Tuesday, November 22, 2016

India can have it's own PISA kind of assessments.


“What is important for citizens to know and be able to do?” That is the question that underlies the triennial survey of 15-year-old students around the world known as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA assesses the extent to which students near the end of compulsory education have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. Since 2000, PISA has been testing students worldwide in the key subjects: reading, mathematics and science. The assessment also collects information on students’ backgrounds and on how their schools are managed in an effort to identify the factors that influence student performance. PISA also regularly introduces new tests to assess students’ skills in other areas relevant to modern life, such as creative problem solving and financial literacy (tested for the first time in 2012) and collaborative problem solving (testing will begin in 2015).

Participants of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment Albania Latvia Algeria Lebanon Argentina Liechtenstein Australia Lithuania Austria Luxembourg Azerbaijan Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of) Belgium Malaysia Brazil Malta Bulgaria Mauritius Canada Mexico Chile Moldova China (People’s Republic of) Montenegro Hong Kong Netherlands Macao New Zealand Shanghai Norway Colombia Panama Costa Rica Peru Croatia Poland Czech Republic Portugal Denmark Qatar Dominican Republic Romania Estonia Russian Federation Finland Serbia France Singapore Georgia Slovak Republic Germany Slovenia Greece Spain Hungary Sweden Iceland Switzerland India- Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Chinese Taipei  Thailand  Trinidad and Tobago Indonesia Tunisia Ireland Turkey Israel United Arab Emirates Italy United Kingdom Japan United States Jordan Uruguay Kazakhstan Venezuela Korea Miranda Kosovo Vietnam Kyrgyz Republic

Finnish Lessons: What the World Can Learn from Educational Change in Fin...

Finland School Education System-Pioneering the much needed change

Reference article-
https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/finland-will-become-the-first-country-in-the-world-to-get-rid-of-all-school-subjects-259910/

Finland Will Become the First Country in the World to Get Rid of All School Subjects


Finland’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. In international ratings, it’s always in the top ten. However, the authorities there aren’t ready to rest on their laurels, and they’ve decided to carry through a real revolution in their school system.
Finnish officials want to remove school subjects from the curriculum. There will no longer be any classes in physics, math, literature, history, or geography.
The head of the Department of Education in Helsinki, Marjo Kyllonen, explained the changes:
“There are schools that are teaching in the old-fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginning of the 1900s — but the needs are not the same, and we need something fit for the 21st century.“
Instead of individual subjects, students will study events and phenomena in an interdisciplinary format. For example, the Second World War will be examined from the perspective of history, geography, and math. And by taking the course ”Working in a Cafe," students will absorb a whole body of knowledge about the English language, economics, and communication skills.
This system will be introduced for senior students, beginning at the age of 16. The general idea is that the students ought to choose for themselves which topic or phenomenon they want to study, bearing in mind their ambitions for the future and their capabilities. In this way, no student will have to pass through an entire course on physics or chemistry while all the time thinking to themselves “What do I need to know this for?”
The traditional format of teacher-pupil communication is also going to change. Students will no longer sit behind school desks and wait anxiously to be called upon to answer a question. Instead, they will work together in small groups to discuss problems.
The Finnish education system encourages collective work, which is why the changes will also affect teachers. The school reform will require a great deal of cooperation between teachers of different subjects. Around 70% of teachers in Helsinki have already undertaken preparatory work in line with the new system for presenting information, and, as a result, they’ll get a pay increase.
The changes are expected to be complete by 2020.
What do you think about all these ideas? We’d love to hear your opinion, so let us know in the comments.
Education in Finland is an education system with no tuition fees and with fully subsidised meals served to full-time students. The present education system in Finland consists of daycare programmes (for babies and toddlers) and a one-year "pre-school" (or kindergarten for six-year-olds); a nine-year compulsory basic comprehensive school (starting at age seven and ending at the age of sixteen); post-compulsory secondary general academic and vocational education; higher education (University and University of applied sciences); and adult (lifelong, continuing) education. 
EDUCATING AMERICANS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?
The country's achievements in education have other nations, especially the United States, doing their homework
Nearly 30 percent of Finland’s children receive some kind of special help during their first nine years of school. The school where Louhivuori teaches served 240 first through ninth graders last year; and in contrast with Finland’s reputation for ethnic homogeneity, more than half of its 150 elementary-level students are immigrants—from Somalia, Iraq, Russia, Bangladesh, Estonia and Ethiopia, among other nations. “Children from wealthy families with lots of education can be taught by stupid teachers,” Louhivuori said, smiling. “We try to catch the weak students. It’s deep in our thinking.”

