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Financial hurdle didn’t stop the 16 year old to top class 10 examination in Assam

Financial hurdle didn’t stop the 16 year old to excel in his class 10 examination and become the topper in Assam

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Hurdles shouldn't stop you, they should strengthen your determination. Sarfaraz Hussain was the best example to this saying. By overcoming his financial hurdles, he topped the Assam class 10 board examination which were declared on Tuesday.

The 16 year old cleared his class 10 from Sankardev Sishu Niketan school and scored 590 out 600 marks (98.3%)

"I am very happy at being rewarded for my hard work. After the exam, I was expecting a position in the Top 10. But securing the first position was unexpected. I am really grateful to my teachers and relatives for all the support," said a jubilant Sarfaraz. "I firmly believe one can overcome financial hurdles through sheer dedication in studies."

His father, Azmal Hussain, works as a waiter in a restaurant. When the results came out, with tears in his eyes, Azmal hugged those who came to greet him for his son's success. "I can't express my feelings today," said Hussain.

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State education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma rushed to Sarfaraz's school as soon as the results were declared. Sarma said that the state government will wave off all fees for Sarfaraz at the prestigious Cotton College in Guwahati. The minister also pledged a fund of Rs 5 lakh for Sarfaraz's further studies and a grant of Rs 10 lakh for infrastructure development of Sankardev Sishu Niketan, Betkuchi, as a reward for the good result.

Talking about the success of Sarfaraz, Sarma said, "It is a matter of pride for our ideological family." He expressed hope that one Vidya Bharati-run school would be set up in every gram panchayat area of the state.

Sarfaraz spends his time by playing cricket and watching edutainment channels and aspires to become an engineer.

Image courtesy: Indian Express

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Education

Why Sex Education in Schools is a Battlefield: A Look into Recent Debates and the Path Forward

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The image is generated using AI

Sex education in schools has once again found itself in the eye of a political storm. In the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent overhaul of sex education and gender identity teachings in England’s schools has sparked intense debate. As reported by CNN, Sunak’s administration claims the changes provide much-needed clarity, but critics argue they are politically motivated and detrimental to students’ wellbeing.

The Current Debate

The newly unveiled guidelines mandate that children cannot be taught sex education before the age of nine, with explicit discussions on sexual activity delayed until age 13. Additionally, the concept of gender identity is deemed “highly contested” and is to be excluded from the curriculum. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan emphasized that teachers should impart facts rather than push agendas, a statement that has further fueled the controversy.

Pepe Di’lasio, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, criticized the move as being driven by a “political agenda at the front of a campaign season.” He pointed out the lack of substantial evidence backing the changes, suggesting they are more about garnering votes than genuinely addressing educational needs.

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The Politics of Sex Education

Sunak’s approach is seen by many as a bid to win over socially conservative voters ahead of an impending general election. This strategy has involved a series of divisive announcements, with sex education being the latest target.

Critics, including Paul Whiteman of the National Association of Head Teachers, argue that the rigid limits on discussions could drive students to seek information from unreliable sources. Sam Freedman, a senior advisor at the Ark education charity, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the educational value of discussing contested topics like gender identity in a balanced manner.

The Case for Comprehensive Sex Education

The debate over sex education isn’t limited to the UK. In India, where traditional attitudes often dominate, the need for comprehensive sex education is equally pressing. According to a 2022 survey by the Indian Journal of Community Medicine, only 20% of Indian adolescents reported receiving formal sex education. This gap leaves many young people ill-equipped to navigate their sexual health and relationships safely.

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Sex education opponents often cite cultural and moral grounds, fearing that such education might corrupt young minds. However, evidence suggests otherwise. A UNESCO report from 2018 highlighted that comprehensive sex education can lead to delayed sexual initiation, reduced risk-taking, and increased use of contraception, thereby reducing rates of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Breaking the Stigma

The stigma surrounding sex education often stems from misconceptions and a lack of understanding. Addressing these misconceptions requires a multi-faceted approach:

1. Parental Involvement: Engaging parents in the dialogue around sex education can help demystify the topic and alleviate fears. Schools should offer workshops and resources to help parents understand the curriculum and its benefits.

