Monday, 26 December 2016
Friday, 8 July 2016
Which mobile phone company is the best and most reliable? iPhone? The most superior and aesthetically ahead...? Do they not have any problems with their phones? Are there never any complaints against them? Does having complaints mean that they are selling 'Fake' iPhones?
Has McDonald's started selling fake burgers? Does Chevrolet make fake cars? Does nike make fake shoes or coke make fake drinks? Well, it doesn't make sense to question the quality and integrity that these brands deploy and disburse in every product that they churn out in the market. There is a difference between having a 'fake Google account' and 'Google being fake'. It is so disheartening to see how frequently and nonchalantly people around us use the word fake or invalid.
A name as prestigious as Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) Board is valid, definitely valid and not fake. It is a hallmark of quality globally. It has a much longer and credible history than many of the other so called brands, or for that matter any of the so called 'Global Brands'. Saying that 'NWAC Board is Valid' is like saying that 'The sun rises from the east'. Its a fact, and a pretty universally known one.
Travelling from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, I came across two families, one a middle-aged couple who were travelling with their son, Raman to get him admission in one of the universities in Trivandrum. The other an elderly and a supposedly well-read couple in their 60s. As the conversation ensued between them, it delved deeper towards the percentage and merit of the student in question, and his plans for the near and immediate future. Raman had got admission in a Medical College and wanted to specialise in Paediatrics in his post-graduation. Raman said that he had pursued last two years of his schooling from an NWAC authorised school, indeed an international school in true sense. The elderly couple not knowing about this qualification, wanted to know more about it. When showed the documents by Raman, they admired the beauty and sophistication of the documents. After looking at the documents for a couple of minutes they asked him about its validity. Raman explained them that NWAC Board is valid in India and indeed all over the world and further discussed how the validity of a board is checked. I was taken aback by the intricate attention to detail that Raman demonstrated. As an Indian who covered US consumer markets in his post doctorate thesis, I felt proud about this amalgamation of the best of East and West. Raman is truly a student of tomorrow's global world.
Raman also had a brief conversation with me and pointed out that a few 'intelligent' people had questioned hime earlier if 'NWAC Board is valid' or not. And he had given them equally credible and detailed answers. I was impressed with Raman's attitude although I was saddened by how someone could question the integrity, validity or eligibility of one of the world's premier and oldest educational agencies. It needs patience and attention to give space to others and their achievements. If thousands around the world understand that 'NWAC Board is Valid', millions in India will understand this too. It is just the beginning of a bigger and brighter future.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Interviewer: What K12 board or qualification is valid in Thailand?
Respondent 1: Thailand??? Do people study there too? Oh really? Hmmmmm……. Well, I have been to Thailand twice in a span of 2 years, but…….it was for a different purpose….. I can tell you many more things about Thailand but, you have to promise me that you would keep it a secret.
Interviewer: Leave it Sir. Thank You very much….
Interviewer: What all countries have you been to?
Respondent 2: Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Dubai
Interviewer: Can you please tell me a little more about the schooling system and valid boards in any of these countries.
Respondent 2: Well, I went there for my holidays… what a stupid question you are asking
Interviewer: Sir how many times have you been to US?
Respondent 3: Twice, each visit was about a month long
Interviewer: Did you visit any schools there?
Respondent 3: Schools? Why would I do that?
Interviewer: I though you are in the ‘Business’ of education… so may be….
It would be tough for anyone to believe that all the above are excerpts from real interviews. For those of you who would believe that they actually are, you would point out the interviewer as a stupid and distinctly absent-minded fellow. It is so uncommon for someone to ask such stupid questions. Why on earth would someone know about the schooling system or valid school boards and qualifications in some other country. Why exactly? And that is my point.
Let me introduce myself as a 28 year old US born and educated fellow of Indian origin, now back in India for 3 years on a work assignment with a leading design firm. I am a Masters in Designing and specialized in plastics and moulds design. As I was having a light Friday lunch with some 15 or so of my colleagues, who questioned me inquisitively about my education, I was made aware of the presence of US qualifications in India as well. My assistant Sameer, a newly graduated designer, highlighted his qualification from Northwest Accreditation Commission Board in India. I was taken aback. I asked him immediately “How long have you stayed in States?” He told me that he hadn’t been beyond the Indian shores ever. His qualification “American High School Diploma” was from an Indian school authorized by NWAC Board. “We call it Northwest back there”, I said. “And by the way I am from a Northwest school in Idaho”. I could feel a stronger connection almost instantaneously. What we do back (home), is present in India as well. I was feeling a little proud, not sure whether because of my Indian roots or my US upbringing.
A couple of minutes later, he also apprised me that a lot of people here in India, were considering NWAC Board as not valid. I was surprised, least to say. In a world where we talk of diminishing boundaries and shrinking borders, how could someone even think of questioning the validity of a 100-year old hallmark of school quality. And to top it all… A US school body? I wanted to believe Sameer after this short conversation about his American qualification through NWAC board. However, I still thought that a country whose schooling system produces the world’s best doctors, engineers and IT professionals, ought to have more informed individuals. I though an attack on ‘NWAC Board’ was like an attack on me as an individual.
The 3 excerpts from interviews above are my reflex-action to validate Sameer’s claims. And should I say how disappointed I am. It is disappointing to notice how we gather impressions about ‘foreigners’ within minutes of landing on foreign soil. I have seen and met a lot of people who think they can write a book about Germans because they could observe so much during their two-hour transit at Frankfurt Airport. It isn’t uncommon to come across swarms of 40+ middle aged men at Indian dhabas, who know how to counsel and guide almost any student in their vicinity or acquaintance. It’s just that they seem to know so much. We somehow spread the wrong information so easily and without any verification. We don’t realize the kind of impact that it would have on others. We so easily brand things and people as genuine or fake. Oh come on….. I am still to fathom how people who don’t know 10 per cent about the operation and structure of Indian Education System, comment so freely about foreign qualifications. I wish I could confront all of them through a debate platform, as I owe equal allegiance to both US and India, for all practical reasons and purpose.
NWAC Board (and by the way, there are 5 other US Regional Accrediting Agencies) has presence across the globe, and they have done it through a journey of 100 years or so. And I am told that people don’t even spend 100 seconds to verify about its illustrious history and legality. That it was formed by the US Federal Government is enough to justify its status and validity. I urge people to be more informed and objective in their approach. I am sure that the expanding network of NWAC Board in Indian schools would help to educate all a little better.
Monday, 12 May 2014
The Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools was formed as a voluntary organization on April 5, 1917 with a membership of 25 secondary schools and eight higher institutions in four Northwestern states. By December 2007, this membership increased to over 1900. Presently, the organization accredits in seven states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
In December 1974, the title of the organization was changed to: Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. In December 2001, the association's name was changed to the Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities, and on February 1, 2004 the association's name was changed to the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. In 2010, as a result of a restructuring plan, the name was changed to Northwest Accreditation Commission.
In the spring of 2010 the membership of the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools approved a plan offered by the Strategic Planning Committee to restructure the Commission. As a result of the restructuring, the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools became the Northwest Accreditation Commission. Each of the State Accreditation Committees along with the International and Transregional Accreditation Committee had representatives serving the interests of member schools. A new logo was designed with the acronym nwac.
On December 5, 2011, the NWAC Commission and Board of Trustees voted at the annual meeting to approve new bylaws that officially made NWAC a division of AdvancED. Beginning July 1, 2012 all operations of NWAC are under the governance of AdvancED through its Northwest Regional Office.
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