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Need of the hour: Special status for teachers

PARVATHY JAYAKRISHNAN examines the many valid reasons why teachers need to be given the respect, remuneration, safety and security they deserve

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A teacher fills in as a parent in the formative years of a child, she/he guides and corrects a child when he make mistakes, encourages students to reach for the stars and applauds their achievements. All packed in one, a teacher’s role is not an easy one. A teacher sometimes takes on the role of a parent, a friend, a confidant and much more. A student spends so many years interacting with his/her teachers on a daily basis and the role of a teacher in a student’s life cannot be replaced by any other professional in society. And clearly, it is the teachers who are responsible for building good citizens. Hence, good teachers are truly what a country needs to move forward. The unfortunate reality is, despite all these responsibilities and roles resting on a country’s teachers, they not given the respect and special status they truly deserve.

An army man in uniform or a doctor is well-respected in our society. In some states, patients remove their footwear before entering a doctor’s chamber as a mark of respect – the kind of respect that you give God while entering a place of worship. We smile and sometimes even bow our heads as a mark of respect when we see an army man in uniform. However, the work and efforts of teachers are more often than not ignored in our society. Is it a kind of conditioning that we are brought up with?

We are very proud of our sacred guru-shishya parampara, which is a tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring where learning is transmitted from a guru "teacher" to a shishya "disciple". Such knowledge, whether it be Vedic, agamic, architectural, musical or spiritual, is imparted through the developing relationship between the guru and the disciple. We talk ever so proudly about our Gurukul system of learning where the students live near the guru or in the same house as the guru and learn lessons of life from the guru. The guru does this without accepting any fees from the students because the relationship between a teacher and student is considered sacred.

Sonal Ahuja, Learning evangelist, founder, House of Learning explains that for thousands of years, the Indian subcontinent revered its teachers to the highest level. “Indian tradition dictated that teachers must be treated with respect that paralleled kings. The Mahabharata famously depicted the story of Eklavya, a gifted archer who cut off this thumb as Guru Dakshina to show his unconditional gratitude to his Guru, Drona.”

So, we cannot completely blame our conditioning because our traditions and values teach us to respect “the teacher” the same way that you respect God. Then where did we go wrong and why aren’t teachers today given the kind of respect they deserve?

Urvashi Warman, Principal, The Palace School, The City Palace, Jaipur believes that the government needs to step in and set high parameters for teacher selection. She says, “When we have such stringent standards set at the entry level for doctors and engineers,  why are we so lax in raising the bar at the entry level to become a teacher … a teacher who actually helps to give good doctors and engineers to the society? The government should also set decent rates for monthly emoluments so the teacher is not forced to indulge in additional commercial activities to make two ends meet. This by far is diluting not only the standard of education being imparted but is also lowering the stature of a teacher as he gets relegated to the level of a commercial tutor rather than getting elevated to the pedestal of an Acharya or Guru.”

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Shalini Dahiya, educator, Modern School – Barakhamba Road, New Delhi explains why teaching is underrated today.

“Occupational status depends on the public valuing of the competence, role and overall contribution of a particular occupation to individual and social welfare.

Teachers are struggling for a special status as firstly they are not considered as a temple of knowledge or a good character building instrument, with the surge of social media and too much of information available on the internet.”

Teachers in other countries

Japan

Japan is one of the countries in the world where the teaching profession is respected and valued. Here’s how they make sure that teachers are given the special status they deserve…
Teachers in Japan have traditionally been paid better than other civil servants. Japan’s average teacher salary for a lower secondary school teacher after 15 years of service is US$47,561, as compared to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average of US$40,569. Following WWII, over concerns about teacher shortages, the Prime Minister decreed that teachers would be paid 30 percent more than other civil servants. Although this gap has decreased over the last 50 years, by law teachers remain relatively highly paid among civil servants. Also, teacher salaries do not vary much across the country because teachers are paid from both the national government and the prefecture government so they are relatively consistent regardless of an area’s income levels or property values.

In Japan, teachers are addressed with the honorific sensei, a term also used when addressing a doctor or member of Parliament. Teachers are held in such high regard that they are often contacted before parents by the police if a student is in trouble with the law.

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The teaching profession in Japan is also highly selective which ensures that only the best and most committed teachers enter the profession. Those who do make the cut only do so after a rigorous set of school board exams and evaluations and teachers must hold a degree from an institution of higher education.

Finland

The Finland education system regularly tops the international Pisa performance rankings and the teachers need to take the credit for it. Finland’s teachers are different from the rest of the world because they believe that extensive training is the basis for giving teachers the autonomy to work the way they want. The result is a highly prized profession and good education system. This has even led to educational tourists coming in to learn the Finnish experience. The high-level training is the basis for giving young teachers a great deal of autonomy to choose what methods they use in the classroom – in contrast to most countries where teaching feels like a profession that oscillates between administration and giving tests to students. In Finland, teachers are largely free from external requirements such as inspection, standardised testing and government control – school inspections were scrapped in the 1990s. In Finland, teachers are given high-quality education so that they know how to use the freedom they are given in the classroom and they learn to solve problems in a research-based way.

China

The 2013 Varkey Foundation Global teacher status index report revealed that it is only in China that people think of teachers are being most closely compared to doctors. In the US, Brazil, France and Turkey, people thought teachers were most similar to librarians and in New Zealand people think the job of teaching is most similar to nursing. The report found that teachers in China have the highest level of public respect. Most foreign English teachers in China receive benefits like free or reimbursed airfare to and from their home country, and/or free furnished housing. Many teachers also receive health insurance and paid vacation. It is one of the few countries where  parents were most likely to encourage their kids to become teachers.

Respect and remuneration

One important dimension of how an occupation is regarded, and which is inextricably linked to standing or social status, is pay. An individual’s standing in a culture depends on how much they are paid in absolute or relative terms.

