Career Counselling Advice

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Overcoming Unexpected Setbacks

Recognition of institutions is a very strict process in our country, and it ensures that quality of education is maintained. But at times students are left high and dry when it turns out that the place where they have studied is not recognized by the authorities. If the de-recognition comes in after going through the course they obviously have no choice, but often students are misled by colleges or institutions who claim to have recognition, but actually they do not. It is worth the while for students to check from the authorities themselves (AICTE, UGC and most other licensing bodies have websites giving this information).

Those who are caught in the web of being trapped in a course that is not recognized, may take the following steps:

  1. Analyze whether they are actually learning something useful from the course that will open doors for private industry jobs. Depending on whether they have already covered a major portion of the course or are just at the beginning, they may drop out and look for alternatives. They may ensure that they get back at least a substantial amount of the fees they have paid (and seek the help of Consumer Court if necessary)
  2. Explore alternatives, which may include: losing a year and joining a recognized institution, or appearing for 12 th standard through NIOS (website www.nios.ac.in) thus saving a year, and then moving on to any degree course
  3. Enrolling under the Open University system for a degree course (no minimum qualification required, except an entrance test which is not very tough). Bangalore University and a few others give the same degree certificate to students who pass through distance learning, as they give to regular college-goers, and these degrees are recognized for post-graduation as well as all government employment including Civil Services.
  4. If one is not particular about higher education or government service, one can take up a vocational course in fields ranging from IT to hospitality, travel, technical writing, software testing, mass communication, marketing, special education, counselling, etc.
  5. If the candidate has completed 10+2 with 60% marks, he can attempt to be selected as an Airman in the Indian Air Force, wherein he can earn and learn. The defence services give ample opportunities for higher studies, and many airmen have completed up to post graduation while in service for 20 years, opted for early retirement, and are making excellent careers in the private sector.

Some students get very distressed when they have to suffer for no fault of theirs, due to de-recognition of their course or institution. If they have the resilience to understand that whatever they have studied will not go waste and will be useful in some form or the other, they can make a fresh beginning (even if they have lost a year or two). Having had the setback they are likely to be more focused and knowledgeable about which career would suit them better, and hence become more successful in the long run.

One can also explore a courageous alternative to stop full time academics and join a job to gain experience and get first-handle knowledge of the field the person may be working in for the next 40-50 years. Such a student may take two precautions: (1) do not go away from academics completely. Take up a distance learning or part-time program, even if it is a short-term certificate course, and (2) ensure that the job is giving practical learning and is not just a routine monotonous and repetitive one. Even if the job pays very little, as long as there is something to learn, the time spent is worth it. In this case smaller unknown or start-up organizations are preferable to long-established strong brands.

In the future it is not just the paper qualifications and the degrees that will determine the progress and career of a student, either in India or abroad. If students take proper steps to overcome their trauma and find the right direction, and systematically upgrade themselves in a field where they have aptitude and ability, they will find that a very bright future awaits them.

By Ali Khwaja

 

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Improving Memory and Concentration

Memory

No one has a good or bad memory. It depends entirely on how interested we are and how much effort we are willing to put in. Remember how you remember very old incidents that are very dear to you?

Some tips for developing better memory:

  • Bring down stress levels in general
  • Relax, particularly on occasions when you need to remember important things
  • Survey the topic, familiarize yourself
  • Use the method called SQ3RT i.e. Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review and Test
  • Remove obstructions and barriers to clear reception
  • Check how good is your auditory, visual and sensory intake
  • Do not hesitate to ask, clarify, then roll it in your mind
  • Rationalize the facts and figures
  • Check out how the information can be useful to you in future
  • Make very brief notes of essential points
  • Recall periodically, talk about it to others

Concentration

Concentration is the ability to train the mind to focus all its attention exclusively on one point. It comes naturally to some people, while others have to work to build them up. Concentration ability can be acquired by any of us.

