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Rebuilding Kerala brick by brick: Don Bosco Students get into action

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Photo Source: InfoANS

By- Don Bosco India

(ANS – Thrissur) – Recent floods in Kerala marred its topography and rendered millions homeless, but Kerala is limping back to normalcy with the invaluable service offered by several volunteers. Don Bosco Higher Secondary School (HSS), Mannuthy, Thrissur, is on the forefront in the mission to rebuild houses of the flood victims. The school has adopted five houses to rebuild and the staff and students are out in the field to bring home the devastated people.

By Fr Bastin Nellissery SDB

A batch of twenty students visit the construction site every day and help out in bringing the materials to the site. The project costs, along with household materials, from two to three lakhs of rupees. “It is a very humble way of shouldering the sufferings of the afflicted people, to bring some solace in their life,” said Father Geo Kalladanthyil, SDB, Principal of Don Bosco HSS.

Don Bosco HSS had opened its doors for the flood victims and offered food and shelter during the mayhem days of the Kerala flood. The children affected by the flood were provided with text books, note books, and uniforms by the school management, staff and students. They have initiated a fund to contribute to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

The floods that hit Kerala last August are judged to be the worst of the last one hundred years, have caused circa 500 deaths and have directly affected about a sixth of the population throughout the country.

posted Oct 4, 2018 by Gowri Vimalan

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+1 vote

Source: New Indian Express

BENGALURU: BMTC’s smart card passes are facing some teething troubles and this is causing inconvenience to students. Many students complain that they are forced to skip classes to get the smart card passes as the counters issuing these are closed on Sundays and general holidays. On Saturdays, long queues are seen in front of the counters as issuing a single smart card takes around 20 minutes.

While BMTC claims that they are issuing passes from 6.30am to 9pm at major bus stations, including Majestic, students say that most counters are functioning only between 8am and 5pm.

Aravind V, a college student who came to get a smart card from Majestic bus terminus, said: “On Saturday, I was standing in a queue from 12pm to 3pm. Later, they stopped issuing smart card passes and asked us to come the next day. So I skipped my classes on Wednesday to get the pass. I cannot afford regular tickets because it is expensive.”

Some students complain that there was delay in issuing passes this year. BMTC started issuing smart card passes only from June 17. “BMTC should either issue passes from June first week or set up counters at respective educational institutions. Some staffers are also very rude when we ask them to clear our doubts,” said Reshma S, another student.

There are also complaints that some BMTC bus conductors claim that electronic ticketing machines are dysfunctional or unavailable, forcing the students to buy regular tickets. However, some conductors are now allowing students to travel after they produce the new smart card.
Also, some students say that the pass forms downloaded from the BMTC website are not being accepted at the counters.

When contacted, a senior BMTC official said they are launching the smart cards for students for the first time. “There are some delays and technical issues since it is the first of its kind. But we will look into these issues and sort it out shortly. We are issuing smart cards at 35 counters across the city for the benefit of the students.”

+1 vote


Source: The Hindu

The demand for private schools may have resulted in a sharp decline in the student strength of government schools across the State, but a government school in Vijayapura district has reversed the trend, thanks to its alumni.

Set up on the day the country got its independence, the Government Higher Primary School in Hanumasagar village of Vijayapura district, which had just 60 students a few months ago, has now added 112 more to its fold. The new students left their private schools to enrol here.

This “trend reversal” is the result of an initiative by five former students who were pained over the dwindling student strength in their alma mater. “After passing out of school, five of us were serving as teachers in various government schools. When we came to know that our government school was gradually losing students to private schools, we decided to do whatever possible to break the trend,” said G.S. Jamkhandi.

Explaining the methods they adopted, he said that last summer vacation, the five of them, with the permission of the Block Education Officer, held special coaching classes in the school. “We deputed three teachers to teach mathematics, science and English. Our efforts yielded results, as the parents agreed to shift their children who were studying in private schools in three nearby villages,” he said.

Abdul Nadaf, father of Afreen Nadaf studying in standard six, said that after the teachers held meetings and training sessions, he was confident that his daughter would get better education in the government school. “I paid ₹10,000 as fee in the private school. Now, in the government school, besides quality education, I have been able to save money and there are various facilities such as mid-day meals, bicycles and free uniform,” he said. Afreen is elated too: “I was not happy in the private school. So was five of my cousins. After undergoing coaching, we decided to join this government school.”

Mathematics teacher Laksmi Hosamani said district in charge Minister M.B. Patil had assured of deputing three full-time teachers and arranging for bus service for students. He has also promised a grant of ₹10 lakh for renovation of the school and e-teaching facility.

