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Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya honoured with Great Place to Study in House of Commons, London, U.K.

Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, Jaipur has been honoured in London as Great Place to Study in House of Commons, UK. on the 23rd February 2017, Principal, Ms. Krishna Bhati received the honour from the hands of Chairperson of Lords European External Affairs Committee and Member of Lords EU Select

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Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, Jaipur has been honoured in London as Great Place to Study in House of Commons, UK. on the 23rd February 2017, Principal, Ms. Krishna Bhati received the honour from the hands of Chairperson of Lords European External Affairs Committee and Member of Lords EU Select Committee.

Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, Jaipur is the only school from Rajasthan along with Scindia School, Gwalior and Lovedale School, Ooty, who were awarded as legacy institutions as Great Place to Study.

Great Place to Study Certification is a badge of honour, earned by an institution, which has global standards and shows strong focus on managing high level student satisfaction practices in learning experience, learning objective, learning outcome, life on campus and happiness quotient of students.

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Leadership of Nehru World School recognised amongst India’s best mid-sized employers in times of crisis

The award recognises the school’s uniqueness of practice and implementation to fit its context as well as the application of the ‘Human Touch’, a sense of appreciation, generosity, and sincerity in its programmes and policies.

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India’s Best Leaders in Times of Crisis – Great Place to Work

Nehru World School, Ghaziabad has been recognised amongst Indias best mid-sized employers in times of crisis by ‘Great Place to Work’.

Foreseeing the COVID-19 Pandemic and its potential impact on the ‘normal’ ways of working, detailed planning, preparation, development and consistently inspired by its vision, mission and values, enabled the leadership team to:

  • deliver and maintain high-quality education by personalising student learning across age groups.
  • reinforce and strengthen partnerships with parents, through training, two-way communication, and ongoing technological support as required.
  • ensure the wellbeing of all employees, through open, honest, and transparent dialogue, centred on trust, providing support for them and their families.
  • empower, train and support employees to carry out their roles, recognising and sharing best practice, and providing leadership opportunities, thereby maintaining high levels of motivation.

The award recognises the school’s uniqueness of practice and implementation to fit its context as well as the application of the ‘Human Touch’, a sense of appreciation, generosity, and sincerity in its programmes and policies.

The Leadership Team was praised by its employees for creating regular opportunities for them to learn the skills required to effectively adapt to new ways of working.

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Ms. Susan Holmes, Head Teacher, recognised and appreciated all members of the Nehru World School community for their resilience, determination and strength during the Pandemic, together with their constant support and cooperation.

On this momentous occasion Dr. Arunabh Singh, Director, NWS said that Nehru World School, Ghaziabad is indeed fortunate to have Ms. Susan Holmes as its Head Teacher.  “Ms. Holmes always keeps her team’s wellbeing ahead of hers and leads by example. She is a role model for all the students and staff.”

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

According to the World Health Organisation, bicycle riding is a great way of physical exercise, it also stimulates the rider mentally and emotionally while keeping many fatal diseases at bay

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June 3rd has been celebrated as World Bicycle Day since 2018. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic, physical activity must prove to be a hearty boost for the mind and the body. What better way than a good old bike riding session, the United Nations agrees to that. 

Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, the General Assembly decided to declare 3 June World Bicycle Day. – The United Nations

Here are two stories of schools in the United States that believe in bicycle riding as more than a sport.

Brianne Morris a grade four teacher at Century Elementary School Park Rapids, Minnesota, took her class biking to cheer them up. The pandemic has been difficult on everybody, more so on the children. Younger kids do not seem to understand the full gravity of the situation and also at the same time are asked to stay away from everybody they know and love. Being in the closed quarters of their homes and having very little outside time has definitely taken a toll on their emotional state.

Releasing the same Morris took her students for a safe, outdoorsy activity that would prove to be a good exercise too. Morris took them through the Heartland State Trail which led them to Dorset and back. "The entire fourth grade took a bike to Dorset and then ate lunch at the park there. On the way, some classes stopped at Heartland Park to play at the park. It was a fun, beautiful bike ride," Morris told a local news channel. 

