Aus researchers urge pandemic-proof education system


Canberra, June 10 | Australian researchers have provided a roadmap for addressing educational deficiency in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic-induced disruptions to improve the country’s dealing with educationally disadvantaged young people.

Researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland (UQ) and Paul Ramsay Foundation explored the impact of the national lockdown on educational disadvantage, saying on Wednesday it was the first study to present evidence-based solutions to help inform policy, reports Xinhua news agency.

The study adopted 16 recommendations for decision-makers and sector stakeholders, which was divided into four priority areas for action, including improving student mental health, wellbeing and hope, building up the future roles of teachers, schools, and communities, setting up protections for most vulnerable students and digital equity.

Professor Mark Western, UQ’s Institute for Social Sciences Research director, said that compared to other countries, Australia lacks the same evidence-based support services, leaving Australians exposed to widening the educational divide, although more than 60 programs already existed to support children and young people experiencing disadvantage.

Researchers analysed large data sets and conducted interviews with focus groups with underprivileged children and young people, as well as service providers, government, and academic experts to capture and understand which elements of the system of educational disadvantage were directly impacted by Covid.

“More needs to be done to invest in the future of Australia’s children and young people by deploying evidence-based programs that address four priority areas for action,” Western said.

“Our report gives decision-makers, service providers, and potential funders a toolkit for implementing a range of guiding principles for school-based programs that would provide more support services tailored to students during the next potential lockdown or disaster,” he noted.

Paul Ramsay Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Professor Glyn Davis AC said few Australian-based programs are supporting vulnerable students with rigorous evidence of effectiveness now, so they hope these findings will guide the implementation of school-based and community-based programs that meet the needs of Australia’s vulnerable young people.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal


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