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The Need for Holistic Assessment in the higher education sector 26 September, 2012

Dr.Pascal Chazot

Dr.Pascal Chazot, elected Member of the French Parliament, led the Weekly Discussion Program through A-VIEW on Wednesday, 26th September 2012. Dr.Chazot is a senior civil servant with the French Ministry of National Education and an expert in education and international co-operation. The discussion was on ‘The need for holistic assessment in the higher education sector”.

The current Status of Higher Education

In India, out of a population of more than 1 billion, only 1 in every 14,000 gets higher education. India produces 2.5 million graduates and 350,000 engineers every year, but the employability of these graduates and engineers is very low. This is very evident from the fact that 12% of India’s 41 million unemployed people have either a graduate or a post graduate degree. Though, India is known for IT skills, the annual output of Ph.Ds in Computer Science is only 25.

Exam oriented studying

The Indian education system is totally fragmented and each part is disconnected from one another. Also, there is no connection with the physical world and social world. We lack hands-on learning and there is no room for individual creativity and action. All the learning time is spent in preparation of exams, which are based on memorization of text books.

Solutions

Dr.Pascal suggested the following solutions to the challenges in the education system today:

  • Integrate learning and assessment tasks with links to real life
  • Give real life projects to the students for exploring the issues and designing solutions
  • Introduce new interdisciplinary courses
  • Provide hands on learning opportunities for students
  • Introduce formative assessment as part of learning process.

Around 30 universities and colleges including Indian Naval Academy, IISER Mohali and Amrita University participated in the discussion.

A-VIEW is an E-Learning platform, developed by Amrita University's E-Learning Research Lab, which is a state-of-the-art software for distance education and collaboration. It is available for free to all the educational institutes across India, and can be downloaded from the website address, www.aview.in or by sending an email to aview@amrita.edu.