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Scales Technology Academy in Tempe, Arizona, organised a bicycle riding learning program ‘All Kids Bike’. All the schools in Tempe have been teaching their kids to ride bikes in the physical education class via this program. “One of the best ways to get kids active is to get them excited about bicycles. It’s a skill that is going to serve them now and through life,” said Ryan McFarland, a board member with All Kids Bike.

The cycles are without paddles, to teach the children how to balance while in motion. Along with matching helmets, these black and white bicycles are provided for free to the schools with the help of local sponsors. “It’s been a tough year on our kids and seeing them out and active and moving is a sign of blue skies ahead for the state of Arizona,” said Gov. Doug Ducey, who helped bring the said bicycle riding program at Scales Technology Academy. 

Worrying about only the present may not always be the most helpful thing to do, let us teach the children a useful skill for the future on this World Bicycle Day.

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The COVID-19 Context: Challenges Posed & What Schools Are Doing Worldwide

The very first discussion of a two-day roundtable webinar session began with the differences and similarities of the first and second wave of COVID-19, for the education sector

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ScooNews held a two-day roundtable session on 27-28 May 2021, that was composed of six enlightening conversations amongst teachers, school administrators, parents and edtechs. The discussions were convened to bring together all the stakeholders of the education sector, and learn about their mindset in the current situation. 

The first roundtable discussion began with a rather interesting comment by the moderator, ‘how smug the society was while at the beginning of 2020, nobody predicted the devastating challenges that lay ahead.’

Session Chair:

Lt.Col A Sekhar, Chief Development Officer, Jagran Education Foundation, UP

Speakers:

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  1. Ashutosh Tripathi, Executive Director, Krishna Public School, Raipur
  2. Dilip Patil, Founder, Managing Partner, Trivector Biomed LLP and BabyQuest Cryobank Pvt. Ltd
  3. Haris Madappally, Executive Director, Peevees Public School, Nilambur
  4. Meetali Archit, Principal, Pallavi International School, Gandipet, Hyderabad
  5. Mohit Yadav, Director & Principal, Annie Besant School, Indore
  6. Priya Dixit, Head of School, Akshar Arbol International School, Chennai
  7. Swoyan Satyendu, Chief Operating Officer, ODM Educational Group, Bhubaneswar

In addition to getting information from multiple sources on a regular basis, we are learning to also absorb them. Children referring to online classes on their computers as school is becoming the new normal. As much as the world did not want to pay attention to the pandemic at the beginning of March 2020, now every sector is managing the situation keeping COVID in mind.

The world was unprepared in 2020 and that resulted in a strong hit by the pandemic. Understanding and accepting the loopholes in online teacher-learning experience did serve in the betterment of education Looking forward the best option should be accepting that blended learning can help in more ways than imagined.

Schools are organising training and informative sessions for parents to learn more about blended learning. It is significant for parents along with the students to know how it can help their child and it is a great way to include them in their child’s education.

Educators understand, from a parent's perspective, the situation where children are only able to learn via a digital screen is not a very happy situation. Hence the absence of school from education in the students’ lives clearly answers the question that the relevance of schools can not be challenged. But does the art of schooling need to evolve, the response is, most definitely.

Since the parent-teacher relationship has been fractured during these testing times, it will do good for all the stakeholders to understand each other's perspective. Schools must have a transparent dialogue with the parents and explain to them that regardless of all the negativity amongst each other, the basic goal is towards the children which remains untethered.

clearly, it is no longer AD and BC but pre-covid and post-covid, the schools in the current scenario must change accordingly. The current online learning culture is a phase of life that has helped educators and students to accept and include the much-needed technology in the authentic classroom.

On that point, for a better education culture, we need mentally and emotionally stable educators. Clearly, the whole world is suffering due to the persisting pandemic and to expect the teachers to have no psychological effect is unfair. 

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Private school administrations are having it the toughest since revenue generation is very low and there is not much help from the government in many states. To keep their teachers from having an undisturbed emotional well being, it is necessary to assure them morally and financially even though that is proving difficult to do.

