Sunday August 19, 2018
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Why Indian education system is failing your kids

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By Harshmeet Singh

To most Indian parents, the only criterion to mark their child’s intelligence is the grades at school. With the child’s grades becoming as much ‘status symbol’ in the society as a luxury car, parents’ concern about their kid’s academic record is driven by concern and worry equally.

An entire generation of kids is cramping up facts and data without understanding the significance behind any of it. Since rote writing gives them the glory of achieving good grades, they can’t be blamed for not trying anything else. What’s more – the ones who try to go beyond rote learning are discouraged with low grades and never-ending follow up questions.

Every child is different

In our society, teaching is a thankless job. Unless you are teaching at a coaching centre for competitive examinations, your teaching profession is considered as your failure to get a good job. The simple fact that teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of shaping the lives of hundreds of students who would go on to shape the country’s future speaks volumes for the role they play in the society.

Yet, most teachers tend to overlook a simple fact – every child is different. The learning capacity and methods of each individual evolve in a different manner. While some people are audio learners, others may be visual learners. There are also a number of people who prefer a kinaesthetic method of learning. It is the teacher’s responsibility to understand the most suitable method for kids’ learning and feed them in that manner. Forcing the rote learning methods on to the kids can kill the potential of their minds.

Indian Education system

Barring some occasional end ranks in the top 100 institutes of the world, Indian educational institutes don’t give much reason to cheer. An acute shortage of teachers at the primary level and a dipping reading level of the kids are the standout features of our education system. Rote learning methods dominate our classrooms, with students learning or rather remembering to pass examinations and score marks, not to gain knowledge. The top rankers are the ones who can learn the most, not the ones who understood the most. An increasing school enrollment ratio has failed to increase the quality of education given in schools.

Bad teachers & absence of teachers

While much attention is given to the high number of vacancies in schools, there are minimal efforts to ensure that the appointed teachers provide the quality of learning that is expected from them. Most of the teachers are poorly trained. Considering that they got their jobs by passing an exam on the basis of rote learning, they can’t be expected to inculcate different values in their students. Absence of teacher training programs has ensured that the teachers reach stagnation within a couple of years of joining.

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Experts Say That Google Storing Location Data Can Be Easily Abused

According to Jesse Victors, Software Security Consultant at Synopsys, when Google builds a control into Android and then does not honour it, there is a strong potential for abuse.

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Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts
Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts. Pixabay

 A day after reports surfaced that certain Google apps track your whereabouts even when you turn off location data, experts on Tuesday expressed concerns about the practice, stressing that location and identity data can be used for both good and bad.

The Associated Press on Monday ran a story saying an investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store users’ location data even if the users explicitly used a privacy setting forbidding that.

Researchers from Princeton University confirmed the findings.

According to Tim Mackey, Technical Evangelist at the US-based tech company Synopsys, it has been widely understood for some time that tech giants like Google use data supplied through the use of their services as part of their efforts to personalize the experience.

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Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in.Pixabay

“There is a basic saying when it comes to most technology — ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. For practical purposes, this supply of personal data has been part of the virtual fees we pay to companies in exchange for ‘free’ access to the services provided,” Mackey told IANS.

“With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU now in effect and regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) on the horizon, companies collecting personal data need to reassess their use of personal data,” he noted.

In a statement given to IANS, Google said that “Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete or turn it off at any time.

“As the (AP) story notes, we make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions,” said Google.

just turning off Location History doesn't solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing "Web and App Activity" may do the trick.
just turning off Location History doesn’t solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing “Web and App Activity” may do the trick.

But just turning off Location History doesn’t solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing “Web and App Activity” may do the trick.

However, according to the information on Google’s Activity Control page, “Even when this setting is paused, Google may temporarily use information from recent searches in order to improve the quality of the active search session”.

According to Mackey, since we’re talking about consumer-level services, the expectation of the consumer for an “off switch” is what matters most.

“Users wishing their location be kept private indicate this preference through the ‘Location history’ setting. If vendors placed themselves in the shoes of a consumer and respected the setting, managing consent under regulations like GDPR would be simpler and the user’s expectations would be met,” Mackey emphasised.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Android Launcher Now Lets You Track Your Kid’s Location and App Usage

According to Jesse Victors, Software Security Consultant at Synopsys, when Google builds a control into Android and then does not honour it, there is a strong potential for abuse.

“It is sometimes extremely important to keep one’s location history private. Other times, you may simply wish to opt out of data collection. It’s disingenuous and misleading to have a toggle switch that does not completely work,” Victors said. (IANS)