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The 7th Pay Commission, launched in September 2015 ensured that the teachers in primary schools, secondary and higher secondary schools, colleges and universities get a hiked net salary of 16 per cent. However, the yearly increment of 3 percent did not change.

Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra, National Teacher Awardee 2005 & Academic Evangelist, Next Education India believes that “The imbalance from the teaching profession, highlights a great divide with narration of unethical practices of low salary and refund of said amount via account transfer as reverse payment. There must be a check on equal pay for all grades and at all levels.”

It is important that teachers are provided with a substantial yearly increment to prevent attrition and keep them motivated. Also, there is a huge gap between the salaries of a primary school teacher and a high school teacher. This gap needs to be addressed as primary school teachers are equally important and this has to be shown by ensuring their salaries are on par with the rest.

Urvashi Warman, Principal, The Palace School, The City Palace, Jaipur avers, “The teacher is by far a silent sentinel of a country's future and if this sentinel is not compensated adequately in terms of financial and social security, the country's future is sure to be doomed. This doom is inevitable because the poorly compensated  teacher, who is a role model for his students,is sure to indulge in acts which totally demean his stature and thus sets a poor example for his students to emulate.”

According to Dr Jagpreet Singh, Headmaster, The Punjab Public School, Nabha, “The primary reason we all work is for money – so teachers should get their due financial recognition which will definitely bring young, intellectual people into this noble profession. Proper management of funds by the school authorities should be done and teachers should be given regular incentives and bonuses on the basis of their performance. ”

Measures to ensure teachers’ financial stability

Teaching is a profession which requires going beyond the call of duty to deliver great results. Financial stability is a must for teachers and the government must bring in special allowances and privileges for teachers so that they can sustain themselves well without having to find secondary jobs to make ends meet. The remuneration you receive is also a sign of your value to the school and an underpaid teacher will always feel unimportant.

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Teachers can be granted allowances based on the number of years of service or excellence in their work. It is worth a thought whether the salaries of teachers need to be taxed at all or even if they are taxed, there needs to be a separate slab which will ensure minimal taxation.

Every school can also ensure that a teacher’s child learns for free or is given a subsidized fee.

Lavita Kacker, Head of Department- Social Sciences, Sacred Heart School, Kalyan suggests that “Financial stability measures for teachers may include provision of housing allowances, reduction in taxation on income, attractive investment schemes, medical reimbursement, concession on public transport and better pension facilities.”

Shraddha Bhatnagar, Headmistress (Head of Cambridge Section), Seedling World School, Udaipur wishes that the government checks the imbalance between salaries of teachers in private and government-run schools.

Proper remuneration is important to boost a teacher’s self-confidence and make her/him feel secure in the job. Yearly increments and bonuses are also required for the same reason. A job which does not do that will, at some point, end up being taxing.

“The pay commissions are restricted to government aided, affiliated and government run schools. There is no start up point for early childhood sector and private schools where teachers are exploited with low pay scales. A respectful minimum pay scale should be mandatory for schools to pay to their teachers. There should be levels of training with specialisations in teaching as in the medical field and accordingly a pay scale armed with good gratuity, pension, and life covers for financial stability,” says Smriti Agarwal, Sr. Headmistress, Podar Jumbo Kids Powai, Mumbai.

Kavitha Vyas, Director, Crystal Kids Pre-School, Vadodara mentions that job security is absolutely necessary to ensure a teacher’s financial stability. They can be trained further for higher grades and regular promotions to improve their pay scale. More social security and medical benefits for their family are also required, she maintains.

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Safety for teachers in schools

It is not uncommon today to hear the news of a teacher being stabbed by a student or attacked by an adult or a mob in the school premises. So tricky is the state of affairs today that teachers are often scared of even punishing a child for doing wrong for fear of his/her own safety. Safety of students in schools is always talked about as a priority that is pursued by parents. However, a school should also provide safety and support to its teachers so that they can function normally and without fear. Merely providing compensation to the family of the deceased is not a solution to the problem. Teachers need to feel safe to do their job faithfully and without fear. School authorities need to ensure this happens. Parents also need to teach their children the importance of teachers in their lives.

According to Dr Jagpreet Singh, Headmaster, The Punjab Public School, Nabha, “A school should be as safe for a teacher as it is for a student. Rather than enforcing restrictive discipline among children, the parents should take equal responsibility of bringing up their children and instil strong moral values and ethics.”

Speaking about the need for an emergency response system,Yasin Khatri, Sacred Heart School, Kalyan explains that teachers must be trained to handle any crisis that takes place around them. The feasibility of the emergency response system must be checked through frequent mock drills at school. “Students must be sensitised and teachers should be trained to identify such cases within the classroom or around. Immediate psychological help must be provided to pupils who need it.”

Priyanka Singh, ICT Educator, The HDFC School, Gurgaon emphasises that schools should have a security check system at the entrance so that people cannot enter a school premise with weapons. She also suggests schools have a police booth in its vicinity so that help can be immediately sought in case of any mishaps.

“The Government must have good health care and on-call medical facilities in every school across the country. Metal detectors and CCTV cameras should be installed within the school. EQ and IQ evaluation of students should be conducted to identify problems amongst students. Uniform level of safety and security measures for all schools should be ensured,” says Lavita Kacker, Head of Department – Social Sciences, Sacred Heart School, Kalyan.

Suggesting that self-defence for teachers can be part of the teacher training programme, Smriti Agarwal, Sr. Headmistress, Podar Jumbo Kids Powai, Mumbai also advocates instant justice and firm law in cases where teachers are physically, emotionally or sexually harassed, so that it creates a sense of fear in any individual towards the consequences of such an act.