Administrations reaching out to the teacher from a conscious point of view. Remembering that the teachers have families too and they need some mental peace to deal with all that is going on around them. One on one counselling and psychological support for the educators is more significant than it is given credit to. Additionally, schools having covid facility centre with a partnership with hospitals/doctors will give the teachers a sense of safety in case of health issues. 

If schools are to reopen today, few major focusing points should be:

  • 21st-century learning skills through hybrid learning.
  • Technology is here to stay. 
  • Focusing on two pillars, integrity and empathy for all stakeholders of the education sector. 
  • For children as well as the teaching community, physical and mental health should be the core focus area.

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CBSE & IBM Collaborated AI Curriculum Based Capacity Building Programme For Teachers

Another attempt by the Central Board of Secondary Education to promote teacher Capacity Building Programme

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CBSE in collaboration with IBM is organising Capacity Building Programme for educators teaching Artificial Intelligence lessons to grade twelve. Several three-day duration webinars have been assembled beginning from 2 June 2021. Schools are to nominate their teachers who shall be attending the webinars via the registration link.

  1. The training session shall be based on the grade 12 Artificial Intelligence subject curriculum.
  2. These programmes are exempt from any fee.
  3. The training agenda and invitation links of the webinars shall be sent directly to the teachers on the email id provided during the registration.

Schedule:

Batch 1– 2 June- 4 June 2021 (10am – 1pm)

Batch 2– 14 June – 16 June 2021 (10am – 1pm)

Batch 3– 28 June – 30 June 2021 (10am – 1pm)

Batch 4– 5 July – 7 July 2021 (10am – 1pm)

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Batch 5– 12 July – 14 July 2021 (10am – 1pm)

Registration link: https://forms.gle/3swegYjdZqaTh1kp8

Source Credit: http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/Notifications/2021/44_Notification_2021.pdf

 

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Read What Educators Have To Say When Asked What is The biggest Challenge Today

ScooNews asked a burning question, What do you think is the biggest challenge Indian Education System is facing during the Pandemic? The answers we received will amaze you!

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In these unprecedented times, the hottest topic of debate is how the persisting pandemic is affecting everyone. So, for obvious reasons, we had to ask our country’s educators the same question. What they believe is the biggest challenge for the Indian Education System in the current scenario. 

Some had a lot to say and others summed it up in a single phrase. But unlike other surveys, we did not put out forms to be filled with preemptive responses to choose from. We asked these educators to pour out their hearts, to tell us what is affecting them the most. The answers were more astounding than concerning.

Yes, teachers are upset about the fees and the eventual salary delays but that was not the most challenging issue for the majority of them. According to these teachers, the most challenging problem is their inability to be present for their students like they can in a physical classroom. Even though online learning is taxing to them, they are more worried about the wholesome development of the students. 

These selfless, unsung heroes of the education sector have been swatting difficulties since the first day of the lockdown and yet their biggest fear is the digital divide, not personal gains. The teachers in urban schools do not need to voice the issue of the digital divide, they could easily claim their salary delays but they chose not to. The one chance ScooNews gave these teachers, they preferred rather telling the possible readers and policymakers how worrisome is the idea of no equity in education. 

Such are the educators, of course being human makes them agonize over their own discomfort but that does not stop them from expressing their deepest concerns for the students of this nation. 

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Read some of the responses below:

What do you think is the biggest challenge Indian Education System is facing during the Pandemic?

  • The biggest challenge our education system is facing today is the ability to CONNECT with the stakeholders. Be it cognitive, emotional, conceptual or behavioural, there is a mismatch in the bandwidth and frequency. Another challenge is the not so subtle DIGITAL DIVIDE, there is still a struggle also a passive effort with the acceptance of digital gadgets and Internet data. We are into the second year of the pandemic but somehow we have not learned the lessons from the previous pandemic year and have not prepared ourselves for the future. The mindset is very rigid and the alternative plan has yet not been thought about. Education has been one of the last priorities for everyone on their agenda. More concern and the prime focus has been on the payment of fees rather than attaining knowledge. 

Rishabh Srivastava, Examination Controller, SMRJ schools Banaras Babatpur Campus

  • The biggest challenges:
  1. Conducting a serious and credible assessment or testing system. 
  2. Convincing and winning the confidence of many, including the parents who feel that online education is only an eyewash exercise.  

