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Education Learning

Literate vs Well-Educated

Literate vs Well-Educated is a phrase I commonly use when insulting my friends, but despite the low-hanging insult fruit, this phrase does carry a lot of weight.

Now, yes there is a basic difference between being Literate and being Well-Educated. For the sake of this article, I am going to break down the Literate vs Well-Educated debate right here and use the rest of this article as an explanation for it.

What does being Literate and Educated mean?

A Literate is someone who possesses the ability to read and write, while an Educated is a person who has acquired knowledge and skill. People often use the two words interchangeably and with reason since they do have a few similarities.

Literate vs Well-Educated:The Link

Both literacy and education require hard work and persistence, and you need both to become a functioning part of society.

Literacy gives you the tools that you will need to gain more information from the world by being able to communicate with teachers who will teach you more. Education is what these teachers will provide.

Literacy gives access to Education—a person who is not literate will have a hard time become educated.

However, it is worthy to note that you can acquire Education without Literacy; considering the fact that education is more than meets the eye.

What is Education?

Let’s get this out of the way; education is not just about your books. Learning a sport or how to use some equipment is also education. Literacy is important since you need to be able to understand the person who is teaching you.

However, it is very much possible to become well-educated without becoming literate.

Education, in a greater sense, is the development of the being whereas Literacy is a part of Education itself.

Here is an example article of unconventional but important education.

Literate vs Well-Educated: An Easy Example

A very simple example is the best way to illustrate the Literate vs Well-Educated debate. A literate can read news articles on corruption, extortion, lynching, etc., but only an educated person understands why it is wrong.

We often refer to teachers as Educators, yes even your English teachers. This is so because they educated you to become literate, enforcing my point that literacy is a step towards Education.

Why Education?

A lot of crimes happen simply due to a lack of Education. People who do not know any better, try to do what they think is best for them.

People who do not know any better often make bad/uninformed choices which only lead to negative circumstances that hurt everyone involved.

This is why education is important because it teaches us about morality and altruism; it informs us on how we can be happy. Education is a person’s journey towards differentiating right from wrong.

Education is, therefore, about becoming a Human.

The Different Kinds of Education

You can divide Education is into, several different classes. Becoming a scientist means you are educated, but becoming a public speaker is also, in a sense, the same.

The way I see it, Education is when you acquire knowledge along with the ability to apply this knowledge for the benefit of everyone [No, cheating in Exams is still not cool].

For example: If you learn a mathematical equation and are able to apply that equation beyond just the questions in the book, that make you educated.

A different side of Education is the previously-discussed human element. Think of it this way. What is the point of being educated if you do not use your education to improve yourself and others around you?

I like to believe that this mindset is the reason that we think of Education so highly. We all want improvement but not everyone is capable of improving on their own. That is why the educated person gets so much importance.

I just feel that, at some point, we confused the words educated and literate.

The Different Kinds of Literacy

Literacy also has different kinds; again, not easy to differentiate, unfortunately.

Looking at it from far away, literacy seems to be associated with having exclusively bookish knowledge of facts without having any associated knowledge towards it.

Use that as an insult for that one friend who is extremely good at trivia; we all have one.

Literacy is a tool; you need to be literate to read a novel but educated to understand what the author is trying to convey. Let us come back to the Math problem example.

 If you know a formula but do not know how to use it beyond just what the book teaches, it is pointless in the grand scheme of things to know a formula like that. Schools generally have an imbalance where they teach you to be literate more than educated.

You might have a degree but if you do not put it to use beyond wearing it like a badge of honor, then there is no point. Remember that most jobs require an educated person rather than a literate person; since you need the ability to dynamically apply the knowledge you have.

Literacy is also often associated with cramming information. Here is a great article that takes a deep dive into the world of cramming.

Conclusion

The conclusion is clear folks, I am pretty sure you can derive a few good insults at least from this article but yeah.

We should Strive to be Educated, to paraphrase a great movie.

Do not run after success; run after Excellence.

3 idiots

Of course, my article on its own might not convince you, so here is another article of the same to help you for an opinion.

In a world like ours, we/you need to be educated, simply because education teaches us to be human. What do you think? Safe Travels Friend.

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Develpoment Education Learning

Paperless Education- The New Future of Learning?

