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Sunday, August 14, 2011

E & C Counselling in IB Diploma, Chiropracty, Free Coaching for IAS and other competitive exams, Foreign Languages

E & C Counselling in IB Diploma, Chiropracty, Free Coaching for IAS and other competitive exams, Foreign Languages

The IB diploma  

What is the IB programme in India all about? Does it have any value in India? 
   Subodh Motwani

The IB diploma — a demanding pre-university course of study in the last two years of high school — qualifies students for 'credits' and advanced standing at several colleges and universities around the world. Not based on the requirements of any specific high school or country, the curriculum is an advanced international programme for 'students of the world' who want a global perspective on people, cultures, history, and events while meeting the academic requirements of college-bound students. However, some educationists also feel that the IB is more focused on humanities. While students excel in language and literature, they face problems in coping with maths and science. 

   In India, in the last couple of years, it has become 'fashionable' to attend an IB programme. Given its substantially higher fees and the relatively fewer number of schools that offered the programme, the IB programme has acquired an aspirational value and has become a 'status symbol.' For rich, upwardly mobile Indians it became the 'in-thing' to send their kids to IB schools. Hordes of parents across the country sought to admit their kids into the IB programme with scant thought to its relevance in the Indian context, or the ability of schools to effectively deliver and teach the IB programme. 
   Schools smelled the opportunity and sought to cash in on it. Suddenly schools were sprouting up in all parts of the country calling themselves 'world schools' and 'international schools.' Eager to satisfy the increasing demand, several elite schools also started offering the IB programme. So from a handful of schools 10 years ago that essentially catered to kids of diplomats and the expat community, you now have nearly a hundred of schools offering the IB programme in India. Offering the IB programme and delivering it well are two very different things, as several parents and students discovered, much to their detriment. The rigorous IB curriculum is quite demanding on both teachers and students. Moreover, the approach to learning and teaching is dramatically different from the CBSE and CISCE system that our students and teachers are accustomed to until class X. It's not an easy curriculum to teach and demands great passion and creativity from teachers. 

   They have to undergo special training to be IB-certified. Most schools simply send their existing senior teachers for training, who then in turn 'train' other teachers in their respective schools. As with any education programme, it takes several years for the system to mature and capabilities to improve across the board. And by no means is it an easy transition for students. Students, who till then, have been used to rote-learning and formulaic memorisation, have to adapt to independent thinking and reasoning, analysing and critiquing, and research-based writing. Students who have gone through the programme claim they have to put in significantly more effort to maintain decent grades. Also, so far the academic achievement at majority of IB schools is byand large mediocre. 

   The main reason for this is that most children at these IB schools left their previous school on account of poor academic performance. Add to this, the stress and pressure involved in needing to re-learn how to study, prepare and give exams. The good IB schools in India continue to be older established ones such as Kodaikanal lnternational School, American Embassy School, The International School, Bangalore, Canadian School of India, Bangalore, Mahindra United World College, Pune, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai, Mercedes Benz International School, Pune. The IB is recognised by the AIU (you'll have to get an equivalence certificate from them to get a percentage equivalent) and several universities. So it's accepted for admission to Delhi University, JNU, etc, but since the exams are held in May, students are usually late for admission to Indian colleges. To further aggravate matters, the manner in which most Indian universities calculate percentage equivalent to IB grades leaves most students worseoff given the prevailing cut-throat admission cut-offs. 

   The IB grade is converted to the mid-point of the indicated range. For example, where grade 6's corresponding range is 89 to 95, the marks equivalent shall be taken as the mid point, which is 92.5. Similarly, for a grade of 5 where the range is 83 to 88, the equivalent is 85.5. Further, the varied subject choice of the IB doesn't help either, as Indian universities are quite rigid in the subject combinations they accept. 

   Also, if you're looking to appear for competitive entrance exams for engineering or medicine, then the IB curriculum isn't of much help. You will still need to attend after school coaching classes for the exams that are based on the CBSE/CISCE syllabi. The IB's appeal and value essentially continues to be for students looking to go abroad for undergraduate studies. A good IB score may not only help in getting admission into good universities and colleges in the US & UK, it can also earn you credits that will exempt you from entry level courses — thereby saving you some time and money in completing your graduation.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT : What is Chiropracty, where is it taught? 

What is Chiropracty, where is it taught? 
   Manoj Dutta

Chiropractic therapy is part of the alternative system of treatment. This 5,000-year old noninvasive, non-surgical approach to managing ortho-neuro-skeletal disorders, problems of the spine and other chronic disorders by restoring normal body function is quite popular in advanced countries like the US (where it is taught in 30+ medical colleges), UK, Australia and Germany. Circumventing surgery (in most cases) cuts down recovery time and costs by half. Chiropractic therapy is remarkable successful in conditions such as slip disc, cervical/lumbar spondylitis, golfer's elbow, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, whiplash, sciatica, frozen shoulder, knee, ankle and hip joint problems etc, where normally surgery (entailing fair amount of hospitalisation) is recommended. 

   Ancient Chinese texts on Kung Fu and our Vedas and Puranas contain references to this form of treatment (merudand or marmabindu chikitsa). Incidentally, NK Sharma, Sr Consultant, VIMHANS was the first doctor in India to introduce this practice of chiropracty in the country.

FREE COACHING for IAS and other competitive exams for SC/ST students? 

Could you please suggest names of institutions that offer free coaching for IAS and other competitive exams for SC/ST students? 

   Mehar Singh 

The government of NNCT of Delhi's department for the welfare of SC/ST/OBC/minorities pre-examination coaching centre offers free pre-examination coaching to SC/ST/OBC/minorities communities who wish to appear in (1) Common written exam conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel selection of probationary officers/management trainees in 19
public sector banks and (2) SSC combined All India Open Exam for stenographer grade 'C' and grade 'D' (see advert in Employment News from July 23-29 and July 16-22 respectively). Coaching is offered for a maximum period of three months or till the preceding day of the exam. Your parents' total income from all sources should not exceed Rs 2 lakh per-annum and you should be residing in Delhi for the last five years. 

   Free application forms are available at the pre-examination coaching centre. Fill it in and submit it along with attested copies of testimonials, documents and two passport size photographs by August 8 for both exams. 

   Selection will be on the basis of a written test on August 9 and 17 respectively. Selected candidates will be provided free coaching to prepare for the forthcoming competitive exams. Similarly, Jamia Millia Islamia's residential coaching academy offers free coaching and hostel accommodation (without food) to minorities, SCs, STs and women for civil services (prelims & main 2012). Application deadline is August 25.

LANGUAGE NO BAR  : Learning Foreign Languages

I am doing my BArch. I would like to pursue higher studies in a country like France or Spain to get international exposure but I can't speak either French or Spanish. Is that a deterrent? What are the specific professional courses that are popular in these two countries? Could you tell me about the job prospects? 
  Deepti Vaida

Being able to speak the local language is not a mandatory requirement in most of the well-known professional programmes in France or Spain, as they are now taught in English. Most universities in Western Europe are located in towns, where the ambience is cosmopolitan and a large number of natives speak a fair amount of English, though relatively few in France. Still, it's always better to have some knowledge of the language of the region, not for the course, but to interact with the locals. In addition to business management, among the popular professional courses are fashion studies and engineering in France, and tourism, hotel management and information technology in Spain. While some students prefer to come back to India, some others do manage to find jobs there. France now even offers a six-month window for foreign students to hunt for jobs. If you manage to get one, you qualify for a two-year work permit, which is renewable. 

Sunil Sharma

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
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