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For a stress-free school environment

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The terms ‘stress’ and ‘studying’ are practically interlinked in our cultural mindscapes. That children and youth will undergo travails as they move through school and college is accepted by both parents and educators. Even as we rant that children are under too much pressure, or that education is a crazy rat-race, our kids continue to be caught in a trying and demanding net of cultural expectations.

Most of us know from experience that a certain amount of stress actually helps us perform better in tests and exams. While limited, short bursts of positive stress or eustress is conducive for learning, we have to ensure that children are not subjected to distress on a daily basis. By adopting various measures to address the multiple needs of students, schools and colleges may ensure that education is a positive, purposeful and pertinent experience for all.

posted May 18, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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Child has to be at least 5 years 10 months old to bag a seat in first grade, and parents aren’t happy with this
What’s the minimum age to admit a child to school? Well, it is a very tricky question and the answer depends on which part of the country you stay in. If you are in Andhra Pradesh, then a child of age five can be admitted to first grade. However, in Karnataka, the kid has to mandatorily attain the age of 5 years and 10 months to bag a seat in first grade.

By Kumaran P

The rule has been irking the parents. For instance, many parents who move to Karnataka are forced to make the child study the same class again. To counter this norm, the city teachers have raised their voice against the government rule to demand relaxation in the minimum age bar. Adding to the confusion, many international schools don’t accept kids with less than six years of age for the first grade. The confusion and the rule have left parents perplexed. Sunitha Rani, a parent told BM, “My daughter is 5 years 5 months old and we went to a school to get her admitted to first standard. The school management did not take our application and stated that she has to be 5 years 10 months to get admitted to 1st standard.”

Another parent, Poornima R said, “My daughter is 5 years 7 months, but I have been told that my daughter has to complete six years to be eligible for first standard admissions.” “This rule doesn’t make any sense. If the child is born in August, s/he will lose a year. There should be a range which is comfortable for us to get our wards admitted to the schools,” she added.
Basavaraj Gurikara, president of Karnataka State Primary School Teachers Association said, “This is really unfair and we condemn this. There should be a provision of volunteer admission so that parents and the management can decide what’s best for the child.”

Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Karnataka Association Management of English Medium schools told BM, “The association had requested the department to change the minimum age from 5 years 10 months (as per the RTE Act) to 5 years. The department has not considered the same till date. Moreover, the age criteria is not applicable to play homes or Nursery schools as they are not bound to this rule.”


According to the RTE Act, free and compulsory education should be provided to children between the age group of 6 and 14 years. However, Section 11 and 12 of the said Act, that makes the provision for pre-school education, says that a school specified in clause (n) of section (2) imparts pre-school education, the provisions of clauses (a) to (c) shall apply for admission to such pre-school education. Hence, the state declared 3 years 10 months to 4 years 10 months for entry to LKG and 5 years 10 months for entry to 1st standard as on 1st June of the Academic Year as per the provisions of Section 20 of the Karnataka Education Act-1983 and the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009. This applies from the year 2016-17.

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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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In a first-of-its-kind initiative, GeoHazards Society and Thales Foundation India on Tuesday launched a mobile application that can help generate a customized disaster management plan for every school in the country.

The School Safety App claims to be a one-of-its-kind in the world.

Sensing the absence of written disaster management modules in most schools, the application offers to automatically generate one for them when the details are properly filled in.

The application has a very basic user interface and can be used by school authorities with ease.

The application has 8 modules which have to be filled out, including the school’s layout, floor plans, mock drills conducted, hazards that have affected the school in the past and more.


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BENGALURU: The education department’s school adoption programme is receiving good response with many individuals and companies coming forward to give a ‘make over’ to government schools.
As per the information available from the department of public instruction, every week they are getting at least three queries seeking information about school adoption. “It is not that the people who are inquiring want to adopt an entire school. Some want to do something for a government school by spending `50,000. In some cases, they are ready to give up to `10 lakh,” said an official.

The department has not set any limit for the contribution people can contribute whatever they want to. “Most queries we get are about construction of toilets and providing safe drinking water. The second highest queries is about renovation of buildings,” said an official.
The department re-launched the school adoption programme in September last year. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait had invited interested people help rejuvenate government schools across the state and had asked officials to come up with a list of 5,000 schools which really needed a makeover.  

“A majority of donors are showing interest in improving government schools located in Bengaluru. Representatives from MNCs, private firms and old students unions have approached us for information. We need help for the schools which are outside the city too,” an official said.
Recently, VKO Government Urdu School in Shivajinagar was inaugurated after renovation.  The school now has infrastructure that is similar to any elite private school in the city.

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Ayush Gupta, a Class 3 student of HSR Layout's National Public School bagged first rank in the National Science Olympiad (Nov 15, 2016) and the International English Olympiad (Jan 19, 2017) and the school first rank in the National Cyber Olympiad (2016).

The 9-year-old kid says he's not a bookworm. Hooked to mobile apps and videos to prepare for his exams, Ayush has mastered the nitty-gritty of technology that gave him the edge during the cyber Olympiad.

His mother Sweta says, "He is hard working but has never been a bookworm. He just studies for an hour in the evening. The questions in the Olympiads were complicated. His teachers and I ensured he was prepared." An aspiring astronaut, he has also developed a quizzing application as part of his school exhibition project.