Adapting to technology doesn’t necessarily mean inconveniencing oneself in the name of development. This is perhaps the biggest concern of educators all over the globe. The reluctance to adopt a paperless education method stems from multiple reasons; all of which might be justifiable. But the fact remains—technology was developed by humans to simplify tasks in their daily life. Therefore, paperless education is gaining popularity in the field of learning.

What is Paperless Education?

When one talks of paperless education, the direct ideas that pop in one’s mind are perhaps difficult to grade papers, a lack of practice of penmanship, and an overall reduction in the growth of aptitude. Old-school educators feel that if they let technology invade education like it has invaded other aspects of a human’s life, they’ll hamper learning. But is this fear valid? Let’s do what is done best in such daunting situations—create a Pros and Cons list!

Pros of Adapting Paperless Education

As an advocate of the healthy use of technology, paperless education is the revolution in education we urgently need to adapt. And the reasons for this urgency is listed below:

1. Going Paperless Means Easier Track of Learning

Paperless education makes tracking easier
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

In every aspect of human life, we’ve let technology help us. Be it accounting, record keeping, data tracking, or any other tasks that were tedious as hell five decades ago. Nobody can deny the efficiency and accuracy it has granted us. Students deserve to learn through the same level of efficiency that the current era runs on.

Converting the system of learning, even gradually, to accommodate the paperless vision of education can mean that a great level of efficiency can be achieved. Just imagine the time, effort, and energy it is going to save if every essential teaching and learning resource, administration, execution, and feedback, come together through a systematic interface.

The quality of learning and education is dramatically going to improve, and the progress will be evident. Oh, one thing that perhaps is the biggest pro for teachers is that, with paperless education, no students can go on with the excuse that they forgot their homework back at home! (oops)

2. Efficiency in Cutting Costs and Reducing Staff Work Load

Bulks of copies of worksheets, assignments, heaps of books, references and sheets, and about any other resource that uses paper. Therefore, education requires money. These are regular in today’s learning system. But imagine reducing all that and storing it all in one single digital space. Calculate the amount of extra money and costs that would be cut down by making this simple transition for paperless education.

Paperless education makes teaching easier
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Teachers all over the globe have a singular common complaint. Too many students and too few teachers. The teachers have a tremendous workload and average pay. Now going paperless would significantly reduce the extra work that a teacher has to go through, like preparing copies, collecting assignments, etc. This undoubtedly would add to improved quality in learning, as the teachers would finally have time to focus on what’s important—imparting education.   

3. Promoting A Sustainable Learning Environment (My Favorite Pro Ngl)

Just think back to all the stacks of paper you’ve used in the past month for your schoolwork. Now multiply that to the thousands of students in your school and even more in your city. The amount of paper being used, printouts lying forgotten, assignments reviewed and stacked away, is a growing point of concern. The way we are moving forward is if we don’t work out a more sustainable mode of learning and of living, humans aren’t going to have much to live on with.

Going paperless will not only help you reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment, but it will also encourage students. Students who are leading towards a future where resources have already been plundered, and the need for sustainability will be at an all-time high.

4. Changing the Teacher-Student Dynamics (But in A Good Way)

Paperless education changes teach student dynamic
Photo by Xin Wang on Unsplash

A typical traditional classroom setup has been pretty similar for centuries. A professor or teacher or educator is leading the class, with students as attentive (and not so attentive) subjects. This system is religiously being followed to date, with some minuscule changes to it.

But gradually, as individuals and generations have grown, its effectiveness is seemingly reducing. The reason? The current generation doesn’t seem to thrive under the thumb of authority; they need the freedom and space to be expressive. For that reason, the teaching styles and patterns of teachers are gradually evolving.

Through paperless learning, a teacher wouldn’t necessarily have to be at the centre of the class. They can delegate students and at times, learn alongside them, as well. It can be visible that letting technology take over is not always a bad thing, especially if it assists in a more progressive style of receiving education.   

Cons of Going with Paperless Education

Everything that seems to have unbeatable pros do have a trail of cons that follow. How significant and difficult they are to work around, I’ll let you be the judge of it.

1. Affording the Conversion from Traditional to Paperless

In a lot of countries across the globe, classroom education has seen a significant improvement in terms of technology. The use of projectors, white screens, computers, and other electronic gadgets have been slowly yet gradually been introduced to the patterns of learning. But on the other hand, some do not have the funding necessary for going through such a major transformation. There are a vast majority of institutions in economically backward countries that have students who barely can afford books to study.