2. Teacher Training: Educators need robust training to handle sex education topics sensitively and effectively. This includes understanding diverse perspectives and being equipped to support students’ varied needs.

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3. Evidence-Based Policies: Policymaking should be grounded in research rather than political agendas. Studies consistently show that comprehensive sex education supports better health outcomes. Policymakers must prioritize students’ long-term wellbeing over short-term political gains.

4. Community Engagement: Building community support for sex education involves transparent communication and collaboration with local leaders, healthcare professionals, and advocacy groups. Creating a community consensus can help overcome resistance and build a supportive environment for students.

A Path Forward

The controversy over sex education in schools highlights a broader issue: the tension between political agendas and educational integrity. While Sunak’s new guidelines may cater to a specific voter base, they risk undermining the comprehensive education that young people need to thrive.

In both the UK and India, breaking the stigma around sex education requires a commitment to evidence-based practices and an open, inclusive dialogue. By fostering understanding and addressing concerns head-on, we can create a more informed and healthier society.

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As we navigate these debates, it’s crucial to remember that the ultimate goal of education is to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Let’s ensure that political motivations do not overshadow this fundamental objective.

(Inspired by recent analyses from CNN and BBC on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s new education guidelines)

References:
– Rob Picheta, CNN Analysis
– The Indian Journal of Community Medicine
– UNESCO Report on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (2018)

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Climate Change Erodes Education Outcomes: World Bank Report

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A new World Bank policy note reveals alarming evidence on how climate change is severely impacting education outcomes worldwide. The report highlights the increasing frequency of school closures due to extreme weather events and other climate-related factors, outlining the urgent need for adaptation measures within the education sector.

Over the past two decades, schools were closed during approximately 75 percent of extreme weather events affecting over 5 million people. It has become common for countries to close their schools multiple times a year due to heatwaves, flooding, and high pollution levels. The duration of these closures is often prolonged when school infrastructure is vulnerable or used as evacuation centres.

Climate change is also indirectly affecting students through increased diseases, stress, and conflict. The report notes that a one standard deviation change in temperature and rainfall has been linked to a 14 percent increase in the risk of intergroup conflict and interpersonal violence. These factors have severe consequences on children’s educational attainment and achievement.

The erosion of learning due to climate change translates into lower future earnings and productivity, especially for the poor. Research indicates that each additional year of schooling is associated with a 10 percent increase in earnings. As climate shocks reduce educational attainment, future earnings are likely to suffer, perpetuating cycles of poverty and limiting social mobility across generations.

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Despite these growing negative impacts, the report indicates that policymakers do not fully appreciate the urgency of climate adaptation within the education sector. A novel survey covering 94 education policymakers across 28 low- and middle-income countries reveals that nearly 61 percent ranked the protection of learning from climate change among the bottom three priorities in their country. This low prioritisation is troubling because the benefits of education are under threat.

To build resilience in education systems, policymakers must act on four fronts: education management, school infrastructure, students and teachers as change agents, and ensuring learning continuity. The report underscores the need for immediate action to adapt education systems to cope with extreme weather events.

For instance, global estimates indicate that the education sector experiences financial losses of $4 billion annually due to tropical cyclones alone. In the Philippines, over 10,000 classrooms are damaged per year due to typhoons and floods.

The World Bank’s findings stress that for millions of children who will need to attend school over the next 50 years, the results of climate mitigation will come too late. Governments must act now to increase the capacity of education systems to adapt and cope with these increasingly prevalent extreme weather events.

As climate change continues to pose severe risks to educational outcomes, it is imperative that policymakers recognise and address these challenges urgently. The future of education depends on our ability to adapt and build resilience against the adverse effects of climate change.

