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The 21st century safe school addresses school safety from a holistic perspective

When it comes to the safety of students, it is infinitely better to err on the side of caution.

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The shock remains but the panic is replaced by a growing resolution: Enough is enough. The recent gruesome incidents (rape/ murder) targeting children in schools, compels a complete relook and rethink of where we are going wrong and what exactly can be done to ensure and secure the safety of our children. Keeping students safe and in an environment where they can flourish is becoming more and more difficult. Children spend a large percentage of their time at school and it is imperative that we make sure that we implement every possible measure to keep them safe.

A new kind of rigorous education is now a must for all children as well, maybe from the very moment they learn to understand the word “safety”. It is not only the parents’ responsibility to make sure their child is safe but also the duty of the school that we equip the minds of our children to do everything in their power to protect themselves from the monsters that roam in society.

Sexual Abuse
A difficult topic but one which demands we shed inhibitions and educate children about the issue and their rights.
In most cases the sexual predator is usually someone the child knows and has interacted with. A teacher, a family member, a neighbour, a friend… any of these people who we come to trust may violate our children.

The concept of ‘Your mind, your body’ should be taught to a child. A child must know that they and only they own their bodies and it is okay for them to say ‘NO’ if they don’t want to be touched. Even if it’s as simple as a hug or a kiss, a child should have the right to say no if it makes them even slightly uncomfortable. They have certain areas as ‘private’ which are off limits to everyone else, including members of the family.

Pushpendra Kumar, Principal, RM Public School, Bijnor

Says Pushpendra Kumar, Principal, RM Public School, Bijnor, “It should be made mandatory for school children to be educated about sex. Since I am from a rural area, I see a lot of parents hesitating to discuss sex with their child. As society leaders we have to take up these responsibilities as sex education is not only for the children of the big cities; it is very important for the children of the rural areas as well to understand and shed inhibitions around the topic.”

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Using appropriate terminology is important. It ensures that the child is correctly informed and can talk about it if there is a situation. Making the child feel comfortable during this conversation is a must.

Sonal Ahuja, Director, Shri Ram Foundation Preschool

Sonal Ahuja, Director, Shri Ram Foundation Preschool and Shri Ram Bal Bharti School emphasises on the fact that, “Once we cross the barrier of our own apprehensions, only then will we be able to share many more secrets of ‘sex education beyond the physical act’, with children.”

The mouth, chest area, stomach area, area between the legs, buttocks are off limits to anyone and everyone. That doesn’t mean that everywhere else is okay. Illustrated books on sex education can be used to explain these concepts to children simply and effectively.

Kavita Sanghavi, Principal, MET Rishikul, Mumbai

Sex education is mandatory. According to Kavita Sanghavi, MET Rishikul, “Sex education is imparted through regular sessions by the school counsellor and expert talk on the subject is delivered to students by gynaecologists, psychologists and sexologists from outside.” This awareness goes a long way in keeping children safe.  

Bullying

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Bullying, one of the largest problems in schools, is a form of abuse that usually occurs when a child or a group of children target another individual and exercise their power over them. It usually happens in areas that have less supervision by the staff or teachers of the school – bathrooms, deserted hallways, cafeterias, at the school bus areas or even in the bus. Bullying comes in many forms – fighting, name calling, teasing, excluding someone repeatedly…. Bullying can be physical or an emotional trauma for the child who is at the receiving end of it.

Bullying isn’t considered a big problem as compared to drug abuse, so most parents and teachers tend to make light of it, but it can have long lasting effects on the child being bullied and on the bully as well.

Sunny Mahajan, Joint Secretary, Pratap World School

If signs of bullying are seen, a parent or teacher must address it immediately. A child disclosing an incident of bullying must be taken seriously. Sunny Mahajan, Joint Secretary, Pratap World School says, “Workshops are conducted with students and there is an Anti-Bullying committee also in place. Statements like these are also highlighted at various places in school. Bullying is strictly prohibited inside the school premises and no such act should go unnoticed or unpunished.”

Don’t brush it away. Certain tell-tale signs can be seen if a child is a victim of bullying. They might withdraw from people and from friends, lose interest in activities they previously used to enjoy, display physical injuries, and show a drop in grades, etc.

If a child is being bullied, they can be helped, first by talking to the parents of the bully, teaching kids to take the non-violent approach to deal with a bully by walking away, talking it out or just by moving away to play with a group of friends. They need to be helped to restore their confidence. The first thing that bullies usually do is to break the self-confidence of a person.