The polarization is extreme, I agree, but also necessary to consider. Unless extreme philanthropists are lurking around to sponsor millions of these kids with technology to go paperless, the paper would pretty much remain their medium to study. Sometimes, in our glory of privilege, we fail to acknowledge others who do not share similar opportunities as us. Therefore, to them, as titillating as paperless education sounds, it can’t be a possible reality.

2. Making Your Brain Lazy by Taking Too Much Help from Technology

Oh, if it isn’t the favourite argument by almost every boomer educationist out there—too much dependency on technology has made your brain lazy. They aren’t wrong on that aspect, are they? This is the same brain that used to memorize phone numbers a few times after dialling them. We were experts at roads and directions because Google Maps wasn’t an alternative in case we got lost. So now that we study ourselves, we cannot deny the fact that we indeed are turning into comfort-loving beings that dumps all the hard work on technology.

Now, in such times, the only solace was the training our brains get in the formative schooling years. Through vigorous learning and practising everything in real-time, at least in the developmental stage, students are learning to exercise their brains. With dependency on technology, we won’t have even that.      

3. Constant Need of Active and Dedicated Tech Staff in Institutions

This one’s a no-brainer. If you need to smoothly work out day-to-day school interactions with paperless education, then your altercations with technology will be a lot. The resolution of most technical errors requires the help of some qualified IT professionals. This means hiring full-time staff dedicated to handling the technology in the school. At present, most schools that have ‘smart classes’ (a projector, computer, and a screen) might have someone on the payroll to ensure that the tech is up-to-date.

Can hamper learning if tech fails
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

But when transforming into an entirely paperless system of education, dependency on this technology increases tenfold. This means that if for any reason the tech fails, it will hamper the learning for an entire day. To avoid that, technological reinforcements are necessary, and that means more investment. It ultimately looks like a vicious loop.

Summing Up

Do the pros outweigh the cons? Or does paperless education have too many cons to consider it as a viable option? I’ll let you be the judge of that. What I do know is that nothing is constant, especially the world around us. Education will keep progressing and the methods of learning will evolve. How we take up to that change and adapt to it is the real question. Education essentially needs to be relevant for it to be effective for the coming generations. But the process of imbibing that relevancy needs to be easy and accessible with a wide variety of communities, cultures, and people. And that is something that shall be the defining factor for the quest for paperless education.

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Current Affairs Education General

The Reservation System: A Disgrace or A Necessity?

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Reservation systems occur in various countries like Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It is available in slightly modified forms in MANY other countries—the policy of affirmative action in the USA, Brazil’s vestibular policy, quotas for Swedish speakers in Finland, and so on. The idea behind all these initiatives is pretty much the same. They aim to give racially discriminated groups additional numbers in order to ensure equal representation. 

What is the reservation system?

Reservation is a system meant to provide historically disadvantaged groups representation in education, employment, and politics. It involves a process of reserving a certain percentage of seats for certain groups perceived as availing lesser opportunities than those more privileged. It aims to empower them and ensure their participation in the decision-making of various important sectors. 

Putting the reservation system into perspective 

Let’s say you want to read more about the implications of the reservation system. Or about the green star. What would you do? Maybe run a quick search on any search engine, read TutorHere blogs, or the likes.

What if your internet is down? Maybe a quick run to the nearest café. And if you live in an area not very technologically advanced, maybe a pit stop at the library to read up on it. Either way, you use to access resources more easily available to you. 

Growing up, not all learners have access to the same amount of resources. Some have access to resources that have very little (or even no) value, as such. Some individuals from these disadvantaged communities come from homes that aren’t used to dreaming or having goals. Homes were becoming a doctor or an engineer seems like a dream just too good to be true. Or they just struggle due to a general bias against them in a specific society. 

Enter the reservation system. 

The reservation system sets aside a specific quota for these groups. Or takes these disadvantages into account so as to give them more opportunities. However, the big debate revolving around this is if it takes away the merit from ‘merit’. 

Researvation: A discredit to merit? 

The criticism against the reservation system has a few points of argument. To quickly break this down and give you an overview, the reasons include: 

  • Reservations generally benefit just a small fraction of the groups intended to benefit from it 
  • They tend to make these groups feel inferior, less motivated to work hard to achieve their goals, and create animosity between the groups that don’t have a reserved quota 
  • It perpetuates division and further makes the demarcation against these groups clearer 

Summing up, the argument against reservation focuses on the fact that trying to provide opportunities to support certain groups is in turn, fueling this division that disadvantaged them in the first place. It also gives room for politics to come into play and create animosity from those who have a higher merit score but can not get a seat. 