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Urvashi Warman, Principal, The Palace School, The City Palace, Jaipur has a different opinion on how to tackle the safety issue of teachers in schools. She says, “The solution to violence in schools does not lie in turning the school or any educational institute into a fortress. The solution lies in empowering the teaching faculty with proper life skills which they need to impart to students from a very young age. When the student community is sensitised and learns how to deal with issues like rejection, failures, grief, disappointment and general strengthening of the emotional quotient, the problem of increase in violence is sure to dissipate very soon.”

What we can do to ensure teachers are respected

The role of teachers is paramount in shaping the future of the country. The government should include teachers while reforming educational policies. With the digitisation of education happening at a rapid pace, the role of teachers is also changing drastically. Today, teachers are taking on roles of being advisors, friends and disciplinarians to students rather than the conventional role of a teacher who only explains what is there in the textbook. However, the role of a teacher is indispensable in a student’s life and it is imperative that the student understands it and respects the teacher accordingly.

Suman Sood, Territory Head, Kolkata Chapter, Early Childhood Association explains the importance of giving grants to teachers so that they can better themselves. She says “Involved and passionate teachers are always wanting to do things differently so that they may enhance learning of their students. Innovative teaching is important, but it can be expensive. The US model of giving grants to teachers for enhancing their skills and using funds for buying teaching aids can be followed for our teachers. Some of the grants given may be  Professional Development Grants for Teachers, Funds for Classroom Enrichment/Student Achievement, STEM Grants, and Humanities Grants.”

Shraddha Bhatnagar, Headmistress (Head of Cambridge Section), Seedling World School, Udaipur suggests, “Government can think of rewarding/awarding teachers annually for their outstanding contributions. One of these rewards can be the official use of the upaadhi ‘Guruji’ or ‘Gurudev’ with their names.”

Summary

Verbally, we talk highly of teachers, praise their work and value them. But mere lip service is not enough. We need to show it by giving them the special status they truly deserve; by showing them that they are indeed doing a selfless job in raising citizens of this nation. We can take a leaf out of the books of some of the nations who treat their teachers on par with other noble professions and provide them with special rights. We need to make our teachers feel safe, secure and wanted.

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To make sure that teachers continue in the same profession, we need to ensure that they are guaranteed financial stability and substantial yearly increments. A change in the mindset of parents is also very much required. It is very common to see parents wanting to see their children become doctors or engineers; we need to encourage our children to become teachers as well as ensure that the teaching profession is on par with any other profession. To facilitate this better, the salaries in the teaching profession need to be on par with those of other professions. Let us bring back the glory of the teaching profession from the days of Dronacharya or Ved Vyas and ensure that teachers today are treated with love and respect. We need to make a strong effort for this but together, we can.

What teachers want…

“Financial security being the top priority, recognition for their selfless service in the upbringing of others’ children which goes unnoticed. Teachers posted in remote areas should get extra allowances. Quality time to spend with family will work as an incentive in improving their output. Also, monitoring through CCTVs should be focused on students’ actions rather than teachers.”

Dr Jagpreet Singh, Headmaster, The Punjab Public School, Nabha

“Matching teachers’ salary to the best salary in the market is a must. Sponsorship of teachers to visit schools across the world to learn the best practices is important. Collaboration among Indian teachers and creating a forum of teachers to share best practices is also necessary. Teacher education courses should be enhanced and the process for it should be eased.”

Mohammed Azhar, Principal, Knowledge Academy School, Chennai

“Teacher (Tr.) Title should be given to teachers and Sr. Tr. to teachers who have been into the teaching profession with a minimum of 15 years. A requisite of a Teachers’ Club in every city with provisions for teachers' welfare and community should be there. To teach is to preach; teaching is no doubt the most trusted profession in the world. Let teachers be recognised and saluted for their commitment towards enriching young minds and igniting them towards becoming prosperous nation builders of tomorrow.”

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Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra, National Teacher Awardee 2005 & Academic Evangelist, Next Education India

“Funding needs to be provided for innovative teacher education, for programmes that target minority teacher recruitment, and for increased collaboration between universities and schools in preparation of teachers so that more participation and encouragement is provided to teachers coming from rural areas. Private sector teachers should also get benefits similar to the government set up. There should be provisions for continuous professional development, trips and excursions as a team building activity.”

Priyanka Singh, ICT Educator, The HDFC School, Gurgaon

“The Government of India should give teachers a professional designation and respect like those given to army personnel because the same way that the army defends the nation, teachers too defend the citizens from illiteracy, poverty, ignorance, unemployment, superstitions, mental and social evils. Their privileges could include subsidised accommodation, annual medical checkups and medical aid, standardised salaries, transport allowance, opportunities for professional development, work from home, financial incentives, better pension and retirement plans.”

Lavita Kacker, Head of Department – Social Sciences, Sacred Heart School, Kalyan.

“The government can do a lot to change this scenario and create an atmosphere of great respect for teachers throughout the nation. This can be done by reiterating through various government campaigns and highlighting achievements of exceptional teachers. Following can be some privileges that can be given to teachers:

  1. Special considerations in all government-related jobs such as making passports, getting medical assistance, legal proceedings etc.

  2. Teachers to get special privileges like subsidised passes in railways, airlines and bus services.

  3. Subsidies on electricity and water bills.”

Shraddha Bhatnagar, Headmistress (Head of Cambridge Section), Seedling World School, Sapetiya, Udaipur

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“Our government needs to attach value to teacher training and the profession with the same benefits and royal respect that the Indian Army gets. Like a civilian salutes a man in uniform when they come across him, there should be a bow to a teacher. The Government of India has not formed universities for teachers, regulations and government-accredited qualifications and national awards for teachers, which are prevalent in some countries. The most pertinent sector of early childhood education is the most neglected and sidelined. Let’s start from the roots, right from the very beginning and reap the fruits. Teachers need to be given an identity before discussing about privileges. Teaching is treated as a part time job for women. Doctors, engineers, IAS, IPS officers and defence personnel and other government officials are given the benefits of accommodation, respect and a standing in the society. The same attitude is lacking for teachers. Before special privileges, let’s make the basic amenities like resources, toilets, clean environment and good school buildings for teachers to give them a better workplace.”

