Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Depends on my varied interests: technology, programming, science, western philosophy, rationalism and etc.

The challenge of education in private sector. (A response to Tharunayaweb)

This post has been written as a response to the below video published by a Facebook fan page: Tharunayaweb 

I got my degree from a private institute affiliated with a foreign university and I work with a private academic institute as a lecturer. But I agree with the message of this video. Because I know some foreign academic qualifications/degrees offered by private academic institutes in Sri Lanka are either bogus or poor in quality. Despite the generalized terms and language style used in this video, it’s revealing a bitter truth about the gap between the marketing and actual implementation or outcome offered by those institutes.

I am not against the private education. Everyone has an unlimited potential by their birth. Using the right approach, people can be changed, trained, developed and guided to achieve whatever they wish to be. That is what I firmly believe as an educator. Learning opportunities should be available for everyone regardless their age level and history (exam results). It can be offered by the government for free, either it can be offered by any other party for money. This is why I fundamentally stand for freedom to learn, and freedom to run any ethical and legal business in this country.

The guidance given in this video for choosing a degree from a private institute is absolutely correct. Because quality matters in everything. Addition to that I recommend to do a research about employment rate of the graduates produced by them. The history, how many graduates they have produced so far, whether they are employed, unemployed or under employed, whether they are engaged in positions guaranteed by corresponding degrees, etc.

In the other hand, this video giving a good message for private education sector. Private sector has a big challenge and responsibility in this current context. Students who are dedicated, good with memorizing facts and writing exams are almost selected for the government universities. In here, let’s not talk about exceptional and talented students who start their degrees in private universities. Private sector has the challenge with the rest, to develop their skill and shape there lives for the future. Private sector has to pay more attention about the quality of their education. Ensure students have prerequisites for the degrees offered by them. Facilitate students to gain prerequisites if they are not capable to follow those degrees.

Specially private education sector has to handle their marketing strategies carefully to convince their responsibility to an educated society.

Academic Institutes and Information Society

free-knowledge

Few weeks ago when I was at an IT academic Institute, In my hand, I was holding some printed lecturer notes of a reputed university in Sri Lanka. One of the lecturers at there saw that and said, “Are you following any course there? Those lecturer notes are available only for the students who study at there. They never release those study materials in the public” Oh really? I just felt a lucky feeling. Actually, I was not a student of there, and I never had followed any course at there.

When comparing with the rest of the world where we are now as a country, as an educated society? How we collaborate. What is our contribution for the freely available knowledge into the world?

Knowledge should be freely available for everyone! It is not something to sell. It’s not something to hide away from others and make available for limited parties. This is the opinion of most intellectuals around the world now.

In centuries ago past, education and knowledge were something expensive which available only for some limited parties. Sometimes females and some minorities were not able to attend and learn at institutions.

World has changed so rapidly. Now, the information and knowledge available for free in various media. Any enthusiast individual can learn about any subject at least for some extent by using freely available knowledge on the Internet. The only limitative factor is having a computer, an internet connection and ability of reading. Some leading and highest reputed academic institutes around the world like MIT and Harvard university working on sharing their lecturer notes/presentations and classroom videos freely available to the world generously. We can adduce MIT open course ware project as an example. It is ridiculous to see when some local institutions are attempting to hide their course ware from the public.

Some “well frogs” in academia of Sri Lanka still don’t know about what goes around the world. “Never upload your presentations on slideshare.” I remember what which said by one of my co-workers!

Sharing these information with rest of the world reveals the business strategies to the competitive academic institutes (private sector). Someone argues!

What we expect from the academic institutes? Whether it is belonged to the public sector or private sector, I think their utmost purpose should be more than just providing raw information to their students! Anyone can find any information related to any subject quickly by using the Internet.  We always expect something beyond that from these institutions.  They should train their students to how to think critically, how to discover new knowledge and how to collaborate and share knowledge with others. Sharing course-ware would be a threaten for some academic institutions those who are dealing with just information! I have seen some lecturers are discouraging the Internet usage of the students. “Internet is full of craps, which lot of false information contain. Never rely on it!” They may be afraid for get questioned back by the students.  Are they afraid of exposing their nudity or losing the authority of knowledge?

Knowledge available on the Internet should not be a challenge to the teachers and academic institutes. When they realize their utmost duty, they can take an additional leverage by encouraging their students to use the Internet and explore knowledge. It may be the school, government or private sector university. This is the right time to think back and realize what should be the purpose and what should be the modern teacher’s role in the classroom in this modern era; information society. Because just selling freely available knowledge is a cheap business!

Quotes For Life

I love literature. Specially from philosophical reads, I like to collect various quotes and sayings from people. And I have a big quotes/sayings collection as a document which is always updated when a new impressive one is found. I am sharing some of them in below. 🙂

“There is no authority higher than reason.” – Sigmund Freud

 

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” – George Bernard Shaw

 

“Why does the Vatican have lightning rods?” – Asia Carrera

 

“Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

 

“I certainly don’t regret my experiences because without them, I couldn’t imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!” – Sasha Azevedo

 

“When you start giving too much importance to someone’s life, you tend to lose your value in their life. Strange but true.” 🙂

 

“I don’t care if you’re short, tall, fat, skinny, rich, poor, straight, gay, lesbian, black or white… If you’re nice to me, then i’ll be nice to you. Simply as that.” – Eminem

 

“You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something.” – Eminem

 

“Everything is fair in love and war. ”

 

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Theodore Hesburgh

 

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

 

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“People laugh at me, because i am different & i laugh at them because they are all same. That’s called attitude. Life is yours, you take it the way you want…”

 

“If you’re born poor it’s not your mistake, But if you die poor it’s your mistake” – Bill Gates

 

“At the end of our life.. we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have got,, or how much m0ney we have made.. pr h0w many great things we have d0ne.. but will be judged by,, i was hungry and u gave me to eat.. i was naked and y0u clothed me.. i was h0meless and y0u took me in” – mother teresa

 

“Don’t make promises when u are in joy.. d0n’t answer when you are sad.. and don’t take decisions when you are angry,, think twice,, act wise”

 

“We make them cry who care for us. We cry for those who never care for us. And we care for those who will never cry for us. once you realize this its never too late to change”

 

“Never explain your self to anyone.. coz the person who likes you doesn’t need it and the pers0n who dislikes y0u w0nt believe it..”

 

“The most important thing is not to stop questioning” – Albert Einstein

 

“Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.” – Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays (1950), “Outline of Intellectual Rubbish”

 

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Bertrand Russell

 

“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” – Bertrand Russell

 

“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” – Bertrand Russell

 

“Love is not a meaning. It is a feeling. It comes in many different ways: Crushes, puppy love, true love, infatuation. You name it. These forms of love are just words people made up. It doesn’t matter what form love is in. Just listen to your heart, and feel what’s inside it.. ”

 

“Don’t let trouble, trouble you, until trouble troubles you.”

 

“God gave man a penis and a brain but only enough blood to run ONE at a time'” – Robin Williams

 

“Knowledge is the best eraser in the world for disharmony, distrust, despair, and the endless physical deficiencies of man.”

 

“When in Rome, Do as Romans do!”