Connect with us

Initiative

CBSE’s Contribution to Schools and Teachers in Urban and Rural areas – Vidya Daan

CBSE’s initiative Vidya Daan is a program based on donation of e-content by teachers to synergize countrywide efforts on content development for providing schools and teachers in urban and rural areas with good quality e-content that can be used anytime, anywhere at no cost.

Published

on

CBSE’s initiative Vidya Daan is a program based on the donation of e-content by teachers to synergize countrywide efforts on content development for providing schools and teachers in urban and rural areas with good quality e-content that can be used anytime, anywhere at no cost. Vidya Daan was launched on 12th September 2019 by Hon. Minister of HRD, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal.

Approximately 6000 content pieces are available on Vidya Daan presently for grades 6th to 10th from CBSE Schools for English, Hindi, Maths, Science, and Social Science subjects. The content can be viewed on www.diksha.gov.in/cbse or DIKSHA App can be downloaded from the Google Play store for the purpose.  

CBSE has now decided to launch Vidya Daan 2.0 with an aim to enable students to better understand and apply their knowledge of the concepts and topics to life experiences and teachers to prepare better and teach better through activity and experiential-based teaching and learning.

CBSE has requested an esteemed panel of schools to express interest by 23.12.2019 for providing sample e-content to improve and/or replace existing e-content with high-quality content on Vidya Daan for Grades- 1st to 12th vide Circular no. CBSE/DIR (SE&TRG)/2019 dated 16.12.2019 details of which can be viewed on link http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/Circulars/2019/80_Circular_2019.pdf available on Board’s website. The sample content shared by schools will be reviewed by the Board and if found suitable, CBSE will reach out to select schools for contributing to Vidya Daan 2.0. CBSE will also recognize the effort of schools and teachers contributing to Vidya Daan by giving Certificates/Awards to schools/individual teacher(s) and also weightage to Teacher(s) for national awards such as CBSE teacher awards.

The Board is also reaching out to an esteemed panel of institutes such as IITs, IISERs, IIMs, etc. to support in this ambitious project and to do “Vidyadaan” of the following types of content which will be uploaded on DIKSHA, for the benefit of the larger community of students and teachers.

Advertisement
  1. Experiential Learning/Competency-based content for Maths and Science for classes 1 to 12.
  2. Creating and sharing HOTS questions on any subject of classes 1 to 12.
  3. Conduct Teachers’ Training Program in association with CBSE.

Education

Participate in the #UNESCO4Literacy Photo Contest

To celebrate International Literacy Day (8 September 2022), UNESCO New Delhi Office is launching a social media campaign #UNESCO4Literacy with a Photo Contest to support, value, and appreciate the small, but significant learning spaces found in our daily lives.

Published

on

Learning spaces are everywhere; in school, out of school, in homes, parks, internet, and community. Wielded thoughtfully, learning spaces and inclusive environments have a very real potential to bring about change and the creation of learning opportunities in India.

To celebrate International Literacy Day (8 September 2022), UNESCO New Delhi Office is launching a social media campaign #UNESCO4Literacy with a Photo Contest to support, value, and appreciate the small, but significant learning spaces found in our daily lives.

Contest

On 8 September 2022, the UNESCO Office in New Delhi will announce a total of three winners from the following three categories on our social media, with special honorary mentions of the author/institution. The winning photographs will be displayed at the UNESCO New Delhi premises and will also be exhibited at UNESCO’s launch of its ‘State of the Education Report for India 2022’ to be held at the Maurya Sheraton on 20 September 2022. They will also be featured on UNESCO New Delhi’s website as well as on all UNESCO official social media platforms. The winners will also receive a copy each of UNESCO New Delhi’s two flagship photo publications!

Categories

Your entry should focus on one of the following three themes and clearly indicate the same in the caption:

  1. Literacy Learning Spaces
  2. Before and After of the Transformation of Literacy Learning Spaces
  3. Lively Informal Learning Space connecting Learner and Teacher (i.e. child-parent, friend-friend, brother-sister)

Submissions

The contest is open to all Indian Nationals.

  • Post a photo related to your chosen category on your social media, along with a caption, and tag our social media account: @unesconewdelhi
  • Your post must include the hashtag #UNESCO4Literacy
  • Photographs must also be submitted under the chosen category(s), with your name and residing country along with a short description. Please mail your entries to: [email protected]
  • The last date for receiving the entries is 28 August 2022, 23:59 IST. 

For full information on the eligibility and the selection process, click here.

Background

UNESCO works to enrich and transform existing learning spaces and enable lifelong learning environments. While the school enrollment rate in India drops to 56.6% by the end of secondary education and more and more children drop out of school; as the pandemic continues, nearly 24 million learners in the world may never return to formal education.

Advertisement

Despite the disconnection of students from schools and classrooms, not all learning is about formal learning. With the belief that “learning how to learn” is as important as proficiency in a subject matter itself, UNESCO is launching this photo contest with the aim of raising awareness of potential literacy learning spaces that can be found everywhere in our daily lives.