Madhu Pusarla, Principal, Sudharsanam Vidyaashram

  • I sincerely believe it is the gap caused in the teaching and learning process owing to the lack of I.T literacy among teachers and availability of gadgets both with teachers and children. This has further pushed children and families towards lack of education due to financial constraints in procuring gadgets and lack of technical knowledge of their usage. The disparity between urban and rural India is further complicated by the digital divide, leading to issues with consistency and quality of learning for all children.

Farida Lokhandwala, Assistant General Manager India, Podar Jumbo Kids (Podar Education Network)

  • The biggest problem the Indian education system is facing in current times is the challenge of equity. 

Siddharth Rajagarhia, Chief Learner & Director, Delhi Public School, Nashik, Varanashi, Lava Nagpur

  • The biggest challenge schools are facing is regarding the technology-enabled infrastructure, professional development for teachers to shift from offline to online mode and generating revenue for school as well as the welfare of teachers.

Sasmita Mohanty, Principal, Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Kolhapur

  • The biggest of these is the challenge to provide uninterrupted education to students and maintain the high standards of teaching and learning at the same time. Online education is a good stopgap measure, but it can’t replace classroom teaching. To keep students engaged in online classes, identify their learning gaps and then create lessons to fill these gaps is indeed a big challenge. I think during the second wave, more than anything the mental and emotional well being of both teachers and students is necessary. Maintaining sanity and calmness, remaining motivated amidst the chaos and turmoil are the biggest challenges.

Poonam Kochitty, Principal, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Lucknow.

  • Biggest challenges being:
  1. Govt. disability to make proper reforms on the changed scenario of school fees.
  2. Teachers of private schools are suffering due to low funds.
  3. Set a standardised rule for all Boards pan India.
  4. Set a slab of salary for teachers by the collector of the district for all private schools as per the past earning status.
  5. Bring education under essential commodities and give all benefits that follow.
  6. Special insurance schemes to be brought out by the govt for teachers attending schools, make special provisions taking into account their daily schedules.

Geeta Shetty, Principal, Swami Vivekananda International School, Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

  • The biggest challenge that we face today not only in India but globally is making sure that our future global citizens are mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually sound. More than half the population of teachers is not tech-savvy, and so they will struggle with implementing digital teaching in virtual classrooms.  It’s a fact that even veteran teachers feel uncomfortable and less confident with smart classrooms. In the earlier times, the Gurukul system of learning focus was given more importance in the understanding of the learner but in today’s time teaching is more focused on exams, marks and results. Thanks to NEP 2020 we do have a ray of hope provided it is implemented effectively. A good flexible teaching platform can help the teachers to contribute better to education quality. 

Dr. Ushavati Shetty, Principal, Navodaya English High School & Jr. College, Thane 

  • The biggest challenge is the uncertainty of what will happen which is quite depressing.

Binita Sarkar, CEO & Founder DirectorThe Centre of Excellence Kingmakerz of the Future, Kolkata

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The Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of Educational Institutes In The Matter Of School Vs State

In an official ruling by the Supreme Court on 3rd May 2021, the Rajasthan Government’s orders regarding the collection of only 70% for CBSE and 60% for RBSE school fees, get overturned

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In the wake of COVID-19 all sectors of the world saw a steep dip in the economy, many tried to swim the tough tides and many failed. One such sector that witnessed a rapid withering of resources and still strived to stand tall is the education sector. The unsung soldiers in this fight for complete literacy of our country shed blood and sweat while smiling all along for their beloved students and continued to educate them online. 

The education field was struck hard when the Rajasthan State Government deferred the collection of school fees for 3 months by the private schools. The deferment of collection of fees was extended till the opening of the schools with the stipulation that the name of any student shall not be struck off for non-payment of school fees.

These orders of the State Government were challenged by filing writ petitions before Rajasthan High Court. Rajasthan High Court allowed the collection of school fees after the opening of the schools. But only 70% of tuition fees by the schools affiliated with the CBSE and 60% for schools affiliated with RBSE was permitted.