Smriti Agarwal, Sr. Headmistress , Podar Jumbo Kids Powai, Mumbai

“The same way that a doctor can add his degree as a prefix to his name, a respectable term should also be given to the teacher.  Also, government advertisements promote and encourage citizens to join the defence system of the country. There need to be advertisements to promote teaching as well.”

Sonal Chawla, Head of Department – Mathematics, Sacred Heart School, Kalyan

“The student-teacher ratio must be brought down. A higher ratio makes the job even tougher for teachers. Proper and timely payment of wages is a must. But the fact is that appreciation in form of financial incentive is not a very popular culture across our country. Delayed salaries and delay in implementation of the pay commission is a very common scene. Teachers, particularly in government aided schools, are compelled to do clerical jobs. This must completely stop.”

Yasin Khatri, Sacred Heart School, Kalyan

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New school timings from December 1 in Haryana

This change has been announced by the Directorate of School Education, due to the drop in the temperature.

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The school timings will be changing from December 1, as announced by the Haryana government. This change has been announced by the Directorate of School Education, due to the drop in the temperature. On Wednesday, the new winter school timings were announced – single-shift schools will take classes from 09:30 a.m. to 03:30 p.m. Whereas, for the schools with two shifts, the first shift will be from 07:55 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second shift will be from 12:40 p.m. to 05:15 p.m.

The Directorate of Information, Public Relations, and Language Department, Government of Haryana took to its official Twitter handle and announced the new timings for the winter session.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Kanwar Pal talked about the dual desks being purchased for the schools of Haryana. “There are 1.41 Lakh dual desks being purchased for primary, secondary, and senior secondary schools in 22 districts of the state. 65,501 desks will be made available for students of class five; 36,168 desks for classes six to eight students and 39,208 desks for the students of classes 11 and 12,” he added.

The Education Minister also said that an amount of around Rs. 95 Crore will be spent on this. These desks will be delivered by January 31, 2023, that is, by the first phase to the respective schools.

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NIOS celebrates 33rd Foundation Day

Dr. Subhas Sarkar addresses the 33rd Foundation Day Celebrations of NIOS

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Union Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar addressed the 33rd Foundation Day Celebrations of NIOS as the Chief Guest.

The function was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Education, Chairpersons of educational institutions, Heads of Departments, officers, and staff of NIOS. Prof. Naval Kishore Ambasht, former Chairman, of NIOS and Pro-Vice Chancellor, of the Central University of Haryana, Prof. Sushma Yadav graced the occasion.

Dr. Subhas Sarkar in his address appreciated the various programmes and schemes of NIOS and said that NIOS is lighting the lamp of knowledge all over the world. Talking about the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, he mentioned that today’s children will be young people in the age group of 30-40 years on the completion of 100 years of independence and will be responsible for building our nation.

He said that the Ministry of Education has entrusted NIOS with several responsibilities such as developing inclusive education resources, expanding the open and distance education system in states/UTs, translating all courses into more languages as required, creating Indian Knowledge Tradition based courses and propagating Indian culture by translating them into major foreign languages. He also praised the programmes of NIOS enrolling 10 crore adults under ‘Basic Literacy Assessment’, training of in-service teachers, Gender Green Project, and training in Yoga. He said that Indian Sign Language as a subject at the secondary level has been acknowledged on national and international platforms. He described the launch of an e-library called ‘DEEP’ by NIOS as a big step forward.

Prof. Saroj Sharma spoke about the journey of 33 years of NIOS and highlighted the special achievements. She said that NIOS is one of the two National Boards of Education under the Ministry of Education, which provides school education through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) for secondary, senior secondary, and vocational education. She elaborated on the role of NIOS in the field of education, efforts being made by NIOS for the successful implementation of the New Education Policy, Virtual Open School, Digital Library (DEEP), NEPIA Project, MoU with Ministry of Defence for Agniveer Project, setting up of Mukta Kaushal Kendras and subjects offered under Indian knowledge Tradition.

It was also conveyed by her that a curriculum called ‘Aarambhika’ is being developed by NIOS for catering to the Indian Diaspora.

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A documentary based on the journey of 33 years of educational endeavours of NIOS was presented on the occasion. In this documentary, ‘All England Badminton winner Pullela Gopichand said that most of the players in his badminton academy are getting an education from NIOS.

NIOS alumni, Ms. Niranjana and Vinod Kumar Chaudhary were also felicitated on the occasion. Shri Vinod Kumar said that only due to his education in NIOS, he was able to get the credit of making the Guinness Book of World Records 10 times (8 in Typing and 2 in sports). A proud learner of NIOS, Ms. Niranjana is a successful ventriloquist. Prof. N. K. Ambasht, former Chairman, NIOS said that in this age of technology, innovations must lead to developing ‘standalone’ courses for the Indian Diaspora, to achieve the goals of the National Education Policy- 2020. Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sushma Yadav said that the role of NIOS increases in the light of New Education Policy. NIOS has such potential that the institute will be able to achieve the ambitious goals of National Education Policy 2020 in the coming years.

The half-yearly magazine of NIOS ‘Pragyan’ was released by Dr. Subhas Sarkar on this occasion.

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TCS to train UP Govt Schools for the underprivileged in Computational Thinking

Under this program, TCS will also train 1,500 teachers in these schools to help them understand computers, algorithms, programming, coding, and problem-solving skills.

