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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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Develpoment Education General

Bullying in School: Effective Ways Overcome Fear

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Has someone let you down and made you feel humiliated in front of others? Is there someone who makes you feel like you have to win or pay to protect yourself from them?

It hurts!

Before starting this article, I want to share one incident with you all. This incident is from my school days. I use to keep quiet. Can you guess why? I was a wallflower because I used to stammer! My classmates made fun of me whenever I spoke. Even the teachers did not allow me to read because I stammered a lot. I think you must have understood what I am talking about?

Yes, the topic is: Bullying in School.

But wait a minute! Can’t bullying happen in college, in the workplace, and in adulthood? Yes, I think it can. I know it can.

Recently, a parent asked me, “Is it possible for a teacher to harass a student?” In essence, he was saying, “My son is being bullied by a teacher, but I don’t know what to do about it.” We have had a few negative experiences with teachers over the years and it definitely feels like bullying.

The behavior is very similar: one person tries to take power over another person in a negative, hurtful, or abusive way. So is it “bullying” for a teacher to treat a student this way?

Let’s talk about exactly what Bullying is:

The dictionary defines bullying as, “Someone who keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person.”

Let’s see the types of bullying that happens in school:
  • Verbal bullying includes name-calling, making fun of, cracking jokes at another person, etc.
  • Physical bullying includes pushing, shoving, pinching, hitting, etc.
  • Social bullying includes spreading rumors, excluding people from events, etc.
  • Cyberbullying includes disseminating private information through texts, emails, etc.

Sometimes we’re bullied by our own friends, and we don’t even realize it. You have a group of friends who are all mad at you for some reason, and they isolate you from your group. If they deliberately ignore you, you will see how they approach and do their best to show that they are ignoring you. A week later, you all become friends again and are mad at the next person.

Let’s come back to my life story of handling bullying. I had two options: either to give up and remain that shy, lonely, introverted person or to overcome the fear of bullying.

I chose the second option, and now I really feel delighted about choosing that step at that time. Although, I have been bullied for approximately 6-7 years.

Below are the methods I have taken to overcome bullying. You can do the same.

Do not resort to direct attack

Never resort to direct attack or bullying if someone intimidates you because that is what the person bullying wants. He wants you to act up and defend yourself, and if you do so, you are only going to suffer.


“Don’t bully a bully, because, in the end, you will become a bully yourself.”

Tell the bully to stop and walk away calmly

Believe it or not, it can be very effective. Practice what you have to say with a friend, an adult, or yourself in front of the mirror. Practice speaking firmly and directly with confidence in your voice. Tell others that you think you can earn respect, and encourage others to stand up for themself.

Talking to adults

We are often afraid to tell someone because we don’t want to appear weak or ashamed. Don’t keep it in your heart! Just share it with someone you trust very much like your parents, friends, cousins, etc.

It sounds intimidating at first, but adults can help you stop bullying and fix it. You are not guilty of anything; the person bullying you is. So don’t let your self-doubt and sense of guilt stop you from confiding in loved ones.

Understand that it’s not your fault

Nobody deserves to be bullied! Don’t blame yourself. Whatever happens in life, you are not to blame for being bullied. We live in a society in which we are confronted with stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. None of us are left from facing these social grievances. Bullies intimidate because they can. Make it so that they can’t

Be strong!

Whatever the situation is in life, always stand courageously. Face the fear. Be in control so the harasser doesn’t have it. If you are confident and behave you don’t care, no one will be able to bring you down with harsh words and actions.
You are not alone; we’re all stuck in this together.

This is how I coped up with bullying. I believe that you and many others like you and me can too.

In a Nutshell

If another student is bullying your child, or if you see a teacher abusing power, report each incident to the school so that it can be recorded. Meet directly with the school administration. Also, interact with a positive attitude and make it clear that you want a positive outcome for your child. After all, all children deserve a safe environment where they will NOT be bullied or abused.

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Education General

Student’s dreams and parents: Who should be in control?

