Saturday, May 07, 2016

Nil Battey Sannata Review

 I just finished Nil Battey Sannata. What a wonderful movie about a single mom who is trying to raise her daughter. The film was amazing and gives insight into what many of us are not even aware of the plight of poor people. For example growing up I was always told that or kind of knew that I will be an engineer. So in a way I always had confidence about myself and the future. The film hit me hard when you realize that not everyone is so fortunate.

            Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia has made this movie tax free in Delhi and that speaks volume about the quality of the movie and their intention is to make education free for all. It's an uplifting story that should be seen by everyone. Few weeks back there was a story about the drought in Bundelkhand district of India and how the people were fleeing their villages and migrating to big cities. They hardly had enough money to pay for the train tickets. Most of these families will end up with menial jobs in the big city and that will totally wreck the future of their families.
            I am totally convinced that good quality education is the most important tool to uplift the economy of the country. Take for instance the Ecuador example the president there has been proactive in implementing quality education through the IB program. They have been aiming to have over 500 IB schools by 2017. Working in IB school has taught me its one of the best program for schools as it prepares them in multi facet way. Especially I like the IB learner Profile where they are trained to be better communicative, risk-takers, inquirers, knowledgeable, open-minded, thinkers, principled, caring, balanced and reflective. Because once you have defined it then its easy to focus on each of those ideas and that's where I think IB shines.
   So to sum up my review of Nil Battey Sannanta. Please go watch it. It's a great uplifting movie that should be shown in each government school in India. It helps one to think and have dreams!

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Sunday, May 01, 2016

Bringing Moocs to solve India's higher education problem

One of the big problem in India right now is to provide quality higher education to every one. One of the good step in that direction is the NPTEL program and they have done a good job of providing certification for their online courses. However this year just in Delhi there will be over 150,000 kids who will have a rough time getting admission in university as there are not enough number of seats. What government can do is to open a mooc university which will help not only in reskilling but can also provide everybody the opportunity to gain a certification and degree. Considering the success of Georgia Universities tie up with udacity to provide a legitimate degree and now Coursera jumping into that its high time we do this in India.  Edx is also providing the global freshman curriculum through Arizona State University. American Universities will be very reluctant to provide degree as the end product as education is a big business and this is where India can come in and fill the gap. Several factors work in our favor. We have a pressing need to educate large number of people and we can do it cheaply as we are doing with NPTEL certification.

    Take for instant the MITs free OCW program. Its been 10 years and still they haven't been able to provide all the video lectures for their courses and they are way behind India's NPTEL in terms of sharing their resources inspite of the massive funding they enjoy!

     Coursera when started initially had big and lofty goal of making the content available for free but inspite of thier best intention have now been struggling to provide the upper level courses.
     India will have to take a lead by providing the way to certification. The model could be where you can take exam and get the degree. The exams should be very hard and test your mastery and should be affordable. The goal is that anyone who has passed those exams has demonstrated the mastery of the subject.

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