Tag Archives: Schools

Many bridges to cross for children in Krishnagiri

In the village of Mundrampatti, in Krishnagiri district, a couple of 17-year-olds are preparing to lobby their village panchayat leader. When I meet them it’s almost 8 pm on a Wednesday and the two teens are consulting with the trainers from the Child Friendly Village project of the district administration and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). N Priya and R Renugopal want their panchayat leader to take up on an urgent footing the need to improve bus services to their village.

Priya has just completed her class XII but has dropped out of higher education. From her village – a couple of kilometres from the state Highway at Mittapally – Priya will have to travel either to Krishnagiri or to Thiruvannamalai. Daughter of agricultural workers, Priya says her parents cannot afford to admit her to private colleges nearby. But with just two bus services, one each early morning and late evening – Priya cannot attend the affordable government colleges either at Hosur, Krishnagiri or Thiruvannamalai. Read More >>

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23,000 schools in India don’t have roofs

When education reforms are said to be a primary focus of the central government, a HRD ministry document has revealed that nearly 23,000 government schools are running under an open sky.

To be precise, 22,762 schools including 7,827 run by local bodies have no building, while 1,757 others across the country are running from tents.

Students in Madhya Pradesh are the worst sufferers as more than 4,400 schools are running in the open. While 3,424 schools in Bihar are functioning under similar conditions, the same is the fate of over 2,200 schools in Uttar Pradesh.

Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are some of the states where no school is functioning in such pitiable conditions. However, in Tamil Nadu 300 schools are running in tents, the highest figure among states.

The HRD ministry also said that there are over 8,13,000 government schools in the country of which 6,61,117 havepucca brick and mortar buildings. At least 97,479 schools are partly pucca and over 30,000 schools have kuccha buildings.

“Under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, grant for major repair was given to 6,483 elementary schools during 2008-09,” the ministry document said.

Source:  Hindustan Times

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Stop child abuse in schools

With two out of every three children, a majority studying in schools, reported being physically abused in India, a child rights organization Friday called for immediate implementation of the proposed safer schools guideline in the country.

On the occasion of International Children’s Day Friday, NGO Plan India held consultation with school authorities, government bodies and other organization to promote safer schools guidelines.

‘We are very keen to put a strategy and mechanism in place where children can attend school and expect a quality learning experience without fear or threats of violence,’ said Amod Kanth, chairperson, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).

Affirming his support to implementation of the guidelines on safer school, Kanth said: ‘It is imperative that we accelerate the implementation of these guidelines to ensure that we can provide children with a safe and positive environment in schools.’

The Directorate of Education has recently issued guidelines for reporting mechanisms of child abuse and corporal punishments in schools. Read More>>

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Demand for govt schools to be leased out to pvt education providers

Your Education is our World

Nuts and bolts of the right to education law is still being put in place but the HRD ministry is getting serious suggestions from a host of private education providers to implement the concept of `charter schools’ in India.

The ministry is unlikely to fall for charter schools and a formal response will be given out soon. However, sources said these schools had shown mixed results in the US and elsewhere but were being pushed in India by a strong private sector school lobby to skirt the mandated 25% reservation that all schools have to give to underprivileged children under the RTE Act. Charter schools were against the concept of equity and access, the source said. Read More >>

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Have you asked a question today?

Your Education is our World

Consider the questions that most adults ask children: What is your name? Which class are you studying in? What do you want to be when you grow up?

The answers are usually not important, because we ask these questions more to build a rapport with the child than to learn about her. What should one do if the answers are important? If our questions are stereotyped, can our answers be interesting? If children do not ask questions, can they find answers to the myriad things that demand answers?
As parents and teachers, we expect children to know the answers. Shouldn’t we then help them to ask the right questions?

“The skill of being able to ask the ‘right questions’ is far more important than giving the right answers,” says Kamala Mukunda, veteran teacher and author of the recently launched book What Did You Ask at School Today?  The book was launched at Reliance Timeout by Dr Shekar Sheshadri, Professor, at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, NIMHANS.

How the book was born

What Did You Ask at School Today? is a thought-provoking book on child learning published by Harper Collins Publishers India. After completing her Ph.D. in educational psychology from Syracuse University, Kamala Mukunda taught undergraduates for four years before returning to India. Ever since, she has been teaching at Centre For Learning, a non-formal school in the outskirts of Bangalore. As she pored over research papers on child psychology, and the psychology of learning, she started summarising each research document in short articles, sans the jargon. The book has its genesis in these well-written and well-received articles.

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Ekal schools take education to the poor in Maharashtra

Your Education is our World

For seven-year-old Jhamu of Kamathwara village in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district, Vishwanath Jadhav is his only window to the world. Jadhav is a farmer who also doubles up as a teacher for this remote tribal hamlet that has no connectivity to the rest of the country.

Jadhav is part of the single-teacher school concept of the Ekal Vidyalaya movement and provides Jhamu and 30 other boys and girls like him basic education in languages, science and mathematics to enable them to join the mainstream if they wish.
Ekal Vidyalaya, a parallel education system, is running a campaign for literacy.

And Jhamu is one of the 7,78,965 students getting free education through this system that caters only to the poor, underprivileged and marginalised who have no access to basic healthcare and formal schools. Read More >>

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CBSE schools gear up to tackle ragging

Your Education is our World

Ragging has always been a problem on college campuses. But the Central Board of Secondary Education feels that ragging in schools is just as rampant and immediate steps need to be taken to address the problem.

A circular to this effect has been sent to schools across the country, asking them to strictly follow certain guidelines that would help address the problem. When city schools re-open later this week, a series of activities will start to ensure that all the pointers in the circular are met.

From detailing punishment for an offender or group of offenders, quantifying the number of counselling sessions that every child has to go through in a year, setting up wellness clubs, bringing out anti-ragging manuals and training peer mentors/educators to mentioning ragging as a crime in school diaries, the circular clearly mentions anti-ragging measures that schools need to take immediately.

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