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Picture Source: BloreMirror

Besides growing over 400 areca trees on its campus, a school in Bantwal provides water to 45 households

A tiny school in Dakshina Kannada district is imparting not just lessons in education, but also on nature, conservation and self-sufficiency. In what can be emulated across the state, the Government Higher Primary School Suribail in Kolnad of Bantwal taluk generates income from the areca plantation on its premises. There is more: It also supplies water to nearly 45 houses located within the panchayat.

S M Abubacker president, School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC), told Mirror,“The school is unique because we have developed areca plantation with about 450 trees. There are coconut trees as well, which will help us generate revenue. We have implemented rainwater harvesting because of which the ground water table has risen and on a request by the panchayat, we have been able to supply water to nearly 45 houses within the panchayat,” he said.

When it was established in 1960, the school had only classes only from one to four. In 1990-91, class five was introduced and later, a high school section too was added. Over 500 students study at the school, and Abubacker is a proud alumni. He said the school has about 4.5 acres of land.

"Once I was made the president of SDMC, I decided to use the land fruitfully. Being an agriculturist, I initially planted 200 areca plants on my own in 2007. The next year, the panchayat planted another 250 areca saplings under the MGNREGA scheme and from the last five years, these areca trees have been generating revenue,” he said. In the initial years, they managed to earn about Rs 60,000 and last year they earned revenue of Rs 1.25 lakh. This year they expect to rake in Rs 1.5 lakh. Using a part of the income generated over the years and with help of donors, the school built a hall at the cost of Rs 12 lakh.

There was an abandoned well, adjacent to the school, and the panchayat was planning to shut it 10 years ago. “I did not allow it to happen. Meanwhile, the panchayat even dug a borewell, but water was scarce. It was then I read about rainwater expert Shree Padre and took tips from him. The water from the school rooftop was directed to a tank for filtration and then sent to the well. The results were amazing. Over the years, the ground water table has increased and we started getting more water in the borewell. The gram panchayat had made several failed attempts to dig borewells in surrounding regions. When the water crisis worsened, they requested if water from the school could be used. The school is now supplying water to 45 houses around the school. They pay the electricity bill and collect Rs 50 per month from every house.
Last year, when Mangaluru City suffered from water crisis, this school had plenty of water,” he said. Several officials from across the state visit the school regularly.

By Deepthi Sanjiv


Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Jun 15, 2017,
posted Jun 19, 2017 by anonymous

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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

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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.


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Photo source  File Photo Deccan Herald

Parents, take note! Children who drink plant based milk beverages or milk from animals other than cows are more likely to be shorter, a study claims.

Children who drink plant based milk beverages or milk from animals other than cows are more likely to be shorter

Parents, take note! Children who drink plant based milk beverages or milk from animals other than cows are more likely to be shorter, a study claims.

Researchers from St Michael's Hospital in Canada found that for each daily cup of non-cow's milk they drank, children were 0.4 centimetres shorter than average height for their age and for each daily cup of cow's milk they drank, children were 0.2 centimetres taller than average.

This height difference is similar to the difference between major percentile lines on the World Health Organisation growth chart, said Jonathon Maguire, pediatrician at St Michael's Hospital.

This means drinking three cups of non-cow's milk per day might move a child to the 15th from the 50th percentile for height, and vice versa, compared with other children their age, he said.

Researchers also found that children who drank a combination of cow's milk and non-cow's milk daily were shorter than average.

"This finding suggests adding some cow's milk to a child's diet did not reverse the association between non-cow's milk consumption and lower height," Maguire said.

Height is an important indicator of children's overall health and development, researchers said.

Many parents are choosing non-cow's milk for their children, which may have lower nutritional content, Maguire said.

Researchers examined about 5,034 children between the ages of 24-72 months. Of those studied, 13 per cent drank non-cow's milk daily, and 92 per cent drank cow's milk daily.

While the majority of children studied drank cow's milk daily, the number who drank non-cow's milk daily suggests its popularity has increased in recent years, possibly due to perceived health benefits, researchers said.

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

+1 vote



To develop government schools, the state is now planning to rope in old students. To start with, it has asked all government schools to form old students association from the current academic year

Today, many people who have studied in government schools are in good positions within and outside the country. The Department of Public Instructions has decided to bring them under a single umbrella of ‘alumni association’ to improve the conditions at government schools.

It is an initiative taken by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which is being implemented through the district administrations. According to the information available from the commission, all government schools in the state should have ‘alumni associations’ by July 16. 

Kripa Alva, chairperson of the commission said, “I have been personally visiting schools and also meeting officials concerned at district and taluk levels to implement it. We are aiming to complete the formation of associations within a month.”

During my visit to government schools, I got to know that some of them have been developed by their old students. Hence the idea of old students association at government schools struck my mind,” she added.Private schools in the state are already having alumni associations, which help in their development in every possible way.

“These associations hold annual events and support schools financially and morally. We are sure that alumni of respective government schools will also come forward to develop the schools in which they studied,” Alva said. 

How it will be conceptualised
The authorities of all 54,000 government schools will verify the admission registers of last 10 to 25 years. They will  identify the residential address of the students and will send them invitations regarding setting up of old students association. In each letter, the contact number of the head master or the teacher in-charge of the school will be mentioned. Later, an official inauguration of the association will be done, where all students will be invited.



+1 vote


Photo source: TOI

BENGALURU: The Congress lost the plot completely in the no-trust move in the legislative council by banking entirely on two legislators for additional votes, writes Naheed Ataulla.Council chairman DH Shankaramurthy survived the motion by a single vote.The Congress is said to have spent its energy on getting two MLCs -Puttanna and D U Mallikarjun -on their side and seeking support from the JD(S). Primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait said on Friday school that textbooks found to have large-scale errors may be recalled. He, however, added that the errors were in small numbers and so all textbooks need not be recalled.
Since the government has already disbursed as many as 6.80 crore textbooks in 76,000 schools across Karnataka, the possibility of a recall is a matter of grave concern.

Sait told reporters that he has found errors in some textbooks and that necessitates a recall. "In one case, for a particular class, a publisher who was tasked with printing Maths and English textbooks, interchanged the pages with each other. The error hap pened only in one particular batch of textbooks. As a result we will only be recalling that particular batch of textbooks," he said.

The minister said in a few cases transliteration of Kannada prose into English and English into Kannada has seen goof ups owing to inappropriate language usage. "In other cases, conversion of transcript from one software to another has also resulted in errors, which went unnoticed," he said.
"All the 561 modules of text books from classes 1 to 10 are being "re-verified" by the textbook committee and reports will be sought from them to take erroneous textbooks off the shelves," Sait said.