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Can you recall the gap between clearing 12th and joining a college? I mean, of course, you can but would you? For some students, that gap turned out to be the most frustrating time of their lives. But for others, who planned and knew their next step, that gap was nothing but an exciting break between them and their dream.

Thanks to all these modern movies, school is now portrayed as a place where you create memories; create a healthy relationship with teachers and fellow classmates; bunk classes; hide in the bathrooms; skip morning assemblies (this is okay only if your school is frying you under the sun, not-really-kidding); laugh at the wrong moment, etc. But do these reasons justify the entire significance of schools?

Student’s dreams: An ignored concept

The reasons I mentioned above, popularized by movies, are all valid. But there is one thing/question that isn’t popularized enough by both movies and teachers. What about after school? And the answer cannot be an astronaut or a pilot or a bus conductor (the last one belongs to me) just because these professions are famous.

The technique, importance, and planning in choosing one’s career path aren’t popularized enough. It usually gets pushed under a pile of reasons; as a result, most of us fail to see it until the last minute and that gives parents the power to decide the future dream of their child.

Student’s dreams crushed by parents

Parents want what’s best for their child but sometimes this concern breaks certain barriers and forms dark goggles in front of their eyes and conscience. They forget or overlook what exactly their child dreams about doing in the future. This is a very common problem in eastern style upbringing—a much underrated, toxic, and deteriorating issue.

If we compare the eastern style of upbringing children adapted by parents to that of western, we’ll observe that the eastern style leans towards the authoritarian side. On the other hand, the western style of upbringing children is more on the liberal side.

Parents who adopt the eastern style of upbringing are very strict and tend to pressure their children when it comes to grades. Their expectations from their kids are set at such levels that the child fails to touch, which results in his/her self-esteem getting seriously damaged. The concept of ‘dream job’ or ‘doing something which makes the person happy’ gets thrown under the bus.

Note: I’m not criticizing or favoring either of the styles but if you’re a parent who’s reading this, please remember that concepts like Intelligence Quotient (IQ) depends on the genetic and environmental factors influencing from the prenatal period itself. In short, you cannot force it on your child.

It’s not yours but your kid’s future!

Parents tend to force their children towards fields they like. It’s either because they couldn’t fulfill their dreams in the field or the family has been in that particular field for a long time. What about your kids’ future? What do they want? Are you sure you are not projecting your own dreams onto your children? If you are, do you realize the effect of this on their self-esteem and development as individuals? Lastly, do you really want to preach the ‘follow the crowd’ philosophy to your kid? These are some questions parents must ask themselves when parenting.

While it’s natural to have dreams for your children, don’t forget to take into account that ultimately it is their life and future. Children are taught that ‘consent is the key’. Don’t they get a say in what mould they want their future to take shape into? That’s something I leave you to answer by yourself.

Conclusion

Parenting can be hard, especially when you have had a vision for your family. To all the parents out there, I understand you must’ve dreamt of your child in certain uniforms or on a rolling chair. But remember the fact that it’s their future. Isn’t having a say in their future their fundamental right to have a say in it?

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Develpoment Education General

Technology with Education: How Can It Help?

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Education has always been seen as a process of gaining knowledge, and a process of divulging knowledge by those who have the qualifications to do so. In a simplistic model of learning, the teacher masters the class, with whatever they know being passed on to the students. Years of this methodology being applied to schools and institutions have no doubt been doing the work of grooming millions of students.

But over the years, it has been realized that students need a very different kind of exposure to develop their own sense of thinking and understanding. Enclosing them within the supervision of a few sets of teachers felt limiting, despite the fact that those teachers no doubt have their own sets of skills and knowledge to share. Technology implemented in education felt like a renewed energy, pumped into the batch of students, for whom, the scope of learning turned limitless.

Why do educators and learners both so readily accept technology with education? The answer is simple, technology has always worked best as an assistant. It never had as much power to completely take over (yet), nor has it been stubbornly cast aside. This gradual acceptance and balance of technology with education has made the process of integration look so seamless.

