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All set for school

+1 vote

LOOKING AHEAD With schools about to reopen, parents are finding ways to prepare the children for the new academic year.

Schools in the city have started reopening and switching back from a vacation to a school routine can be quite stressful in a household. Many Bengalureans feel that it's best to avoid the 'first day of school' mayhem by helping your child practice their routine a few days in advance. It's important for children to get enough sleep so it's good to establish a reasonable bedtime so that they are well-rested and energetic for the next day at school.

Eating a healthy breakfast is crucial and this practice must also be inculcated in your tiny tots. Children are naturally more alert and do better in school if they eat a good breakfast everyday. Most parents think a glass of milk will suffice for the child until their break time.

However, Anuradha Praveen, a working mother with two young sons, says, "It is always better to make them eat a proper filling breakfast of cereals, fruits or even 'idlis' and 'dosas'. A quick sandwich is also ideal because it is nutritious and filling and can be eaten without any mess."

Remember, children will only learn the importance of what they are doing when they see how much importance you give to their tasks. So what better time to start training them than when the new academic year is about to begin!

Hirankshi Chandran

posted May 29, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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+2 votes


Photo credit deccan

INCLUSIVE SPACES One of the parks in Bengaluru designed with the help of Kilikili.

Positive stride Kilikili is an organisation that creates inclusive play spaces that are accessible to all children, regardless of their ability, finds out Rashmi Gopal Rao

Children playing with gay abandon in a public park amidst chatter, cheer and laughter. This is a familiar sight for most of us on a daily basis. But imagine the same scenario with differently-abled children. This, now, is a bit difficult to imagine, right? The main reason for this is that one rarely sees these children playing like and with other normal children. This simple yet oft ignored observation was the basis for the start of Kilikili foundation.

Started by three parents of children with special needs, Kilikili is a charitable trust whose sole objective is to facilitate the creation of inclusive play spaces that will be accessible to all children, irrespective of their ability. Their key vision is to ensure that the facilities of the existing play spaces integrate the needs of children with disabilities such that the same can be used by both special and normal children. The mission in doing so is to create an inclusive society that does not differentiate on the basis of ability and is built on a strong foundation of respect for all.

In order to fulfill its objectives, Kilikili partners with various groups and organisations that include local government municipalities, urban development authorities, corporate organisations, parent groups, resident welfare associations and schools catering to the needs of special children. "We work on one hand with groups who require these facilities and on the other, with the facilitators who are able to provide them," says Kavitha Krishnamoorthy, one of the founders of Kilikili. "The inputs and guidance received by us from Kilikili were invaluable for the development of our park in L B Shastri Nagar. Workshops were held and they also helped us liaise with the architects," says Kavita Ratna, director - advocacy, The Concerned for Working Children.

The key thrust of Kilikili is that special children should be able to play in parks and spaces where normal children play. "Unless unavoidable, we do not prefer creating separate areas within parks where special children are confined to. The idea is to make the existing space and equipment special child friendly so that all children play together enhancing the fun quotient while advocating a sense of equality amongst the kids," says Kavitha.

Kilikili has been instrumental in making the Coles Park (Frazer Town), Gayatri Devi Park (Rajajinagar) and M N Krishna Rao Park (Basavangudi) in Bengaluru disabled-friendly. They have also developed the Chili Pili at Gandhi Nagar Park in Mangaluru along with the Gandhinagar Park trust. Once the parks have been set up, Kilikili organises a number of events to enable various individuals and schools to use the facilities. Many a time, normal schools are also invited along with the ones with special children so that the children can bond together over play.

Functional equipment

Kilikili works on having interventions that are useful to all users of the park. For example, the use of ramps and railings provide support to not only children with disabilities but also the elderly, pregnant women and anyone else who needs extra support. Equipment like tubular slides that have curved sides and are covered work very well for special children while providing security for normal children who are scared to slide down. Another example is the inclusive sand pit that has a sand table integrated into the sand play area, so that child on a wheelchair can access the sand at an elevated level while playing with the other children who can sit on the floor.

Bucket swings are yet another example that ensure upper body support and better grip for children with developmental delays while providing the much needed safety for normal children as well. These are simple modifications to the basic equipment that can be easily replicated but yet go a long way in helping special children. "We bring our child regularly here. He not only is able to play freely but has a great time with other children," says Gopinath, father of a special needs child who visits the park in Basavanagudi.

There are also special equipments like tyre tunnels and tandem bricks that cater to the needs of children with developmental challenges like limited mobility. These aid in increasing mobility, right/left brain coordination and provide tactile stimulation on hands, knees and legs. "We have also attempted to create spaces that are designed to help children with autism, where the child can feel relaxed and calm down without feeling overwhelmed," adds Kavitha.

