Case Writeup – #5A

INTERVIEWER SHOULD READ THE CASE & GO THROUGH THE MODEL SOLUTION BEFORE THE CASE DISCUSSION. WE RECOMMEND THAT INTERVIEWER SHOULD SPEND ATLEAST 30 MINUTES READING THE CASE & GOING THROUGH THE MODEL SOLUTION, BEFORE THE FIRST INTERACTION WITH PARTNER.

It is important to note that the interviewer may not be able to stick to the case script entirely. It is okay if the interviewer deviates from the script a little bit. This case is rated 7 / 10 and is considered an intermediate level case.

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CASE STATEMENT: BRINGING ABOUT A CHANGE IN EDUCATION POLICIES

Step 1: The following statement should be read by the INTERVIEWER right at the start of the case: 

“Design the next education policy in Canada.” 

INSTRUCTIONS TO INTERVIEWER: (Provide only if asked)

  1. The aim is to come up with new education policy in Canada. This needs to cover students across the entire spectrum of education in the country.
  2. The policy needs to be rolled out by the end of the next year. 
  3. There will be components of the policy which will take more time to be implemented. We are looking at a time span of 10 years to revamp the education system.
  4. Some initiatives might take 2-3 years to be incorporated, some might even take 4-5 years to get on the ground. Creative suggestions shall be welcomed.

QUESTION #1 :  FOR THE CANDIDATE: HOW WOULD YOU THINK ABOUT THE PROBLEM AT HAND AND WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY SUCCESS FACTORS THAT YOU WOULD LOOK AT?

** Key Success Factor: Primary things/points/ingredients you need to make a system successful. 

INSTRUCTIONS TO INTERVIEWER:

  • There are multiple ways to approach a creative case such as this and all answers by the candidate should be evaluated carefully considering the factors that would impact the decision. 
  • In case the candidate is not able to come up with the factors, provide him/her the hint to think from an objective and a component-wise perspective. Details about the approach could be along the following lines.

 

POTENTIAL ANSWER:

Some sub-objectives that the candidates can define 
  1. Improve enrollment rate at all education levels.
  2. Enhance scientific rigor of the education.
  3. Helping students make better career decisions.
Execution strategies that one could consider
  1. Financial roadblocks.
  2. Technology and resources.
  3. Implementation strategy tailored for each level.
  4. Competing at the global level.

QUESTION #2 FOR THE CANDIDATE: WHAT MIGHT BE THE REASONS AFFECTING THE ENROLLMENT RATE IN SCHOOLS OF CANADA?

INSTRUCTIONS TO INTERVIEWER (Provide only if asked): 

  • If the candidate asks if there is an issue with enrollment across all education spectrums, mention that this is a concern only with the 8th, 9th and 10th grades (Late middle school & early high school).
  • When the candidate discusses why is there a need to look into the enrollment policy, bring forth the following pieces of information:
    – 25 million students currently attend the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades in school in Canada.
    – 5% of the above number drop out every year.
    – 1% of the above number is fresh inclusions in these classes every year {There will be students who will be entering these classes annually too}.
  • Ask the candidate in how many years is the enrollment in these classes expected to drop below 10 million.

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS: 

  1. Effective Annual Dropout Percentage =Percentage Dropout – Percentage Inclusions = 5% – 1% = 4%
  2. Effective Number of Dropouts Annually = Number of Students attending * Effective Dropout %  = 25 million * 4% = 1 million
  3. Number of years = (25 million -10 million)/Effective Number of Dropouts Annually = 15
  4. The substantial drop in enrollment should be looked at from the following possible lens:                                                                                                           
    Geography
    1. Urban/Rural.
    Financial
    1. Differences in income levels.
    2. Educational facilities.
    Miscellaneous Reasons   
    1. Supervision.
    2. Career advisory.
    3. Stereotype.

QUESTION #3 FOR THE CANDIDATE: HOW CAN THE SCIENTIFIC RIGOUR OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM BE GAUGED AND ENHANCED HENCEFORTH?

INSTRUCTIONS TO THE INTERVIEWER (Provide only if asked):

  • The candidate should first clarify and state the meaning of scientific rigor. He/She must be encouraged to come up with possible segmentations for the same. 
  • If asked about the presence of these attributes earlier, mention that the previous education policy didn’t focus on education rigor. 
  • Guide the interviewee to think about the problem on the following lines:
    – Why did the earlier education policy not focus on scientific rigor?
    – How do we increase our competitive advantage in education (in comparison to countries like the United States)?
  • The United States has more resources allotted to STEM specialization and a larger budget in monetary terms. It’s the leader in education globally and has aligned it’s flexible education policies with the industry requirements.

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS:

  1. Verticals in scientific rigor and possible reasons for a less scientifically-focused previous education system:
Verticals        Reasons 
STEM Education               
  1. The adaptability of education policies:
    – Flexibility for change.
    – Income.
    – Job Opportunities.
    – Mindset.
  2. Focus
    – No change in objectives for the previous policy.
    – Attempts only to improve certain aspects like infrastructure. 
Programming Skills
Analytical Thinking
  1. Benchmarking the education policy with the United States and coming up with strategies.
Elements                             Sub-ElementsUnited StatesCanada
Financial ResourcesX
Allotted BudgetX
Non-FinancialInclusivity (of different levels of the population)                 X
Orientation/Mapping industriesX
CompetitionX
SpecializationX

QUESTION #4 FOR THE CANDIDATE: WHAT COULD BE THE POTENTIAL REASONS WHY STUDENTS AREN’T ABLE TO MAKE BETTER CAREER DECISIONS?

INSTRUCTIONS TO INTERVIEWER: 

  • The candidate might come up with unique and creative answers. The interviewer can acknowledge them if the answers are logically sound and MECE. 
  • However, we propose that the candidate should be cajoled to think in terms of the stakeholders involved with their career decisions.

 

POSSIBLE ANSWERS:

Stakeholders  Possible Reasons
Students:    
A. Primary Level.    
B. Secondary Level.    
C. College Level.    
  1. Motivation.
  2. Mentorship.
  3. Background.
Parents    
  1. Financial.
  2. Orientation.
  3. Perception.
  4. Knowledge.
External: Teachers, Professors, University Career Counsellors

QUESTION #5 FOR THE CANDIDATE: WHAT ARE YOUR FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OUR CLIENT, BASED ON ALL THE ANALYSES DONE SO FAR?

POSSIBLE ANSWERS:

  1. Comment on the need for change in the economic policy in Canada. 
  2. Succinctly state the three major verticals of focus in the new education system and discuss the reasons behind the lack of implementation previously.
  3. The candidate can come with other useful recommendations. Given the current pandemic situation, it will be useful to think about digitization of education to a greater proportion.
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