Simple tips for improving concentration when you study:

  • Try to focus on underlying meaning of what you are about to study – how is it going to help me?/li>
  • The better your listening, the better is your concentration/li>
  • Develop the power of good observation, make mental notes/li>
  • Creative and critical thinking helps – compare, contrast each topic and point/li>
  • Have a good systematic and steady reading habit/li>
  • Start with warming up: browse, jot down points, discuss/li>
  • Thought stopping of something bugging you – psyche yourself to get back/li>
  • List out and allocate timing for other things you have to do so that those thoughts don’t keep bugging you./li>
  • Meditate, or close your eyes, listen attentively to all sounds exclusively/li>
  • Look at objects in room, close eyes, visualize each of them, and then bring your mind to your book, let all other objects disappear from your view, and let your eyes focus only on the book.
  • When your concentration is slipping, close the book, look at the farthest point visible to you, and start staring at one point far away. Focus till everything disappears from view. Then slowly bring your eyes back to focus on your surroundings. This is an ancient technique called Tratak.
  • Divide the portion into smaller manageable bits – take breaks
  • Give yourself incentives and rewards when you concentrate for reasonable time

By Ali Khwaja

 

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Getting The Best Out Of Lectures

  • Listen carefully to lectures, and try to get the gist of the topic
  • Bring your mind to subject, refer to the book earlier so that it is not new and unfamiliar when being taught
  • Note only points, make abbreviations of words. Don’t get bogged down by writing long notes and losing track of the lecture
  • Put question marks against doubts, leave space for writing your comments or clarifications later when you do your revision
  • Read the notes and fine tune them immediately after lecture, and before you forget what was taught.
  • Use methods of highlighting, underlining and colouring to make visibility easier and to make your notes more readable.
  • Associate the topic to real life situation and to its benefits to you in life later.
  • Read your notes after one day, one week, one month
  • Test yourself by closing the notes & answering random questions.

By Ali Khwaja

 

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School Students and Teachers

Plan well in advance

Every year I come across students who are keen to get into a course of their choice, but find that the last date for applying is already over. For example, one can give the KVPY exam for scholarships and for admission in IISERs and IISc to study pure sciences, while you are in 11 th standard. (check out www.kvpy.org.in)

Similarly, while lakhs of students prepare for years to get into IITs, not many are aware that after doing a basic degree in science, one can get into one of the prestigious IITs for a Masters in Science through the JAM exam held in February every year – but last date for admission is in October the previous year (see www.jam.iitb.ac.in).

Even Primary school teachers need to be qualified

Government of Karnataka has issued orders that Primary school teachers should have a D.Ed. diploma by March 2019. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has started registration for D.Ed. (last date 15 th Sep 2017) for teachers who have above 50% marks in PUC. Those who do not qualify by 2019 are liable for termination. Teachers can contact their nearest NIOS office. In Karnataka it is at 3 rd floor, Karnataka Examinations Authority (CET Cell) building, Corner of 18 th Cross and Sampige Road, Malleswaram. Phone 80-23464222 or 1800-180- 9393. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Options through NIOS Students who fear that they may miss out getting their matriculation certification because they are poor in one or two specific subjects have the option of choosing whatever subjects they wish to pursue, through the above- mentioned NIOS exam, which is recognized all over India. Even those who have failed in one or two subjects in SSLC/CBSE/ICSE and could not clear in the supplementary exams also, can contact NIOS for “on demand” exams and thus clear their way for higher studies.

CBSE’s course “Knowledge traditions and practices of India”

For the first time a comprehensive course on India’s intellectual, artistic, scientific and technological heritage: Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India has been offered to CBSE’s schools as an elective course for classes 11 and 12. The modules are reported to be academically rigorous yet student friendly; they are enriched with numerous illustrations , annotated extracts from primary texts, explanatory side notes, lists of online and offline resources, suggested projects and other activities. Most of them are also available online (http://cbseacademic.in/publication_sqps.html)

24 states to scrap “No detention” policy from next year

24 states are likely to scrap the no-detention policy in schools from 2018 since it had led to a fall in learning outcomes resulting in over 20% dropout at class IX.

Under the current regime students are promoted automatically till class VI-VII ,but now they will be tested twice –in class V and class VI-VII and those who fail the March exam will be given another chance in May; else the students will be detained in the same class.

There have been several instances of large-scale failures in class XI and these were seen as due to a lack of qualitative and quantitative assessments in earlier classes. On occasions students protested and turned violent. The class X board exam was optional and it was only recently that a decision has been taken to bring it back from March 2018.

Earlier it was envisioned that with the implementation of the comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) students will assessed from class I, eliminating a need for an examination to promote students to higher classes. But CCE proved difficult to implement and teachers lost leverage over students with many govt. schools turning into mere “mid-day meal” providers. The proposed amendments seeks to improve the learning levels of children.

By Ali Khwaja

 

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Career Guidance

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