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A BUNCH OF SCHOOLCHILDREN BRINGS A SEA CHANGE TO VILLAGE

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Source:BlrMirror

Motaganahalli in Magadi is another obscure village which is crying for attention. A stroll through the village, around 60 km from Bengaluru, reveals the sad state of affairs: poor roads, crumbling infrastructure, power outages and heaps of garbage strewn all across the hamlet. The government school in the hamlet too has stories of neglect and apathy to tell.

But there is hope: the milieu is fast changing, thanks to a bunch of schoolchildren determined to bring about a change using technology. In fact, the students had been running from pillar to post to solve the civic issues plaguing the school and village. Besieged by filth, students found it quite impossible to sit in the classrooms because of the stink the garbage heaps emanated.

Even the teachers suffered in silence, but not Gen Next. The students of Government Higher Primary School at Motaganahalli, aided by tablets and cameras, walked up to the gram panchayat office, raising some tough questions to authorities. Remember, the ‘grilling session’ was being recorded. Perhaps, the explosion of visual media was an inspiration to embrace the technology. Answers were hard to come by, but they wouldn’t budge. Donning the role of ‘citizen journalists’, the students — Rakesh (class V), Darshan Gowda (class VI), Dileep M J (class VI), Deepashri (class VI), Monica M (class VII), Amrutha Varshini (class VIII) — stormed the gram panchayath office, posing several questions to gram panchayat president Padmavathi Jayaram. Amrutha Varshini said, “All the students and visitors to our school were unhappy with the foul smell emanating from the open drains in front of our school.

Since the classrooms were buzzing with flies and rodents, there were health hazards as well.” Monica M said, “People from other areas would come and wash their clothes on the drains. They would never clean and the dirty water was overflowing.” The teachers, including the headmaster, tried to clear the mess by speaking to officials and villagers, but nothing worked. What worked was the students’ willpower, aided by a potential weapon: technology.

The school in Motaganhalli had no exposure to any kind of technology till 2016 when an NGO chipped and decided to rewrite the script. Laptops and tablets were given to students. Training sessions were held twice a month by Smitha Venkatesh, who is part of the NGO. During the summer vacation, the school decided to host an Information and Technology Day where it was decided to interview the president with the aid of cameras and tablets. The queries ranged from water woes, electricity issues, waste management/segregation and the lack of drainage system. Initially, Padmavathi Jayaram was hesitant to speak to students. “I have seen elders coming and questioning me, but when students approached me, I was taken aback. I was highly impressed by the questions. I called up all officials concerned and the aid was sanctioned to get the mess cleared around the school,” she said. The cost, including the works in and around the school, is estimated around Rs 1 crore. The road near the school has been completely concreted. The drainage work too is in progress. The children’s act reminds us of Mahatma Gandhi’s message: be the change that you wish to see in the world.

By Kumaran P

References

Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Jun 20, 2017
posted Jun 20, 2017 by anonymous

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+1 vote

Source: DC

Mysuru: Scion of erstwhile royal family of Mysuru Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, who had once inspired government school children by becoming a teacher at a programme hosted by Kalisu Foundation, is now brand ambassador for the NGO. The Foundation strives to improve the quality of education in government schools.

Yaduveer will motivate kids at government schools henceforth through the programme, ‘Learn from Maharaja,’ besides playing the advisory role by contributing his ideas on improving the quality of education.

As many as 250 kids at a government school at Kumbar Koppal, Mysuru, had the privilege of having Mr Yaduveer as their teacher for 45 minutes, interacting with him at a programme, here on Thursday. He taught the kids with a power point presentation and spoke about the glory of Mysuru and importance of education while stressing on environment protection, cleanliness, good manners and good habits. 

The enthusiastic kids who learnt that Mr Yaduveer will henceforth visit them frequently, were not just keen on knowing about his favourite colour, they even wanted to know how to be fit like him. He smilingly answered that he liked blue colour and said that kids must eat right healthy, nutritious food instead of junk food, and lay emphasis on physical exercise to keep them fit and healthy. 

When mediapersons asked if he planned to enter politics, he said, “Not in the near future. And I have no interest in politics in fact. I wish to involve myself in activities to serve society, I would wish to focus on developing government school education through the NGO.” Founder and CEO of Kalisu M.M. Nikilesh spoke.

+1 vote

Annual Status of Education Report 2016 ( http://www.asercentre.org/ ) gives a picture of the poor condition of primary education in India. 

http://www.asercentre.org/education/level/india/media/p/74.html?638

Only 42% of Class 5 students can read Class 2 text, says report

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 report does not bode well for Karnataka as it indicates a negative trend in the reading and arithmetic levels of the state’s students.

According to the results of the annual study conducted by NGO Pratham, only 42.1% of Class 5 students can read a Class 2 level text. This is a steep decline from 2014, when the study indicated that 47.3% of Class 5 students could perform the same task. The study was not conducted in 2015. 