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Tata Consultancy Services – the country’s largest software services company will train students and teachers of 105 Jaiprakash Narayana Sarvodaya Schools and Eklavya Residential Schools in computational and logical thinking.

These schools are run by the social welfare department of Uttar Pradesh.

A memorandum of understanding for 18 months was signed between TCS and the social welfare department in the presence of Minister of State (Independent charge) Asim Arum on 21st November 2022, a government statement said.

The company, under its programme go-IT and Ignite My Future along with International Bebras Computing Challenge will train the students in logical thinking and computational thinking as a push towards Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the statement also said.

These schools with 35,000 students provide residential accommodation and try to impart quality education to students from underprivileged sections and tribal regions of the state.

Under this program, TCS will also train 1,500 teachers in these schools under the programme Ignite My Future in computational thinking to help them understand computers, algorithms, programming, coding, and problem-solving skills. These teachers will act as master trainers to impart training further to their colleagues and students.

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Under the go-IT program of the company, students will be taught design and logical thinking with problem-solving skills and developing codes, besides preparing them through the International training programme – Bebras Computing Challenge.

 

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Consultation on draft National Credit Framework (NCrF) at IIT Delhi

Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan participates in consultation on the draft National Credit Framework (NCrF) at IIT Delhi

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Union Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the stakeholders’ consultation on the draft National Credit Framework (NCrF) at IIT Delhi. The Chairperson, NCVET India, Dr. NS Kalsi, Director, IIT Delhi, Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Rakesh Ranjan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, academicians, and many other distinguished dignitaries were also present.

Speaking on occasion, Pradhan said that NEP 2020 envisages universalization of credit framework for removing barriers between knowledge, skills, and employability, establishing a credit accumulation & transfer system for all kinds of learning for ensuring seamless mobility between learning and skilling pathways.

He further said that to reap a demographic dividend we have to provide a level playing field and equal opportunities to all. This can only be achieved by recognizing, accounting, and formalizing all kinds of conventional, unconventional, and experiential knowledge repositories.

The Minister stated that NCrF will provide us with an opportunity to recognize applied aspects of knowledge and skills. It will also create new possibilities for lifelong learning & skilling. NCrF will boost per capita productivity, empower all, and lay a strong foundation for India to lead this century, he further added.

Pradhan underlined that National Credit Framework will be a key for enhancing the economic convertibility of education, bringing a vast majority of our population under the fold of formal education and skilling, achieving GER targets, and accelerating India’s march towards becoming a $5 trillion economy.

About the National Credit Framework (NCrF):

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasizes making education more holistic and effective by integrating higher education and vocational education. To realize the intent and objective of NEP 2020, the National Credit Framework (NCrF) has been developed by a high-level committee constituted by the Government of India.

The NCrF is a comprehensive framework that enables seamless integration of learning from academic, vocational, and experiential learning. The NCrF provides for creditisation of all learning and assignment, accumulation, storage, transfer, and redemption of credits, subject to assessment, removes distinction and establishes academic equivalence between vocational and general education; enables mobility within and between them and its operationalization through the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC).

The draft National Credit Framework is available here for comments/suggestions from all stakeholders.

The comments/suggestions may be sent to [email protected] up to 30th November 2022.

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39 Schools Awarded Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2021-22

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Minister of State, Ministry of Education Dr. Subhas Sarkar gave away the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP), 2021-22 to the National awardee schools in New Delhi today. Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for Education was the esteemed Guest of Honour.

The third edition of the Award i.e. SVP 2021-22, saw phenomenal participation with 9.59 lakh schools registered for the awards. This number is approx. 1.5 times more than the number of schools (6.15 lakh schools) in SVP 2017-18, who participated during that year.

Out of 9.59 lakh schools, more than 8.23 lakh schools submitted their applications for SVP 2021-22. The evaluation process of 4,27,718 eligible schools was undertaken at the district and state levels, out of which 606 schools at State/UT level awards were found eligible for National level awards. The National Selection Committee for selection of schools for SVP 2021-22, in their meeting held on 10th October 2022, selected 39 schools (34 in the overall category and 5 in sub-categories) for National level awards for SVP 2021-2022, after 3rd party evaluation by UNICEF partner agency (NEERMAN).

Out of 39 selected schools, 21 schools are from rural areas and 18 are from urban areas. Further, 28 schools are government/ government aided while 11 are private schools. The awarded schools also include 2 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and one (1) Navodaya Vidyalaya and 3 Kendriya Vidyalayas. Out of 39 schools, 17 are elementary and 22 are secondary/ higher secondary schools. Cash prizes of Rs. 60,000/- to 34 schools (in the overall category) and Rs. 20,000/-, (in sub-categories) were given to the awardee schools.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Sarkar asked all the schools from Districts and States to work hard in the field of swachhata in schools to compete with the performance of award-winning Schools, Districts, and States. He also stressed that schools conferred with the National award may sustain the standard and rating of cleanliness and hygiene.

In his Independence Day address to the nation on 15th August 2014, Prime Minister declared that all schools in the country should have toilets with separate toilets for girls within a period of one year as only then our daughters will not be compelled to leave schools midway.

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The Department launched Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative in 2014. Under this initiative, a record number of 4,17,796 toilets were constructed in 2,61,400 schools, including 1,90,887 girls’ toilets in one year period up to 15th August 2015. Encouraged by this stupendous success, the Department of School Education and Literacy launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar in 2016-17 to ensure long-term sustainability and behavioural change. The Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar not only honours the schools that have taken exemplary work in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene but also provides a benchmark and roadmap for schools to make further improvement

Under this Award, schools are rated on six broad parameters of (a) Water (b) Toilets (c) Handwashing with Soap (d) Operation and Maintenance (e) Behaviour Change and Capacity building, and (f) COVID-19 (Preparedness and Response). The Puraskar is given at District, State, and National levels.

Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP), 2021-22 was successfully launched by  Dr. Subhas Sarkar on 12th January 2022, which was the birthday of Swami Vivekanand and is celebrated as National Youth Day. In view of the COVID pandemic, an additional parameter – “COVID-19 preparedness and response” – was included in the Swachh Vidyalaya guidelines in 2021-22, considering its implications for the health, hygiene, and safety of the children. The methodology of the awards was evolved in consultation with UNICEF, which was the Implementation and Technical partner for the awards.

In the National award ceremony  Sanjay Kumar, OSD, Prachi Pandey, Joint Secretary, and Archana Sharma Awasthi, Joint Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education were also present.

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28th edition of CBSE Sahodaya Schools Conference begins at Vadodara

The 28th National Annual Conference of Sahodaya School Complexes on the theme of Education 4.0-Reinventing
Education 2030 and beyond begins.

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The 28th National Annual Conference of Sahodaya School Complexes (2022) began on 18th November 2022. This year the conference is being held in collaboration with Gyan Sarovar Sahodaya –The Central Gujarat CBSE Schools Sahodaya Complex.

The theme of the conference is “Education 4.0: Reinventing Education for 2030 and Beyond” with the objective to sensitize school leaders and prepare them for the era of education 4.0 with the necessary changes in the design of curriculum and pedagogy.

Sub Themes

  1. Social dynamics and development of education
  2. School Leadership for futuristic schools
  3. Technology is indispensable for education
  4. Capacity Building of teachers
  5. AI in school education
  6. Creative Learning
  7. Positioning curriculum for 2030 and beyond
  8. Moving from Transactional Leadership to Transformational Leadership
  9. Building Learning Communities
  10. Schooling Vs. Education: Bridging the gap for a better India for 2030 and beyond
  11. Community School Partnership for quality education

This year’s conference is hosting the representatives of more than 200 Sahodaya School Complexes and educationists from around the world in a two-day event at Vadodara.

Principals from 800 plus CBSE affiliated schools in the country and abroad, academics, and senior officers of the Board are participating in this two-day conference which will dwell upon various themes such as Community School Partnership, Schooling versus Education, Technology for Education, Artificial Intelligence in Education, Building Learning Communities, Leadership, Creative Learning, and Capacity Building of Teachers.

The inaugural session of the conference began with the address of the Chairperson CBSE Smt. Nidhi Chhibber highlighting the roles and responsibilities of school principals and administrators in realizing the objectives of NEP 2020 and making schools future ready.

A number of publications prepared by the Board were also launched by the Chairperson, on this occasion.

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Conference Souvenir

A compilation of the probable best practices received from different schools across the country in the area of curriculum, pedagogy, capacity building of teachers, school leadership, school community partnership, and use of technology.

CBSE SQAA Portal

As per NEP 2020 recommendations, CBSE has developed a ‘School Quality Assessment and Assurance (SQAA)’ Framework based on 7 domains covering all the aspects of school functioning and can be useful as a tool for accomplishing individual and institutional excellence.

Practice Books in Science and Mathematics have been developed for Students of classes IX and X in the subjects of Mathematics and Science to strengthen the skills and competencies of students and help them apply the learned concepts in real-life situations and draw inferences.

These workbooks present a series of questions organised as themes, mapped to concepts from the curriculum of the respective class.

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The board has designed and developed Competency Focussed Practice Questions aligned to the NCERT curriculum in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science for Class X students to test conceptual understanding and application.

SAFAL Assessment Frameworks for grades 3, 5, and 8 were also launched today in the subjects of Language (English/Hindi), Mathematics, and EVS/Science. These include domains, strands, and competencies, and define learning outcomes at various proficiency levels.

PRAYOG

Pradhanacharya Yojna for Growth, has been designed in view of the important role of the Principals in the effective implementation of NEP 2020 in CBSE schools and covers various themes such as Innovative Pedagogy, Competency Focussed Education, Experiential Learning, Art integrated learning, Story Telling and Sports Integrated Learning, Systemic Reforms via initiatives such as SAFAL, HPC, SQAA, and Competency-based assessments, and other topics like Peer Education and Life Skills, Inclusive Education, Environmental Education, Pedagogy Leadership and Expectations from Principals.

Skill Education

A number of Skill Modules for Class VI-VIII on Travel and Tourism, Marketing, Media, Beauty & Wellness, Design Thinking, and Innovation were also launched today along with new modules for classes IX-XII in Library and Information Science, Cost Accounting, Early Childhood Care and Education.

Hand Book on Positive Parenting – A Ready Reckoner

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The Board has always been sensitive and proactive regarding the mental health and wellness of students. Positive Parenting – A Ready Reckoner has been brought out by CBSE with the hope of adding value to the nuances of parenting and nurturing skills in a very simplistic and easy-to-follow manner. This publication by no means attempts to undermine the concerns and care of the parents already in place but may help in deepening the understanding and in building positive relationships amongst schools, parents, and students. The contents have been carefully curated post-COVID challenges and include topics such as the Mental and Emotional Wellness of Children, Parenting the Pre- teens, Gender Equality and Child Abuse Protection, Children with Special Needs, Online Learning for Parents, and more.

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National Sports Awards 2022 Announced

Sharath Kamal Achanta to receive Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2022

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Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports announced the National Sports Awards 2022 on 14th November 2022.

The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 30th November 2022 (Wednesday) at 1600 hrs.

