Thursday, March 27, 2014

Open Schooling and Vocational Training in India

In this blog we will be speaking about open schooling as another alternative schooling. What is Open Schooling? How can one pursue it? What after Open schooling? It is a collective term that refers to educational organizations that seek to eliminate barriers to entry. They are often distance learning programs. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is the Board of Education for open schools in India. It is a national board that conducts examinations for secondary and senior secondary open school courses, similar to the CBSE and the CISCE boards.

Students can get college degrees as well; they offer a full gamut of certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral program, as well as many vocational courses. Students who enrolling open schooling have their own benefits, it is useful for students who are weak in some subjects and cannot complete the final school examinations in one go in the regular system. Second, it can be beneficial to many students who are unable to go to traditional schools setting due to a disability or handicap or a high vulnerability of catching illness. Third, students have an opportunity to receive equal education regardless of income, area of residence, gender, race, age, or cost per student. Fourth, this system allows students to learn their way in their own time.
Advantage of NIOS examinations are
  1. Student can avail a maximum of nine chances to appear in public examinations
  2. There is no upper limit for registration to NIOS examination though the minimum age limit is 14 years.
  3. NIOS offers its courses mainly in Hindi, English and Urdu mediums. Students may write the examinations in any language.
  4. Also students can choose any subject combination from the subjects offered to them.
  5. Students have to choose one standalone vocational subject with academic courses at secondary and senior secondary level.
  6. Students can choose to appear in any one or more subjects in an examination and earn credit till all the subjects required for certification are successfully completed.
  7. One may transfer their pass credits in a maximum of two subjects from CBSE and other selected boards in the academic courses.
  8. The ex-students of NIOS who have completed their validity period of five years of admission, but could not complete the course are eligible to take readmission.
  9. NIOS allows the students to apply again in a course which they have passed for improvement of performance.

Vocational Education and training:
Vocational higher education schools are under Ministry Human Resource Development (MHRD) in Indian, Full time programs are mostly offered through government recognized Industrial Training Institutes (I.T.I.) and Private institute i.e. Industrial Training Centre (I.T.C.). ITI an ITC provide training in technical fields and are constituted under the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET), Ministry of Labor. It also offers part time courses through state technical education boards or universities. After the training one can work as an entrepreneur, or as an employee, as an expert, or go for higher studies like diploma or engineering, or get in to government organization like Navy, Army etc…

Bharti Sharma,
Career Counselor,

Alternative Education System in India

Apart from the main stream education system, there are few alternative education systems available to name them; they are Waldorf Steiner Schools, Montessori Schools and Krishnamurti education. There is one more alternative education system, but to do justice we will discuss that later.

Waldorf Steiner Education:
It is based on a philosophy called ‘Anthroposophy’ and also makes extensive use of a special kind of rhythmic movement training called ‘Eurythymy’. The essence of this education is that subjects are taught as lesson ‘blocks’. Children prepare their lessons with their teachers. They prepare their own booklet of learned material, as there are no textbooks; also the teacher follows student’s right from KG to std. 7. 

They do not have common written examinations at the end of the year but they have a continual internal observation as well as one-on-one interview. There are no rankings, no grade or numbers. Instead the teachers speaks about the child’s strengths and weakness, personality, capabilities and abilities etc… this schools get heavily involved in the child’s home life and with the child’s parents. It aims at a balance between academics, artistic education and social life. Students who need a formal certification can write the IGCSE examination.

Montessori Education:
It is based on constructivist or ‘discovery’ education model. Classes are of mixed age groups within a three year range. Ex: 3-6 yrs., 9-12 yrs., and so on. Students here learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction. They use specialized and pre-approved materials developed through years of research.

Classes are taught by trained and certified Montessori teachers. All the subjects are interwoven and taught together; different children learn different concepts at different level in the same class on the same day, according to interest and aptitude. There are no formal assessment rather the reports are descriptive than positional.