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Source- ANI

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Tripura Launches E-Attendance in Government Schools to Boost Accountability

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The Tripura government is set to revolutionise the management of its school system by implementing an e-attendance system across all 4,912 government schools. This digital leap, aimed at boosting transparency and accountability, is part of a broader effort to enhance educational quality and performance.

Introduced under the Vidya Samiksha Kendra initiative, which was first launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat in 2022, the new system promises to improve the transparency of educational operations and school functionality. The adoption of e-attendance is expected to streamline academic monitoring and increase operational efficiency within schools.

An education department official disclosed to IANS that the implementation across all schools is projected to be completed within two years. Additionally, the integration of a geo-tagging system will facilitate online access to all essential school-related information, further enhancing the oversight capabilities of educational authorities.

The e-attendance system was previously trialled in government offices, including the civil secretariat, where it was met with positive feedback for improving administrative accountability. With 37,761 teachers currently educating 6,94,539 students across various educational levels in the state, the successful expansion of this system to schools could transform the educational landscape.

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Once fully operational, the system will allow the Chief Minister, along with other senior officials, to directly monitor the performance of teachers and schools from their offices, ensuring that educational standards are upheld across the state. This initiative is seen as a significant step forward in the government’s commitment to delivering quality education.

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CBSE Class 12 and Class 10 Results 2024: Girls Lead as Pass Rates Climb

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has today announced the results of the Class 12 and Class 10 board examinations.

In the results announced for Class 12, this year, 1,426,420 students have successfully passed the examinations, representing an overall pass rate of 87.98%, an increase of 0.65% from the previous year. The results have highlighted a significant achievement for female students, who have attained a pass rate of 91.52%, compared to 85.12% for their male counterparts, thereby outperforming them by 6.40%.

This year, approximately 39 lakh candidates registered for the CBSE Board Exams 2024 across Classes 10 and 12, with about 24 lakh of these registrations for the Class 10 exams alone. The examinations for Class 10 were conducted from February 15 to March 13, marking a crucial period for thousands of students nationwide.

Students can check their results on the official CBSE website at cbse.gov.in or other affiliated sites such as cbse.nic.in and results.cbse.nic.in.

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At ScooNews, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all students on their results. We also want to remind everyone that marks are not the sole measure of one’s abilities or potential. For those who may feel their scores do not reflect their true capabilities, do not be disheartened. Remember, this is merely the start of a thrilling new chapter in your life.

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Shri Sanjay Kumar Chairs a Meeting on Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE)

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In a collaborative push towards achieving the broader objectives of Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE), Secretary of School Education & Literacy, Shri Sanjay Kumar, chaired a comprehensive meeting at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MoWCD), various states, and autonomous bodies under the Department of School Education & Literacy (DoSE&L).

Setting the tone, Shri Kumar emphasised the critical role of all stakeholders in ensuring quality ECCE and commended the initiatives led by the MoWCD and states. He underscored the need for establishing three Balvatikas for children aged 3 to 6 in all CBSE and Kendriya Vidyalayas with Class 1 to ensure a seamless transition to primary education. He also advocated for co-locating Anganwadis with primary schools in rural areas through coordination with the MoWCD, aiming to provide a strong foundation in preschool education.

The group further explored the integration of Jaadui Pitara, a curated set of learning resources, into government schools offering pre-primary education. NCERT’s role in aligning the learning toys with the goals outlined in the National Curriculum Framework-Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) was highlighted. To streamline pre-primary to Class 1 transitions, the Ministry of Education and MoWCD were encouraged to link the Poshan Tracker and UDISE+ data, creating a cohesive tracking mechanism.

Brand recognition for programmes like NIPUN Bharat, Jaadui Pitara, e-Jaadui Pitara, and Vidya Pravesh was also identified as a priority to boost their visibility and impact across states. The adoption of Jaadui Pitara by state SCERTs will be supported by NCERT, ensuring compliance with designated learning outcomes.