The arithmetic levels of students in Karnataka are also not promising as fewer students can recognise numbers between 10 and 99. According to the 2016 report, only 25.4% Class 8 students could recognise numbers between 10 and 99 as compared to 31.2% in 2014. Similarly, in 2014, 33.4% of Class 7 students and 34.3% of Class 6 students could recognise numbers between 10 and 99 but in 2016, only 27.1% of students in Class 7 and 29% in Class 6 can do the same. 

Private school students are ahead of their government school peers in arithmetic. In class 3 while, 38.7% of students in private schools can do at least subtraction, the corresponding figure is 25.5% in government schools. Private school students are ahead in Class 5 and Class 8 as well. However, when it comes to reading Kannada, both government and private school students are on equal footing.

The percentage of children in the age group 6 to 14 years who never enrolled in school or dropped out has reduced to 1.1% from 1.7% 2014. Another positive trend is that the number of girls in the age group 11 to 14 years not enrolled in school has reduced significantly from 3.5% in 2014 to 2.1% in 2016. 

District-wise performance

Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagalur and Hassan districts have the distinction of having no girls out of school in the 6 to 14 age group. 

Yadgir district has the most number of girls not enrolled in school at 5.8% while the state average is 1.1%. Yadgir district has performed poorly in other parameters as well. Only 38.1% of Class 3 to Class 5 students can read Class 1 level textbook (state average 52.8%), and only 29.2% of them can do at least subtraction (state average 43.2%). 

Further, learning levels of class 6 to class 8 students are also poor as only 47.1% can read Class 2 textbook (state average 60.9%) and 22.2% can do division (state average 34.6%). 

Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu and Uttara Kannada have some of the best learning levels. Bengaluru (Urban) has the maximum number of students enrolled in private schools at 56% while the least is 12.7% in Dharwad.

It would be nice to have online learning initiatives address this problem. 

 

+2 votes

As we enter 2017, I'm reflecting about the future of India -not just the year ahead, but the decades that await all of us. 

I'm not one who believes in making New Year resolutions. But today , I'm asking you to join me in making an important commitment. It's the commitment to engage and to lead. Over the years, we have watched our country make some giant technical and economic strides. We've seen innovations come, industries rise, and ventures bloom.Despite that unquestionable progress, there is still reason to despair. The constant cycle of violent news -from Syria to Uri -has desensitised us to the mindless poverty right outside our door. 
 

In a world with so much wrong, are you one of those who wonders what you can possibly do? 

Read more
 

 

+2 votes

When a 15-day-old baby, who had a bout of mild diarrhoea and vomiting became severely dehydrated, the parents, though worried, did not sense something could be seriously wrong. However, they were shocked when their doctor diagnosed the baby with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH).

CAH is an inherited disorder that affects the adrenal glands where the glands cannot produce cortisol and aldosterone, and instead produce an unwanted excess amount of androgens.

A child with CAH lacks enzymes the adrenal glands use to produce hormones that help regulate metabolism, the immune system, blood pressure, and other essential functions. Parents with children suffering from it often have great difficulty in the upbringing of the child, including treatment, getting school admission and other support issues.

For the first time, Shyam Nair and Deepa Kannan, parents of a CAH child, have started a support group called ‘CAH Support India’ ( www.cahindia,org ) involving a community of parents, grandparents and caregivers of CAH children. The International Coalition for Endocrine Patient Support Organisations worldwide has listed this support group as the first such group for endocrine disorders in India.

The couple has also created a closed Facebook group for parents and endocrinologists https://www.facebook.com/groups/433557750183212/ and a Facebook page called Omkar’s journey with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia to chronicle all possible events in the life of a child with CAH . The link is https://m.facebook.com/Omkars-journey-with-Congenital-Adrenal-Hyperplasia-872407369539040/

Shaila S. Bhattacharyya, paediatric endocrinologist at Manipal Hospitals, who is also part of the support group, said: “A CAH child gets severely dehydrated even with a mild episode of diarrhoea and needs hospitalisation, which is stressful both for the child and the caregivers.”

Although about one in 10,000 children are born with CAH, awareness about the condition is low. It is either not detected early or is misdiagnosed and turns fatal in most children within months of their birth. A neonatal hormone test 17-OHP should be done to screen for CAH in children before symptoms appear. “However, not all hospitals do this test,” the doctor added.

Ms. Deepa Kannan, a yoga teacher, said she and her husband are trying to spread awareness about the condition, which is not known even in educated circles. “Having experienced the challenges in bringing up our child, who is seven years old now, our aim is to support parents and help them in bringing up their children,” she told The Hindu.

Narrating how difficult it is for CAH children to get admission in regular schools as the child needs continuous monitoring, she said the aim of the support group is to change this mindset of schools. “Such discrimination towards children for no fault of theirs is unfair,” she said.

+1 vote

Central Governments expenditure on education has been falling for past three years, compared to 2013-14, the last year of UPA, when education got 4.57% of the total expenditure, there has been a steady decline — 3.65% in 2016-17, according to this Budget's revised estimate, with the estimated outlay for the coming year showing a minor uptick at 3.71%.

Looking at education spend as a share of the GDP, which is what international trackers do, the trend is clear — having dipped from 0.63% of the GDP in 2013-14 to 0.47% projected by the government for 2017-18. Read more

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