Educators had little idea it was so successful until 2000, when the first results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test given to 15-year-olds in more than 40 global venues, revealed Finnish youth to be the best young readers in the world. Three years later, they led in math. By 2006, Finland was first out of 57 countries (and a few cities) in science. In the 2009 PISA scores released last year, the nation came in second in science, third in reading and sixth in math among nearly half a million students worldwide. “I’m still surprised,” said Arjariita Heikkinen, principal of a Helsinki comprehensive school. “I didn’t realize we were that good.”
In the United States, which has muddled along in the middle for the past decade, government officials have attempted to introduce marketplace competition into public schools. In recent years, a group of Wall Street financiers and philanthropists such as Bill Gates have put money behind private-sector ideas, such as vouchers, data-driven curriculum and charter schools, which have doubled in number in the past decade. President Obama, too, has apparently bet on compe­tition. His Race to the Top initiative invites states to compete for federal dollars using tests and other methods to measure teachers, a philosophy that would not fly in Finland. “I think, in fact, teachers would tear off their shirts,” said Timo Heikkinen, a Helsinki principal with 24 years of teaching experience. “If you only measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect.”
There are no mandated standardized tests in Finland, apart from one exam at the end of students’ senior year in high school. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students, schools or regions. Finland’s schools are publicly funded. The people in the government agencies running them, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians. Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town. The differences between weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to the most recent survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Equality is the most important word in Finnish education. All political parties on the right and left agree on this,” said Olli Luukkainen, president of Finland’s powerful teachers union.

“We prepare children to learn how to learn, not how to take a test,” said Pasi Sahlberg, a former math and physics teacher who is now in Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture. “We are not much interested in PISA. It’s not what we are about.”
One girl wore cat ears on her head, for no apparent reason. Another kept a stuffed mouse on her desk to remind her of home. 
Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend less time in classrooms than American teachers. Teachers use the extra time to build curriculums and assess their students. Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal. Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori. “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?”
It’s almost unheard of for a child to show up hungry or homeless. Finland provides three years of maternity leave and subsidized day care to parents, and preschool for all 5-year-olds, where the emphasis is on play and socializing. In addition, the state subsidizes parents, paying them around 150 euros per month for every child until he or she turns 17. Ninety-seven percent of 6-year-olds attend public preschool, where children begin some academics. Schools provide food, medical care, counseling and taxi service if needed. Stu­dent health care is free.
Besides Finnish, math and science, the first graders take music, art, sports, religion and textile handcrafts. English begins in third grade, Swedish in fourth. By fifth grade the children have added biology, geography, history, physics and chemistry.

Not until sixth grade will kids have the option to sit for a district-wide exam, and then only if the classroom teacher agrees to participate. Most do, out of curiosity. Results are not publicized. Finnish educators have a hard time understanding the United States’ fascination with standardized tests. “Americans like all these bars and graphs and colored charts,”

goal would not be allowed to dissipate into rhetoric.

“Finland’s historic achievements in delivering educational excellence and equity to its children are the result of a national love of childhood, a profound respect for teachers as trusted professionals, and a deep understanding of how children learn best.”


One of the experts, the famed Professor Howard Gardner of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, told us, “Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States. You can read about what Finland has accomplished in ‘Finnish Lessons’by Pasi Sahlberg.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/#LmDACip8LB9YQfFc.99
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'What if Finland's Great Teachers Taught in Your Schools?' Pasi Sahlberg...

Should The World Adopt Finland's Education System?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Why hiring is caste and language ridden and we are not ashamed.

Has there been any caste proliferation in corporate hiring? 

Not sure but I feel like seeing it in my face quite often now a days. I was at ICICI bank , Jeevan Bheema Nagar, Bangalore today and I observed the official language of staff talk was mostly TELUGU. The same case at Vignnana Nagar (very close to Jeevan Bheema Nagar).
Sample one more, went to H&M at VR Mall , Whitefield Bangalore and nearly all staff talking for their internal communication in TAMIL. Pantaloons store at Indiranagar 100 ft road, nearly all staff communicate in KANNADA. 
MUJI store at VR , Bengaluru, most , everyone talks Hindi. It is Japanese retailer in India with JV with Reliance. Amazing store for innovating and high on utility products for household and even beds and shirts too. All these store guys were hired by the Delhi team , at Delhi NCR.
Just along the language lines, I observed some streaks of culture. At H&M at VR Bengaluru, staff make a fish market, they keep talking among themselves, loud and in objectionable tone, body language and rustic way. You will hate it. 
At Pantaloons, bang opposite, extremely polite, gentle looks and behavior, soft tone and non-invading body language, great sense to serve and they will communicate each step while they help you. Amazing experience.
MUJI, VR, Bengaluru, good looking and all fair and handsome and fair & lovely cool guys. Too cool and too welcoming but, they would use the taught parrot style and content irrespective what kind of customer you are are what would interest. Quite naive but very welcoming and helpful. Helpful but limited as they have bit of ego chipped on their shoulder that they are polished and MBAish hire and they look good, etc. Overtime, they will be better at what they do at store. A great store to visit. Nice folks but they need to learn a lot, a lot, a lot (yes, 3 times about the products and the story-line, its antecedents and the Value that it carries). 
And yes, the TELUGU at ICICI bank; They are soft and indulgent, thick skin and shake off if you catch them on wrong foot. But service is great. They are not used to customers wishing them , so they get a little scared. 
Store sales is not rough job of plumbing or server and network services, where you carry heavy stuff. Hire for roles and match the culture and backgrounds. 
But the managers are communal, extremely language and caste fanatic and they would keep doing it. They are backed by hidden hands of GOD (Their Managers, even CEOs) as their GOD also has a caste and he feels better with his breed and species around him. Shame! 

