Classrooms that look like train compartments, a huge “snake and ladder” game board painted on the floor and various innovative teaching methods have attracted students to a school in a remote village in Jharkhand’s East Singhbumn district. As the efforts of the 50-year old journalist-turned-teacher Arvind Tiwary have paid off, the dropout rate in Upgraded Middle School in Tangrain village in Potka block is now zero.
“Thirty-five new students got enrolled since the school re-opened post Covid-19 restrictions on September 24,” said Tiwary, the acting principal of the school.
He applied innovative ideas to enroll children and motivate them to pursue studies seriously ever since he joined the government school, about 45 kilometres from Jamshedpur, in 2017.
During the lockdown, he gave three rooms of the five-room single-storey school building the shape of railway compartments. From a distance, the school building looks like a passenger train. Appreciating the efforts of painter Rishav Malhar, Tiwary said this change has attracted students and they do not miss any opportunity to get photographed before the building.
Tiwary said he has spent money from his pocket to make the changeover. With the new enrollments, the total number of students from standards 1 to 8 has gone up to 269.
Admitting that dropout rate in rural pockets is high, Tiwary said majority of tribal children could not express their problems to those who come from outside. To break this inhibition, he tried approach them through sports and games.
“I painted a large snake and ladder board on a concrete platform on the school campus, and it was an instant hit with the students,” he said. Tiwary’s other efforts too turned the school into the most sought after one in the vicinity as far as enrollment of children is concerned. He used to roam around in villages carrying textbooks,
Story books, pens, pencils and crayons during the lockdown period to inculcate reading habits among children and solve problems in subjects like mathematics at their doorstep.
As majority of students come from poor families and are unable to afford smartphones to study online, these helped them continue their studies.
In an attempt to equip students pursuing higher education courses in Karnataka with industry-aligned skills, the state government o Tuesday announced its official collaboration with the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
After signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NASSCOM on behalf of the Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), Higher Education Minister C N Ashwathnarayan claimed that the partnership is expected to benefit more than 5 lakh students (studying in government and private institutions) every year.
He said, “This will make skill development courses available on the ‘Future Skills Prime’ platform of NASSCOM available to all students and faculty members of higher education institutions across the state. All universities have been covered in this MoU.”
The KSHEC has identified three courses — digital fluency, artificial intelligence, and cyber security to be included in the curriculum, with these made available free of cost to non-computer science students and faculty members. “All these courses will have theory and practical components guaranteeing skill development among the learners,” Ashwathnarayan highlighted.
Digital fluency will be an introductory course for undergraduate (UG) first-year students focusing on technologies and their applications in day-to-day life. The artificial intelligence course for UG second-year students is designed by Microsoft and the cyber security course, also for UG second-year students, by CISCO. Both these courses are aligned with National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) with the provision for certification by the respective companies. Access to these courses will be offered from computers and gadgets like tablets and smartphones in a bid to ensure skill development align with standards, faculty training, and infrastructure resources.
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore has launched an executive programme in strategic sales management. The new programme is designed in collaboration with Jigsaw to help sales professionals and aspirants across different experience levels incorporate digital skills for a profound sales team-building and strategic approach towards driving sales. The executive programme in strategic sales management is designed to enable learners to become high-performing sales strategists in the digital world. Anyone with graduation along with a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience is eligible for the executive programme.
Since the Executive Program in Strategic Sales Management as a course will follow case study-based learning interventions, with frequent discussions with seasoned industry experts, it will purely follow the online live session format.
Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM, Indore, said, “Our sales programme’s parameters are specified around conditioning existing sales professionals along with aspiring sales personnel into a dynamic, revenue-driving, digitally literate salesforce. The four-month online live training with industry veterans covers end-to-end foundational concepts in sales to strategic sales for scale along with emerging sales frameworks. The learning is hands-on with an emphasis on mastering the skills rather than just learning them.”
The Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Telangana, has decided to go ahead with the same syllabus as last year for class 10 or SSC. The students who have entered class 10 this year will study the same syllabus prescribed for students who enrolled in the academic session 2020-21.