Krishnamurti Education:
This school functions as regular schools that incorporate Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teaching and principles. The focus here is on cultivating a love of nature and observance of the beauty of the natural world. It promotes individuality and free expression through frequent class debates, discussions and essays etc… The chide is encouraged to take up any and all extracurricular activities they are interested in. curriculum follows exiting national board, usually ICSE. Schools enjoys considerable freedom as there is no certification or evaluation authority.

We would be wondering even if we put our children in one of these alternative schools, what would our child do next? For Krishnamurti education students study and write the mainstream ICSE examination, they integrate seamlessly into the Indian and foreign educational system for higher studies. For Montessori and Waldorf-Steiner schooling students can write NIOS examinations in order to get a mainstream equivalent certification. IB and IGCSE board also accept them provided they can demonstrate aptitude by pass the entrance process.

Schools offering these options in India:
  1. Waldorf Steiner School
    • TRIDHA Steiner school
    • Inodai Waldorf School
  2. Krishnamurti School
    • Sahyadri school, Pune
    • Rishi valley school, Andhra Pradesh
  3. Montessori
    • Casa Montessori
    • Casa Bambino
    • Aseema
    • Besant Montessori school
    • Blue Bells Montessori
       Bharti Sharma,
      Career Counselor, 

Indian Schooling Options (Main Stream Curriculum)

How many main stream schooling options are we aware of? Even if we are aware do we know if they are easily available? What are their advantages and disadvantages? There are about 5 types of main stream schooling options available in India, to name them they are; ICSE/ISC, CBSE, SSC/ HSC, IGCSE, and IB Let’s see each one of them in little bit of detail.

ICSE/ISC (Indian certificate of secondary education/Indian school certificate):
Students from all over India can enroll. The objective of ICSE schooling is to serve the nation’s children through high quality educational endeavors, empowering them to contribute towards a humane, just and pluralistic society.

Advantages are, develops a strong base of understanding of the subjects. It has a special recognition and is treated as equivalent to senior examination of the University of Scotland.

Disadvantages are, ICSE has limited provision in Mumbai & hence an ICSE student has to take up HSC stream along with the SSC students.

CBSE (Secondary board of secondary education):
There are in total of 10,011 schools available in India and outside India i.e. (middle east and South east Asia) affiliated to it. The objectives of CBSE curriculum is to prescribe conditions for examination and conduct public examination at the end of standard X and XII, second to update the curriculum to make it most modern and bring about reforms in exams and evaluation practices, to make learning more student friendly and fun.

Advantages of CBSE board are that it focuses on holistic education which aims to develop various aspects of a student’s personality. It is flexible and responsive to changes in educational thought. And 10th standard boards are optional for students.

Despite the system aiming to lessen stress, the grading system may in fact cause more stress to the students.

SSC (Secondary School Certificate):
Its available for the state of Maharashtra, objective is to support and enhance the national system of common school education structure, in the state of Maharashtra by providing uniform curriculum, common text books, examinations and academic innovations with a flexible scheme of studies suitable to the needs of student.

Advantages are that a SSC mark sheets show the percentage of the marks score in the top 5 subjects.

Disadvantages are limited knowledge, limited scope, and mostly text book oriented.

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education):
This schooling is available all over the world with schools in157 countries. The aim of IGCSE is to cater to the need for internationally recognize high quality and leading edge qualifications that will meet ongoing demands of employers and educators across the world.

Advantages of a IGCSE school are that it applies knowledge and understanding to familiar and new situations. The student passing out from IGSCE is at par with any other student at the international level in Brain storming and knowledge synthesis at age of 16.

Disadvantages would be that exams are conducted either in May/June or Nov with results issued in Aug and Feb whereas local board results are out by June and college admissions are over by July. However, one can pursue A/As level, or switch to IB board with A, A+ Level to overcome this issue.

