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How KG classes boosted student strength in schools

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Photo Credits: TOI

BENGALURU: It's common for politicians to do nothing but crib about the dwindling number of students in government schools. But a politician-official partnership in Hubballi-Dharwad has managed to arrest this negative trend with a simple strategy: starting pre-primary (kindergarten) classes in government schools.
The move has yielded positive results as the student intake in Dharwad Urban division has increased by 2,247 students in 61 government schools between 2015-16 and 2017-18. Inspired by the outcome, the government is contemplating starting kindergarten classes in all government schools across the state next year. The finance department is currently evaluating the proposal.


MLA, Hubbali-Dharwad (West), Arvind Chandrakant Bellad, whose brainchild it was to start kindergarten classes in government schools, said: "We realized that not many parents were putting their kids in government schools because the entry-level age for first standard is five years and ten months. So, parents preferred to send their kids, who have attained three years and ten months and out of playschool, to lower kindergarten (LKG) in private schools. The usual tendency among parents is to continue their kids in private schools and, hence, the number of kids in government schools was low. We decided to bridge the gap between playschool and first standard by commencing kindergarten classes in government schools."


The move was not an easy one, given the legal hurdles and financial implications involved. Bellad started with the government school at Kelageri village near Dharwad by taking members of the school development and monitoring committee (SDMC) and local education department officials into confidence."We decided to pool in resources and rope in teachers from outside for kindergarten classes. It worked and the number of admissions gradually shot up. The same model was replicated in 36 out of the 63 schools in 201415. It was extended to 40 schools in 2015-16 and 61 schools in 2017-18."

The education department officials too joined hands by redeploying staff."Some schools had teachers who had little work and some had physical training teachers with less work load. Such teachers were engaged in kindergarten. Of course, they were sensitized about the needs of kids and the larger goal of getting and retaining more students in government schools. We also got teachers from outside by paying them a monthly honorarium of Rs 3,000-4,000," said Bellad. What has made these kindergarten popular among parents is the fact that emphasis is being laid on teaching English along with Kannada.

Education department officials recently briefed primary education minister Tanveer Sait about the initiative and he was quite appreciative of it

By Rakesh Prakash

References

Rakesh Prakash | TNN | Jun 19, 2017,
posted Jun 19, 2017 by anonymous

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BENGALURU: While modern educationalists  believe that extra-curricular activities play an important role in moulding GenNext  and sports administrators  dream of producing  world class talent,, the situation on the ground is rather dismal.
As per the latest government data, only five of the 778 elementary and secondary government schools in the Bengaluru educational division have playgrounds. Primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait shared it in the legislative council on March 24 to a question raised by Ganesh Karnik (BJP). 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/in-bengaluru-only-5-of-778-govt-schools-have-playgrounds/articleshow/58057418.cms 

According to the state's sports policy, at least 1 acre for a primary school and 2.5 acres for an upper primary school should be available for use as playgrounds. If playgrounds are not available, the Karnataka Knowledge Commission said schools should allocate space for common playfields and playgrounds within 2kms.

Irrespective of the correct number, the fact remains that many government schools do not have playgrounds. In most such schools, students don't engage in outdoor games or physical training due to lack of playgrounds.  
The unwritten rule, according to official sources, is that schools without playgrounds must focus on indoor games and theoretical aspects of sports. "The physical education subject, compulsory in schools, is 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent physical activity. In the indoor games category, most schools without playground teach yoga and simple exercises for healthy living,'' said an official.  

+1 vote

Back to school: Students of Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School, Talapady, looking at The Hindu In School edition after its launching on Monday.  

The Hindu In School edition for the 2017-’18 academic year was launched at Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School here on Monday.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/this-years-the-hindu-in-school-launched/article18725287.ece

Releasing the new edition, Sushma Dinkar, principal, said the school has been cultivating among the students the habit of reading newspapers. Each room in the school’s hostel was being supplied with a newspaper.

