my channel. Do let me know on what topic should I make my new post .

 

Merry Christmas 🙂

 

Five Mantras to clear your final exams.

Final exams are coming soon. It’s important to know what to do just few weeks before the finals.

I am planning to make more such videos based on contents. Do let me know on what topics you want me to make videos. If you have any feedback or suggestions write below in the comment section.

This video is my first Voice Over attempt with an animated post. If you liked the above video do hit the like button and click on subscribe.

Regards

Amit Raj

Data Representation : Pie Chart

My Grade 6th students were asked to do an inquiry over Data Representation and this group did their research on Pie Charts. The idea of constructive classroom was made alive with this activity. Also the students have mentioned the sources in by giving proper citation respecting intellectual property rights. This practice is highly commendable when a Grade 6th (MYP Y1) child follows such practice.

Understanding Tally Marks and Pictographs with role play

 

My Grade 6th Students were asked to do an Inquiry on different types of data representations. It was a 40 minute class and there are 25 students in my Grade 6th Extended Class. They were divided in three groups and each group have got two types of Representation to discuss and inquire about. In the last lesson they have brought samples of different types of Data representations. This group has decided to go with role play to show about the results of inquiry.

And this all thing was done in 40 minutes. They have got 20 minutes to discuss among themselves. The creativity that they have shown just in 20 minutes is amazing.

The Firstpost

Dear All,

The wait is over. My idea of having a customized domain of mine became the reality now. Here I present to you all, AmitRaj.Org . A site specially created for sharing the various teaching learning practices that me and my students do in School.

I will be also writing my personal columns related to politics and anything that interests me.

The whole purpose of having this webpage is to mark my presence online with my name. I will make sure to get continuous feedback by all of you.

 

Regards

Amit Raj