It works abroad, why not at home

It works abroad, why not at home

Easier to approach foreign universities for sending exchange students under semester system

Semester system, combined with grading, is the most popular way of teaching and assessing in higher education world over. Indian education system is gradually moving to the same style in colleges. Changes are being brought in school education as well.

“We moved from the annual examination system to the semester system keeping many things in mind. It increases efficiency and defeats the laid-back attitude among students and teachers. It also makes it easier for our students to go to other countries,” said a former Delhi University who was a part of planning for the new system.

He said it has become easier to approach foreign universities for sending students on exchange programmes. “Earlier students went for presentation of papers  or for a few weeks. Now they can go for an entire semester,” he said.

JNU’s example

The global studies programme of Jawaharlal Nehru University is an example. Students come from other parts of the world for one semester and take classes at  various departments.

“Students from here go on similar courses. It can happen only in the semester system because students are exchanged, facilitated by foreign ministries, for a few months,” said Dhanpath Shyam, a humanities student at JNU. He attended one such course in the Netherlands while doing his MA.

DU is also planning to convert its three-year Bachelor’s courses into four-year stints.
According to one expert, this will  meet the the requirement of 16 years of education to pursue a Master's degree from the United States and Europe. “It's a welcome step,” she said, even while adding that the length of a course does not determine quality.

Scrapping board exams in class 10 and adopting a project-based approach for school education too prepares kids for studies abroad.

But the switch has not been taken positively by many as it involves assessment of students by schoolteachers for 11 years,  rather than by a board.

Critics say that many teachers don't understand the project-based approach. Students are  made to submit numerous ‘projects’, which just means a lot of printouts. Teachers don't look at the content, they just see the highlighting of the text with colours.

Anjali Verma, mother of two said students are taking coloured print-outs to make their presentations look attractive.

This might be the easy way out for them right now, but it doesn't prepare them for tougher academic life later.

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