Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How open review and data analysis of exam will change our education system?

As our education system is not transparent, and as we don't have the data, we are actually unable to find the problems, so unable to address them.

So what is an open review of an exam?

After the evaluation of answer script is completed, its scanned copy has to be uploaded to a website for public review. Also, analysis of the answers should be conducted, in which questions students are securing more marks, which questions are difficult to solve and students are not performing well in the questions. Complete statistical data should be produced, student wise, school wise, district wise and state wise.

What are the advantages?
It has no disadvantage.
With this procedure, we can address most of the problems in the exams. Schools and colleges will be more accountable, no malpractice will be there, students will know their fault, where they have scored less and where they have scored more, teachers will evaluate paper accurately

This should be done at every level of education, from class 1 to post graduation.

Even this is the easiest solution, as to produce a website, it requires only 4 to 5 months. But the design of the website is important and require a bit thinking.
The only requirement, to take a step by our education ministers and politicians if they really want our education system to be changed.

If they remain ignorant, no one can help the country.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Good questions vs Bad questions: A critical Analysis

Let's analyze the questions given here about DNA:

1. How many chromosome pairs make up the human genome
a) 23
b) 24
c) 12

One may argue this question is memory based, but it's not. It is one of the fundamental questions that a student has to memorize it.

After you have chosen to answer, its gives the feedback, why you are wrong or right. This is the most important step.

2. Your genes could influence your choice of partner, true or false?
a) True
b) False

Look at the question, even if you don't know the answer, the question makes you curious to know the answer. It gives us knowledge about whether gene influences your choice of partner or not. It is very related to our real life.

Again its give a feedback.
Genetic variation influences one’s choice of partner. The genetic correlation between height and the preference for a partner with similar height shows that genes affecting individual preferences for height and one’s own height are largely shared.
The answer justifies how, by giving the reason which we are aware of.

Now look at this question?
3. A nucleic acid sequence is a succession of letters that indicate the order of nucleotides within a DNA or RNA molecule. When was the first complete nucleotide sequence of a genome sequenced?
1) 1976
2) 1995
3) 2007

Ok, let's change the options to
e.g. 1) 1976
       2) 1977
      3) 1975

So, what the difference between the two questions, the second one is very difficult to crack and will rely upon only your memory, but the first one requires your knowledge.
See that the options in first one, the years are widely spaced, it requires our understanding how earlier or how recent first complete nucleotide sequence of a genome sequenced. So you will try to attempt the question, think about it if you have some knowledge about it. But for the second question, you will not even try to attempt it.

Now next question:

4. Genomic characterization of tumors for diseases like ESCC is likely to reveal additional oncogenic mechanisms. What is ESSC?
 a) Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
 b) Esophageal squamous cell cancer
c) Esophageal Stage III cell carcinoma

Let's change the question. What if you are only asked what is ESSC? Removing the first statement. (Genomic characterization of tumors for diseases like ESCC is likely to reveal additional oncogenic mechanisms.) The question becomes only a junk for the reader. The first statement gives you an idea about what ESSC is. Its gives a background knowledge about ESSC. So, even if you don't know the answer, you will want it to know.

Do look at the course on
Writing Exams for Science and Engineering Courses

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why India requires an archive for research articles to promote research and development?

Through Digital India initiative, India should consider a repository for research articles. This will promote permanent preservation of research articles.

India should promote research and experimentation is all fields, whether law reviews, science, economics, arts, and commerce, psychology, sports, Ayurveda, yoga, entertainment, music etc.

Students should be encouraged to design experiments and test the results and write articles in every field.

Higher education should be research based, where students have to produce genuine, original, quality articles. We should rethink our traditional exam oriented methods of education and allow students to explore with freedom rather than just learning the subjects for the exam.

Let student analyze, think critically and try to bring the solution to a problem. Why give them the burden of exams? Without freedom, one cannot search, scrutinize, inquire things. Give them freedom in what they are interested in. Let them score O in some subjects and B in others. Why force them to score best in everything and give them a lot of burdens? A student who scores O in some subjects and B in others is more disciplined and focused. Why we always hunt for the genius who should be good at everything.

We should reward students for bringing solutions rather than securing marks or preparing for exams.

Solution to improve colleges and Universities

Quora link:

Students should be allowed to appear the entrance exam only once, in the same year after pass out from 12th.

If this is done, students would have not to waste their time for years only for preparing the entrance exam.

I have seen many students preparing for 5 to 6 years only to get qualified for medical entrance exam. Is  such an effort required?

We study to apply the knowledge, not to waste time for the entrance exam.

Why every student in India dream to study in IITs and IIMs, and Medical? Why not consider other colleges and universities? Why their condition is not improved? Percentage of  the students which qualify for entrance exam is not even 1%.  So why every student has to dream for IITs.

Here is a sure solution to improve other colleges and universities.

Just make a review team for questions paper that students appear in semester exams. Make the criteria that, they cannot set a question that favours rote learning. The questions should require critical analysis, experimental approach, high order thinking in order to solve them.
If this is done, students can't score marks by just memorizing. They have to analyze and think to solve. If colleges and universities don't improve in their style of education, it will have a tremendous negative impact on the rating of the colleges and universities as a student will not score well.