Reservation: An opportunity to dream? 

There are also quite a few points speaking for the reservation. And a brief look at these include: 

  • The reservation system quotas aren’t filled with those meant to benefit from it. Thus, this could be a sign that we need to work on the system
  • This protects the supported groups from privatisation of educational institutions and contractualisation of employment 
  • Reservation systems helps the social and psychological integration of these various groups 
  • Reservation is merely an entry criterion and does not compromise on performance of the individual 

Overall, it’s an argument that privilege stops us from really understanding what the reservation system is aiming for. Studies also show that “gains in learning are higher in elite institutions compared to non-elite institutions.” So while the reservation system may not be the solution to discrimination, it could be a temporary makeshift until we can improve our systems of education to ensure everyone has access to equal resources. 

reservation as an opportunity
Photo by Alexis Brownon Unsplash 

Conclusion 

Many countries still continue to debate the implications of the reservation system. While some struggle to keep it in place, others think it to be a disgrace to economic progress. However, the question is, if the economic progress is substantially benefitting all (Read more on the importance of education for all, here).

As usual, the takeaways from this article are entirely yours. What’s the verdict? The reservation system – A disgrace to modern society or a necessary plow to even the playing field? 

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Education

Grades: Dictators hiding in disguise

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Schools, colleges, or any educational institution, including coaching classes play a pretty crucial role in all of our lives. Those are the grounds where a lot of ideas and concepts come into light; we form our opinions, base judgments, our morals and ethics build a foundation, catch up on gossip, etc. But what does education have in common no matter the level of it?

Grades, as mentioned in the title (If you guessed something different, I’d like to guess what you guessed).

Ughh grades..?

Each human being on this planet is familiar with the concept, use, importance, and aftermath of grades. I think even your pet (a theory based upon my pet dog) senses the importance of grades not just in your life but in the people associated with your life, as well, including the milkman (let’s not forget the newspaperman, mailman, etc.).

Consider grades as the least-liked character in your favorite movie or web series. Your feelings towards that particular character act like a chameleon, and your feelings towards your grades are no different. The relationship that we have with grades is subjective. It is dependent on the student and the professor, and the effect of it is dependent on the mood of your respective guardians (unless you burn it if it’s not enough).

The hate-love relationship

Our journey with grades officially begins when our parents leave us at an unknown place full of other kids and some adults. The seed of ‘progress is directly related to numbers’ is sown somewhere deep in the mind. With time, along with one’s physical and mental growth, the seed starts to develop as well. Are you able to imagine that grade plant somewhere in your mind whose life and death are connected to your life?

The plant cannot be perceived as a virus but that doesn’t make it an antibody as well. So what is it? 

The plant is nothing but the byproduct of human’s desperate efforts to measure things systematically, to give each and everything a rank, so that it could come under our nomenclature. It does sound a bit dramatic but have you ever analyzed the effects of such simple concepts? Now is the time.

The never-ending debate over grades

Have you ever come across statements like “I wish they forget to release the results,” or “They should conduct exams but not the evaluation process”? I don’t know about you, but I remember saying the first statement at least 4-5 times in Xth. But does that mean I hate the grading system? I don’t (because I got good grades).

+

If there was no relationship between education and evaluation, it’d be an impossible task for the students to understand their strengths and weaknesses in a particular subject, or skill, or sport. That’s how we’ve been improving our weaknesses for a long time.

The grading system proved to be an efficient, systematic, quick, and easy way for the professors, students, and their guardians. It certainly had a complete opposite and drastic effect on a student’s mental health. Indirectly or directly, the grading system or the measuring system of today made students absorb this idiotic fact that numbers define one’s success.

Readers, I’ve observed a woman, who’s a laborer, smile more than I do and that smile was real and pure. I could feel the degree of contentment in her single smile. So, numbers or grades only have power to an extent.

Adults, don’t you think it’s your responsibility to save the little ones from being suppressed by concepts like grades like you or your friends must’ve experienced? We cannot modify the grading system that is being used since the 18th century in just ten days or ten years. What we can do is teach our students this simple thing that,

‘Numbers are never going to leave you. They’ll follow you in every aspect of your life (even when you’re asleep). But that doesn’t mean they can control you. The reins are always in your hand. You just have to buckle up, stop being scared of the results or the outcomes and just focus on the working part. It is going to be a ride worth remembering.’