Ms. Dinkar said the student’s edition should have the right mix of current affairs, stories, cartoons and articles that help students. G.R. Venkatesh, Regional General Manager, said The Hindu In School has been providing such content since its launch four years ago.

Ms. Dinkar and ten students launched the edition. Among the students who received the new edition was Advait, of Class 10, who started reading newspapers since joining the school three years ago.

Suhas, of Class 8, said he starts reading the newspaper from the sports pages everyday

 

 

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+2 votes

Prasad studies, works at home, helps his father and still manages to score all ‘A’s in his exams

http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-street-smart-boy/articleshow/58990782.cms

By Anantha Subramanyam KAnantha Subramanyam K, Bangalore Mirror Bureau

 Sitting on the pavement at Gandhinagar, 10-year-old Prasad peers attentively into a book. On closer inspection, you see it is a Mathematics textbook. He will be in Class V this year and does not waste time to catch up on the syllabus. But unlike other school-going children, Prasad has not enrolled into any summer camp for the vacations. He goes to help his father Shakarappa stitch seat covers for auto rickshaws behind Freedom Park instead.
"Though I ask him to spend time at home with his books, he is keen on assisting me and joins me every day. When we do not have any customers, he studies,"
Shankarappa says.

Shankarappa earns an average of Rs 300 a day if he gets enough customers. When Bangalore Mirror visited Prasad's home, he offers to make us tea or coffee. He proceeds to the kitchen, which is just a partition of a 10X15 dwelling with an asbestos roof. "I know how to make coffee and tea and I can also clean the house as my mother leaves early for her work," he says before heading out to fill water as they get water only for one hour."His mother Manjula works in the housekeeping department in Jubilee International Public School. Both Prasad and his elder sister Pavithra goes to this school. The school has waived their fees. We spend only on books and uniform," Shankarappa says. Meanwhile, Prasad returns with coffee and shows us his progress report that is filled with A+ in all disciplines.

In school too, teachers are all praise for Prasad's obedience and hard work. "Though we have enough children under RTE rules, there are many more children from economically weaker sections who need help and guidance. As education is the greatest help, we encourage parents to put the children in our school. Most of these students are brilliant and hardworking. Prasad and his sister Pavithra are shining stars as they excel in all the subjects," says TV Mohan, Chairman of Jubilee International Public School.

As for Prasad, he has a set goal in sight - study well and become a Mechanical Engineer.
 

+1 vote

Picture Credits:TOI

Schools merely focus on the academic aspect of a child’s life. Though a student spends the larger share of his/her day in schools, social and emotional development of the child receives little attention. 

This is the premise of the three-day ‘Schools that Care 2017’ conference being organised by The Teacher Foundation (TTF) from July 13 to 15. 

“When children come out of school and move into college or a workplace, they should be capable of handling internal and external stress. Adults influence the development of social and emotional competencies in children and since they spend so much time in school, the environment there should be gentle and caring,” said Maya Menon, the director of the foundation. The conference will also mark 15 years of the existence of the foundation, which trains and supports teachers to impart education effectively. 

The first day of the conference will be on the theme ‘Caring to Learn, Learning to Care’ and will explore why ideas like empathy and tolerance are important in schools. The keynote address will be delivered by Roger Weissberg, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois. There will be a panel discussion on the day’s theme with the participation of Dr Shekhar P Seshadri, child psychiatrist and professor at Nimhans, writer Aakar Patel and film maker Shabnam Virmani, among others. TTF will release key findings from its study on ‘Standards for Social and Emotional Learning for Indian Schools’. 

Talks and discussions on the second day will deal with how schools can shift focus to emotional development. The keynote address will be delivered by educationist Jenny Mosley who created a ‘Circle Time’ model for educational training. 

The third day will have a discussion with a panel of students who will talk about their perspectives on school. 
Principals, teachers and educationists from across the country will be taking part in the conference. 
 

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