Based on the recommendations of the Committee and after due scrutiny, the Government has decided to confer awards upon the following sportspersons, coaches, and entities:

(i)Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2022

S. No. Name of the sportsperson Discipline
1. Shri Sharath Kamal Achanta Table Tennis

(ii)Arjuna Awards for outstanding performance in Sports and Games 2022

S. No. Name of the sportsperson Discipline
1. Ms. Seema Punia Athletics
2. Shri Eldhose Paul Athletics
3. Shri Avinash Mukund Sable Athletics
4. Shri Lakshya Sen Badminton
5. Shri Prannoy HS Badminton
6. Shri Amit Boxing
7. Ms. Nikhat Zareen Boxing
8. Ms. Bhakti Pradip Kulkarni Chess
9. Shri R Praggnanandhaa Chess
10. Ms. Deep Grace Ekka Hockey
11. Ms. Shushila Devi Judo
12. Ms. Sakshi Kumari Kabaddi
13. Ms. Nayan Moni Saikia Lawn Bowl
14. Shri Sagar Kailas Ovhalkar Mallakhamb
15. Ms. ElavenilValarivan Shooting
16. Shri Omprakash Mitharval Shooting
17. Ms. Sreeja Akula Table Tennis
18. Shri Vikas Thakur Weightlifting
19. Ms. Anshu Wrestling
20. Ms. Sarita Wrestling
21. Shri Parveen Wushu
22. Ms. Manasi Girishchandra Joshi Para-Badminton
23. Shri Tarun Dhillon Para Badminton
24. Shri Swapnil Sanjay Patil Para Swimming
25. Ms. Jerlin Anika J Deaf Badminton

(iii)Dronacharya Award for outstanding coaches in Sports and Games 2022

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A. Regular Category:

S. No. Name of the Coach (S/Shri/Ms) Discipline
1. Shri Jiwanjot Singh Teja Archery
2. Shri Mohammad Ali Qamar Boxing
3. Ms. Suma Siddharth Shirur Para Shooting
4. Shri Sujeet Maan Wrestling

B. Lifetime Category:

S.No. Name of the Coach (S/Shri/Ms) Discipline
1. Shri Dinesh Jawahar Lad Cricket
2. Shri Bimal Prafulla Ghosh Football
3. Shri Raj Singh Wrestling

(iv)Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games 2022

S. No. Name of the sportsperson Discipline
1. Ms. Ashwini Akkunji C. Athletics
2. Shri Dharamvir Singh Hockey
3. Shri B.C Suresh Kabaddi
4. Shri Nir Bahadur Gurung Para Athletics

(v) Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2022

S. No. Category Entity recommended for RashtriyaKhel Protsahan Puruskar, 2022
1. Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent TransStadia Enterprises Private Limited
2. Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology
3. Sports for Development Ladakh Ski & Snowboard Association

(vi)Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2022:

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.

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  • ‘Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award’ is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over the period of the previous four years.
  • ‘Arjuna Award for outstanding performance in Sports and Games’ is given for good performance over a period of the previous four years and for showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
  • ‘Dronacharya Award for outstanding coaches in Sports and Games’ is given to coaches for doing outstanding and meritorious work on a consistent basis and for enabling sportspersons to excel in International events.
  • ‘Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games’ is given to honour sportspersons who have contributed to sports through their performance and who continue to contribute to the promotion of sports even after their retirement.
  • ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar’ is given to corporate entities (both in the private and public sector), Sports Control Boards, NGOs, including sports bodies at the State and National level, who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.

The overall top-performing university in inter-university tournaments is given the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.

This year, for the first time, applications were invited only online and sportspersons/coaches/entities were permitted to self-apply through a dedicated portal.

A large number of nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committee headed by Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, Retd. Judge, Supreme Court of India and consisting of eminent sportspersons, persons having experience in sports journalism, and sports administrators.

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ATL Schools across India celebrate Childrens’ Day

1.5 lakh students from 5000+ schools took part in the Atal Tinkering Labs’ unique mega tinkering activity on the occasion of Children’s day

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In a first-of-its-kind occurrence, around 1.5 lakh students from more than 5000 schools in India in the Atal Tinkering Labs programme of the Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog took part in a unique mega tinkering activity on the occasion of Children’s day, on Nov 14. Several schools from the length and breadth of the country along with their students, ATL in-charges, principals, mentors, AIM team, and partners participated in the event virtually from their respective ATLs. In this event, participating students all across India built an innovation project together in one of the largest-ever global tinkering events done collectively in a single day.

With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. Recently AIM has achieved the objective of establishing more than 10,000 ATLs in schools across India with an objective to foster curiosity, creativity, and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing, etc.

Ms. Deepali Upadhayay, Program Director, AIM started the event by congratulating all students on the occasion of Children’s Day and the establishment of 10000 ATLs across schools in India.  As part of the event, students learned the scientific concept behind the activity and demonstrated the steps for building the hand-held fan using equipment from the ATL. This activity aimed to develop the attitude and aptitude to experiment and tinker among young students. These students were invited to participate in a contest where they will share pictures and videos of the tinkering activity done in their schools.

ATL students across the country have been ambassadors of the tinkering movement and have used their creative energies to make better versions of the hand-held fans. They also modified it to incorporate 3D printing in it. Some students also took it to the next level by designing complex robots and drones. ATL has been a front-runner in helping with the infrastructure and technical know-how of these innovation projects in schools.

Ankush, from Aditya Vidyashram School, Puducherry, and Sufeenah from Green Valley School, Srinagar said “It was great being a part of this mega tinkering event and building the project together with other ATLs. We thank the entire AIM team for organizing this activity”.

Famous Bollywood actor Sharman Joshi also congratulated the students via a video message saying that “This scale of a tinkering activity hasn’t been done before and paves the way for acceleration of the tinkering movement in India”.

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav Mission Director AIM in his message shared his remembrances from the first time he did such a tinkering activity as a child and said that “Children in today’s age have the tools and resources which were not available earlier. This event truly exhibited the ‘spirit of making’ in taking India to greater heights”.