Taruna Kapoor, Vice Principal, The Wisdom Valley Global School, Palwal

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Vice Principal, The Wisdom Valley Global School, Palwal, Taruna Kapoor says, “We conduct assessments in our school as to how often bullying occurs, when it occurs and how students and adults intervene. Parents are also made aware of these problems and encouraged to handle them properly. Awareness campaigns and workshops are conducted for the benefit of students. A thorough code of conduct, rules and reporting system is established. Also, a general school culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect is encouraged. Positive social interactions among school staff, students and parents is reinforced. Bullying prevention materials are introduced in the school curriculum and activities.”

She adds, “Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to STOP before it starts.”

Children who are bullies must also be helped as it can cause severe behavioural problems later in life. Children normally turn out to be bullies when they don’t empathise or sympathise with others, they usually like to be the centre of attention, enjoy aggression and love to pick fights. A counsellor at school could talk to the child, and may help get to the root cause of the problem. They might have anger issues, or some changes that are happening at home or they might feel insecure. Counselling may help solve these problems. Children who usually bully have, at some point, been victim themselves.

Learning Disabilities

How receptive are our schools and teachers to kids who have learning disabilities? These kids are most vulnerable and are at a risk for long term academic and social problems. Children who find it difficult in classrooms be it with reading, writing, comprehending, paying attention, proper coordination, memory, and staying organised could be facing learning disabilities. These disabilities can manifest in varying degrees of severity. Some students may struggle with more than one. Proper diagnosis is extremely important, followed by remedial measures to correct their situation. Solutions for children with learning disabilities must focuses on individual achievement, progress and learning to ensure they are successful.

Depression

Although depression is classified as an adult disorder, children are also susceptible to it. When depression is recognized early and treatment is provided, young people can feel and function better in school and life. Schools play a pivotal role in in identifying depression and intervening. School staff must be knowledgeable about depression as the disorder can seriously impair academic and interpersonal behaviour. Some of the signs teachers must look out for are: low tolerance for frustration and negative patterns for thinking, giving up on tasks quickly which they find daunting, doubting their ability to independently complete tasks and solve problems, lethargy, speaking laboriously, difficulty in completely expressing thoughts and ideas, decreased self-esteem and self-worth, and separation anxiety from parents.

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In cases where the child is going through depression a home-school communication system has to be developed to share information on the student’s academic, social and emotional behaviour. The best approach taken is often individualised. Children, when helped to overcome their depressed state with patience and perseverance from school staff, home and peers, tend to lead happy and normal lives.

Corporal Punishment

A common disciplinary measure in schools is corporal punishment. Hitting with the hand or with an object like a cane, pinching, excessive physical exercising, twisting of the ear, etc are some forms of corporal punishment. There have been instances where children have lost their lives or have been gravely injured. In most cases the physical hurt can be treated but the psychological and emotional effects can have severe consequences in the future. Mental harassment is also a form of corporal punishment.

There is no excuse to resorting to corporal punishment. It is important to treat every student with respect and care. Children can lose their confidence and self-esteem. With a child being continuously subjected to corporal punishment, the dire consequences could be children developing aggressive or destructive behaviour. They start to think that it is okay to hit someone if not listened to, or they may show cowardice, learning to obey without asking questions or having opinions.

It is the collective responsibility of all to abolish corporal punishment completely. Teachers and educators need to form mutual agreements with students, motivating them and giving them a sense of belonging to the school. It is the right of every human to live a peaceful life without having to face violence in any form.

Online Abuse

Technology cannot be eradicated from children’s lives; it is here to stay. Monitoring them every second of everyday is impossible. So, when they get sucked into the big bad world of virtual reality what do we do? How do we cope with the fact that our kids can be hurt by someone who is sitting thousands of miles away?

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The Blue Whale game, which is a 50-task game culminating in a suicide order, is a classic example of children being ensnared online. Developing trust and openness is the way to combat such dangerous influences. Children should be educated to talk openly about things that concern them, whether it is internet related or otherwise. Adults in a child’s life should make sure they don’t blow things out of proportion or overreact to situations but understand the needs of the child so that, in any situation, they feel comfortable to come up and speak to an adult, regardless of the issue.

We need to speak to children, develop their self-worth and give them the confidence that life is not about letting someone or something influence us into the wrong behaviour, and that there are alternatives to combat stress and confidence issues.

Countering the sinister Blue Whale challenge is the Pink Whale challenge or the Baleia Rosa game, which aims to spread not anguish and harm but love and happiness. While the Blue Whale is about depressing messages, self-harm and suicide, Baleia Rosa promotes positivity and encourages people to save lives.

Eventually, youngsters must realize that online challenges are not the ultimate game-changers, and that we all have our inherent traits of strengths and weaknesses – it is up to us to work on them.