A petition was submitted with the Supreme Court, the case of Indian School, Jodhpur Vs. State Of Rajasthan and connected cases. The Supreme Court on 3rd May 2021 officially allowed the schools to charge the requisite fees. 

The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari gave a decision that allowed all schools, regardless of affiliation, to collect annual school fees from their students as fixed under the Act of 2016 (Regulation of Fee) for the academic year 2019- 20. The court also decided that since many facilities were not availed by students during online learning there shall be a deduction of 15% on that amount. 

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The amount so payable by the concerned students to be paid in six equal monthly instalments before 05.08.2021 as noted in the Supreme Court’s order dated 08.02.2021.

The Supreme Court has allowed any further concessions by the schools for their students or to evolve a different pattern for giving concessions to be decided by school managements as deemed fit.

It has been asked for the school management to not debar any student from attending either online classes or physical classes on account of non payment of fees, arrears/outstanding fees including the installments. Additionally, to not withhold any results of any examinations on that account.

The collection of fees for the academic year 2021- 22 shall not be affected and will be payable, as is, by the students of the concerned school as and when it becomes due and payable.

The schools are not to withhold the name of any student/candidate for the ensuing Board Examinations for Classes X and XII on the ground of non payment of fee/arrears for the academic year 2020- 21, if any, on obtaining undertaking of the concerned parents/students.

 

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

Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra is the new Principal of NPS International School, Guwahati

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The NPS International School, Guwahati, one of the top-rated schools from the Northeast region of the country, has a piece of big news to share. As an outcome of an extensive search, Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra has been appointed the new Principal of the NPS International School.

Dr. Mehrotra has experience of over three decades as an educator. He earlier held the position of Vice President (Academics) at Next Education India Pvt Ltd and Education Officer at GEMS Education. He is also the former Principal of De Indian Public School, New Delhi. Dr. Mehrotra has also been affiliated with some of the leading schools in India, which includes The Bishop Johnson School, Allahabad, The Boys’ High School, Allahabad & City Montessori School, Lucknow. 

He holds a Master’s Degree in Education Management, a degree of MPhil in Education and a B.Ed. from Lucknow University. He received his honorary degree in Education from Cosmopolitan University, USA. Interestingly, he is also an innovator and has developed over 150 educational applications for the Google Play Store, as well as been recognized by the LIMCA Book of Records. In addition, he's authored over 100 books and has over 400 UDEMY Courses to his credit. For his dedication towards his field and work he has been doing, he was conferred with the National Teacher Award by the Ministry of Education (formerly HRD) in 2005. 

ScooNews would like to convey this brilliant educator many heartiest congratulations!

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Here’s How 50 Indian CBSE Schools Are Developing 120 Graphic Novels Based On NCERT Books

Keeping in mind the NEP 2020 guidelines, these 120 graphic novels are formed in collaboration with NCERT, CBSE and the Education Ministry of India. The educational movement is spearheaded by M.S.M.S II Museum Trust, Jaipur, Rajasthan

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Fifty different schools’ joint efforts, thirteen separate Indian states represented and one hundred and twenty graphic novels being made – this is how our CBSE schools are adapting to the new education policy. Bringing textbook learning to the real world, these graphic novels are made with subjects and topics taken from the NCERT books. A single chapter is divided into topics throughout one comic book with worksheets to follow, supporting the earning of grade 3 through 12 in a more comprehensive and engaging way. 

In 2019, while conducting the “History Festival,” Mr. Sandeep Sethi, the Director Education M.S.M.S II Museum Trust, Jaipur, first developed a graphic novel on the French Revolution. Ms. Anita Karwal, Secretary, Department of Education, acclaimed the efforts and wanted to see more such novels being made. Immediately after that, India witnessed the first evolution of national policy regarding education (in 2020), in over three decades. The NEP 2020 soon became the base for the new graphic novels that were developed this year and were released by Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank,’ the Indian Education Minister, on 8 March 2021, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

