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Six Bengaluru schools get notices for tie-up with vendor for textbooks

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BENGALURU: Despite clear directions for affiliated schools from Central Board for Secondary Education and from the state government to not indulge in commercial activities, some schools in city are insisting parents buy textbooks from a particular outlet.

A complaint has been registered at Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights against six schools saying that they are asking parents to buy textbooks from a shop in Kumbalagodu.
The commission has issued summons to the principals of the six schools and also to the CEO and proprietor of Easyshopee and directed them to appear before it on June 24.

“Though we have paid for textbooks two months in advance, we did not receive them on time.
The school authorities are now asking us to buy books from the vendor located on Mysore Road,” said a parent, whose child studies at Bishop Cotton Girls High School on St Marks Road.

Image source: TOI

“We have paid for the textbooks. But now they are asking us to go to the vendor for textbooks. When we approached the vendor, we realised it was a problem faced by hundreds of students,” said another parent.
As per the commission, the six schools which have been issued summons are — United International School,  Chikkagubbi village, St Joseph’s Boys High School, Museum Road, Bishop Cotton Girls High School, St Marks Road, Bishop Cotton Boys High School, Residency Road, Sri Vani Education High School, St John’s High School, Cleveland Town. The copies of the summons are with Express.
The CEO and proprietor of Easyshopee from where schools insisted that parents buy textbooks too received summons.
An official of the commission told Express, “Action will be decided after the hearing.”


By Express News Service | Published: 23rd June 2017 10
posted Jun 23, 2017 by anonymous

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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.

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BENGALURU: While modern educationalists  believe that extra-curricular activities play an important role in moulding GenNext  and sports administrators  dream of producing  world class talent,, the situation on the ground is rather dismal.
As per the latest government data, only five of the 778 elementary and secondary government schools in the Bengaluru educational division have playgrounds. Primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait shared it in the legislative council on March 24 to a question raised by Ganesh Karnik (BJP). 

According to the state's sports policy, at least 1 acre for a primary school and 2.5 acres for an upper primary school should be available for use as playgrounds. If playgrounds are not available, the Karnataka Knowledge Commission said schools should allocate space for common playfields and playgrounds within 2kms.

Irrespective of the correct number, the fact remains that many government schools do not have playgrounds. In most such schools, students don't engage in outdoor games or physical training due to lack of playgrounds.  
The unwritten rule, according to official sources, is that schools without playgrounds must focus on indoor games and theoretical aspects of sports. "The physical education subject, compulsory in schools, is 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent physical activity. In the indoor games category, most schools without playground teach yoga and simple exercises for healthy living,'' said an official.  

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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

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Source: TOI

BENGALURU: Flipping through the pages of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) English textbook for class five, one finds a drawing depicting five men engaged in the construction of a house. Women, who are invariably present at construction sites carrying pans of bricks and cement, are conspicuous by their absence.

The drawing is merely one example of gender bias, and stereotyping, in primary school NCERT textbooks. A study conducted by ActionAid India, a child rights NGO, found that gender stereotypes were found in plenty in the content. Anais Leclere, a French student interning with the NGO, studied the NCERT textbooks for classes one to five, and found a glaring gap between the guidelines of the National Curriculum Framework, and the content in the books.

"The guidelines are very gender-progressive, with the objective being to reach 'equality of outcome', and not just 'equality of opportunity'. Use of gender-sensitive language is also emphasised. But content in some of these textbooks fails to match this ideal," said Leclere.

Besides projecting men as the natural 'heads of the family', roles of women are confined to the domestic sphere, defined largely in relation to males - as mothers and wives. Nearly all money-lenders, shopkeepers, doctors, scientists and soldiers illustrated for explanatory purposes in the textbooks are men, with women portrayed largely as teachers, always clad in saris. The study has raised concerns over how such demarcation between professions could only reinforce gender stereotypes.

Moreover, even outdoor activities have been showcased as being within the exclusive dominion of boys and men. Moreover, even animals have not been spared the bias, with most being referred to in the masculine.

The analysis of the class five English textbook revealed that 56% of the illustrations featured only men and boys, while women were shown in just 20.6%. The remaining diagrams showed both men and women together.

    What is more disturbing is the portrayal of men and women in the stories, where the former are valourised for accomplishing great feats,while women are largely glorified for their helping nature. In the same vein, while qualities such as strength and stamina are ascribed to men, women are seen as being kind and understanding.

    "I did find a few positive stories too, such as the one about a woman joining the Army, along with one that discussed gender bias. Since the NCERT does not write these stories, but just chooses them, there's definitely space for addition of more powerful women-centric stories to the syllabus" said Leclere.

    Kshitij Urs, who heads the Karnataka and Kerala chapters of ActionAid India, said that the Karnataka education board had incorporated some of the suggestions that the NGO had made following an analysis of the state syllabus textbooks. "Similarly, we'll be taking the study to NCERT. While reviewing textbooks is important, we should ensure that our fundamental documents are gender-inclusive," said Urs.

    Kripa Alva, chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights attended the public discussion on the report on Tuesday and extended her support for the cause. Women from different organisations who teach and work with children in slums and villages in and around Bengaluru too participated in the discussion, and shared their experiences.

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    Picture Source: Indian Express

    Textbooks should not be used as “ideological battleground” between the Left and the Right and should only be children-centric, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has conveyed to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today.

    Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Education Minister, made the observations at a crucial meeting of the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), chaired by Javadekar.

    Content review of textbooks, implementation of learning outcomes, adequate supply of textbooks and recruitment of non-academic staff were among the items on agenda of the 54th General Council meeting of NCERT.

    The meeting was attended by several state education ministers and officials.

    “Successive governments have used education as an ideological battlefield, that is used to force certain narratives on children. Education must not be a platform for any political point-scoring,” Sisodia said.

    “Textbooks must not be used as an ideological battleground between the Left and the Right. They must be designed to suit the needs of the children,” he added.

    The comments by Sisodia come against the backdrop of concerns raised by various quarters about quality of content in NCERT textbooks.

    Maintaining that NCERT textbooks are “confusing, incompetent and text-overloaded”, Sisodia also presented an analysis of the certain books by the council which has been prepared by a team of Delhi government school teachers.

    NCERT had last month invited suggestions and feedback from states and union territories regarding any factual errors in textbooks and required changes in content/concept presentation.

    The deadline for the same is June 30 following which the council will decided on incorporation of changes.

    Officials from the Uttar Pradesh education department expressed the state’s interest in making NCERT textbooks mandatory.

    According to NCERT officials, various states raised the issue of limited availability of NCERT textbooks and the trigger for giving a platform to private publishers.

    The HRD Ministry will next month be conducting a review meeting with NCERT officials to address the issue of availability of textbooks.