For any further information, please contact:
Rekha Beri: [email protected]
Joyce Poan: [email protected]
Isha Vig: [email protected]

Continue Reading

Education

Education for Girls

Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education is implementing ‘Samagra Shiksha’, for universalization of quality education throughout the country in coordination with the States and UTs.

Published

on

Pixabay

Education is a subject in the concurrent list of the Constitution and the majority of schools are under the jurisdiction of the State Government. Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education is implementing a centrally sponsored Integrated Scheme for School Education ‘Samagra Shiksha’, effective from 2018-19, for universalization of quality education throughout the country in coordination with the States and UTs. Bridging gender and social category gaps at all levels of school education is one of the major objectives of the Samagra Shiksha. From the year 2018-19 to 2020-21, the Drop-out rate of girls at the Secondary level decreased from 17.03% to 13.7%, Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at the secondary level increased from 76.93 to 79.45, and GER at the higher secondary level has increased from 50.84 to 54.65. (Source: UDISE+).

Under Samagra Shiksha, there is a provision for gender-segregated toilets in all schools. As per UDISE+ 2020-21, 97.45% of Government schools have gender-segregated toilets. Also, there is a provision of a Composite School Grant which may be used for annual maintenance and repair of existing school buildings, toilets, and other facilities to upkeep the infrastructure in good condition.

School Health Programme, under Ayushman Bharat which is a joint collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and DoSEL, Ministry of Education, a module on ‘Growing up Healthy’ has been incorporated, which interalia includes information on physical challenges during adolescence and attaining puberty.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is implementing the Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) as part of the National Population Education Project (NPEP). One of the learning outcomes of AEP is to make the learners aware of the concerns of adolescence, i.e. process of growing up during adolescence, and to inculcate in them a positive attitude regarding these concerns.

Additionally, vide a joint letter of Secretary, DoSEL, and Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti dated 08.03.2022, the states have been advised to utilize funds earmarked for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and management of menstrual waste under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) Phase-II at the village level, for installation or maintenance of incinerators in schools having girls from classes VI to XII and for creating awareness on MHM among adolescent girls and in the society in general.

Advertisement

Moreover, all States and UTs have been requested to take necessary steps to create awareness amongst adolescent girls in schools about the safe usage and the benefits of Sanitary Napkins. It has also been communicated that subsidized sanitary napkins are available at the Jan Aushadi Kendras set up by the Ministry of Chemical and Fertilisers, Government of India.

Under Samagra Shiksha, there is a provision of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in the Educationally Backward Blocks, which are residential schools for girls belonging to disadvantaged groups such as SC, ST, OBC, Minority, and Below Poverty Line (BPL). KGBVs were functional for classes 6th to 8th under the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Under Samagra Shiksha, a provision has been made to upgrade/converge the KGBVs with girls hostels to cover girls up to classes 10th (Type II) and 12th (Type III) to reduce dropout and enhance enrolment of girls at Secondary and Higher Secondary levels. In KGBVs, specific skill training is imparted to provide need-based vocational education to girls.

Further, Special State Specific Projects for varied interventions under equity are emphasized for enhancing access, retention, and quality of girls by promoting enrolment drives, retention and motivation camps, gender sensitization modules, etc. Financial Support is also being provided under State Specific projects as per the allocation of flexi funds under quality to the state subject to viable proposals received from the respective State and UTs. Such projects include Life Skills, Awareness programmes, Incinerators, Sanitary Pad Vending Machines etc.

Moreover, Samagra Shiksha aims at integrating Vocational Education with general academic education in all Secondary/Senior Secondary schools including KGBVs; enhancing the Employability and Entrepreneurial abilities of the students, providing exposure to working environment; and generating awareness amongst students about various career options so as to enable them to make a choice in accordance with their aptitude, competence, and aspirations.

The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on 1st August 2022.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Initiative

NITI Aayog and Bharti Foundation announce the launch of ‘Convoke 2021-22’

The applications for CONVOKE are open now and applications will be accepted towards the end of January.

Published

on

NITI Aayog in partnership with Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, launched Convoke 2021-22.

Convoke is a National research Symposium that aims at addressing challenges in imparting education and strengthening its quality with a special focus on all teachers, educationists, heads of schools across India. Through this platform, School Teachers/ Heads/Principals of Government Schools and teachers from the Bharti Foundation network will be encouraged to use research-based solutions through a scientific approach, and showcase their efforts taken at the grassroots level in improving learning outcomes.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also recognises and identifies teachers and faculty as the heart of the learning process. It recommends that teachers will be recognised for novel approaches to teaching that improve learning outcomes in their classrooms. NEP recommends developing platforms so that teachers may share ideas and best practices for wider dissemination and replication.

Teachers over the years have been coming up with innovative solutions to help support students and even more during the lockdown. Through Convoke they can now share their micro research papers. These research papers will be analyzed by a panel of Educationists. The shortlisted Research Papers will be presented during the ‘National Research Symposium’ scheduled in January 2022.

The event was chaired by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, and attended by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, Dr. Prem Singh, Adviser (Education), NITI Aayog, Shri Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation, and Ms. Mamta Saikia, CEO, Bharti Foundation and also virtually attended by representatives of Ministry of Education, NIEPA, Officials of Education Departments/ SCERTs of all States/UTs.