Technology with Education Helps in Widening Reach

Globalization, at this point in time, isn’t a new phenomenon. The world is connecting together through (yep, you guessed it right) technology! Technology is responsible for eliminating factors like distance, culture, language, or any other probable reasons that were responsible for dividing humans globally. Thus, it is obvious that education benefits greatly from Globalization.

Technology with education helps widen the reach
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Globalization has become supremely easy through technology. And so, has been education. A wide array of ideas, thoughts, and schools of learning come together on the global platform. The kind of learning today’s generation is receiving will lead to wonders for the future. The simple reason for this is the inclusivity of the entire species. With the above-mentioned barriers removed, it became quite easy to realize how similar people from different parts of the world were.

Education needed this kind of exposure for students to get the best out of it. Technology has given us access to so many different parts of the world. No doubt traditionalists believe that technology does more harm than good. However, modern educators permit laptops and smartphones in classrooms in hopes of making learning easier for students.

But some browsers do have gritty games on mute or some random social media site like Instagram open. But is this distraction a new occurrence due to the intervention of technology? Certainly not. People with a purpose to learn, will do so, and make the best possible use of resources available to them. Likewise, those who seek out distractions, will find it and have been finding it, even with the lack of any sort of technology.    

Technology Helps in Tapering Costs

Technology helps reduce education costs
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In the past, the only way of learning skills and getting an education was by attending schools and colleges. Attending these institutions required money, which some had and others didn’t. Just bear in mind the access to education that technology has given to those who are unable to source money for it.

No doubt some might argue, investing in technology is expensive. But just think about it this way, a majority of the people in today’s time own smartphones, which I might add is mostly a one-time investment. These smartphones alone can assist in learning for those who genuinely want to do it. These kinds of alternatives weren’t available for people belonging to the generation of no technological developments.

So, with relatively low costs, students get access to learning, and that in itself is the biggest win of technology. People invest millions of dollars in student loans. Technology reduces these costs by encouraging smart planning and taking up online courses and certificate courses to cut up costs where possible. Even earning remotely while studying is possible only through technology. It is impossible to imagine education (or life to be honest) without the influx of technology in it.

Technology with Education- Reversing Learning Roles

A recent article I read from Purdue University brought to light something very interesting—a phenomenon rampant in the education system for hundreds of centuries. Notice this painting above. It is a 14th-century illustration by Laurentius De Voltolina that portrays the School of Bologna, a University in medieval Italy. Imagine, a 14th-century depiction of a classroom resembles so much to that of the 21st century.

The educator or teacher is standing in the middle of a podium, addressing the classroom. Students sit below, surrounding the podium. Some with open books, keenly listening and some not so much. One is dozing off on the side, and a few are gossiping at the back.

This model of learning can be best titled as ‘sage on the stage,’ with the educator literally taking over the class to share his knowledge. The students are expected to soak it in sit as an audience to a ‘one wo/man show.’ With technology, students and teachers both can sit back and let the computers take over. With the coining of the term ‘guide on the side,’ technology has certainly reversed roles in learning.   

Summing Up

Technology with education
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Technology with Education is the best duo ever. Both support each other to grow and together become the best source for a student to learn, irrespective of their age, gender, or nationality. In the times of a pandemic, where continuing education was literally impossible, technology made it happen. Wasting two precious years of a student’s life would’ve been tragic. It was progressive to invest it in a slightly different yet easy to adapt the mode of online learning. This pandemic, if nothing else, is the best indicator of how technology has helped revive a system of learning, which might have gone stale in the coming decades.

Too much technology, with uncensored use, might be a problem. But that is something the educators can certainly supervise over. The goal of technology with education is not to classify any type of teaching as superior or inferior. It simply is present to assist in education in any way possible. Humans are developing technology to make their lives easier. And with respect to education, that will be its sole purpose too.  

Categories
Education General Learning Photoshop, Visual Art

Why College Students Need More Programs Like Adobe Education Exchange

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Education has never been limited to one teacher in a classroom, with an old-school textbook-based curriculum. In evolving times and changing global scenarios, more and more innovative systems are developing. The only aim is to educate students, with the best resources available.