IB (The International Baccalaureate):
There are more than 703,000 IB students at 2,591 schools in 134 countries. There are 57 IB world schools in India, offering one or more of the three IB programs. 14 schools offer the primary years program (PYP), 7 Schools offer the Middle Years Program (MYP), and 54 schools offers the diploma program (DP).
The aim of IB schools to offers students an integrated approach to learning across different academic disciplines and it focuses on developing the student’s knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of living and working in an increasingly interdependent and globalized society.

An IB school was designed to ensure a cohesive and comprehensive education for students, its program is recognized internationally, and having a high enough IB score will get the students into some of the top universities.

Disadvantages would be the grade conversion would not mirror the effort put in by the students. The diploma program marks students on a scale on 1 to 7 where 1 is ‘very poor’ and 7 is ‘excellent’, when the same is converted to an Indian system, 6 and 7 represents a board bandwidth of marks between 80% to 100%. This puts a question mark on the cut throat competition in India where the cut off for top colleges vary in decimals.

Bharti Sharma,
Career Counselor,

Why Career Counseling is Important?

‘Career Counseling’, when I say that I am a career counselor to people of my parents age, they just laugh at me saying “Humare zamane meine yeh sab nahi hua karta tha, hum aaj ke navjawanon jaise confused nahi the (During our times we were not as confused as today’s youth)”

I wanted to ask them “Really? Looking at today’s world in which, every where there is a rat race and world being so competitive and above all of these you have umpteen number of careers?” Many a times we are in a career where one is not happy and would want to change their careers in the middle age, or a child who has taken up engineering / science just because their peers are doing it or parents wants them to pursue it.

What do we do? Whom do we go to? How do we go about find what is right for ME? Here, I believe and feel there is a need of an expert who is able to detect one’s personality, aptitude and interest through evaluation, who know about different careers, curriculum, know the career paths and helps one choose a ‘Career’ in which one is happy and enjoys it.

What is Career Counseling exactly? If you think if in career counseling a expert will advise you what to take up as a career, then I would say ‘No, they don’t.’

There is a process in which career counseling is conducted, the process is as follows:
  1. Assessment:
    • The child is assessed on four dimensions i.e., Aptitude, personality, Interest and Emotional Intelligence.
    • These evaluations helps the counselor identify the strengths, aptitude, area of interest of the child
  2. Counseling:
    • Based on the results of the evaluation the counselor come up with a list of best careers for the child and then the child with the help of the counselor zero’s down on a career.
    • The counselor then draws out the career path for the child.
    • The counselor might also suggest extra help if required, like courses to help the child improve the personality if required, the schools or colleagues, the beat suited curriculum for the child.
    •  The counselor listens to the child and to the parents separately then together.
Now let’s see what does these assessments mean and how are they important.
Aptitude is a natural ability to do something; an aptitude can be developed further or can be improved with coaching. Personality is the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive characteristics. Interest is what one likes to do, they would want to learn or know more about it. 

Emotional Intelligence is capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
It’s a loop, where everything affects each other, let’s see how?

Emotional Intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success. One needs to have an aptitude as well as interest for the career being chosen, also needs personality traits for that career. E.g.: A child who wants to do Business management in Finance should have an aptitude for Math, interest to meet people, should have knack of controlling his/her temperament as well as please the clients to get the deal and also should be an extrovert. Here if the child who aspires to be a business manager would not be successful if he/she does not want /scared to speak to people.

Hence a career counselor’s has an important role to play, where they help the child and parents understand what would be the best for a child to avoid any disappointments in future, a career which well thought from all the perspectives and a career in which you/ your child will be happy pursuing it.

Bharti Sharma,
Career Counselor,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trends in Arts and Design Careers

Professionals working in the art, design or entertainment industry will have completed a relevant degree or educational program in the domain. Opportunities in these fields include advertising, television, journalism, and many more. People can choose to work for a company or be self-employed with discrete organizations or individuals in both public and private sector.

·         The demand for artists and designers greatly depends on the economic growth of a nation and changing patterns of running a business. The connection between information and growing communication technologies will have an impact on this sector.
·         Flexible and less formal job patterns are likely to trend in the future. This sector will also see an increase in the number of small companies and self-employed professionals or freelancers.