ZS Associates Vault ranking and Glassdoor presence!

Is ZS Associate India office hiring strategy and local office culture pulling its Vault.com ratings down. Tried evaluating it over Vault and Glassdoor to see if thing add up well. I worked for ZS as HR Consultant during 2007-2009. Even those days, ZS was a back office operations based consulting than strategic or even tactical. Great leaders, great people but very narrow business view. Shall we call it consulting in the first place is bit debatable.

India office has grown over past 8 to 9 years like any back office ops firm for typical pharma projects. Hardly any innovation and still relying heavily on excel based tools. Some topping on the cake is Microstrategy based dashboards and some use of SAS etc. Some say, the best place to look for typical time bound promotion is ZS Associates in India.

Core to ZS culture was the live element called PD Manager (Professional Development Manager). People were molded into  the ZS way through the PD Manager, (who at most managed 3 to 6 PD reports and everyone in the organisation had a PD Manager. Even Prabhakant Sinha, the S of ZS , Zoltners was his PD Manager)who was your super coach, super career guide and conscience keeper, a true confidant, a mentor and a friend in tough times. Now ZS has diluted this role in India by hiring PD Managers for managing herd of 200 associates.

Some comment that ZS (India and elsewhere) believes in providing lifetime opportunity for those who cannot find a job outside ZS.
I believe even if ZS went in India typical ops delivery route, it still could have maintained its sacrosanct values through PD Management, of top league consulting firm!

I remember my talks with Partner Julie Billingsley , who heads Human Resources function at ZS. I asked about some HR and benefits staff in the US office, who were there for a decade or more, holding same old associate or Associate Consultant titles; "when do they get promoted to Associate Principal and Principal levels?''. Her brilliant answer that I still remember and feel great about was, "When they are ready for it.". I am not sure the same holds true for ZS India, as I see many and almost too many getting time bound promotions to even at Principal levels. They at times mention their title as Partner too.

Some say and I agree, that you cannot run ZS like Accenture and TCS as you are only ZS and would remain ZS!

Click the link below and read the post. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwBOW5MTJapWcjUzTjg4UDVDdEU/view?usp=sharing


ZS Associates Vault ranking and Glassdoor presence!

Is ZS Associate India office hiring strategy and local office culture pulling its Vault.com ratings down. Tried evaluating it over Vault and Glassdoor to see if thing add up well. I worked for ZS as HR Consultant during 2007-2009. Even those days, ZS was a back office operations based consulting than strategic or even tactical. Great leaders, great people but very narrow business view. Shall we call it consulting in the first place is bit debatable.

India office has grown over past 8 to 9 years like any back office ops firm for typical pharma projects. Hardly any innovation and still relying heavily on excel based tools. Some topping on the cake is Microstrategy based dashboards and some use of SAS etc. Some say, the best place to look for typical time bound promotion is ZS Associates in India.

Core to ZS culture was the live element called PD Manager (Professional Development Manager). People were molded into  the ZS way through the PD Manager, (who at most managed 3 to 6 PD reports and everyone in the organisation had a PD Manager. Even Prabhakant Sinha, the S of ZS , Zoltners was his PD Manager)who was your super coach, super career guide and conscience keeper, a true confidant, a mentor and a friend in tough times. Now ZS has diluted this role in India by hiring PD Managers for managing herd of 200 associates.

Some comment that ZS (India and elsewhere) believes in providing lifetime opportunity for those who cannot find a job outside ZS.
I believe even if ZS went in India typical ops delivery route, it still could have maintained its sacrosanct values through PD Management, of top league consulting firm!

I remember my talks with Partner Julie Billingsley , who heads Human Resources function at ZS. I asked about some HR and benefits staff in the US office, who were there for a decade or more, holding same old associate or Associate Consultant titles; "when do they get promoted to Associate Principal and Principal levels?''. Her brilliant answer that I still remember and feel great about was, "When they are ready for it.". I am not sure the same holds true for ZS India, as I see many and almost too many getting time bound promotions to even at Principal levels. They at times mention their title as Partner too.

Some say and I agree, that you cannot run ZS like Accenture and TCS as you are only ZS and would remain ZS!

Click the link below and read the post. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwBOW5MTJapWcjUzTjg4UDVDdEU/view?usp=sharing