Advertisement

Speaking during the event Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, said, “There is a need to focus on quality as we have achieved near-universal access in elementary education. It becomes an immediate and foremost important task given the learning regression that has happened due to the Covid 19 school closures. I hope that CONVOKE will become a platform that will be pan-India and it will become a movement towards improving learning outcomes through joyful teaching and learning. I appeal to all the education stakeholders to make quality education a mission to meet the aspirations of our youth. We must also focus on pre-school education as a significant number of children are not attending pre-school and therefore lagging behind in learning outcomes when they enter schools.”

The National Education Policy 2020 gives a lot of emphasis on finding solutions using scientific methodology, helping teachers and students develop 21st-century skills. It envisions a comprehensive approach to transform the quality and quantity of research in India, which includes definitive shifts in school education to a more play and discovery-based style of learning with an emphasis on the scientific method and critical thinking.

During the event, Shri Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog emphasized that “CONVOKE will immensely help in bridging the gap between academia, policymakers, and practitioners in the education field. The findings from the ground by the teachers on ‘what works’ will help policymakers to design policies that are responsive to the needs of the grassroots. It will also inform the academia of the challenges associated with improving learning outcomes and potential research areas where the teachers at grassroots could even be co-investigators.”

Emphasizing the need to improve learning outcomes, Dr. Prem Singh, Adviser (Education), NITI Aayog highlighted that “CONVOKE will promote the suggestions of the National Education Policy 2020 on recognizing novel approaches to teaching that improve learning outcomes in their classrooms. Convoke will help in creating a culture of using research-based pedagogy to improve learning outcomes in school education”.

Addressing the gathering during the event, Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation said, “At Bharti Foundation, we endeavor to enhance the quality of teaching and improve learning outcomes amongst teachers & students in schools. We are honoured to partner with NITI Aayog for CONVOKE 2021 at a pivotal time when NEP 2020 is being rolled out nationally. Together we will provide a platform for educators to spread their knowledge across the country so that the goals put forth in NEP 2020 can be realized with speed and consistency.”

Ms.Mamta Saikia, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Foundation, spoke about how CONVOKE has evolved from being a small-scale discussion forum to promote teacher interaction to now becoming a unique platform of a National stature that will promote micro researches from teachers that will further plough into the policymaking in the country.

Advertisement

The applications for CONVOKE are open now and applications will be accepted towards the end of January. Further details about the event can be accessed at https://bhartifoundation.org/convoke/

 

Continue Reading

Initiative

Ministry of Education organises a National webinar on Quality Teacher Education, Accreditation, and Teacher Development

Ministry of Education, AICTE, and the National Council for Teacher Education organized a national webinar on “Quality Teacher Education, Accreditation, and Teacher Development.” 

Published

on

Ministry of Education, AICTE, and the National Council for Teacher Education organized a national webinar on "Quality Teacher Education, Accreditation, and Teacher Development."  Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, PMO, and DOPT was the chief guest for the webinar.

Addressing the participants, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that in line with the vision of the Prime Minister, the National Education Policy 2020 will help  in realising the goal of New India. The Minister stressed that there is a strong need of aligning professional degree and career choices. He also spoke of integrity in the selection process of teachers and incentivizing the best students to take up teaching as a profession.

The Minister said that teachers have been at the centre of education since ancient times and contributing to the country’s progress. High-quality teaching will improve educational outcomes and will lead to the holistic development of students.

Prof. Narendra Kumar Taneja, VC, CCS University; Prof. C.K. Saluja, Rtd., CIE, Delhi University; Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, VC, JNU; Prof. Padma Sarangpani, Tata Institute of Social Sciences; Dr. Maitreyee Dutta (Head), Dept of Computer Science & Engg., NITTTR, Chandigarh; Ma. Ramya Venkataraman, CENTA also participated in the webinar.

Advertisement

The webinar featured two sessions on

(i) Quality Education and Teacher Development

(ii) Accreditation.

Prof. HCS Rathore, Former VC, South Bihar Central University, and Prof. Mahendra P. Lama, School of International Studies, JNU facilitated the questions/answers/interactions and summarized both the sessions.

The webinar focused on Digital Integration in Quality Education, Impact of Language on Quality Education, Maintaining Quality of Education, Holistic Teacher Development, Teachers of the Future, Teacher’s Role in Developing 21st Century Skills, Quality Technical Education, and Accreditation and Teacher Accreditation.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Initiative

Registration Open For The National Teacher Award 2021

Self nomination registration open for the upcoming National Teacher Award 2021.
Register now!

Published

on

It is time for the most awaited award nominations to begin. The National Teacher Award 2021 self nomination commenced on 1 June 2021. Since 1958, on 5 September (Teacher's Day) every year, the President of India accords the National Teacher Award to the winner. This honour is bestowed upon the best and meritorious teachers working in primary, middle and secondary schools in India.

