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An app for school safety

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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.


posted Jun 8, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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Digital literacy, ethics for today’s teens

The worlwide net offers plethora of knowledge for

Media and Technology have become an integral part of our adolescents' lives. They provide incredible opportunities to communicate, create, gather information, entertain themselves and even build business. However, if digital media is not used judiciously, it can become a weapon that can destroy the teen's world. Hence digital literacy and ethics are extremely essential to keep them safe.

The worlwide net offers plethora of knowledge for children, but it's important to educate teens on cyber ethics, writes Dr Anuradha HS

What's digital literacy

Digital literacy is about having the skills to access, understand, question, critically analyze and evaluate online content. (Source: Digital ethics means not using technology to cheat.

Why is it important

Becoming digitally literate helps the teen to use the internet properly, developing a critical eye for accurate information and respect for other people's creative work. Most schools use technology effectively to educate students, administer tests, quizzes and give homework assignments. Educators can foster digital literacy skills among students in many ways. By using these skills, students can develop higher level of creative and critical thinking. The teachers become facilitators rather than sole experts. This also aids professional development of teachers. The teens become resilient and self-reliant, learn decision making and engage positively with technology. here is what a parent should teach their teens:

»Spot unreliable websites. Check the domain. Reliable ones are those that end as edu representing an educational institution, .gov represents a governmental organization. Those ending with .com are commercial sites, .org or .ngo represents non-governmental organization and needs to be verified.
»Evaluate author and content. Look if the author is listed and whether he/she is an expert
»Ensure that the content is current and accurate. See whether what has been expressed is a fact or an opinion.
»Follow the rules of digital ethics like avoiding use of pirated software, using content legally i.e. following copyright laws and also avoiding plagiarism.
»Teens need to understand the concept of digital cheating namely, texting answers, taking pictures of assignments and quizzes and copying and pasting other people's work.
A good digital citizen will keep in mind the following: (Source »Understand broader issues related to technology
»Understand rights and responsibilities
»Use technology in a positive and meaningful way
»Use technology to participate in educational, cultural and economic activities
»Promote civility and respect online
»Apply critical thinking skills while evaluating internet sources.

Teens are the digital citizens of tomorrow. Educators and parents have the responsibility of building the adolescent's character. This also holds well in the online world. Every teen need to follow the principle — treat others the way you yourself wish to be treated, whether you are offline or online.<!-- 257082 1 -->

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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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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.

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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.