Ongoing endeavours

The efforts of the organisation have been well received and have served as an inspiration for many. Kilikili has managed to not only generate interest but has also witnessed an increased level of commitment by stakeholders to develop such spaces. "It is very heartening to note that while what we have been doing may not be very sophisticated or state of the art, it is very relevant in our cultural context and the times we live in. Our biggest achievement is the fact that Kilikili has inspired others to take on such initiatives on their own. For example, a therapy school in the vicinity of Gayatri Devi Park in Rajajinagar, who regularly uses the facilities, took on the onus of refurbishing the equipment. We have also seen a big increase in the number of government agencies who are approaching us for developing such facilities," says Kavitha.

In order to help more people, Kilikili has worked on developing a manual that serves as a ready reckoner and guide in developing these inclusive play spaces. After all, akin to their name and philosophy, every child is special in his or her own way and deserves a kilikili (a Kannada word that means warbling laughter of a child)! 

0 votes


PC: Google

BY- B V Shiva Shankar

BENGALURU: Under pressure to save government schools from closure, Karnataka may do away with the fee reimbursement scheme implemented under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Under RTE, the state government pays the fees of underprivileged students enrolled in private schools under the 25% quota. Karnataka is now mulling to stop reimbursing the amount, leaving private schools to face the burden.

Sources in the department of public instruction (DPI) said the cabinet would discuss a proposal to relook at the 25% RTE quota in private schools. Arelated law is likely to be passed in the legislature during the next budget session, which would be the last session of the Congress government. "The government had announced in the 2017-18 budget that a new school education policy would be formulated. The new policy covering all aspects, including RTE, is being prepared," said P C Jaffer, commissioner of public instruction.

Incidentally, the RTE Act that the Siddaramaiah government is seeking to undermine was enacted by the Congress-led UPA government after extensive consultations.

Declining to get into the details, Jaffer said it is up to the government to take a decision on RTE in the state.

When contacted, minister for primary and secondary education Tanveer Sait confirmed that the government is looking at re-designing RTE with its main focus being strengthening government schools. "There is a belief that private schools are thriving at the cost of government schools. We need to set things right. The policy is almost ready and it will be placed before the next cabinet meeting," said Tanveer Sait.

Karnataka implemented RTE in 2012. While 1,778 government schools have been closed since then, 3,189 private institutions have come up during the same period.

Taking note of the decline in the fortunes of government schools, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) in October submitted a report to the government, urging it to nix RTE.


+1 vote


Group of volunteers hope to transform school for children from migrant families

Photo credit: Bangalore Mirror 

Mentor India, a volunteer-run platform designed for student empowerment -- especially in government schools -- has now adopted the Brindavan Tent School near Malleshpalya in Bengaluru.

Jaideep Rao, founder Mentor India and alumnus Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal University told Bangalore Mirror that Mentor India was a part of KnowYourStar- a website run by a group of journalism enthusiasts- most of them techies. It focuses on profiling achievers from various disciplines.

Jaideep, who was in Mangaluru recently, said each class, from I-V- has 50 students each at the Brindavan Tent School for migrant kids. “These are mostly children of daily wage workers and we intend to work with them throughout the year. Through activity-based learning, we will focus mainly on English and confidence building. We started working in this school from this academic year. Hygiene too will be taught through games and activities. We have to start from the basics, including how to wear a proper uniform, have a good haircut, taking bath daily and so on. Our aim is to turn the place around in a year for which we are looking for volunteers,” he said.

He told BM about the challenges the school faces. “Our priority will be to change the ‘I can’t’ mindset that has resulted in low self -confidence. The class room conditions too have to be improved. Students from Class I-V sit in one room. We plan to change the environment and so that children look forward to being there. We have to remember that these are migrant kids and most of them are first-time learners in their families.” He said the team has set certain goals. They are going to focus on changing the classroom set up by making it more child-friendly and with an aim to build a one-on-one friendship with the children this month, he said. “Next month, the team will start off with English curriculum and also start working on their confidence building,” Jaideep said. He was upset on seeing the conditions of the school that is located not far from the city. Teacher Sarala has been with the school for 10 years and has extended support to this programme. The core team includes Anjali Alappat, Pranita Bhat and Nandini Nelson.

Volunteers needed

Jaideep said, “We need volunteers to come in and just be there for the kids. We are not looking for monetary assistance. I strongly feel that we can only gift time to the kids. We also do lot of volunteer events such as Volunesia. The aim is to make it a model school- one that is not looked down just because it is a school for children from migrant families.”

