As Karnataka schools reopened for students of classes 6-8 on Monday after the Covid-enforced break, the attendance was only 55 per cent, said Mr. Shashi Kumar, the general secretary of the Associated Management of Private Schools in Karnataka. Most private schools are continuing with online classes even now considering the safety of the students and faculty.
“The attendance is not great when compared with classes 9 and 10. Hopefully, it will increase. One important thing was that parents who have been regularly paying school fees during the lockdown have sent their kids for physical classes while those who have backlogs are preferring online classes,” Mr. Kumar said. Several private schools in Bengaluru have decided to reopen the schools in a phased manner.
Ms. Niru Agarwal, trustee of Greenwood High International School, stated that they would welcome the students after the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. “While we are delighted to welcome our students from classes 6 to 8 to the campus, we will open for them in a phased manner from next week considering the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival. We support the government in this initiative as classroom learning is very important for children. The need to reopen is very real and felt by students, parents, and teachers worldwide,” she said, adding that “What we need right now are clear SOPs that can ensure a smooth reopening of schools making it a wholesome experience for the students while building trust among parents”.
The Delhi government has issued SOPs for reopening of Industrial Training Institutes in the national capital including mandatory vaccination, regular COVID-19 screening tests, no biometric attendance, hybrid courses and avoiding festivals and celebrations. Following a marked improvement in the Covid situation in the city, the AAP government had last week announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from September 1.
The SOPs said “It is required that every member of education community provides proof of vaccination since vaccines remain our safest and most effective defence against COVID-19 and its variants. It is also required that regular screening tests for all staff members of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) community who do not provide evidence of vaccination and tests for those who are symptomatic as well as asymptomatic.”
Sixty-four new Ekalavya schools have been sanctioned for Odisha, of which 16 schools in the tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district would be made functional from the current financial year, Union Minister Bishweswar Tudu said on Wednesday. All the blocks in the Mayurbhanj district were allocated schools with toilet facilities, water supply systems to reduce the dropout rate amongst tribal girls, he said.
The tender process for the project has already been completed, the Mayurbhanj MP said. The Tribal Affairs Ministry has been setting up Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) for imparting quality education to tribal children in their own environment in remote areas across the country. Every block having 50 per cent or more Scheduled Tribes population and at least 20,000 ST persons will have an EMRS. The minister listed a series of projects chalked out for the development of various sectors like aviation, railway, tourism and highways in the Mayurbhanj district.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi will offer free online seminars and demo laboratories for school students. Under this initiative, students enrolled in class 9 and above can be nominated for Sci-Tech Spins by their respective schools. Each school may nominate up to four students. Under this initiative, IIT Delhi professors will deliver lectures and conduct laboratory demonstrations every month starting September 2021 in the virtual mode. The first lecture titled ‘Design Thinking – A Powerful Tool for Problem Solving’ accompanied by the lab demo will be delivered by Prof PV Madhusudan Rao, Head, Department of Design, IIT Delhi on September 11. All registered students attending the lectures will be given e-certificates of participation at the end of each weekend session. They will also be invited to IIT Delhi’s annual event Open House, an intellectual fest that provides an ideal platform for school students to connect with some of the leading researchers in the fields of Science and Technology. The lecture and the laboratory demonstration sessions will also be live-streamed on YouTube to allow access to students from across the country.
Two non-governmental organisations conducting studies on reforms in the Tamil Nadu education sector have recommended that special education officers must be appointed for monitoring schools run by the Adi Dravidar Tribal Welfare department.
At present, these schools are monitored by revenue department officials, who according to the study, failed to understand the basic issues related to education among the Adi Dravidar Tribal community and thereby the functioning of these schools. The study also recommended constituting village-level committees with participation from the families of the students to monitor such schools.
The study conducted by two NGOs — Centre for Child Rights and Development (CCRD) and the Resource Organisation for Development and Transformative Studies (ROOTS) — in August at 11 Adi Dravidar Tribal schools found that students from these schools were the worst-affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NGOs visited the schools in Vellore, Ranipet, and Tiruvannamalai districts.
According to the report presented by the NGOs on Tuesday, it was found that nearly 70 per cent of the students from these schools had discontinued their education since the commencement of the pandemic. The primary issue faced by these students was the lack of smartphones with Internet connectivity required for online classes as they don’t have access to the state-run Kalvi TV telecasting educational programmes. The staff in the schools were not able to even locate the students from the tribal community, who had left the hostels once the pandemic began. The NGOs said it was a sorry state of affairs as far as tribal education was concerned.
