Questioning the value of higher education

It almost feels like there is a movemenet against higher education, don't you think? There are whole lot of people who are coming out and asking the question. May be because of the reasons discussed here by Peter Thiel:

Another one by Scott Adams:

A different point of view (thankfully) from Vivek Wadhwa:

On a different note, here is a post by Seth Godin about "Why should kids attend school?"


Montessori in Premium preschool is Mandate?

Re-posting Sheetal's comments from elsewhere on Zeeksha with her permission regarding the admission ordeal for schools in Bangalore.

I am sure there are others that go through something similar. We would love for you to chime in with your point of view on this topic.

=== Post by Sheetal ===

Hi Parents,

Offf ..Its Horrible!

Just handled our first rejection! We did not get call from Sishu griha and admissions are closed now. Both Parents- XLRI &  IIMB alumni, residing near school, kid fits perfectly  in agegroup. So  we understand that the school can't admit all, and its not about the background, rather about the vacancies.

Our options:

  • New Horizon- preferably Gurukul. Seems to fit our requirement. We submitted two forms for each NHPS and NHG. Our interaction number is 800+  :(.
  • NCFE- in Malleshpalya. Web reviews made us avoid that school, but when we went there, it was a pleasant surprise. We interacted with Parents and they gave Fabulous feedback. School fees is 45K+65 K for montessori. Amazed to learn that people pulled out their children from Ryan and admitted in NCFE. Infrastructure is Good too. Pleasant to look at small cute children playing in a disciplined way on a green lush lawn, in midst of a large well maintained playground.
  • NPS - But we have decided not to look forward, since the school notice clearly says there may be  less than 60 seats and preference is to NPS siblings and NPS alumni. Morever they recieve more than 1000 applications.

We have decided not to apply anywhere else and if nothing goes through, then we will continue to the private playschool nearby / homeschool our kid and wait till next year for FAPS/KV/Presidency.

On a different note, I did my schooling form government school in a small town with fees Rs 5 pm, infact Goverment offerred my parents Rs 1200/- pa scholorship till I completed my higher secondary school :) and like me many others from the same background went to the most enviable technology institutes and best management colleges in India irrespective of our primary/secondary education background.
Food for a thought I welcome from other parents-  how do parents with lower financial background survive in todays scenario? Or we have lost our mind control and blinded by the trend that we ignore the much larger and true touchy picture behind few premium Preschools? On this thought My anxiety to worry about the preschool admissions has gone far away.

Will love to know others thoughts and action plans for their preschoolers.




Reorganizing teaching and learning

One of the better sections of the proposal in the US National Education Plan for 2010. As always, there is enough material other (coutries) to think about and discuss:

  • In a time when we have the capability of supporting learning 24/7 and personalizing the way a student interacts with digital content, it no longer makes sense to give every 13-year-old the same set of 45-minute American history lessons.

Here is a link to the "Reorganizing teaching and learning section":

You can view the full proposal (or download a PDF) of the same here:


Is there a correlation between autism and parents' education

Extracts from a study by researchers at UC Davis.

"Clusters of children diagnosed with autism tend to occur in places where parents are older, more educated, and white, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Davis." 

Here is the full article:

One point to note here is that "It doesn't necessarily mean that higher education causes autism. It gets you the diagnosis more frequently".

Kellog foundation's view on early childhoold education

Kellog foundation's view on early childhoold education - extracted from the IDEO report on "Tangible steps toward tomorrow. New design for early education".

We see a future for early childhood education,

Where education is not a separate activity from society—but allows kids to be embedded and thrive within their local community. A future in which
the community is invested in, and responsible for, the success of each child’s experience.

Where children and their care givers are engaged in learning that responds to their unique ways of understanding and interpreting the world.

And where teaching and leading in education remains an engaging and creative activity, with permission to evolve with new knowledge, understanding, trends, and technologies.


- W.K. Kellog Foundation


Zeeksha - Zeitgeist 2009

It's that time of the year! Yeah, you guessed it. It's trends in 2009 time. So, here goes. Unlike last year where we lumped the schools across the cities, this year we are going to be giving the top 5 schools in each city.

Approach & disclaimer: We just used Page Views as the basis to come up with the list and there is nothing more to it. Also we want to make perfectly clear that this list for all practical purposes is not an indication of anything useful. It's just something that we observed from the analytics data over 2009.

Bangalore takes the top honors of being the most engaged audience for the 2nd successful year. This was followed by Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. There was a looooot more engagement and updates from the community - especially around the admissions season. Thanks for taking the time to share the information and write about your experiences about various schools.

Here's our top 5 viewed schools in the descending order of Page Views in each city





On a different note - Lot of you wrote to us to say how useful Zeeksha has been for you. This really means a lot. Some of you also wrote to us to say how and where we need to improve. We do agree that there are lots of areas where we can improve and do better and will try to address them in the year ahead. As always, we are open to your feedback, suggestions - so keep them coming.

We hope that you will continue to share your experiences about various schools and that you will continue to spread the word about Zeeksha.

Happy holidays and advanced wishes for a very happy new year!!!

-Zeeksha Team

Afterall, craziness is not restricted to Indian schools alone

Article in NY Times on the school admission scenario in Manhattan:

Given the recession, there is also a greater likelyhood of a lot more parents trying to seal their place in good public schools instead of sending the kids to private schools.

I guess, ultimately it boils down to the demand vs supply. Things get wierder as this ratio goes out of whack. And that is pretty much guaranteed in India, given the number of people applying for limited slots in "good" schools.



Bangalore book festival - 2009 edition


The annual Bangalore Book Festival 2009 edition is starting on the 6th of November @ Palace grounds. The event will be there for 10 days.

It's a must visit for any book lover.

If you go there, please share your experiences and tips. Here's a link to the last year's event:

-Zeeksha Team


Do you think this concept can take root and expand in India?

Came across this post on RWW today, titled - "Is online education more effective than offline learning"? Interesting read indeed.

If online education is reasonably effective (and looks like it may actually may be more effective in some circumstances at least) -  may be there is a possibility that we can take a page out of "online education" and apply it to educating the masses in India.

The challenge will be to figure out how to incentivize the "online education coursework providers" to achieve this.





That time of the year - school admissions for 2010-2011

Looks like we are coming closer to that time of the year where parents go crazy trying to figure out the right school for their children. We are talking about the admissions season for the academic year 2010-2011.

Over the last year - YOU - the community have contributed some valuable information that we are sure will help a lot of parents looking for the right school. As the next admission season comes up, we hope that you will continue to share such information here @ Zeeksha.

In general we have found information such as admission dates, admission criteria, fees etc. to be very much in demand around now. Of course, your reviews and views would be useful too.

Looking forward to your continued support.

-Z Team



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