According to the official website the online self nomination started on 1 June 2021 and can be submitted till 20 June 2021. Following the same, the District Selection Committee nominations to be forwarded to the State Selection Committee through online portal from 1 July to 15 July 2021

The eligibility criteria for teachers are as follows-

School teachers and Heads of Schools working in recognized primary / middle / high / higher secondary schools under the following categories:

  • Schools run by State Govt./UTs Administration, schools run by local bodies, schools aided by State Govt. and UT Administration.
  • Central Govt. Schools i.e. Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), Sainik Schools run by Ministry of Defence (MoD), Schools run by Atomic Energy Education Society (AEES) and Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) run by Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • Schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) (other than those at (a) and (b) above)
  • Schools affiliated to Council for Indian Schools Certificate Examination (CISCE) (Other than those at (a), (b) and (c) above)
  • Normally retired teachers are not eligible for the award but those teachers who have served a part of the calendar year (at least for four months i.e. upto 30th April in the year to which National Awards relate) may be considered if they fulfill all other conditions.
  • Educational Administrators, Inspectors of Education, and the staff of training Institutes are not eligible for these awards.
  • Teacher / Headmaster should not have indulged in tuitions.
  • Only regular Teachers and Heads of Schools will be eligible.
  • Contractual Teachers and Shiksha Mitras will not be eligible.

All the applications would be received through an online web portal. Every applicant shall submit a portfolio, online along with the Entry Form. The portfolio shall include relevant supporting material such as documents, tools, reports of activities, field visits, photographs, audios or videos etc.

Register now!

Advertisement

https://nationalawardstoteachers.education.gov.in/

 

Continue Reading

Initiative

Trained At Tata Motors Vigyan Ashram Program, Rural Girl Grabs Job At Wikipedia

She is a beneficiary of one of Tata Motors programs and is now instrumental in changing lives for more individuals like her.

Published

on

When companies work towards bringing a positive change in society, it only helps builds trust with their consumer base. One of the best examples of CSR in India is Tata Motors that works wholeheartedly in the fields of skill development, education, sanitation, safety, sustainability, etc. in rural areas.

A recent example of their social service is the story of Pooja Jadhav from Pabal, Pune, Maharashtra. With the company’s support, Pooja has been able to continue her education post-high-school, polish her tech skills and become financially independent, something that’s rare for the women of her village.

She's a beneficiary of one of Tata Motors programs and is now instrumental in changing lives for more individuals like her. Remembering her childhood and the limited opportunities, she says, “As an impressionable young child living in the rural region of Pune, I noticed the hardships that the villagers face due to a lack of education and development opportunities. Deeply impacted by hardships due to lack of basic necessities, I resolved to bring out some positive change in this hamlet. Noticing my determination, my father encouraged me to not lose hope and take one small step at a time 'Ek ek paul pudhe pragati chya vat chali kadhi.'"

It was her father who believed in her calibre and pushed her to study and acquire more knowledge, which he believed would help her with this objective. Even though their financial situation was dire, her parents constantly encouraged her to study further and get a degree. You know what they say about teaching a woman – you ultimately end up teaching a family, an entire generation and ultimately the nation.

Soon after her graduation in BSC Computer Science, Pooja enrolled herself with Tata Motors Vigyan Ashram program. “Along with 16 other girls, I learned new-age skills such as 3D printing, web communication, and web management. With our newly acquired skill set, we bagged a project with Wikipedia to transcribe articles to Marathi and thus became a senior regional contributor at Marathi Wikipedia. So far, I have edited more than 4,000 articles for Wikipedia in Marathi and ran Optical character recognition of 15,000 pages on Wiki source,” she shares.

Advertisement

She didn’t limit her knowledge to herself. With a fancy job in hands, she returned to her village intending to inculcate interest in technology and science applications in the minds of young women like her. She states, “I have been conducting workshops to promote self-employment and guiding and encouraging girls to be financially independent. Currently, I am working on a project that will help the villagers with better water management. The technology will assess the water levels through sensors and notify the villagers through an LED display. Taking one small step at a time, I am getting closer to my objective of changing lives…'Ek ek paul pudhe pragati chya vat chali kadhi.'"

Pooja’s story is of perseverance, awareness and encouragement. With many companies doing their part, we now see far-reaching efforts changing the lives of those with fewer resources.

Continue Reading

Initiative

Learn About GIGA: Connecting Every School to the Internet

GIGA, an initiative launched by UNICEF and ITU in September 2019 to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice, is supporting the immediate response to COVID-19.

Published

on

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a climate that poses a colossal threat, now and in the future, to children and their families – a grim reality especially compounded among children already affected by poverty, disability, or social exclusion. Experts predict that, given high contagion risks and the time needed to develop and distribute a vaccine, COVID-19 is poised to be a long-term global health and welfare crisis. 

The current climate created by the COVID-19 outbreak has shown us the importance of universal connectivity.

The global school shutdowns and health crisis exacerbate already challenging realities for lower-income countries: with the limited or non-existent infrastructure to connect to distance learning and essential services, their current education and economic stability, as well as future opportunities and welfare, are significantly set back. This current situation proves how critical it is to now accelerate connectivity, online learning and other initiatives for children and their communities, and drive economic stimulus.