Internet Safety

Internet usage has to be monitored continuously as today’s youngsters tend to use the internet heavily these days. It is important to provide kids with safety and protection from online predators.

We must keep an eye out on what they surf online. Children should be taught not to trust everything that they hear or see on the internet and to never reveal any personal information like their real name, which school they go to, their address or even frequent places they hang out. They must also be told not to share their family or friends’ information either.

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Most internet browsers have parental controls that can be easily used to set up security safeguards and content filters for language, nudity, sex and violence. Special browsers can also be set up that are kid-friendly. You can allow your child to only have access to this browser.

Children also get sucked into online chats where identity thieves or child predators pose as friends. A constant vigilance has to be maintained to their chat activity.

Children must be allowed to play age appropriate games. Check gaming websites that list the ratings of each game.

Do not allow children to do online shopping by themselves, we never know if they are going into insecure sites to make purchases and could be left vulnerable to online thefts.

School Safety
Schools must ensure that there is CCTV coverage in all corners of the school to ensure that the kids are monitored. When hiring staff and teachers, the school must ensure that they go through the proper channels of hiring, because these are the people who are responsible for a child’s safety and wellbeing. Schools must develop guidelines regarding the hiring process. It shows that the institute has done their homework and that they are a serious organisation and not just a money-churning machine.

Says Kusum Kanwar, Principal, Billabong High International School – Santacruz, “The 21st Century Safe School is a forward-thinking comprehensive approach addressing school safety from a holistic perspective of mental, emotional, physical and social safety. It is much more than physical threats. However, schools at times have a false understanding of school security and poor training and not following best practice guidelines for safety programs, leaves schools vulnerable to threats.
“Students deserve quality education in a learning environment where they feel safe and secure. Ensuring safety training for stakeholders prepares and empowers school administrators, educators and staff to effectively plan and train for a multitude of potential threats risks. It begins with planning and an increased level of awareness of potential threat indicators.
“Safety Training includes creating safe learning environments which are emotionally and psychologically safe, have situational awareness and other critical social and behavioural topics and simulation drills and safety exercises. Many schools have a mindset that training a small number of staff who can train the rest of employees can help, however the outcome will probably not be favourable. Parents need to be a collaborative partner in this endeavour by heightened awareness.
“Safety Training programs need to merge mental health and security practices for creation of a safe school.”

“If a school is aware about the facts related to raising sensible children, then parents automatically start following the culture of the school,” points out Sonal Ahuja, Director, Shri Ram Foundation Preschool and Shri Ram Bal Bharti School. “We hold sessions and make sure that each one of them attend. School activities are not done just as formalities. We make sure that raising a child is a triangular effort: Teacher-Child-Parent. We all have to play our roles equally to reach a set standard or a goal.

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“Schools are expected to address behavioural issues, minimize absences, reduce or eradicate mistreatment and bullying, prevent abuse cases and also fully prepare all students regardless of family circumstances or community characteristics. Given these demands, schools may find it difficult to be successful if they are operating in a reactive stance.

“Quality and character of school life can also be improved by welcoming partnerships, which aim at mutual trust and respect, responsiveness, research, reflections and introspections. In this partnership, school, staff, principal, parents, neighbourhood school representatives can develop a plan of action that is responsive to the needs of the school towards safety and security. The goal is not to provide the ‘one size fits all’ set of prescribed action. Schools should now step out of the so called, self-centred approach and bring a more community driven approach, by collaborating and welcoming partnerships – more brains, more reflections and hence most appropriate action plans leading to safe schools.”

Sunny Mahajan, Joint Secretary, Pratap World School also adds, “More personalized care by every member of the school can help in spreading positivity and protection for students. Mobile jammers can be introduced so that children do not become a victim of the Blue Whale game in school premises, particularly boarding schools. CCTV cameras should be present in every nook and corner so that everyone is alert. Police verification of each staff member must be conducted and anyone found with a record should not be kept in school. Psychometric assessment of each and every employee is essential. There should be security guards in school premises at various points as a physical presence always has an edge over any technology. Meditation activities for non-teaching and teaching staff help to maintain a positive balance of energies. Negative thoughts can be channelized. Ensuring more technology driven checks and balance can also help.”

Kalpana Chaudhary, Director, NH Goel World School, Raipur

Kalpana Chaudhary, Director, NH Goel World School, Raipur, says that apart from the regular norms of school safety, “We also do not encourage children driving their own two or four wheelers to school. We encourage children to use school transport. The children who come by their own vehicles have been issued I-cards to the drivers. Their names and phone numbers have to be registered with the school and they have to sign a register and a gate pass while leaving the school. Random and regular breath checking of the support staff specially the transport department is also essential.”