What is Mentor India?

Mentor India is a platform that exposes students to basic reading and comprehension of English, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, spoken English, empathetic skills and help them improve their personality through innovative thinking, listening to stories of role models and getting exposure to new perspectives. The in-house curriculum has been compiled in a workbook called ‘Mitra Pustak’.

Weekly meet at Cubbon Park

Volunesia is an attempt at creating something out of nothing. The volunteers who meet at Cubbon Park every Saturday use waste, recycled and given away material, collected by volunteers, to create handmade personalised goodies. These goodies are gifted to the students, mentors and teachers as part of the different activities under Mentor India.

By Deepthi Sanjiv

+1 vote


Image source: TOI

While the academic year for schools in the city has begun, three schools have come under the radar of the education department for various issues and have been slapped with criminal cases in the Kumaraswamy Police Station limits.

Firdose International School in Sarakki, IQRA Public School and Rani Mother Mary School in Illyas Nagar have slapped with an FIR by the Block Education Officer who made surprise visits to these schools recently. A senior official who is handling this case in the station said, "These schools violated many rules and regulations. All three were running without licences."

The police officer added, "The schools had permission to run batches from nursery to Standard 2, but they took in students till 4th standard without the education department's permission. These schools claim they had applied for permission and it was rejected by the department as they did not meet certain criteria required for admission."

Surprisingly, the education department which is busy hunting down schools that are violating its diktats is making sure the schools follow every single rule in their rule book.

"These schools have been booked under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 and IPC 418 and IPC 420. We have got this complaint from the BEO and we have issued a notice to the schools to come back with whatever documents they have, so we can compile a report and submit it to the education department," said the official. Since the schools have begun their classes across the city, a few are still rushing up with their admissions. The police officer said, "We have stopped all admissions for these schools this year and we are taking necessary steps to shift these students to other schools immediately."

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, N Venkatesh, Block Education Officer, South division 1, said, "These schools did not have permission to run any kind of educational activity. They were cheating parents with their own pricing. They had sent a request earlier for legitimacy, and we had rejected it on grounds of our policies and rules. Still they continue to function. That is the reason we gave a complaint in the police station and asked the school to immediately shut down."

"In all this, students should not become victims. Hence, we have formed a committee to look into alternative measures. We are admitting these students to nearby schools and we have also informed the parents about this," he added.

These surprise visits in the city will continue for a few more days, he said.

List of violators

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Instruction released a list of 15 unauthorized schools in Bengaluru south zone-3. The list comprises Reliance Public School, Crystal School, Austin Town; MES English School, Jayanagar; St. John Art Foundation, HSR layout; All New Public School, Mangammana Palya; RZ School, Bande Palya; Green Tree School, Bande Palya; Blue Bell School, Roopena Argrahara; Master Kits School, Mangammana Palya and St. Saras School

By Kumaran P

+2 votes


photo credit -  pti file photo

All screening of films and television programmes involving children should also have a disclaimer specifying that all measures were taken to ensure that there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of child artistes during the entire process of the shooting

Shemin Joy, New Delhi, DH News Service,

A child artiste should not be made to work for more than five hours a day and not more than three hours without rest, latest government rules state.

The new amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Rules also make it mandatory for the producer of any audio-visual media production or commercial to obtain permission from the District Magistrate for involving a child in their programmes.

“No child shall be allowed to work for more than five hours in a day, and for not more than three hours without rest,” the new insertion in the rules on engaging child artistes said.

“No child shall be made to participate in any audio-visual and sports activity, including informal entertainment activity, against his will and consent,” it added.

All screening of films and television programmes involving children should also have a disclaimer specifying that all measures were taken to ensure that there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of child artistes during the entire process of the shooting.

Education facilities
The producers should also ensure appropriate facilities for education of the child so that there is no discontinuity in his/her learning at school. “No child shall be allowed to work consecutively for more than 27 days,” it said.

Another point in the rules is the depositing of at least 20% of the income earned by the child in a fixed deposit account in a nationalised bank in the name of the child which may be credited on attaining majority.

The shows on television include reality shows, quiz and talent shows. These rules also cover the participation of a child artiste as an anchor of a show or events.

The issue of presence of child artistes in reality shows and other programmes in entertainment industry had raised a furore earlier.

In March, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour had expressed concern that child labour is rampant in households and entertainment industry. It had then asked the government to study the situation in these sectors and take remedial steps.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had earlier come out with guidelines to regulate child participation in TV serials, reality shows and advertisements.