Trends in Entertainment Industry:

·         Incorporation of new technologies is likely to reshape this industry. In addition, digital TV will provide a decent platform where consumers will be able to participate with media.
·         On the other hand, Edutainment, the combination of education and entertainment is slowly emerging as a new genre of programming in the entertainment industry.

Trends in Sports Industry:

·         Sports tourism has opened numerous opportunities for hospitality practitioners. Professionals are also required who travel to explore sports facilities.
·         Sports writing is also emerging as a new trend in the field. Professionals are needed to write book on sports that impart knowledge to the readers.
·         The sports industry has opened doors to experts and designers who are capable of producing sports equipments that meet the unique needs of the athlete and the aesthetics as well as ergonomic criteria related to the particular sport.

Trends in Media:

·         The press and news-reporting agencies play a vital role in the media industry and is one of the trending careers in the field. It is an adventurous and challenging job which is preferred by many.
·         Convergence is another aspect of the industry that refers to the use of digital technology to deliver news via different channels.
·         Stereo 3D will change the way content is delivered to the customer giving them a real 3D look and feel of products advertised, as well as content will have more demand.
·         Novel advertising methodologies which are cost effective shall be a highlight of the coming time where people are able to reach out to their target audience within a tight budget and using reasonable resources.

    Anuj Jain
    Chief Counsellor

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Top 10 Green career options

Green careers opportunities are increasing every day. Though India is still playing catch up with the Western nations, the future looks bright for all those interested in a Green career.  Below are a few green career options.
Interior designing: Yes, this isn’t exactly a green career option, But there are a lot of Interior designing institutes that have shifted their focus towards eco friendly alternatives.
Environmental Engineer: These are the engineers who have a main focus on improving the environment by using science and engineering.
Forest officer: This is a profession in which the individual focuses on taking care of the forest resources and its inhabitants.
Waste disposal in-charge: This is a profession in which a person has a key focus on ensuring that waste disposal takes place in a proper way and it can be further utilized.
Wildlife biologist: It is a profession in which a key focus is on wild animals and their habitats.
Agricultural science: It is a profession in which a person ensures that the best possible agricultural practices could be applied.
Landscape architect: It is an architect whose focus in on improving and maintain the environment around the buildings.
Pollution control engineer: It is a profession in which a person keeps a tab on the pollution and helps in providing a solution to it.
Ecologist: It is a profession in which a person studies the relationship among the living organisms and their natural environment.
Community affairs officer: He is a person who ensures that the community has no issues and tries to sort out their problems.

Anuj Jain
Chief Counsellor
Founder, EduGroomers

EduGroomers is a professionally managed educational organization offering Unbiased Career Assessment,Counselling, and various Empowerment Training Programs for students (school andcollege), teenagers, graduates, job seekers and working professionals.
Established with an endeavor toempower and groom individuals of all ages including students (school andcollege), teenagers, graduates, job seekers, working professionals, housewivesand seniors, EduGroomers offers numerous integrated learning solutions and unmatchedCareer Advice with assistance of its adroit team of professionals and experts,who are always updated with the latest Career Opportunities and Career trends inIndia and abroad.
EduGroomers (Famous and Most Popular)Career Testing includes:
  • CareerEvaluation Test – Discover your natural career abilities
  • Career InterestTest – Know your career interests
  • Aptitude Test –Check if your aptitude supports your career plans
  • PersonalityTest – Understand how your personality resonates with your career choice
  • EmotionalIntelligence Test – Learn if you can handle the nuances and pressure of job/ business
Benefits of EduGroomers Programs:
  • Unbiased Career Counselling (We are not tied up with any institute, we are 100% unbiased)
  • Identifies your strengths, passion, aptitude and career opportunities
  • Individualistic approach and Personal attention
  • Result oriented workshops and seminars
  • Innovative out-of-box training programs
  • Expert and knowledgeable guidance


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