Conclusion

Some of you might be thinking that numbers/grades do define success, and I agree, they do. But allow me to remind you that these concepts or things are formed by us. We are to control them and not the other way around.

If you or your child, your friend, your student, or your neighbor is struggling and suffering because of grades, you’re not allowed by humanity to say ‘work hard or grow up,’ or something that will make them more miserable. Help them by just being there, and let them contact a therapist if needed.

Let’s support each other not just by wearing clothes that say ‘being human’ but by actually meaning it from the heart!

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Develpoment Education Humanities

The social context of education: Are we doing enough?

Photo by Tim Marshallon Unsplash

There’s a marshmallow in front of you. 

No, this isn’t a promotion, and you aren’t getting samples (sorry!), but imagine I keep a marshmallow in front of you. Of course, I will give you the classic catch. If you wait till I come back, without eating the marshmallow, you get TWO of them. The choice seems obvious, right? Wait and get two marshmallows. Or maybe you’d rather carpe diem with that one marshmallow. Either way, what does it have to do with education?

Am I merely grabbing your attention by mentioning a fluffy, sugary treat? Maybe. BUT, did you know that the decision you would make in this actual marshmallow situation could tell quite a bit about your personality? Skeptical? Good. Allow me to elaborate. 

The Marshmallow Test and Education

‘The Marshmallow Test’ written by Walter Mischel elaborates on his famous experiment with marshmallows. Not to get into too much detail, but the author discusses how those who chose to wait for the second marshmallow had higher SAT scores and better social as well as cognitive functioning. They are then seen to have a better sense of self-worth. The comparison between those who could wait, and those who couldn’t, were characterized by different brain scans in areas relating to addictions and obesity. 

So a “no” to eating the marshmallow? Nope. That’s a personal choice. But notice how behavioral patterns in children sort of projects themselves onto adolescence and above? That’s what we’re focusing on in today’s blog. 

Social context of education 

The social context of education refers to external factors that affect a child’s educational opportunities. These factors include social background, family structure, socio-economic status, the learning environment, differences and diversity in school, resource equity, and so on.

For instance, parents’ education is seen to be associated with student achievement. Likewise, the poverty levels of the school also decide the quality of education. Public school teachers in high-poverty schools are also more likely to report student misbehavior as interfering with their teaching than teachers in low-poverty schools. Students in mathematics classes in low-poverty public secondary schools are more likely to be taught by teachers who majored or minored in mathematics than were students in high-poverty public secondary schools.  

As discussed, many factors can affect the learning process. The social context in which schools operate can influence their effectiveness. Changes in social context present challenges that schools must address to enhance their effectiveness and ensure that educational progress can occur. 

The impact of social context on education

The point to focus on is that the social environment that the child is subject to in education has a holding on their personality development. This social environment can consist of various levels such as family, institutional, community, and society. An environment in which children don’t feel safe or are victims to be bullying will have an impact that carries on into adulthood.

The mental health of the learners and their ability to deal with emotions does make a connection to this. A survey shows that 13% of students in America are stressed, 22% suffer anxiety, 20% have sleep difficulties, and 14% have depression. All of this has a direct influence on the performance of a learner. (Read more about the link between mental health and students here

Is this the social context we want in our education systems? What are we subjecting our children to?

Imagine 12-year-olds consuming content on social media where they think beauty filters are the new norm. Or teens on apps that scam them of money. Even the shady man trying to befriend an unknowing adolescent by “sliding into the DMs.” Families making learners believe that their value solely depends on education, or vice versa—that education has no value. All of this comes under the umbrella of social context. And if it is not safe, we are directly subjecting learners to the negative impact that it can have. 

Are we really okay with learning in this environment? 

social context of education
Photo by LUM3Non Unsplash

Conclusion 

While we can’t micromanage the system, we can influence it. Promoting a healthier social context in education, general check-ins, being empathetic of the learner, and not putting them in a tight box roped with expectations are some ways to give them room to grow. This environment is shaping them in numerous ways—how they interact with other elements of the community, survival systems, ideologies, and so on and so on. 

Should something so impactful get so little attention? Are we doing enough?