Click here to know more about the ATL program.

YouTube Live link

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HPS Begumpet Hosts Curtain Raiser for Centenary Celebrations

The Hyderabad Public School (HPS) Begumpet, Centenary Celebrations Commence Jan 2023. Distinguished Alumni attend the Curtain Raiser.

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  • Unveiled: The School Vision 2050 & long-term infrastructure plans
  • Over 300 distinguished alumni attended an exclusive dinner & pledged support towards making the school an educational institution of global excellence

The Hyderabad Public School Society & its Board of Governors hosted an exclusive Curtain Raiser for the HPS(B) Centenary Celebrations starting Jan 2023. This was followed by a detailed presentation on the HPS Vision & Mission 2050 and the future infrastructural plans.

The formal dinner was attended by over 300 distinguished alumni who pledged their support, promised to participate, and assist their Alma Mater with time, talent & resources. Some of the prominent Alumni present at the dinner were Mr. Ashok Gajapati Raju (Former Union Minister), Mr. Konda Vishweshwar Reddy (Former Member of Parliament), Padmashri Dr. P. Raghuram, Mr. Hari Buggana (Inv Ascent), among other honourable members consisting of prominent doctors, businessmen, lawyers, politicians, sportsmen, artists, among many others.

Video messages of commitment to active participation as well as an appeal to all other alumni to come forward and contribute towards the execution of the school’s long-term vision was made by prominent alumni such as Mr. Shantanu Narayan (CEO, Adobe), Mr. Satya Nadella (CEO, Microsoft), Mr. Sriram Panchu (Senior Advocate, Madras High Court), Mr. Harsha Bhogle (Commentator), Mr. Shailesh Jejurikar (COO, Procter & Gamble), Mr. Nagarjuna (Film Actor), Mr. Syed Akbaruddin (IFS Retd), Mr. Prabhu Pingali (Chairman, ICRISAT) who could not be present at the event.

Speaking at the event Dr. Madhav Deo Saraswat, Principal of The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, stated “An Institution committed to a legacy of excellence like ours is a partnership among its students, faculty, alumni, administrators, donors, trustees, and more. The school needs a new impetus backed by a new approach, new thinking, and of course necessary resources as we enter the centennial year. I invite the alumni to participate and engage with the school so as to efficiently meet the audacious plans set out in Vision 2050”.

Highlighting the need for alumni to give back to their alma mater, Mr. Gusti J Noria, President, The Hyderabad Public School Society in his address emphasised that, “The culture of any organisation grows over time. With a school, the alumni are often the keepers of the culture. The success of our school can be measured, by the contribution, the alumni have made to our school, nation, and the world at large. We are all proud to say that HPS has, is, and will continue to be the torchbearer of excellence!!”

He exhorted the alumni and solicited their wholehearted participation in planning, organizing, and implementing the centenary celebrations and the long-term development plans of HPS.

About the HPS-B Centenary Celebrations

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The Centenary Celebrations that would start in January 2023, are being planned as a year-long grand celebration with multiple activities & events for students, staff, parents & alumni.

Details of the Centenary programme with the confirmed dates would be released in the public domain shortly along with a commemorative logo.

About the HPS Vision 2050

The Hyderabad Public School Society has prepared a vision and road map for the further development of its four schools — at Begumpet, Ramanthapur, Kadapa, and Warangal — over the next three decades leading up to 2050. A diverse group, comprised of proximate stakeholders of HPS, experts/leaders from the fields of education, business, science, government, law, politics, family counselling, and social work participated to help formulate the vision document.

The HPS Vision 2050 document is the result of over 1,000 person-hours of intense deliberations, discussions, and negotiations among this diverse group of 30 participants Admittedly, the HPS Vision 2050 envisages extremely audacious but achievable goals given the long history of the determined accomplishment of the Schools’ and their alumni.

For more information:

Contact Name: Naomi Hill
Number: 9063031923
Email ID: [email protected]
Website: https://hpsbegumpet.org.in

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Ladakh sets a new benchmark in education: PGI 2020-2021

The education minister lauds Ladakh for remarkable progress and for setting up a new benchmark.

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Image used for representational purpose only

The Ministry of Education congratulated Ladakh, the newly formed United territory for remarkable progress in the Performance Grading Index 2022-2021.

Ladakh sets a new benchmark by showing immense improvement in the PGI 2020-2021 which was recently released. The Performance Grading Index 2020-2021 launched by the ministry of education provides the vision and abstract mechanism for the performance and achievement of school education. The PGI of Ladakh has gone up from Level 8 to Level 4 in 2020-21 and has improved its score by 299 points in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20 resulting in highest ever improvement in a single year.

The PGI comprises 1000 points over 70 indicators. The 70 indicators are further grouped into two different categories: 1. Outcomes And 2. Governance Management. These are again divided into five domains, which are as follows: Learning Outcomes (LO), Access (A), Infrastructure and Facility (IF), Equity (E), and Governance Process (GP). Performance Grading Index classifies the state and union territories into 10 Grades – the highest achievable grade is Level 1 with more than 950 points. The states and union territories scoring more than 950 points out of 1000 points can achieve Level 1.

“Kudos to Ladakh for setting new benchmarks in education as it attains Level 4 with a score of 844 in the Performance Grading Index 2020 – 21. India’s youngest Union Territory is emerging as ‘one of the most promising’ UTs. Congratulations!”, shared the education minister on social media. The education minister also congratulated Ladakh for this achievement.

Over time, many other states and union territories have shown great progress in the PGI. States like Kerala, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Rajasthan, and union territory Chandigarh have shown exceptional development as compared to previous years by reaching Level 2 in the year 2020-2021. They scored 901-950 in the year 2020 – 2021 as compared to previous years. 

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