Please suggest your views, what you are thinking about the idea.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Critical analysis of 12th Chemistry NCERT book

Analysis of first 3 pages of Chapter 1:

1st Paragraph:
"The correlation between structure and properties helps in discovering new solid materials
with desired properties like high temperature superconductors, magnetic materials, biodegradable
polymers for packaging, biocompliant solids for surgical implants, etc."

The first paragraph itself start with the technical terms like biodegradable polymers for packaging, biocompliant solids for surgical implants. But the book does not explain what are these. How will a student imagine such technical terms and correlate with the structure of solids? Where are the solid structures of a biocompliant solids for surgical implants? And how structure suits the need for surgical implants.
Regarding magnetic materials, it's written at the end of the chapter. So at least say about it, that you will read about it soon

Another Paragraph:
Some glass objects from ancient civilisations are found to become milky in appearance because of some crystallisation. Like  liquids, amorphous solids have a tendency to flow, though very slowly. Therefore, sometimes these are called pseudo solids or super cooled liquids.

Where is the diagram for it? How will a student imagine solids which behave like liquids, that have a tendency to flow?

"Glass panes fixed to windows or doors of old buildings are invariably found to be slightly thicker at the bottom than at the top. This is because the glass flows down very slowly and makes the bottom
portion slightly thicker."

Where is the diagram for it? And how this happens? Where is the proper explanation?

Intext Questions:
Classify the following as amorphous or crystalline solids: Polyurethane, naphthalene, benzoic acid, teflon, potassium nitrate, cellophane, polyvinyl, chloride, fibre glass, copper.

Do the author thinks, students already know what is polyurethane, teflon, cellophane, polyvinyl etc. ? How can they put a question that is not told before? What the author expects, the student will search the internet and find the answers? Where are the structures of teflon, cellophane etc.? How it is significant?

These kinds of situation arise throughout the book.
The solution is to take feedback from students for every paragraph you write. What question arises in their mind? How can it be explained better? Students should be the stakeholders for  the book.

Now a review of state board books.
e.g. In Odisha, college teachers are fanatic about these books and are most recommended for students.
Lets, review an Information Technology book. Even though I can't analyze the complete book, as the number of pages will become more than 10 times of the original book.

Most of us are concerned about the errors, so here are some of the errors

a) Usually the e-mail address is in
i) Upper case ii) Lower case iii) Proper case iv) All of the above

If you search the internet, or if you have some practical knowledge about e-mail, you will find that emails are usually case-insensitive. So, the answer should be All of the above. But the author writes the answer as lower case

c) ______ service enables an Internet user to move a file from one computer on the Internet.
i) HTTP ii)HTML iii) FTP iv) All of the above

Seems the question setter knows only the full form of HTTP and FTP, without knowing any detail about HTTP and FTP. The author gives the answer as FTP perhaps because FTP full form is File Transfer Protocol

Well, this is only the tip of the iceberg. 
Now, come to the theory part of the book. It's very interesting. I can make such books in one or two days. Just give the keywords of the syllabus, run a web crawler and done. The book is ready. You will not even get any factual errors in the book.

And student work is to mug up the book without understanding anything with just superficial knowledge and get marks in the exam.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Indian education system is producing parrots?

Please visit the biology questions of CHSE, Odisha. Even though the questions are old, the question pattern is not much different from this year.

So lets, decode these questions. Almost 90% percent of questions are only memory based and very direct.
What is ozone shield?, what is BOD? and blah blah.

So do you think these questions can be answered a parrot, or a simple bot without any intelligence?
I think yes. Just teach each question to parrot for a week, it will able to answer the question.
Even our genius teachers in biology claim that they will give the selected questions, out of which about 70% of questions will come in the exam. So students have only to memorize the answers for a month before the exam and write the answers in the exam.

And this condition is not only for 12th class. It is same at every level of education, whether graduation or post graduation.

The solution:
Before, setting question, the teacher should be clear that what he/she is actually testing. Students understanding of the subject or memory of the student? Does it test the critical thinking skills of the student? Approach to the problem etc.?
Please go through the problems book of the Molecular Biology of Cell. How the questions are set, which allows students to think and answer, rather than just a memory recall.

So, how many parrots has India produced, in these 60 years? You can imagine how much population we have.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How the concept of teacher : student ratio of 1:30 has loopholes?

After discussing with few teachers, I found that in some classes in some school, the number of students present is less than 30. In that case, a student doesn't get the subject teachers. How can in this principle, a student will get teachers for all the subjects. A math teacher can't teach physics. Also, there is disturbance with the number of classes. e.g. if the 5th class has 15 students and 6th class has 15 students, this leads to a shortage of teachers by half. So teachers have no option, left but to unite both the classes.
How can there be conduction of both the classes in one room?

So please update the rule, that for each batch or class there must be each teacher for each subject for a school, no matter how many students are there in the class.