GIGA, an initiative launched by UNICEF and ITU in September 2019 to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice, is supporting the immediate response to COVID19, as well as looking at how connectivity can create stronger infrastructures of hope and opportunity in the "time after COVID."

The GIGA team has accelerated work on key connectivity initiatives, with a focus on providing connectivity and necessary services to 11 high-impact countries in the months between April and September.

Advertisement

GIGA Initiatives supporting communities during COVID-19:

Critical Software and Content: Identifying, strengthening, and scaling proven and new innovations in software, learning systems, and content that support telework, tele-education, tele-health, and financial services – all of which can be deployed at low-cost, scale, and customized to local languages.

Broadband Connectivity: Developing a comprehensive strategy to map unserved schools; develop better and/or new financing programs to bring together diverse public and private funding; initiate large-scale procurement and improve transparency in monitoring.

Digital Financial Services: Since GIGA will use public block-chains for monitoring and managing payments, one can work with governments and providers to explore how connectivity infrastructure can also lead to extensions of online banking and electronic financial networks, potentially, enhancing the efficiency and accountability of government programs that disseminate payment.

Updates from GIGA's work in three regions: (January- March 2020)

Central Asia: Kazakhstan signed on as the “Regional Lead” in January 2020 and the first financial model is being developed for this region. A GIGA Regional Centre and regional team in Astana has been established to implement the initiative with a commitment to bring together countries in the region to refine financial models over a series of workshops and meetings. In Kyrgyzstan, by obtaining real-time mapping of all 2180 public schools, the government was able to use the mapping information to go on to connect 690 public schools(~32%) of them. In Kazakhstan, it integrated 10,200 schools onto the global mapping platform which currently displays over 800,000 schools in 15 countries.

Advertisement

Eastern Caribbean: 9 out of 11 countries in the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have completed mapping of their school connectivity. In partnership with the OECS, GIGA will enhance the connectivity of schools and develop digital public goods needed to support the new Caribbean educational model.

East Africa: Working with the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda in mapping school connectivity real-time, and developing business models to make connectivity affordable and sustainable. In Kenya, it’s supporting the development of educational digital public goods to be rolled out with the introduction of a new competency-based curriculum.

Global updates:

  • Digital Public Goods Alliance kicked off with Norway: The Digital Public Goods Alliance, with the support of the government of Norway, is assessing, strengthening, and scaling a range of critical open source software and content that could address critical needs, especially during the current crisis. 
  • Softbank Investment Advisory services joins GIGA: Through the collaboration with Softbank Investment Advisors and industry experts, it established GIGA’s financial model —developing a reliable, evidence-based model on the return of investment of connectivity, and providing advisory services to governments to build country-specific finance and delivery approaches.
  • GIGA is anchored and recommended: In the Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation: Recommendation 1B which calls for the UN to create and provide access to vital “Digital Public Goods,” and Recommendation 1A which calls for universal access to connectivity.

To learn how you can contribute and become a part of this initiative, log on to https://gigaconnect.org/.

(This article was first published on UNICEF.org)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Initiative

Tune Into Ek Tara’s Story, A Non-Profit Working For Girls In Urban Slums

This NGO is working towards holistic education of girls living in slums to give them an opportunity of a better future.

Published

on

Ek Tara, a non-profit organisation working towards educating girl child, started with 20 children under its wing. Nine years later, they are providing high-quality holistic education and livelihood skills to over 1300 children and women belonging to the low-income families of Topsia & Tiljala in Kolkata.

ScooNews spoke to the team to learn about their workflow, unique pedagogy, teacher training, and ways in which they've increased the graduation percentage in nearly a decade. Excerpts:

What motivated Vinita Saraf and Namrata Sureka to start Ek Tara?

Both Ms Saraf and Ms Sureka had been part of other non-profit boards for several years before starting Ek Tara. They also had hands-on experience as educators for children from slums. These experiences coupled with the need to improve the condition of girls in the slums of Kolkata led them to establish Ek Tara. When it started in 2011, the idea was to provide a safe learning space for women to learn basic life skills so that they could earn a living while their children (girls) had access to a pre-school set up before they got ready to go to school. However, over the years, the absence of good quality schools in our operations led them to look at the Education Programme for the children more seriously so that every girl from these slums had access to high-quality English medium education right from the foundation levels.

The name Ek Tara was chosen as they truly believe that every child is unique and when given the right education and opportunities, can shine like the brightest of stars.  

Advertisement

How is the organisation funded?

The organisation is funded with support from friends and families of the trustees and their network, CSR grants, Foreign grants and individual donations. 

How are the educators oriented into Ektara’s workflow and what sort of training do they undergo? Are volunteers welcome, what’re the criteria?

Ek Tara strives for excellence across all levels of its work. With a focus on the delivery of high quality of education, Ek Tara ensures that all its staff members are in line with the mission and vision of the organisation. While the main subject and language teachers of the Early Childhood Learning Centre and the Primary and Middle school sections are all trained teachers who have an in-depth understanding of their subjects, they are supported in classrooms by young teachers who come from the communities we work in. These community teachers are young girls who, with Ek Tara's support, have completed school education and then given access to teacher training courses so that they can explore careers as junior and helper teachers in Ek Tara and elsewhere. All staff members are made to go through details of all the programmes that Ek Tara runs through rigorous job training which lasts from 1 to 3 months. Once they are inducted fully into the system, we continue to organise workshops and skill-building sessions for them in association with leading experts of the field. We offer a range of capacity building sessions for both academic excellence as well as for teachers to learn about new teaching-learning methodologies that are in keeping with new innovations in the education sector. 