The NGOs also found that there was poor infrastructure in the tribal schools, especially the schools at Melkavanur in Vellore district and Karai in Ranipet district.
Surprisingly the study found that the overall decline in the number of students studying in schools run by the Tribal Welfare Department has affected the primary schools while in the middle and higher secondary schools, students had enrolled for classes.
The Gujarat government on Wednesday reversed its earlier order mandating that government primary school teachers work for eight hours. The state government was adamant about making the teachers work for eight hours, through a notification against which a majority of the teachers and their federations had expressed anger.
Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Wednesday said, “We are cancelling the earlier notification mandating the primary teachers to work for eight hours.” Protesting primary teachers from various parts of the state had met education department officials on Monday and demanded that if the state government wanted the primary teachers to work for eight hours as per the provision in the RTE, they must also consider the provision under the RTE which states that teachers cannot be assigned other duties apart from teaching.
The teachers expressed that recess time was not counted in the work shift of 8 hours despite the fact that they have to take care of children. The teachers report an hour early as compared to students at the school and leave the school an hour later after students. The Gujarat Teachers’ Federation said that if primary teachers were considered at par with other government employees, including college teachers, it must consider that all of them get compulsory holiday on Saturdays, which the primary teachers are not granted.
NIT Andhra Pradesh recognised as ‘Best Institute in South India 2021’ by Centre for Education Growth and Research
The National Institute of Technology, NIT Andhra Pradesh has been recognised as the ‘Best Institute in South India 2021’ by the Centre for Education Growth and Research, a New Delhi-based Education Think Tank.
The award was presented during the 15th Rashtriya Shiksha Gaurav Puraskar Ceremony held on September 7, 2021. The award was presented in recognition of the outstanding and exemplary contribution of NIT Andhra Pradesh towards Education Skill Development and Research. Accepting the award, Professor C S P Rao, Director, NIT Andhra Pradesh, said, “NIT Andhra Pradesh has been trying to offer quality education to the students by bringing in academic and research excellence through various best practices. Hearty congratulations and best wishes to all stakeholders of the institute on this moment of pride.
“The challenges during the pandemic made us commit strongly to building the institute with new initiatives. The placement percentage is increasing every year due to continuous skill development programs” he said, further adding that, “The institute has revised the undergraduate (BTech) curriculum from the 2020-21 academic year onward as per the guidelines of New Education Policy 2020.”
Following restrictions imposed on internet services in parts of Haryana for the last nearly 48 hours, the Kurukshetra University (KU) on Wednesday asked its students appearing in their examinations to make arrangements for the internet by themselves or appear in the exams through offline mode.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, KU was so far conducting final exams of its graduate and postgraduate courses for the students through blended mode i.e. online and offline mode.
But as per the recent instructions, KU has asked the students from those areas in Haryana where there is still a restriction on the use of the internet to either arrange the facility for themselves at their level or appear through offline mode. KU controller of examination Hukam Singh said, “KU’s graduate and postgraduate courses candidates of the Karnal district where the internet services have not been yet restored by the telecom companies due to the government orders, can appear in online examinations by arranging the internet services like broadband, Wi-Fi or any other service at their level to use the internet in any case. Otherwise, they can physically appear in the exam in offline mode by visiting the examination center mentioned on their admit cards.” He said that in the areas of the state where internet connectivity is not yet available the students can opt for offline examination.
A survey-cum-study undertaken by the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu has ensured that nearly 60 per cent of the students, who had dropped out of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic, relocate back to school. The study undertaken on August 10 by the SSA with the support of government and private school teachers traced a large number of students who had dropped out of schools due to the pandemic. The Education Management Information System (EMIS) portal of the Tamil Nadu government updates the status of school students who did not rejoin classes.
The SSA team found that out of 6,07,258 school students in Coimbatore district, 24,977 were found not participating in school activities when tracked using the EMIS portal. The SSA team along with the school teachers found that most of these students who did not attend classes had left Coimbatore district, following the loss of their parents’ jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The team could trace that most of these students were living in the native place of their parents. With the support of SSA authorities in the respective districts they were able to re-enroll these students in schools and other educational institutions in the districts where they are staying now.