Telangana SSC students appearing for board exams 2022 will have only 6 papers this time and students would get the option of choosing Urdu as their second language. With Urdu being included, students can now have the option of choosing between Telugu/Hindi/Urdu as their second language. For the second consecutive year, the state government has decided to have only 6 question papers for public examinations. Earlier, there used to be 11 question papers but the number of papers was reduced amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur is introducing honours and inter-departmental degrees, and will allow “direct admission” to winners of global Olympiads and expand the scope of learning it offers to include Social-Sciences, Communication, Humanities & Economics (SCHEME) as part of its uodated curriculum. The institute is also offering an exit degree option for those students who wish to leave the program in the middle. IIT Kanpur has overhauled its curriculum to bring it in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and according to the recommendations of a review that was initiated in 2018, the institute said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to a statement shared by IIT Kanpur: “The revamped curriculum will introduce new degree options including the Honours degree and options of new inter-departmental degree programs. It will also extend the scope of learning to include Social-Sciences, Communication, Humanities, Economics, Management, and Environment (SCHEME). The Core Courses will be restructured to give greater flexibility to the core curriculum. Technology will drive teaching and pedagogy to take learning to the next level. Further, the program will also enable counting of designated online courses done by students on MOOC platforms to be counted for credits. “IIT Kanpur has also made the existing grading scheme more granular with “fine-grained mechanism” of students’ assessments. It also aims for guiding and counselling the students in a way that focuses more on ethics.
Most colleges in Pune remained shut on Tuesday, despite the order issued by the civic authorities permitting them to reopen for physical classes, an official said. Colleges are exercising caution and waiting for clear instructions from Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and the state government, the official said. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had last week issued an order allowing physical classes at colleges in its limits with students and staffers who have been fully vaccinated.
“We are waiting for clear instructions from the state higher education department and Savitribai Phule Pune University, as most colleges are affiliated to it,” said Sudhakar Jadhavar, general secretary of Maharashtra State Principals Federation. The number of students who have taken both doses of the vaccine is less, he said, adding that there are at least 450 colleges in the PMC limits. “We have asked all colleges to conduct a survey of students who have been fully vaccinated. We have also asked educational institutions to sanitize college campuses and complete the preparatory work, as we are expecting a circular from the state government about reopening of colleges,” Mr Jadhavar said.
The Delhi government on Monday launched its ‘Anganwadi on Wheels’ initiative aimed at fulfilling the nutritional and health needs of children. The initiative will reach those children who were not able to reach anganwadis due to any reason and will provide them nutritious food as well as fulfill their educational and health-related needs.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia launched the initiative on the occasion of International Girl Child Day. “Under the initiative, the aim of the Delhi Government is to reach even those children who are unable to reach the anganwadi due to any reason.”Children up to 0-6 years of age will be able to access early childhood care and education by trained anganwadi workers through these buses. Nutritious food will also be given to the children,” he said. Delhi Minister of Women and Child Development Rajendra Pal Gautam said the government is working in the field of women and child advancement on priority.
Md. Aquib Jawed, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, has launched a unified healthcare start-up ‘Healthcracy’ amid the pandemic. Healthcracy is an Artificial Intelligence-based integrated health care platform for various types of facilities that is utilizing blockchain technology. Aquib, a student of Post graduate diploma in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design Thinking programme of JMI and Founder of the start-up, said, “Our vision is to reduce time and health expenses while enhancing the feasibility of access and quality of healthcare services in the fast-paced life through cutting-edge research, healthcare innovation, and creating a robust healthcare repository management.”
Healthcracy has been selected for the Incubation at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi and J C Bose University of Science & Technology, YMCA, Faridabad. Between these two, the team decided to opt for Incubation at NIFT (NFDI). The start-up by the Jamia student will be pre-incubated for a period of three months under the Home and Spaces incubator. Earlier, one of the start-ups by a student of a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design Thinking was selected by IIM Bangalore for mentoring. Healthcracy has been found eligible and invited to participate in the India-Sweden healthcare innovation challenge to reimagine healthcare delivery in India & abroad through a start-up India Policy.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is setting the wheels in motion for payment-related digital governance in the post-pandemic world by developing a reliable payment mechanism for the management and disbursement of various payments through the Integrated Payment System (IPS). A circular released by the CBSE said, “The newly developed system has digitally transformed a previously manual and time-consuming system into an efficient system that is devoid of human error. Prior to the development and implementation of the IPS, payments made to various functionaries would undergo a long and time-consuming process due to the manual nature of the system”. Being a National education body, the responsibility of conducting public examinations for schools affiliated with CBSE and various other competitive examinations such as CTET, recruitment tests etc. lies with the Board. Close to 10 lakh faculty members including Principals and teachers offer their services for the smooth conduct of such examinations. Similarly, around 10,000 principals/ educational administrators are also appointed for the inspections of schools for affiliation/upgradation. All functionaries involved in examination or affiliation related duties would be paid an honorarium and TA/DA for their services after they manually raised a bill to the concerned authority