Stay Prepared
Life is full of surprises, not all of them pleasant. It is better that the organisation is prepared for fewer surprises. Institutes must continuously sensitise staff and enhance security measures in all possible ways. Some schools have already increased their security detail. Some of the measures that these schools have taken are:

The school staff and teachers are in the premises much before the students enter the school. After dispersal the building is secured by security staff.

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CCTV cameras are installed at strategic points across the school and are regularly monitored by dedicated personnel. Regular maintenance is done to ensure functionality is strictly implemented.

Entry and movement of all adults in the school campus is recorded. The school is secured and the gates are manned by security guards all the time.

Students toilets are clearly demarcated and separate toilets are used by the support staff.

The GPRS system has been incorporated for school buses, while CCTV cameras, first aid and fire extinguishers have been placed in every bus.

Students board and alight from the buses within the school premises under the supervision of the school transport in charge.

Teachers are assigned duties on vantage points during school hours.

The school medical team comprising of doctors and counsellors conduct regular sessions with students on various subjects on safety and otherwise.

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Bullying is strictly dealt with. Corporal punishment is not permitted and the physical safety of each child is of utmost importance.

An ambulance is stationed at the campus at all times for any medical emergencies.

Adding to these measures, Kavita Sanghvi, MET Rishikul, recommends that profiles are very clearly outlined to all so that every stakeholder is aware of their roles and responsibilities. Regular monitoring and recording, working closely with parents and earn their support and trust, informing parents of the school safety measures, holding meetings with staff members on child protection policy and their need to look into every aspect of students’ safety, recording of regular inspection by school safety officer, and the Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) of male staff members, are all essential steps.

When it comes to the safety of students, it is infinitely better to err on the side of caution.

This story features as the cover story in our October 2017 issue.

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Atal Innovation Mission launches fresh applications for Community Innovator Fellowship

Currently, there are 22 Community Innovator fellows being incubated at the Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) program of AIM.

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Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog on Tuesday, December 1st, 2022 announced the launch of applications for Community Innovator Fellowship (CIF), an initiative of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog in collaboration with UNDP India to facilitate knowledge-building and provide infrastructure support to aspiring community innovators essential for their entrepreneurship journey. Currently, there are 22 Community Innovator fellows being incubated at the Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) program of AIM.

A Community Innovator Fellow is an individual with an entrepreneurial mindset, with an idea to solve a community challenge through her/his enterprise. The journey of the fellow has been structured into 5 phases. Applicants can visit this link to learn about this year’s fellowship.

Speaking at the launch Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, AIM mentioned “At the micro level, the start-up revolution has reached the tier 2, and tier 3 cities of India and amped up the Startup ecosystem in these regions. Solving local problems at scale ranging across issues like healthcare, education, agriculture, and financial services is the key driving force for Atal Innovation Mission to empower the innovators to solve local community problems at the grassroots. With the strategic locations, Atal Community Innovation Centres are witnessing grassroots innovators undergoing the transformation journey of pursuing entrepreneurship as their full-fledged career option. With this launch of applications for the fellowship we call upon the applicants to experience the journey of creating a change in the community”.

This is a one-year-long intensive fellowship program wherein aspiring community innovators can apply irrespective of their socio-economic background is aimed at creating a conducive environment where knowledge, mentorship, community immersion, and inclusion can prosper through adequate infrastructure and funding. During the course of this fellowship, each fellow would be hosted at an Atal Community Innovation Centre and would acquire SDG awareness, entrepreneurial skills, and life skills while working on her/his idea.

AIM has been setting up Atal Community Innovation Centres (ACIC) across the country. Currently, there are 14 such centres, spread across 9 states and 36 more are coming up in the near future to take the collective number to 50 ACICs.

Link to Apply to the Fellowship

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Learn more about CIF

 

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Sanjay Kumar takes charge as Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy

Kumar said that he looks forward to contributing to providing quality, accessible and affordable education to every student in the country.

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Sanjay Kumar took charge as Secretary, of the Department of School Education & Literacy on 1st December 2022 in Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

Pursuant to assuming charge, Kumar held a meeting with the senior officials of the Ministry in which he reviewed the functioning of the department, autonomous bodies, and various schemes relating to school education.  Discussions were held on the implementation of National Education Policy 2020, capacity building of teachers, infrastructure in schools, and the upcoming Prime Minister’s interaction programme ‘Pariksha Pe Pariksha’.

Kumar said that he looks forward to contributing to providing quality, accessible and affordable education to every student in the country.

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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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