Volunteers, too, are inducted into the system after proper orientations with our programme heads who, after discussing the skill sets of the volunteers, assign the roles which are best suited to them. Volunteers play an extremely important role in the organisation as they enable us to pursue extracurricular activities, special projects for our children to have a more holistic learning experience.

While academics are the main focus of our education programme, access to sports, arts, music, self-defence, etc. are also equally important. Every year, we enrol over 100 children in swimming, football and basketball sessions. In addition, through volunteer-run clubs and sessions, we run projects with leading schools in India and abroad. We have a pen pal club, Nature club, civic literacy club and shortly will start STEM learning and coding as well with support from volunteers and partners. 

Advertisement

How do you solve the issue of parents who prefer their kids working rather than studying? Did you see children drop out at any point from the education program?

We run a very deep engagement programme with the parents of our children. While we continue to encounter a few parents who, once their children turn 13, want them to drop out of school, the majority of our parents have learnt the value of education for their children. Every week we do sessions with mothers and fathers on not just why they need to keep their children in school, but also help in building their capacities by providing them access to workshops and training on financial literacy, good parenting, health and hygiene practices for their families. These sessions are supported by us giving them starter kits or through camps that we hold in conjunction with leading hospitals and specialists. In addition, mothers are employed at Ek Tara as support staff where they see for themselves what the impact of education can be on their children. 

We also have a very strong outreach team that goes from home to home of our children to ensure they are well looked after and have access to information and facilities that they may require. This is supported by councillors who step in to resolve issues that children and even their families face which, if unchecked, can lead to children dropping out of school. 

The key to ensuring parents valuing the education of their child and for them to support the children to stay in the school lies in making the parents partners in the process, with whom we have very strong communication channels, who we empower with access to information and capacity building and with whom we participate in problem-solving exercises. These strategies have led us to witness a sharp decline in the drop out rate of the children, which is currently at about 3% per year.

What’s been your educational-strategy during the pandemic?

Right from the beginning of the lockdown, we realised we had to reach out to our children constructively. Just before closing down, we gave them learning kits consisting of workbooks, copies, stationery items so that they could be engaged properly. From April, we realised the digital divide would prohibit us from relying on online classes for our children, which is when we developed a tele learning project-based methodology with support from Education Above All (a leading education organisation in Qatar). Through the newly developed modules, our teachers would explain concepts, allocate work to children (sometimes via their parents for the younger children) on a daily basis which would lead to them working on weekly projects. All PBL modules were designed to ensure children can improve knowledge and understanding of the world, numeracy, communication and social skills. The direct engagement of parents for the first time as designated educators for their children led to them feeling empowered in a way they had never experienced before.  

Advertisement

The Extracurricular Activity which is said to have been very successful, how do you think it has helped these children?

Extracurricular activities are essential for the proper development of any child, especially for first-generation learners as it gives them a chance to explore their talents and interests, which, in turn, motivates them to do better in school and complete school. Right from inculcating discipline, focus, concentration, the ability to develop leadership skills and the chance to learn and excel in areas that they have an inborn talent for, extracurriculars play a very important role. Often when children are not academically inclined, these classes allow them the scope to grow and nurture other skill sets. An example of this is our project coordinator for all ECA's in Ek Tara. She was a child who was not at all inclined towards education but excelled in dance and art. As she had the option of pursuing these interests, she developed leadership skills which allowed her to take on the role of project assistant. Today, she is the sole bread earner for her family! Had the focus always been only on children doing well in academics only, she would have dropped out of school earlier than she did and not been in this position of power and importance in her family.

ECA's, therefore, go a long way in enabling children to be focussed individuals who have the right spirit and can take decisions independently.  

What is the student graduation percentage at age 18 for Ektara?

Currently, as most children are still in the age bracket of 8-15 years, we have seen close to a 95% transition rate from one project to the other. So far all students who have completed secondary, higher secondary exams with Ek Tara's support have all secured 1st division grades making it a 100% graduation rate.

In only nine years, Ek Tara has over 900 girls under the wing, what are the future plans?

Advertisement

Ek Tara has launched a state of the art Learning Centre for all its children which, in the years to come, will support over 2500 girls right from Montessori to Secondary levels. The curricula for the new ELC has been designed in line with the NEP so that our children, too, can be equipped with 21st-century skills which makes them employable in the future. In addition, Ek Tara is also stepping up its community engagement verticals by launching a community kitchen which is fully run by women who supply meals at a subsidised rate to factory workers and low-income households, by increasing training under our social enterprise so that more women can start earning a livelihood through our income generation project.