Also, I found that in some govt. schools in Odisha, computers are given (3 to 4 months back) but no one is there to operate it and install the software. Why there is no computer teacher in all schools? The computer has become a very vital part in our life. Without computer knowledge what students will do.
I also shout to change all the govt. schools to CBSE, so that all can access the same type of quality education.

Why the govt. is more interested in potato and onion prices, where the pond got dried etc. more? They discuss this issue for hours and days in the assembly. But they are not discussing teachers and students problems and how it can be solved. Does the govt don't know which issue to give priority more?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Data-driven evidence based politics

How politician should work in India, in order to make the country successful?

Share you views at qoura:

Do political party work based upon their hypothesis, or use unbiased data to make decisions?

Recent data shows that, while voting for a particular party, people are more interested in the main leader (CM or PM) who will lead the state or country and does not much depend upon who are MLAs and MPs

But are political parties working in creating new leaders with value?
Most of the time, a party lose an election is due to lack of a proper competitive leader in opposition.
Proper examples would be Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal etc. Even though they are/were low-performing states, the opposition lost the election. Common people without political background does not even notice who were the leader in opposition. In Bihar, BJP tried to highlight Modi, but people are not giving votes to Modi, they are giving the vote to the state leader. So why don't the opposition spent most of its energy in highlighting the main leader to whom people will vote, who is the one who will listen to the people.

What are the requirements of creating new leader?
First, he/she has to make public contact, listen to problems of the people and finding the most appropriate solutions for them.
Creating a new leader is just like Entrepreneurship who are in a startup and want to sell their ideas and solutions. So a leader must learn how to build a successful startup., Udacity ( Continue How to Build a Startup?

A successful leader should be a person of value rather than a person of success.

Importance of Team Work
People may choose to vote based upon the main leader. But the ground reality is the team work of the party. Without a proper team work, NOTHING IS POSSIBLE.  A leader will also not become a leader without a proper team work.

So, how a party as a team should work before elections?
Most important thing is reaching the people.
In Entrepreneurship, it's called Channel. What is the channel you need to take to reach people?
1) Social Media
It's a wonderful tool to reach people who are middle class and upper class. You can ask for feedback, suggestions, their problems. Then find solutions to the problems by asking experts. Then tell the people what solutions you have and what you are going to do when you win elections.
Few middle-class people don't use internet connection, so tell them to use social network sites like twitter, tell them you are on social network sites, where you will be available, and allow them to provide feedback. Reach students and young generation as much as possible. They are the most decisive force in the election. Ask for their problems, what solution you are going to bring.
2) Telephone
A great chunk of people are poor/illiterate without an internet connection, so they are not aware of social media. Here telephone comes into the picture. Give them your number, ask them to vote for by giving missed calls (remember successful strategies applied by Aravind Kejriwal), ask them to SMS their problems, tell them what solution you will bring when you win.
3) Reaching through going to their homes.
Even though it's not practical to reach every ones home by a single person, but as a team, its possible. But don't go to ask for votes, ask for their problems, make a questionnaire section with asking very right questions such as, what are there needs, what do they expect from political parties, what present govt has not done for them, what solution you will bring to them. So make a list of such questions and answers, save them and analyse them with a computer. Keep as much as data with you. This will also help to attack the govt, find the faults of the govt., and even the govt. can't deny it if the data is accurate. Also, highlight what solutions you will bring after winning the election.
It's a trend of political parties that, they go to people's home only a day before the election. They just forget people after the election. Imagine, if political parties come to people home after winning the election for thanks giving. How the feeling of positive psychology will be brought among the people?

So, after winning the election, continue with the channel again. Its time for delivery. Just fulfill your promise.

If parties follow this path, success comes for sure because you are following evidence to make proper decisions, if not successful, you will not be in guilt that, you have not tried your best because following this path will not only improve your party but also the party in power, so there will be a healthy competition.

But never choose a decision that is against the public interest, even if its right for your party to win the election.

Here are some of the random views, that a good leader should have:

Allowing diversity of views
Thinking in all angles
Allow feedback and give feedback
Finding solutions to the problem rather than getting trapped in the problem
Accept the fault and work for improvement rather than in denial
Encourage constructive criticism
Live with people with diversified background, so that there is a mutualistic relationship
Handle social media
Use of technology
Become logical, no one can challenge a logical statement.
Bring the right issues, so that nobody can deny accepting.
Become a critical thinker and reader of research based articles and solutions, its most important, a leader should be a process of learning all the time, so keep a chunk of time to read the things that can bring big solutions to the problems.
Dispose of the controversies as early as possible

Here are some of the other courses that a leader must work on:

The Complete Guide to Memory Mastery, Harry Lorayne
Even though its a memory book, but gives proven techniques such as
Strengthen good habits and discard bad ones, Improve your powers of observation, Deliver a speech without fear, Become more organized and time-efficient, Logical thinking etc.
Edx course on Philosophy and Critical Thinking, Justice, Framing: How Politicians Debate

Even though such a process was unimaginable before, but thanks to BJP and AAP for bringing optimism in the country.