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Showing posts from 2012

European Commission launches its new Rethinking Education strategy

The European Commission announced the launching of its new ‘Rethinking Education strategy’ in a press release on 20 November 2012. ‘The youth unemployment rate is close to 23% across the European Union – yet at the same time there are more than 2 million vacancies that cannot be filled. Europe needs a radical rethink on how education and training systems can deliver the skills needed by the labour market’ - the press release said. 
The objective of the strategy, as per the release, is to encourage Member States to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs. Rethinking Education calls for a fundamental shift in education, with more focus on 'learning outcomes' - the knowledge, skills and competences that students acquire.
The new strategy also gives due importance to the use of ICT, Open Educational Resources (OERs) and modernisation of assessment methods to e…

Leadership and capacity for efficient public service management; an insider’s perspective

This is actually an abstract of a (scheduled) working paper prepared for submitting to 'International Conference on Governance and Public Service Transformation in South Asia' scheduled to be conducted from 7th to 9th Dec this year in Dhaka. But unfortunately missed the deadline for its submission. Now I post it here to make me committed to complete this paper later - perhaps a trick to overcome writer's block :) 
Leadership and capacity for efficient public service management; an insider’s perspective
Leadership and capacity are vital to the successful carryout of any business. Basically, leadership is supposed to have the capacity to successfully complete the mission entrusted upon it, that is, leadership capacity. When we talk about leadership and capacity separately, capacity would also indicate other factors such as legal framework, various kinds of resources etc that are essential to fulfill a task. 
Currently - owing to numerous factors such as cumbersome procedures…


Imanofutu - a work in progress novel

Imanofutu: Acronym for imaginary nation of future
This novel would depict the struggles of the people of Imanofutu - an imaginary island nation- to save their country from the impending terminal disaster triggered by global warming and related issues. Plans to release the novel with an open license (Scheduled release: March 2013)

Read below the fist draft of the fist chapter...

2012 OER Paris Declaration

On June 22, 2012 the World OER Congress (held in Paris from June 20 to 22 , 2012) approved the ‘2012 OER Paris Declaration’. The declaration contains recommendations to:

a. Foster awareness and use of OER. 
b. Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
c. Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER
d. Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks
e. Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials
f. Foster strategic alliances for OER
g. Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts 
h. Encourage research on OER.
i. Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER.
j. Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds

All the ten aspects included in the declaration are vital, no doubt. These are crucial matters which either do not get attention or require more attention. For i…

Open content licensing for educators (OCL4Ed 2012); free online workshop

The World has already realised the need for sharing knowledge freely and openly to ensure inclusive education - the open education - especially in a 10 bn plus world. The world population is predicted to touch the 10 bn mark in the current century itself! The primary game rule in open education is the ‘open content licensing’. A better understanding of open content licensing is essential for developing and managing open education systems as well as to become successful teachers and students in this domain, which is the promise for the future.
The Open Educational Resource Foundation (OERF), New Zealand and its director Dr. Wayne Mackintosh have now announced an innovative initiative  to train educators, students, education policy makers and all other stakeholders in open licensing - the Open Content Licensing for Educators  (OCL4Ed) workshop. The Open Content Licensing for Educators  (OCL4Ed) is a free online workshop designed for educators, students and education policy makers who w…

A book release and reunion of four friends

On 3 May, 2012,  I attended a book release, definitely, it was not like other book releases I have attended so far. The book was the autobiography of an intimate friend, published by the publishing firm of another intimate friend's family and the book was introduced in the function by yet another intimate friend. The second importance of the function was that it brought together these friends after a lapse of more than 15 years. The list of importance not ends here. The third importance was that the released book depicted the important creative moments that these friends shared together almost two decades ago.

The book was written by Dr. J. Hareendarn Nair ( Padmashree laureate 2012), published by Read India Publishers,  a firm run by the family of Muhammed Salim and the book was introduced in the release function by Anil Dev.

Muhammed Salim, Anil Dev and I were schoolmates  and intimate friends from Upper Primary School days onward. Our family members, other schoolmates and acquain…

When I met Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, the legendary writer

During these days of a week long literary festival in connection with the birth centenary of the legendary writer and Jnanpith laureate, late Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, that is being held at his house Sankaramangalam at Thakazhi from April 10, I would like to share the experience of my first and the last meeting with him almost 14 years back.
My friend Ajith and I arrived at Sankaramangalam in an afternoon . We  started from Alappuzha in the morning. We were particular that we should see Kuttanad in detail before seeing the story writer of Kuttanad. Therefore we chose to board a service boat from Alappuzha to Changanassery , through the backwaters, to be absorbed in the scenic beauty of Kuttanad. From Changanassery we went to Chambakkulum in a bus. From Chambakkulum we took a long walk through the paddy fields to reach Sankaramangalam. While reaching Sankaramangalam our minds were filled with the beauty of Kuttanad and we have started to imagine ourselves as the contemporaries of t…

Open Education; need of the hour

[To me] Open Education refers to a complex of various facilities that provide education opportunities without the barriers of money, time, place,  cumbersome procedures etc. It is related to Open Educational Resources (OER) in such a way that the Open Education is a system and OER is the fuel that enlivens the system. 
Cape Town Open Education Declaration says:

“However, open education is not limited to just open educational resources. It also draws upon open technologies that facilitate collaborative, flexible learning and the open sharing of teaching practices that empower educators to benefit from the best ideas of their colleagues. It may also grow to include new approaches to assessment, accreditation and collaborative learning. Understanding and embracing innovations like these is critical to the long term vision of this movement.”

Is Open Education a new concept?
In reality, from times unknown, open education is the origina…