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In the meeting, the importance of training preschool teachers and Anganwadi Workers was brought to the forefront, recognising their critical role in achieving a well-rounded ECCE framework. The session emphasised the collaboration between MoE and MoWCD to ensure transparency and efficiency through Requests for Proposals (RFPs) while procuring Jaadui Pitara materials.

With these strategies outlined, the meeting paved the way for a concerted, multi-level approach to early childhood education, striving for a seamless, inclusive, and quality experience for every child.

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Education

UNESCO’s Happy Schools Initiative: Placing Happiness at the Heart of Education

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Image Source- Envato Elements

In a progressive move to reshape global education, UNESCO has developed the ‘Happy Schools’ initiative to place happiness at the forefront of educational transformation. By positioning happiness as both a means and an end to quality learning, this initiative encourages education systems worldwide to recognise happiness as a critical driver of learning and well-being.

Why Happiness Matters in Education

The Happy Schools initiative stems from an ever-growing body of evidence linking happiness with improved learning, teaching, and overall well-being. Academic excellence and happiness are not competing priorities; instead, they work hand in hand. Joyful learning environments enhance creativity, motivation, and the overall learning experience, thus improving educational outcomes.

Education systems face mounting pressure to provide quality learning in the face of widespread global challenges. Currently, 250 million children and youth are out of school worldwide, and over 44 million teachers are required to meet the global teacher shortage. Alarmingly, more than half of the world’s children and adolescents aren’t learning effectively, and one in three students experiences bullying at school every month. Given this backdrop, prioritising happiness is no longer a luxury but a necessity for fostering resilient and collaborative societies.

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The Framework of the Happy Schools Initiative

UNESCO has developed a comprehensive Happy Schools framework that consists of four pillars: people, process, place, and principles. These pillars, combined with 12 high-level criteria, aim to provide a flexible and adaptable guide for transforming education systems.

1. People: Promoting relationships, inclusion, and respect among students and staff to foster social cohesion and well-being.

2. Process: Encouraging dynamic and participatory learning processes that inspire engagement, creativity, and motivation.

3. Place: Creating safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning environments that support both physical and social-emotional well-being.

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4. Principles: Upholding values of empathy, integrity, and respect while ensuring academic excellence.

Global Impact and Implementation

Several countries have already implemented the Happy Schools initiative, including Portugal, Viet Nam, Yemen, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Thailand. These nations have utilised the framework to improve teacher training, strengthen socio-emotional learning, and foster healthier school relationships. By approaching happiness from various entry points, the initiative has proven to be versatile and adaptable to different education systems, even in crisis situations.

Joining the Happy Schools Movement

UNESCO invites educators, policymakers, and individuals to become Happy Schools champions, advocating for happiness in education through these main approaches:

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– National Projects: UNESCO provides technical support to help Member States adapt the framework to their educational systems.

– Self-initiated Projects: Schools and organisations can access the available public resources to lead their own Happy Schools projects.

– Advocacy: Advocate for incorporating happiness into education policies to raise awareness of the importance of well-being in education.

– Evidence-Based Studies: Contribute to the growing body of research on happiness and learning.

For those interested in joining the Happy Schools mission, contact UNESCO at [email protected] or join the LinkedIn community for regular updates and connections. By embracing this holistic approach, we can empower children to flourish, thrive, and build resilient, happy societies.

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Vidyashilp University Hosts Discussion on Disruptive Careers at their Future of Higher Education Event

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Vidyashilp University’s recent event, “The Future of Higher Education,” convened prominent industry leaders to discuss evolving career trajectories and educational paradigms. Held at the Prestige Falcon Towers in Bengaluru, the event aimed to enlighten students and parents about navigating the dynamic job market and achieving success in an ever-changing world.

Distinguished speakers, including Mr. Ullas Kamath, Mr. Pranav Pai, Mr. Aprameya Radhakrishna, and Dr. Subarna Roy, engaged in thought-provoking dialogues on global economic trends, emerging technologies, entrepreneurship, and the alignment of education with industry requirements. Professor P.G. Babu, Vice-Chancellor of Vidyashilp University, commended the principles of NEP 2020, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary learning and critical thinking.

