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Indian-American among math and science teachers honoured by Obama

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Darshan Jain, an Indian-American teacher is one of the 108 teachers named by President Barack Obama as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Jain, who has taught mathematics at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois for eight years where he currently serves as the director of mathematics, and other winners will receive a $10,000 award each from the National Science Foundation.

The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event later this summer.

Stevenson High School math teacher Darshan Jain is all smiles while holding his 3-year

“These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science,” Obama said of the winners.

“Their leadership and commitment empower our children to think critically and creatively about science, technology, engineering, and math.

“The work these teachers are doing in our classrooms today will help ensure that America stays on the cutting edge tomorrow,” he said.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 (kindergarten through 12th grades) science and mathematics teachers from across the country.

“The Presidential Award validates my core belief that all students can learn mathematics in authentic, rigorous, and impactful ways,” Jain said.

“It is grounded in my experience that collaborative teachers can help all students achieve excellence.”

“This award provides opportunities to have discussions around improving math education at local and national levels,” he said.

“Students’ experiences in mathematics must fundamentally change in order to support our national vision for equity, access, and competitiveness.”

Jain’s industry experience includes time spent as a project engineer and a machine designer.

Darshan Jain, director of mathematics at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, has received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Here he is when he taught in the classroom.
Darshan Jain, director of mathematics at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire – here he is when he taught in the classroom. – Daily Herald file photo

Jain’s love for teaching was inspired by his work at the Hispanic Math and Science Initiative and his students’ success in learning.

As adjunct professor for mathematics education, Jain supported novice teachers. He now leads exceptional colleagues as curriculum director for his district.

Jain has also contributed to the education community by speaking on research-based pedagogy at local, state and national conferences.

Jain has a BA in mechanical engineering and a MS in secondary mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is pursing further graduate work. (IANS)

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Number of Students Opting for Science or Tech Are On Rise in India

India leads the world in the number of students getting bachelors degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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Sydney-based University of New South Wales (UNSW) has instituted 61 scholarships to attract
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India leads the world in the number of students getting bachelors degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Of about 5 million students who received their bachelor’s degrees in 2012 in STEM subjects worldwide, 29.2 per cent were from India, UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation Report 2018 released on Tuesday said.

China came next with 26 per cent of the STEM graduates. The EU accounted for 9.5 per cent of STEM graduates that year and the US for 6 per cent, the report said.

The report used statistics from 2012 and said the total number of bachelors-equivalent degrees awarded that year was 20 million.

The wide gulf in the numbers of students graduating in STEM explains why the US relies on such a large number of foreigners, especially Indians, to fill its technology workforce needs.

“Many countries are witnessing skills shortages in the fields of digital technologies and many employers report difficulties in filling high-skill vacancies,” UNCTAD said, citing a 2016 worldwide survey by ManpowerGroup on talent shortage that found that 40 per cent of employers reported difficulties in filling positions.

So, if your child is preparing for IIT-JEE or NEET from any of the reputed centres like Aakash Institute, as a parent, it's your responsibility to help your child find the right study time
study, representational image, Pixabay

According to India’s University Grants Commission, 10.7 million students were studying science, engineering/technology or computer science in 2016-17, although it did not give a breakdown between undergraduate and postgraduate levels or by year of study.

They made up 36 per cent of those studying in universities and colleges, UGC statistics showed.

Looking to the future, UNCTAD cautioned that “there were indications that educational institutions were not keeping pace with technological advances during the current transition period”.

It urged educational institutions to “react with agility” to the rapid pace of technology and the labour market changes and said this may require “significant transformations” in the education and training systems.

With the widespread use of artificial intelligence and robots looming on the horizon, the report said that “rapid technological progress required the labour force to develop a broader range of skills, focusing on humans’ comparative advantage, to increase employability”.

Also Read: India-Trained ‘Wrongly Educated’ Monks Banned by China

UNCTAD called for broadbasing education and said: “In the new technological landscape, there is a need for generic, core or fundamental skills such as literacy, numeracy and academic skills, together with basic financial and entrepreneurial skills and increasingly, basic digital and even coding skills.” (IANS)