Monday, May 30, 2016

Some of the points that NEP (National Education Policy) of India should have.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How MOOCs + Open Lab can completely rescue our education system?

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are most affordable (even free), but the problem with it is practicals.
Can a student earn a degree in subjects like Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Biotechnology or any other subjects that require expensive practical equipment with doing MOOCs? It's not possible because there is no way to do practical experiments .
So along with MOOCs, our education system should provide Open Laboratories

What Features Should Open Laboratory have:
 First, it can be opened by anyone after getting the licensing from the government. Open Laboratories can buy cutting-edge equipment based on the technology that is required in different courses.
Open Laboratories should have freedom to buy based on how much they want to spend. They need not have to buy all the equipment, just like colleges. This will cut the expenses of open laboratories. It will also promote entrepreneurship.
They should have qualified researchers or teachers who know the working of the equipment and can demonstrate it.
They should have freedom to set fees to an extent, just like coaching institute, best upon the services they provide
Also, there should be government run laboratories, to keep prices under control.
Even universities and colleges can provide the facilities of open laboratories.
Also, companies/industry with equipment can also provide open laboratories which will help a student gain industry experience.
What problems will Open Laboratory solve?
1) Affordable to both Students and Open Laboratories.
Pay what you use. For example, you want to do X-ray crystallography and NMR in your bachelor project. So, you can approach one Lab for X-ray crystallography and other for NMR. A single open laboratory need not have to buy both the equipment. Also, student need not pay the complete course fees, paying just for practicals, so it will be much cheaper than the course in private colleges.
2) Quality.
Have you ever wondered why coaching institute excels in maintaining quality education than most private or government institutes? The main reason is competition. Once you have joined a private or government institute, you have no freedom to change the college, whether you like or dislike their teaching. But in coaching institutes and private tuition, this is not the case. You can change it at any time. So in order to survive, coaching institute have to maintain the quality, otherwise, no one is going approach them. So Open Laboratory is going to work just like coaching institutes because a student will have the option to shift at any time. If they dislike the training or practical provided, no one is going come again to the lab. This will create competition among laboratories.
Also as a student can earn the same degree as in colleges, these colleges have to also compete for quality.
3) Freedom to choose as more options
The student will have freedom to choose which thesis they want to work. They can go with most cutting edge technologies. You are not limited to what colleges can provide but what you really want.
4) Promotes research and development
This will be a disruptive process that promotes research and development. We have seen how colleges have mushroomed everywhere which are good for nothing, and do nothing in research and development. But with open laboratories, research centers will be available everywhere where we can see the real research.

So, in order to make Open Lab successful, there must be a change in curriculum. There should be a central body to access the quality and working of these courses and open laboratories.
Some of the responsibilities of the central body can be...
To conduct examination every semester, just like IGNOU in a trustworthy manner.
Preparing syllabus of the subjects.
Conduct lab examinations. This can be done in selected Open Laboratories where they can send a team for review on the examination day.
Access the originality of the thesis/or research projects done by the student. (Also should come under open review)
Access the quality of Open Laboratories and MOOCs
and many other things...

Do share your thoughts about it.