The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced to start ‘The CBSE Reading Mission’, a two-year initiative to increase the reading ability of students, on September 20. The board will provide quality-reading material in both Hindi and English to more than 25,000 affiliated schools which will be suitable for students of Classes 1 to 8.
CBSE Reading Mission 2021-23 will encourage the students to read books and enhance their critical competency of reading with comprehension, an official statement said. This initiative is taken under the vision to implement the National Education Policy 2020. CBSE will also conduct enrichment activities that will help students to build their language skills. CBSE has partnered with Pratham Books’ Story Weaver and Central Square Foundation to launch this mission.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur organised an online workshop on ‘National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and Action Points for IITs on Engineers’ day 2021. Rakesh Ranjan, Additional Secretary, Technical Education, Ministry of Education, was present in the event along with eminent speakers, Prof RK Shevgaonkar, Professor Emeritus, IIT Bombay, and Former Director, IIT Delhi; and Prof Sarit Kumar Das, Institute Chair Professor, IIT Madras, and Former Director, IIT Ropar.
Mr Ranjan said “National Education Policy 2020 acknowledges the need for alternate pathways to learning. NEP2020 emphasises on the flexibility and higher mobility for faculty & students; research, innovation & entrepreneurship; multidisciplinary education; internationalisation of education; providing opportunities to students of regional languages, and vocational education and its integration with higher education. For the same, we need the IITs to expand its reach of knowledge sharing through online courses and programmes and improve industry-academia linkages by utilising National Research Foundation. The multidisciplinary program culture of IITs is a progressive element to provide wider spectrum of courses to students. NEP 2020 promotes the use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment resulting in improved governance reforms”.
Prof RK Shevgaonkar said earlier, the higher education system was severely fragmented with less emphasis on the development of cognitive skills and learning outcomes.
Schools in Haryana will reopen for classes 1 to 3 from September 20, said the state Education Minister Kanwar Pal on Thursday. Classes will be held while strictly adhering to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the education department. The minister, however, said that it has not been made mandatory for students to come to schools as online classes will continue simultaneously. The students need written consent from parents to attend school.
The minister also stated that over 70 per cent of school teachers have been vaccinated against Covid. When asked about attendance of students in schools, he said on an average nearly 70 per cent students of classes 4 to 8 were currently attending, though in districts like Mewat and Palwal the attendance was comparatively low. However, the attendance of students in senior classes—from 9 to 12—was averaging nearly 45 per cent, he said.
Women in India are learning online at higher rates compared to the pre-pandemic times, representing 44 per cent of new learners in 2021, up from 37 per cent in 2019. The Women and Skills Report by Coursera compares pre-pandemic enrolment and performance data with trends observed on the platform since the onset of the pandemic through June 2021.
With 4.8 million registered women learners, India ranks second worldwide for the highest number of registered women learners on Coursera. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021 indicates that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women in India, with the country ranking 28 ranks lower than in 2020. The reasons contributing to the widening gender gap include a decrease in women labour force participation rate to 22.3 per cent, women’s inadequate representation in technology and leadership, and a lagging female to male literacy ratio.
However, during this period, women increased their investment in learning new skills on Coursera despite the more difficult labour market conditions.
Women are turning to online education at higher rates than pre-pandemic. India has 4.8 million registered women learners on Coursera, the second-highest of all 190 countries globally. In 2020, a peak of 44 per cent of new registered Indian learners was women, and the growth continues to sustain through 2021. Overall, 38 per cent of total learners in India today are women, up from 24 per cent in 2016. The median age of Indian women learners on Coursera is 27, four years younger than the global median age of 31.
The Punjab Government has announced to conduct the entrance examination for meritorious schools next month. According to a spokesperson of the Punjab school education department, the Society for Quality Education for Poor and Meritorious Students Punjab will conduct the entrance examination for the class 9-12 on October 3, 2021, from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
The roll numbers of students and the list of examination centres will soon be uploaded on the website — ssapunjab.org. The Punjab Government is currently running 10 meritorious schools to impart free education to the intelligent students from economically weaker backgrounds.
These schools offer facilities such as science labs, residential staff quarters, separate hostel for girls and boys, spacious playground, well-equipped mess, smart classrooms and well-stocked libraries, etc with an aim for all-round development of the students. They also provide free books, uniforms, boarding and lodging facilities to the students. The entrance examination fee of competitive exams is also being paid by society. Apart from regular studies, these meritorious schools prepare the students for competitive tests like JEE, NEET, CLAT etc and also, provide training to students who aspire to join NDA.
The RSS-affiliated ABVP submitted a memorandum to Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, urging that a special stipend be provided for the education of women whose studies were interrupted due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. A delegation of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) met Smriti Irani on Wednesday to raise the issues related to women and discussed possible solutions, while also handing over the demand letter. In its letter, the ABVP included issues like providing special stipend for the education of girl students whose studies were interrupted due to the second wave, making plans with government and non-government organisations to make women self-reliant and increase their self-employment opportunities, issuing a helpline number for immediate redressal of women’s problems and constructing hostels for girl students at tehsil level.
They also raised the issue of identifying sporting talent in women while making proper arrangements for their training at regional level, starting a working women housing scheme and added that keeping in mind their safety and health, public toilet facilities must be increased.
A total of 34 students have tested Covid positive in Chennai on Wednesday taking the total number of students to 117 since September 1 when the schools in Tamil Nadu for Classes 9 to 12 reopened in the state. Even as the authorities are pondering on the reopening of schools for junior classes in Tamil Nadu, a spike in Covid-19 cases among the school students has become a matter of worry for the state health and education departments. A few teachers have also tested positive since the schools reopened in the state on September 1.
School Education Minister of Tamil Nadu Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi has said that the department has joined hands with the state health department and would plug the spread of the disease taking adequate measures. He also said that the commencement of classes for students from Class 1 to 8 will be done only after a review meeting with inputs from the state education and health departments on the ground level situation across Tamil Nadu. He also said that after the review meeting to be held on September 30 a decision on the same would be taken. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had directed the state government to file a counter in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking a direction to stop physical classes in the schools following the spike in Covid cases.
As part of the National Education Policy (NEP-2020), the state government of Karnataka had earlier made it mandatory to study Kannada for two years, which brought criticism from the student community and academics circles. The department has also received objections from higher education institutions across the state. Considering the state-wide objections, the department of collegiate education on Wednesday issued a revised order which stated, ” The students who have not studied Kannada in second PUC have the option of getting an exemption and studying it only for one semester. Other domicile students will have to study Kannada for four semesters besides another language of their choice.”