Know more about Ek Tara at https://ektara.org.in/

Continue Reading

Initiative

Robotraffic Competition By Israel Institute of Technology For Indian Students

Israel Institute of Technology opens its 11th annual Nadav Shoham Robotraffic competition for Indian students

Published

on

This is the 11th (Virtual) Nadav Shoham Robotraffic Competition organised by Israel Institute of Technology, the competition commences on 14 March 2021. The virtual contest goes on for five days, from March 14 to 18, 2021. 

Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is responsible for the 11th consecutive competition which is open for Indian students as well, specifically classes 10 & 12. For this, children will need a guiding teacher and can have a team consisting of 1 to 8 members.

Here are the guidelines released by the institute:

Goals

  • Develop sensors and systems to be implemented in the industry to reduce the number of car accidents
  • Expose students to the high tech multi-disciplinary area of robots and sensors
  • Build team-work capabilities

The main challenge is to build an autonomous robotic car model that can move according to the traffic rules, obey traffic lights and sign signals, and keep a safe distance from other cars.

Advertisement

Competition Categories

Careful Driving/Racing/Reverse Parking

Traffic safety initiatives/3D CAD

  • The teams can compete in one or more categories

The first-place winners in the Careful Driving category receive a full one-year scholarship to Technion International undergraduate degree program!

Watch the Robotraffic steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcOkzNEwA58

Application: https://int.technion.ac.il/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Robotraffic-registration-form.pdf

For more information, please contact: [email protected]

Advertisement

Rules

  1. Teams should consist of 1-8 students from the same school
  2. Student participants must be between 10-12 grade
  3. A teacher can act as an advisor, but the construction needs to be done by the students.

Submission

Deadline for registration: December 31, 2020, 23:59 (based on local time in Israel)

Deadline for submission: March 1, 2021, 23:59 (based on local time in Israel)

Source: https://robotraffic.net.technion.ac.il/robotraffic-rules/

https://int.technion.ac.il/programs/robotraffic/

 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Initiative

Karnataka School’s Water Conservation Project Gets Praised Globally 

This school, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, conserves 667 lt of water every day!

Published

on

Almost all middle schoolers have made Water-Filtration science projects, but many students and adults forget why water needs to be conserved. 187 students and 10 teaching staff of Berambadi Primary School in Karnataka did not only remember this important life lesson but worked towards it. 

The James Hutton Institute led a Water Conservation project along with colleagues from the Indian Institute of Science, the University of Glasgow, environmental non-profit, the Ashoka Trust, and staff of the school.

A collaboration between Scottish and Indian water and social scientists to deliver a low-cost wastewater treatment system for rural schools in India gave birth to this project. The water treatment plant is said to be easily adaptable for different sites and conditions. This means more schools and communities can benefit from it and more water wastage can be reduced.

Students from Berambadi School

Deputy First Minister John Swinney told Deccan Herald, "Clean water is vital for a good quality of life and we want to be a world leader in the responsible management of our most critical resource. We have an obligation to reach out to the world with our expertise to help others, to improve lives and advance our understanding of how to manage water sustainably, both now and in response to future challenges. This waste-water treatment system here at Berambadi is designed to recover resources, improve public health and safeguard the environment. I am pleased this system has been implemented with the local community in mind and in a low-cost, sustainable way."

Advertisement

The water which is filtered comes from the school kitchen, washbasins and utensil washing. Particles are trapped in mesh and the water is passed through different level of treatments to remove the oil and germs. Since the COVID-pandemic, they have been using Ozone to disinfect the water, hence completely eliminating the need for hazardous oxygen cylinders. “This makes the system relatively foolproof,” said Lakshminarayana Rao, Assistant Professor, Centre for Sustainable Technologies.  

Prof. Rao also pointed out that the project’s origination depended upon realising that Indian population consist of 17.5% of the total world’s population and the water availability is only 4% of all usable water on the planet. The fact that India has more people than the quantity of freshwater brings the urgent need for its conservation.

The high throughput Ozonator from Rao’s lab (Photo: Rohini Krishnamurthy)

Manu D, an assistant teacher at the school, talked about how the system that was being used before the school closure due to pandemic saw 667 litres of water recycled daily!

These kinds of novel projects that not only teach students about various scientific ways but also bring something amazing to the school, nation and planet are worth celebrating.

Picture courtesy: connect.iisc.ac.in

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Newsletter

Advertisement
Education23 hours ago

Participate in the #UNESCO4Literacy Photo Contest

Education2 days ago

National Council of Teachers Education (NCTE) celebrates 28th Foundation Day

Education3 days ago

Citizen Survey for Preparing Curriculum for New India

Knowledge1 week ago

Educating the Heart, Mind and Body

Knowledge2 weeks ago

Transforming School Curriculum – Empowering Learning for Life

Knowledge2 weeks ago

Jaipur Set to Host India’s Largest Education Brainstorm

News2 weeks ago

Gender Inclusive Holistic Education in NEP

Education3 weeks ago

Education for Girls

Education3 weeks ago

Salient Features of NEP-2020

Innovation3 weeks ago

School Innovation Council

Education3 weeks ago

Ministry of Education organises National Workshop on Achieving Learning Outcome

Education Technology4 weeks ago

All Students are Good Students

News1 month ago

Sunbeam students are the champions of USQ 2022

Opinion2 months ago

Insight into constructive learning methods by an experienced educator

Inspiration2 months ago

Archana Surana to represent India at the CUMULUS Global Association

Innovation2 months ago

Korroboree uses D2L Brightspace to make learning authentic, measurable and seamless

Opinion2 months ago

Future of Education & Skilling in India

Education2 months ago

Andhra Pradesh takes another step towards Quality Education

Innovation3 months ago

Are you engaging Students with digital credentials?