+2 votes

Source: TOI

BENGALURU: After a 10-year stint in the corporate sector, Ashish Rajpal quit his job to work in education. Disillusionment with the nonprofit sector and a left-liberal upbringing inspired him to improve the quality of education in India. The idea led to the birth of XSEED in 2008, a company which is transforming the way 10 lakh children in 3,000 schools, including 296 schools in Karnataka and 100 in Bengaluru, are taught by 75,000 teachers.
The company provides a comprehensive teaching toolkit to English-medium schools. In an interview with TOI, Ashish spoke about the need to move away from rote learning and more. Excerpts:
Considering that our education system is largely based on rote learning, how disadvantaged are Indian children compared to kids elsewhere?
I once asked a professor from the University of Pennsylvania the same thing and he told me, `Indian students are great at answering questions but don't know how to ask the right ones.' We are trying to prepare children for the 21st century and make them capable of understanding, communicating and questioning. Instead of learning by rote, we want them to have a dialogue with their teachers. Children in other countries are more used to learning by doing things on their own and voicing their opinions.
You've called yourself an `elementary school in a box'. Explain We believed that the problem of access was more or less solved. We wanted to work on quality control using the existing infrastructure.We provide teacher training, textbooks, question banks for internal exams, an evaluation system as well as a curriculum. We are one of the largest school book publishers in the country and work within the structures of CBSE, ICSE and state boards. We have prepared lesson plans for teachers to tackle any topic from kindergarten to class 8. Teachers have told us how their students now ask more questions and are more confident and open-minded.
How does your company reach out to so many children?
It has been a long journey . When we went to schools in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, it was an uphill task to convince the principal that we were offering something for a reasonable one-time payment which would benefit them for years. We have 100 education coaches who have about 30 schools under them which they visit once in six weeks to give the teachers a refresher course. Our presence is most widespread in Tamil Nadu, with 2.50 lakh kids in 800 schools.
How much do you spend per student?
There is a reason why we have not expanded to higher grades. We want to focus on building a strong foundation for students. We considered there may be a clash between the learning provided in higher classes and the way students are evaluated (by boards). The programme costs us Rs750-Rs1,500 per student. In eight years, we have rebooted our model thrice to be up to date with the latest trends and teaching methods. MIT studied our company while working on social entrepreneurs.

How widespread is the initiative in other countries?

We focus on other developing countries as they face similar problems.We provide services to schools in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nepal, Bhutan and Philippines among others. The initiative has been remarkably successful in Philippines.
Have you collaborated with any state governments so far?
We tried but it is hard to engage with governments. You spend time building a rapport to get them on board but they may change their mind.Such initiatives require long-term implementation and cooperation.

+1 vote

Source: TOI

With Harry Potter, Tintin and Sherlock Holmes being included in the school curriculum, students from junior and middle school, have a reason to rejoice. The Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) had announced that these books will be included in the syllabus for the 2017-2018 academic session. We asked some students to speak about their favourite books that could enter school syllabuses, like Harry Potter did. Here's what they have to say...
Swathi Seshadri (2nd PUC student, Christ PU College)
" Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, has definitely been one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It has inspired me to follow my dreams irrespective of all the hardships. Ranging from deadlines, life changes and dreams, it covers everything a teenager would want to know about life after school. Fangirl is a book which proves that simplicity is the utmost sophistication."
Hemangini Singh Rathore (10th grade student, Presidency School)
"Much like how Harry Potter stands for values of love and determination, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is packed with important ideals that would fit right into the principles that schools try to instil in their students. From unending grit for survival, to sacrifices, and proving that tyranny is always overpowered in the end, this book is a goldmine of good ideals. Plus, it's always a better read than Shakespearean 'classics'!"
Aditi Maria Das (1st PU student, Mount Carmel College)
"I feel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini will make for a good read. When you read this book, you tend to have a new perspective about the world and the way you think. Shakespeare's writings are kind of forced on us, whereas these books every student will enjoy reading."
Brinda Sridhar(2nd PU student)
" The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Contrasting to the horrors of the World War II against a deep love for language and reading, it presents a personal and moving account of wartime reality. Students should be exposed to literature like this, because the entertainment aspect of the novel is balanced by important historical details that everybody ought to know."
Pradhyumna S (1st PU student)
" The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara. Not only does this memoir appeal to the sensibilities of students that are interested in travel, but it is also a very inspirational piece that pushes readers to step out of their comfort zones and widen their horizons. The story outlines how Che's life turned out, and sends out strong messages about core values."
Rishvanjas Raghavan (2nd PUC student, VVS Sardar Patel PU College)
"I would love to see Sudha Murthy's How I Taught My Grandmother to Read: and Other Stories in school syllabuses. This book is true Indian-ness at its heart. While the short stories are very elegant and well-written, they promote all values a student is expected to learn at school, such as respecting elders, valuing time, or even saving money, in an irresistibly interesting manner. The book can be used as a whole, or in parts over middle and high school."

By Sanjana Sindhe


+1 vote

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar with Shrishti Kulkarni (third from the left in front row, wearing a brown shirt and trousers), Joel Tony (in blue jeans and white shirt, next to the minister) and other winners of a national-level science contest in New Delhi. PIB

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar with Shrishti Kulkarni (third from the left in front row, wearing a brown shirt and trousers), Joel Tony (in blue jeans and white shirt, next to the minister) and other winners of a national-level science contest in New Delhi. PIB

Photo Source: Deccan Herald

Two students from Bengaluru have won a national-level science contest organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-backed outfit Vijnana Bharati in association with Central government institutions.

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar felicitated the winners — Shrishti Kulkarni, a student of Gear Innovative International School, Koramangala, and Joel Tony, a student of Inventure Academy, Whitefield - at a function here.

The minister also felicitated 12 other winners of the ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan’ awards for 2016-17. Each of the winners of the contest was awarded a medal and certificate of merit.

“Physics is my favourite subject. It just fascinates me because I feel Physics has answers to every problem,” Tony, who will now be a student of Class IX, told Javadekar, when the minister asked him about his academic interests.

Tony, however, kept his cards close to his chest about future plans. “I wouldn’t mind,” he said, when Javadekar asked him if he wanted to become a physicist.

Shrishti, who has been promoted to class VIII, told the minister she aspired to become a scientist. “I have interest in Mathematics and Science,” she said.

Vigyan Bharati organised the nationwide contest in three stages in collaboration with the National Council of Educational Research and Training and Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous institution under the Centre’s department of science and technology.

A total of 1.4 lakh students from 1,472 schools, including 264 Kendriya Vidyalayas, participated in the contest. Out of them, 14 students were declared winners. The contest was held for students of Classes VI to XI.