Keynote speaker Mr. Ullas Kamath highlighted India’s economic growth trajectory, emphasizing entrepreneurship as a key driver. Mr. Pranav Pai underscored the significance of India’s startup ecosystem, describing technology as the linchpin of human evolution.

Vidyashilp Education Group alumni, Mr. Vikrant Maini and Ms. Vrishika Melanta, praised the institution’s focus on holistic learning and practical exposure, citing their personal experiences. Mr. Aprameya Radhakrishna stressed the importance of real-world learning experiences for students to bridge learning gaps and discover their passions.

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Overall, the event provided a platform for fruitful discussions on the future of higher education and the imperative of equipping students with the skills and adaptability needed to thrive in the modern workforce.

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Rajasthan Education Minister Bans Mobile Phone Use by Teachers During School Hours

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Image Source- Facebook/Madan Dilawar

Rajasthan’s Education Minister Madan Dilawar announced on Monday stringent measures against teachers in government schools caught using mobile phones during duty hours.

An official order has been issued to prohibit the use of mobile phones by teachers while on school premises.

Dilawar emphasized the necessity for teachers to refrain from bringing mobile phones to schools.

“Mobile phones are a kind of disease. Teachers in school are busy watching the stock market. Mobile phones will be completely banned in schools. Students suffer loss in studies due to mobile phones..Phones will have to be deposited with the principal,” he asserted.

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He further stated, “In the event of unintentional possession of mobile phones, teachers must surrender them to the principal. Additionally, any unauthorized activities such as performing religious rituals during school hours will result in disciplinary action.”

Since assuming office, Dilwar has implemented various policies, including mandating the wearing of school uniforms for all children. He has also introduced the practice of Surya Namaskar as part of the morning prayer in all schools.

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Vice President of India Inaugurates The Kulish School of Patrika Group

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One of India’s leading media houses – Patrika Group – commemorated a great event in their history with the start of Kulish School, a lighthouse of educational center led by the respected Vice President of India, Mr. Jagdeep Dhankar. The extravaganza was held on 30th April signalling the start of a new epoch of academic achievement and social improvement. Besides, during the program, the statue of Mr. Kirpal Chandra Kulish, the founder of Patrika, was also unveiled by the Deputy President.

The Kulish School, the ambitious enterprise of the Patrika Group, recognizes the importance of foresight and community involvement, which is made evident by the school. Named after Kulish Ji who is remembered historically for bringing in constructive alterations, the school is ready to redefine education to become a transforming movement.

The principal of the school, Debashish Chakraborty, introduced the school as a cutting-edge innovation, further saying, “We seek to harness the power of play and experimentation to expose our students to the most complex ideas of innovation and creative technology.”

The Kulish school is based on cutting-edge tech coupled with Vedic knowledge and principles propounded by Kulish Ji. Mrs. Vrinda Kothari, Director, Board of Governors conveyed, “To Kulish Ji education meant skilled and virtuous educators imparting knowledge that brings self-awareness and joy to individuals by developing not just the body and intellect but also enriching their soul and minds.”

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“In schools, the presence of the divine diminishes. In other words, Indian culture, nature, and concepts like unity with the universe become obscure in life. No one has an answer to what should be taught and why.” as stated by Gulab Kothari Ji, he further stated, “What nature had given, education has taken away. Now, the individual has become secondary, and the body is the primary objective. The soul bids farewell to life without truly living it. This is the rarity of a meaningful human life!”

The epitome of the event was the keynote lecture by the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankar. He expressed, ” I wish I were a kid; I would love to study at The Kulish School. This school is Rajasthan’s pride and a priceless diamond. The Kulish School Will Set a Global Benchmark. Where the students of the school will go, I can’t even imagine, as they will achieve much higher. The Kulish School will be a lasting investment in the future and the history of education, putting the family’s name in golden words in the future of education.”