Education3 months ago

Recognising Students in GD Goenka World School

Education3 months ago

Ministry of Education releases National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 report

Education3 months ago

India’s first, exclusive k -10 child safety school program – Hapchi is building an informed and resilient generation

Education3 months ago

Leveraging The Power of Analytics in Education

Innovation3 months ago

Digital Education is changing the way we learn

Knowledge3 months ago

Guidelines regarding precautions to be observed by schools to combat the ill-effects of the heat-wave

Good news2 years ago

20+ Images Showing The Enthusiasm of Teachers & Students on School Reopening

Learning2 years ago

10 Inspiring Educational Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi

News4 months ago

Daly College, Indore announces new leadership

Opinion2 years ago

The Curious Case Of School Dropouts & School-Switching In 2020 In India

Opinion4 months ago

The most valuable resource that all teachers in the 21st-century need is collaboration

Knowledge2 years ago

UNESCO Reveals Countries Producing The Highest No. Of STEM Graduates

Opinion2 months ago

Insight into constructive learning methods by an experienced educator

Learning2 years ago

Remembering The Great Teacher & Nationalist Sri Aurobindo on His Birth Anniversary & India’s Independence Day

Initiative8 months ago

NITI Aayog and Bharti Foundation announce the launch of ‘Convoke 2021-22’

Initiative2 years ago

Karnataka School’s Water Conservation Project Gets Praised Globally 

Opinion2 years ago

Dr Madhav Deo Saraswat on NEP: Vocational Training Makes Schools Progressive

Education Technology2 years ago

10 Myths & Truths About Online Learning You Need to Read Now!

Book Review1 year ago

Dads, The PA In Parenting: A Book That Shatters All Stereotypes About Roles Of Fathers

Schools1 year ago

Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra Appointed As The Next Principal Of The NPS International School, Guwahati

Education3 weeks ago

Education for Girls

Education3 weeks ago

Salient Features of NEP-2020

Schools1 year ago

This World Bicycle Day, Here Are Two Stories About Schools Promoting Bike Riding

Education3 weeks ago

Ministry of Education organises National Workshop on Achieving Learning Outcome

Book Review2 years ago

Top 5 Books For Principals And School Administrators

Inspiration1 year ago

This Young Woman From A Tribal Village Is Teaching The Children While Schools Are Closed

Good news2 years ago

‘Soul’ Movie Protagonist is a Real Life Music Teacher From Queens

Opinion4 months ago

21st Century Pedagogy and Teaching Methods

Knowledge2 years ago

National Mathematics Day (Dec 22): Birthday of the Great Mathematician Ramanujan 

Innovation3 months ago

Are you engaging Students with digital credentials?

Entertainment2 years ago

ScooReview: ‘I Am Kalam’ is a Riveting Story of a Child’s School Dream

Policy2 months ago

Anurag Tripathi, Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) discusses NEP2020

Knowledge2 years ago

Click here to watch our latest webinar live!

Event Round-up3 years ago

ScooNews | Early Ed Asia 2019 | Aftermovie

Events4 years ago

#PodarECEconf : Pursuing quality ECE

News4 years ago

#CBSE Class XII #Results #Highlights

Education5 years ago

The interesting story of India’s educational system | Adhitya Iyer

Young Talent5 years ago

A young scientist’s quest for clean water

Uncategorized5 years ago

The Danger of Silence: Clint Smith

Initiative5 years ago

National Digital Library of India is an initiative by HRD Ministry

Inspiration5 years ago

Remembering Kalpana Chawla on her birthday!

Inspiration5 years ago

Message from Sadhguru for Students!

Inspiration5 years ago

Message from Sadhguru for Students!

Inspiration5 years ago

The Untapped Genius That Could Change Science for the Better

Education6 years ago

Eddy Zhong: How school makes kids less intelligent [email protected]

Education6 years ago

#TEDxCanberra : What if every child had access to music education…

Education6 years ago

Confessions of a Megaphone – Shrutidhar Paliwal – TED Talk

Bringing Change6 years ago

TED Talk: Bill Gates on Education and Good Teachers

Education6 years ago

Bring on the Learning Revolution! | Ken Robinson

Events6 years ago

Art With A Heart by Jayshree Periwal International School Students

Inspiration6 years ago

Afghan teen rapper sings to end child marriage

Inspiration6 years ago

This village school values its girl children.

Innovation6 years ago

ScooNews Exclusive: On a mission with The SunPedal Ride!

News6 years ago

Indian Students join global hunt for asteroids

Entertainment6 years ago

ScooNews goes “Back to School with Ashmit Patel”

Uncategorized6 years ago

Students under Stress – We must help them

Trending