These books with a unique mission support topics that usually don’t make it to our textbooks, such as inclusion, gender sensitivity, women empowerment and value of education among other life skills. A story line is created for each comic so the students can relate to the character, and have worksheets at the end of every topic to support the lessons learnt. The best part about these books is that they have been created by teachers and students of these fifty Indian schools. Right from the illustrations to the storyline, from script writing to technical details, everything is done in house by these institutes. While developing, suggestions for improvement were taken by the students of the targeted grades. The cherry on the top is that these graphic novels are being converted into audio-visual copies for a better impact in the lives of students with vision impairment. The comics are available in English and Hindi on the Indian Government’s DIKSHA platform for education, for free!

https://diksha.gov.in/play/collection/do_3132295475676282881634?contentType=TextBook

https://diksha.gov.in/play/collection/do_3132295475647119361632?contentType=TextBook

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During an elongated conversation with ScooNews, Mr. Sethi, Director Education, spoke about the pedagogical training of teachers based on the graphic novels that is being held by the Museum Trust for over six months now. In order to bring learning to a new level where the education system is hoping that children would rather learn from these comic books, the teachers are needed to be trained in using application based teaching.

On being asked how these graphic books are gender-sensitive and support women empowerment, Mr. Sethi said, “We shouldn’t wait any longer to break those societal barriers that degrade one gender. We can't have the father working in an office and the mother cooking in the kitchen all the time. With these novels, we want to show the roles can be switched as the circumstances demand. We’ve shown mother as an engineer and father as a homemaker. Even in the aspects of casteism, we have made sure to teach children not to stereotype a particular sect through these comics.”

Interestingly, there are more such novels to come up in the future. “We are not stopping at just 120 graphic novels. We plan to go for another lot of 100 and so on. Moreover, these comics can further be translated into any language as per the students’ requirements,” Mr. Sethi enlightened as he shared more details on this brilliantly executed revolutionary project. 

Talking about the outcome of this educational venture, Mr. Sethi shared about the possibilities of teaching-learning experience becoming more eventful and positive in the coming years. He said, “Who doesn't want to hear an interesting story instead of the same old textbook chapters? The graphic novels that we’re creating are a way of helping teachers teach better and more effectively, without getting the students bored. In fact, following this particular pedagogy, we’re hoping that the students’ understanding of basics will become easier and the retention power will get stronger.” 

With this, Mr. Sethi also hopes that, in the coming month, while working on more such comics, other schools that could not participate this time will come forward to become a part of this project. He and the Museum Trust are welcoming one and all to join them in the venture of revolutionising the learning process.

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Tips For Teachers to be Vigilant When Schools Reopen

Here is how teachers can help keep their students extra safe when schools reopen

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School reopening is becoming an anxious topic all around the world. Children haven’t seen the classrooms in months now, and teachers are too excited to meet their students again. But alongside the excitement, there is a huge hill of panic to keep these children safe, to make sure of social distancing and to avoid any exposure. What can the teachers do to help this situation?

Here are some ways teachers can be extra vigilant for their beloved students and make the reopening a happy one:

Proper Hand-Washing

Rather than just telling the children to wash their hands, sitting with them to explain why it is important, how it will help them and what might be the way germs can enter the body shall help a long way. It is psychologically proven that when given a proper valid reason for things, children tend to stick to the guidelines rather than just being told to do something. 

Explaining the process of scrubbing hands with soap and water or in absence of them with alcohol-based sanitizers for 20-30 seconds will help children as well as the administration in keeping everybody safe. 

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Nutritious Food

Eating more greens and vitamin substitutes helps not just children but adults, too. Suggest the parents to send nutritious food in the lunchboxes and make sure you follow the same rule. Eating healthy will keep both students and teachers safe. Those schools that provide meals to children should make sure to incorporate leafy greens and other such veggies in the meals.

Sun & Exercise

Winters are here and no one minds a good time in the sun. Making sure that the children are getting enough Vitamin D and exercise should be added to the academic curriculum. It will also avoid the chances of closed quarters’ exposure risk. Tell children the benefits of sun rays while making sure they have sunscreen on to protect from sunburns. 

Signs of Stress

Teachers are not just here to educate children but also to help them develop into their best selves. Stress, today, is one of the biggest hurdles, not just for adults but for kids as young as toddlers as well. Right now, all these unusual schooling conditions may trigger anxiety amongst the younger generation. 