Different parts of the world have different systems of education, each excelling in different areas. Imagine all of them coming together. They contribute in their own area of expertise for others to learn and simultaneously learn from others who are more knowledgeable in some other fields. This here is the basis of our Relay Learning system.

Such communities do in fact exist! Education has become global. This means that learning and learning material is now accessible by a global audience. Adobe Education Exchange program is one such community of educators that collaborate, share, and learn together.

What is Adobe Education Exchange?

Adobe Education Exchange is easy to get started with
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Adobe Education Exchange is an Adobe venture, started with a purpose to bring together different types of educators from all over the world. They share a platform for perpetuating a creative exchange in their classrooms. Therefore, the aim is to provide the most up-to-date and trending resources for Adobe software-related learning.

The lectures understandably promote Adobe products with tutorials to best use them. But that’s not all. There are also courses that focus broadly on creativity and designing along with topics related to media, separate from the Adobe products.

The best part perhaps is that the educators collaborating hail from all levels of education—schools, colleges, and universities to adult education institutions. Moreover, higher education activities, lessons, projects, and courses made for college and university faculties are also part of this program. For the primary, middle, and secondary school levels, the Adobe education exchange offers K-12 lessons, activities, and projects.

Adobe Education Exchange largely works on peer-to-peer collaboration. Through their teaching resources, the software giant brings it all together for professional development. ADOBE EDEX motivates educators and students to learn and share their knowledge globally. It also facilitates interaction with the international community thereby increasing the reach.

How does ADOBE EDEX benefit College Students? 

College students need to branch out from theoretical knowledge that’s become the norm. They also need to delve deeper into the practical workings of what they are learning. Moreover, they need to be prepared to dive into the working world and be successful at it. ADOBE EDEX is a place where such students can learn from thousands of learned professionals. These are experts who have already made it out successfully in the real world and sharing their wisdom.

ADOBE EDEX is easy to get started with, and it helps students expand their expertise. The best part is, keeping in mind the extremely busy schedules of college students, ADOBE EDEX offers self-paced workshops. Self-paced workshops in Live Events help students and educators build their knowledge. Education can also utilize these workshops to engage students with innovative teaching materials shared by members of the community.

College students earn the best kind of exposure through ADOBE EDEX. They can join an interest group or participate in discussions to collaborate with others. They can also simultaneously polish their skills and contribute their expertise. Finally, they can get recognition for their activity by earning points Badges and Community status.

Need for More Such Programs

Adobe’s Education Exchange is an integrative community of like-minded creatives. They get to interact with all those that work towards the same thing and have innovations in a common field of interest. No boundaries or age limits or binds them. This quality of imparting skills and knowledge needs to be visible in other fields as well. College students and professors have both thrived under the self-paced workshops offered under the ADOBE EDEX.

These specialize in a four-step approach that works on providing inspiration, encourages and guides to learn a new skill, and gives out a creative challenge. Then, these workshops finish the session on an enriching note, leaving the attendee packed with new sets of skills and knowledge. 

Similar such programs have existed, yet not in as many promising majorities as they should. EdX, Coursera, and other similar platforms have free as well as paid courses. In contrast, with ADOBE EDEX, Adobe acts as a mere facilitator, providing educators and learners a platform to interact with each other, free of cost. The only chargeable costs are perhaps related to Adobe products like Photoshop or After effects.

Summing Up

College students are at a stage in their lives where most love to explore every field related to their course to finally land one they love. In such times, where global access and exposure are at their peak, programs like Adobe EDEX are a boon. College students who are eager to jump into the world of working tend to get their fingers in a lot of different pies. Programs like Adobe EDEX help them grow in all directions, at a pace they prefer. It enhances their skills and ensures that they learn everything they wish to, and further spread their knowledge along.

Programs like Adobe Education Exchange may sound simple in their approach but are indeed extremely useful. They are powerful in achieving the end goal of educating a global audience. Hence, more such programs will revolutionize the education scene globally. It will also significantly improve the end results of professional workers and help thousands of graduates in getting employment on the basis of the quality of their skills. Now that’s what I call a wholesome system of learning.