Therefore, the launch of The Kulish School represents a milestone, a bold move toward to shape education for a better tomorrow by the founder’s visionary imagination and showing the way for the upcoming generations.

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Empowering Education: LASSI 2024 Concludes with Success and Inspiration

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The curtains have closed on a successful edition of Liberal Arts and Science Symposium India (LASSI 2024), hosted by ScooNews in collaboration with Good Shepherd International School, Ooty. The symposium, held at the picturesque campus nestled in the Nilgiri Hills, saw an unprecedented gathering of educators, students, and industry experts from around the world.

Themed ‘Shaping Tomorrow,’ LASSI 2024 surpassed expectations in providing a platform for insightful discussions, innovative ideas, and collaborative initiatives in the realm of Liberal Arts and Sciences education. Over the course of the event, attendees had the opportunity to engage in a diverse array of masterclasses, keynotes, and case studies, each offering valuable insights into the transformative power of Liberal Arts education.

Reflecting on the success of the symposium, Jacob Thomas, President of Good Shepherd International School, Ooty, remarked, “LASSI 2024 has been a testament to the spirit of collaboration and inquiry that defines our institution. We are proud to have facilitated meaningful discussions and exchanges that will shape the future of education in India and beyond.”

The event was helmed by Prof Anil Srinivasan & Chetnaa Mehrotra who set the context for the 2-day event as the Summit Curators. Reflecting on the dynamic sessions that unfolded at LASSI 2024, attendees were treated to a diverse range of insights and discussions that shaped the future of education. From Jacob Thomas‘ exploration of emerging technologies to Maheshwar Peri‘s elucidation on Liberal Arts programs in India, each session offered a unique perspective on educational advancement. Vivek Atray‘s interactive Ask Me Anything session, alongside Naman Kandoi and Vardan Kabra‘s discourse on building artistic learners, sparked lively conversations on leadership and innovation. Reena Gupta and Rahul Batra‘s exploration of liberal education further underscored the importance of inclusion and empowerment in academic settings. Outdoor activities and workshops added a touch of experiential learning, while Radhika Lobo and Nisha Bhakar delved into pedagogy and curriculum development. The symposium culminated in a captivating musical performance by Prof Anil Srinivasan, leaving attendees inspired and enlightened. With engaging discussions and impactful presentations, Day  1 at LASSI 2024 proved to be a transformative event for educators, students, and industry experts alike. 

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Day 2 began with Professor Sugata Mitra‘s inspiring session on redefining educational norms that left a lasting impact on attendees. Sandeep Sethi‘s spotlight session explored innovative approaches to education through monuments, theatre, and folk art, shedding light on alternative learning methods. Attendees engaged in an interactive “Ask Us Anything” session with all speakers, fostering open dialogue and exchange of ideas. The Fishbowl Session on the 21st-century school, led by Dr. Venka Purushothaman and Chetnaa Mehrotra, provided valuable insights into the future of education. Meanwhile, students had the opportunity to participate in a workshop led by Prof. Anil Srinivasan, where they explored the concept of creating a startup in the classroom. After a lunch break, the afternoon session kicked off with an open mic segment, allowing attendees to share their perspectives and experiences. Akhila Ramnarayan and Dr. Vijila Edwin-Kennedy led a session on the significance of liberal arts education, prompting reflection on its relevance in today’s society. The day concluded with a student panel discussion on the decision to take a gap year, offering valuable insights into the benefits and considerations of such a choice. 

In addition to thought-provoking discussions, LASSI 2024 showcased leading Liberal Arts colleges from India and abroad, providing attendees with valuable insights into their educational options. Success stories and groundbreaking research findings presented at the symposium underscored the transformative impact of Liberal Arts education on both careers and personal growth.

As the symposium concluded, ScooNews and Good Shepherd International School expressed their gratitude to all participants, sponsors, and partners for their invaluable contributions to the success of LASSI 2024. Looking ahead, both organisations remain committed to fostering collaboration and innovation in education, continuing the momentum generated by this landmark event.

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