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Look out for:

  1. Tired/sleepy kids
  2. Headache/stomach aches
  3. Mood swings
  4. Withdrawal from activities
  5. Keeping quiet 
  6. Nervousness
  7. Bad habit development
  8. Bullying

This pandemic has changed the role of teachers. Now, you aren’t just meant to give classroom lectures but also act as a life-mentor to your students. You have to pay equal attention to their emotional health as much as their academic performance. Currently, keeping everyone safe is important and together, we can achieve that. Let’s show what strength the teaching community holds and how resilient educators can be. All the best! 

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Creating a Culture of Thinking at Glendale Education

Anjum Babukhan, the director of Glendale Academy, writes about the Thinking Culture that needs to be developed in schools going forward to post-COVID times

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Did we ever imagine that this is how the world would be today? While we were gloating over Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and self-driving vehicles across our global village, something as microscopic as the Coronavirus has made the world come to a halt where even the business cannot be as usual. The year 2020 is here but we are living in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) times! Change has been a paradox of both positive and negative elements bringing some convenient progress but at the same time some other regressing ill effects, too. Phenomenal technological changes have disrupted the world and some have even collapsed several secured, decade-old establishments. Luckily, quite a few managed to evolve into something better.

When it comes to our sustenance, many of us find ourselves going back to old-fashioned ways of the “way it used to be,” nature and grandma’s recipes for our own good. When industries consumed the plant’s resources, nature pushed back with climate changes and consequences that we're currently suffering from. The father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, professed that – The world has enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed.

For long, in the education circles, we knew that it is impossible to predict what kind of a world our children will grow up into but with VUCA, this has been even more potent. The focus now is to help students thrive as global citizens of the 21st century. Einstein quoted, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

Last year, I had the chance to go to Harvard again and attend Project Zero for the second time. My courses focused on “Creating a Culture of Thinking” based on Harvard’s senior researcher Ron Ritchart’s work. His three core ideas emphasized on:

a) The need for schools to develop students’ thinking dispositions

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b) Making student’s thinking visible

c) The critical role of the class culture to support and shape learning.

Our Strategy in Action team of instructional leaders was trained by me personally to instruct rest of the faculty on these core ideas, week after week over the course of one year, which I am going to share.

At Glendale, 'teaching with the brain in mind' has always been emphasized through my book, ABCs of Brain Compatible Learning. These teaching principles overlap with Bass’s (1993) work on Transformational Leadership as the Four I’s – Intellectual Stimulation, Individualized Attention, Idealized Influence and Intrinsic Motivation. It was serendipitous to find that Culture of Thinking not only reinforces the Four I's but it also reiterates what I shared in the chapters of my book. For example, for classrooms to be Cultures of Thinking for Students, schools must be Cultures of Thinking for Teachers.

If we support and empower the adults in the school to continually grow, innovate, question, take risks, reflect, examine, inquire and learn from and with one another then teachers will also create those same conditions for the students in their respective classrooms for years to come.

At Glendale, it has always been my sincere effort to learn from the best institutions across the globe and then transfer that learning to our institutions and the rest of the education fraternity. My instructional leaders learn from me in our Strategy in Action (SIA) meetings, model this learning to the rest of the faculty who then ensure that this learning percolates down to our students. This chain of modelling and percolation works 360 degrees in transforming our entire organization into a hub where the Culture of Thinking is constantly nurtured and nourished. This is what 'Idealized Influence' is and we are constantly trying to develop this X-factor in teachers, that I talk about in my book. All this in order for the students to develop the right thinking dispositions.

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The greatest legacy that we can leave behind for our future generation is to help them become independent and self-directed learners who can thrive in any situation by virtue of their adaptability as thinkers. As the proverb goes “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” In the face of VUCA, it is the need of the hour to wake up to a world led by powerful thinking and thinkers as we cultivate their character and competence to be the global citizens of the 21st century.

For more information, please check out anjumbabukhan.com or Glendale.edu.in.

About the author

Anjum Babukhan, Director, Glendale Academy, Hyderabad

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